What You Must Know Before Using Dog Harness In A Car


If you regularly take rides with your dog, you must have noticed how unsafe cars are for dogs. There are a lot of dangers that dogs face when riding in a car.

When they stick their heads out the window they may get hurt. They get hurt when you come to a force stop. Also, they are just a distraction.

This happens only to dogs that do not wear a car safety harness. With a safety harness, the dog will be buckled up nice and safely. Here is a guide on how to use a dog harness in a car, and how to seatbelt a dog in a car.

  1. Get a pet seat belt.
  2. Fit the harness on the dog. 
  3. Attach the strap to the waist and shoulder strap.
  4. Buckle up the seat belt.
  5. Attach the strap to the dog harness.

Follow this step-by-step guide to find out some ways to seatbelt a dog in a car.

How To Seatbelt A Dog In A Car

How To Seatbelt A Dog In A Car

There is no one right way to secure a dog in a car. Safety harnesses come in different designs. So, this depends on the type of seat belt harness you buy. I’ll list the most common pet seat belts here. That way, you can see which one works best for you.

Using A Dog Seat Belt

One of the most common ways to secure your canine companion is with a dog seat belt. These seat belts are usually straps that you attach to the harness and to the headrest or the seatbelt buckle.

This type of seat belt harness is designed for dogs that like to come into the passenger or the driver’s seat. With it, you can solve your distracted driving problem. However, the dog will still be able to move around or hang on the window, since you attach it to the headrest.

Anyways, if distracted driving is the only reason you are buying a dog seat belt, I highly recommend getting this. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Fit the harness on the dog. 
  2. Fit the pet seat belt on the headrest. 
    Some of these seat belts are attached to the seatbelt buckle instead of the headrest. It depends on the model you get.
  3. Attach the swivel clip to the harness. 
  4. Adjust for size.
  5. Drive. 
[Related Article: 13 Best Tips To Travel With Dogs And Baby In Car Safely]

Using A Carabiner

Now, you don’t have to go for the pet seat belt. You can just get a carabiner and attach the harness to the car waist belt and car seat belt. This way adds more restrictions to the dog. We have to make a difference between safety restraint and proper restraint.

The carabiner method is proper restraint. With it, your dog won’t be able to move around as much. More so, it won’t be able to reach the window. It’s good for big dogs as well. Big dogs are not that stable in cars. They bump on each turn. With this, the dog will stay in place and it won’t get motion sickness.

So, if your dog is especially active during trips, consider this method. You will need a good pet harness and a big carabiner. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Fit the harness on the dog. 
    It’s preferable if you use a pet harness specifically made for cars here. Something that has safety features.
  2. Attach the carabiner to the waist belt and shoulder strap.
    Stick the waist belt and the shoulder strap together and attach the carabiner.
  3. Buckle up the seat belt. 
  4. Attach the carabiner to the harness. 

Using A Zipline Harness

Here’s another fun way to make sure your dog is safe in your car, a zipline harness. Works just like the pet seat belt but this offers more mobility and some additional features. Instead of attaching the belt to the harness, you attach it to a zipline.

This is a solution for pet parents that want to follow distracted driving laws but still want the dog to be able to move around. In my opinion, this is a good way to keep well-behaved dogs safe.

Dogs that are pretty active in the car, and cause a lot of trouble shouldn’t be put on a zipline. You still wouldn’t be able to have peace of mind.

Here’s how to use a zipline harness.

  1. Install the zipline. 
    You usually install the zipline by attaching both ends to the hanging bars on the backseat. I’ve seen some models that require installing the zip line around the seats though.
  2. Fit the harness on the dog.
  3. Attach the seat-belt tether to the zipline.
  4. Attach the tether to the harness. 
  5. Adjust for size. 
[Related Article: The Ultimate Guide To Train A Dog For Obedience]

Using A Travel Box

Puppies and small dog breeds have a far better option for traveling in cars, a dog booster car seat. I highly recommend this to pet parents with small dogs.

The belt for pets model is not exactly made for puppies and small dogs. So, think about getting a dog booster seat for your puppy. It’s an investment, yes. And, you will not use it for long. However, if you are going to be taking trips daily, it’s worth it. When police officers stop you, you won’t have any problems with seat belt laws and animal cruelty laws.

The installation process depends on the booster seat model you get. Most of these are attached with seat belt straps to the headrest and the car seat.

What Is The Best Seat Belt For Dogs

Since you are thinking about ways to secure your dog during car rides, you may want to take a look at the best seat belt for pets. Here are some models that I recommend.

COOYOO Dog Seat Belt

A reliable, high-quality COOYOO dog seat belt. The package includes two seat belt straps. Heavy-duty designs, made for bigger dogs that like to pull.

Mighty Paw Safety Belt

A favorite among dog owners, this Mighty Paw product is considered to be one of the best safety belt strap for dogs. With metal buckles, tangle-free swivel attachment, it supports up to 850+ pounds-force tensions.

Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness

Here’s something different. For dog owners that need a reliable safety harness as well. This Pawaboo dog safety vest harness has adjustable straps and a metal seat belt buckle. An adjustable dog seat belt for small to medium dogs.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Should Dogs Wear Seat Belts

Yes, dogs should wear seat belts. An unrestrained dog can distract you from driving, get motion sickness, get hurt badly in a car crash. Because of this, there are regulations that animal rights activists pushed for.

What Is The Safest Way For A Dog To Travel In A Car

The safest way a dog can travel in a car is with a safety harness that has a seatbelt attachment. This keeps the dog from distracting you and keeps it safe in the event of a car crash.

Can A Dog Sit In The Front Seat Of A Car

Provided that the airbag is off and the dog is secured with a safety harness, it can sit in the front seat. Big dogs can block your vision. Small dogs are seated best in the front with a booster dog car seat.

Tim Adams

Tim has experience of 15 years with a wide variety of pets. Anything animal-related is his passion, so he is here to share some good practices to know about owning pets.

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