It is not kind or safe to allow a dog freedom in a car. Both the dog and you will feel much safer if it is either secured in a travel kennel or is restrained on the floor of the car with a dog guard between you and it.
An unrestrained dog could fly through the air, go through the windscreen or break your neck in an accident. The National Canine Defense League urges dog owners to give their dog the same attention they would give a small child when they travel. So always make sure that the dog is properly restrained in the rear of the car. In many parts of Europe it is an offense to allow dogs to be loose or unsecured in cars. A costly fine can result if stopped by the police.
Part of the problem is caused when the puppy is brought home from the breeder on the lap and, while it is still small, continues to travel in that way. When it gets bigger it is put in the back of the car and, not surprisingly, does not like the idea. This can result in barking and jumping about. The owner turns round to shout and an accident can happen.
Whose fault? The dog or the owner?
Stupid owners let dogs hang their heads out of the window. This can cause severe eye and nose problems and many a dog has been killed having jumped out of a travelling car through the window. Far better for the dog to be on the floor without even being able to see out of a window. They will feel much more secure this way.
Never leave a dog in a car during hot weather for longer than a few minutes. Park in the shade and never forget that the sun moves round in the sky. Even if the windows are left open, the temperature can reach 35 degrees C in a few minutes and dogs can suffer from heatstroke within 10 minutes or less. If you see a dog suffering from the heat in a car, do not hesitate to call the police. You may save its life.
Train your dog to sit before allowing it into the car. Train it to stay when opening a car door so that there is no chance of it jumping out onto a road and causing an accident or being killed. Better still to have it on
a secure lead.
If your dog gets over-excited because it knows it is being taken somewhere in the car to walk or run freely, take it around the block or to the shops and back again sometimes, without allowing it the excitement of a walk.
In many European countries, your private car becomes a public vehicle when it is on a public highway. The same rule applies to your dog in your car.
Dogs loose in cars and barking are causing a nuisance in a public place, and if someone is bitten by your dog through an open window of your car, you are liable.