Many people think they are being kind giving their dog freedom to bounce around the car, but actually, dogs will feel much safer secured in a travel kennel, wearing a harness, on the floor of the car, or behind a dog guard.
The National Canine Defence League urge dog owners to give their dog the same attention they would give a small child when they travel, and always make sure that the dog is restrained in the rear of the car.
Dogs must get used to travelling in vehicles, so it is best to get them used to travel safely as soon as possible when they are young. I would not encourage holding puppies on the lap, this way you are training the puppy that this is the place to travel. As a dog gets bigger he is put in the back of the car and will not like the idea. This results in barking and jumping. Resulting in owners shouting and turning around, thus being inattentive to their driving.
Many owners think that it is a good idea to let dogs have their heads hanging out of the window of the car whilst travelling. This is dangerous for the dog and can cause many health problems to the eyes and to the nose. Never let your dog hang his head out of the window. Many a dog has jumped out of a travelling car through the window, resulting in death.
In many parts of Europe, it is an offence to allow dogs to be loose or unsecured in cars and can be very costly in fines.
A dog should never be left in a car during hot weather for longer than a few minutes. Owners should park in shaded area’s keeping in mind that the sun moves. Even if the windows are left open the temperature can reach 35 degrees in a few minutes. Dogs can suffer from heatstroke within 10 minutes or less.
From a training point of view, it is a good idea to make dogs sit before allowing them into the car. When opening a car door dogs should be trained to stay, so that there is no chance of them jumping out onto a road and causing an accident or indeed killing themselves.
There are many products on the market to ensure your pet’s safety and to ensure the safety of the car!