Considering how many dog lovers there are in the world, it's not surprising to see pups riding with their humans in cars — but it is shocking that many people aren't following dog car safety precautions. After all, pups are often considered furry family members, and most dog owners will go to great lengths to protect them. Sadly, a recent study has shown that many owners are unaware of what they need to do to protect their pups on the road.
Volvo Car USA polled pet owners about their car travel habits with their dogs and found that a whopping 97 percent of participants drove with their dogs, but only 23 percent of owners try to safely buckle them in. On top of that, 48 percent of respondents didn't own any dog safety gear for the car, and 41 percent of them let their dogs ride in the front seat often — which is not a safe spot for a dog to be.
If you've ever done any of the above, you're not alone. As People reported, Volvo believes that car manufacturers might be part of the problem. The company reviewed recent ads of vehicles that included dogs and found that, sure enough, many of them featured pups in less-than-ideal traveling positions — including sitting in the front seat. The company suspects that may be part of the reason why lots of dog owners might be unaware of important dog car safety tips; for instance, only 28 percent of owners surveyed had a crate or harness for Fido in the car, and just 5 percent had a built-in pet safety system.
While this news might be alarming and upsetting for many folks, the good news is that 84 percent of the owners acknowledged that not enough is being done to protect dogs in cars, and 71 percent of them are eager to see more car manufacturers build and offer more dog car safety features for their vehicles. Luckily, Volvo is taking a step forward in offering crash-tested dog gates in all of its Volvo SUV and wagons. But no matter what car you own, there are steps you can take to make your drives safer and smoother for your pooches — and there's no better time to start than right now.
Best Products for Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Car
To keep our pooches protected, seatbelts meant for humans do not suffice; here's the equipment you really need to keep those tails wagging.
1. URPOWER Upgraded Dog Seat Belt (2-Pack)
Keep your pet safe and sound with a seatbelt built for furry family members. The nylon straps are comfy and adjustable, so they won’t rub, pull, or dig into your pet’s fur. Your pup will love that he can still stick his face out the window, and you’ll love that he’s secure. This adjustable seatbelt works for all sizes of dogs, as well as cats.
Where to buy: $10.99, Amazon
2. DoggieWorld Dog Car Seat Cover
While we love taking trips with our doggos, we wouldn’t mind if the dander and shedded hair stayed at home. This car seat cover is easy to clean, waterproof, and fits perfectly in most cars. The straps secure around all four headrests, which prevents your dog from climbing into the front seat. So if you get caught in the rain, your car will stay tidy — even with a soaked pup and muddy paws — and your pet will stay safe.
Where to buy: $28.90, Amazon
3. RC Pet Products Pocket Pet First Aid Kit
You’ll be ready for any emergency with a kit that’s specialized for pets. Our fluffy friends have different medical needs than humans, so supplies that are catered to them will prevent injuries from worsening before you can get to the vet. This first aid kit is lightweight and includes a carabiner clip for easily attaching onto a leash or backpack.
Where to buy: $28.90, Amazon