Restraining of dogs

Feb 13, 2022
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How do you restrain your dog in the car? I am posting this having read the recent article on here. The legal emphasis (rightly or wrongly) is on protecting human occupants of the vehicle. Indeed, I really don't fancy my 55 KG Rottie flying around in the car in the event of a crash. As I don't have kids, he enjoys the full length of the rear seats and the benefit of rear HVAC vents. I have a decent heavy duty seat cover which so far does a good job of protecting the seats. He wears a harness with a seatbelt strap which clicks into the seatbelt socket. the fact is though, I'm not entirely convinced the strap would hold up in a crash, but at least it would be better than nothing.

When looking at restraints for dogs the range of products seems to be rather limited. And most of the solutions don't leave much in it for the poor dog. I never like the idea of my dog in the boot on a hot day. I don't know why manufacturers of large cars such as estates or SUVs, don't put AC vents in the boot to keep dogs cool. Maybe some do, but I've never seen them. I suppose they eventually get the benefit of the AC once it's been running a while. I also don't like the idea of dogs in boots because they have no crumple zone to protect them. So what are the dog in boot solutions? Dog crates? I've never liked the idea of putting my dog in a cage within the car. I am thinking nasty rear end shunt, tailgate crumpled and damaged. Maybe you can't get it open? Maybe it's during a heatwave? Maybe the car is on fire and you can't quickly get your dog out? Then probably the most popular solution is the "dog guard". Great, it will protect human occupants from flying dog but again, what's in it for the dog? A large metal grate to be flung against. Has any manufacturer even tried to design these things with some kind of soft covering which protects the dog?

I know I'm thinking of all sorts of "what ifs", but they are all possiblities. I suppose if you worry too much about all the horrible things which could happen to you or your dog as a result of an RTA you'd never want to drive anywhere, let alone go on a caravan holiday. Maybe there are better solutions out there but when searching I just don't see them.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Estates and SUV don't need vents in the boot area because the extraction vents are almost always in the boot area so the air flows front to back and out.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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We have two dogs and they go in a Pet gear carrier i find it keeps them safe and secure and good ventilation in the boot of my car
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Ours wesrsca harness and we bought a seatbelt attachment for it. So he's on a seat,usually beside my wife seat belted in.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Depending on the car we have used a dog crate sited behind the front seats. It has two doors so hopefully the dogs could be released in the event of an impact. It would be lashed down to the cars load restraints or isofix rear restraints.
We also use a cover for the rear seats and use a German made harness that has been TUV tested for impact resistance. The harness has no clips the fitting is through “parachute” type buckles where the harness reverses on itself. The tether goes from the harness to to seat belt and fixes to the seat belt via a certified carabiner, in the case of the heavier dog two carabiner. We chose this type of harness as it was only two that had been impact tested and passed. The other tested one was from the US and shipping costs etc were extortionate. The German ones had no import costs as they were bought before we left the EU. But in the end there has to be a compromise as no solution is perfect. Gone are the days of a Marina estate filled to the brim, two kids and a Labrador/lurcher and Irish Setter in the load area. What was air con? The rear extract vent would have been obstructed by luggage anyway.





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PS Kleinmetal do a range of dog protection products. They have an English weblink.

https://www.kleinmetall.de/en/
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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The rear seat in both our cars is always down giving a large flat area. We then have a dog friendly blanket that clips to the top of the front headrests. This also stops the dogs going between the seats to the front. Having three Yorkies restraining by clipping in leads is certainly not ideal as they end up getting in one big tangle. Their dog bed is right behind the front passenger seat. Our dogs or now only the one dog sleep in the bed.
In the event of hard braking or a sudden stop, if they fly forward then the dog blanket should restrain them from flying any further forward. However we are talking about 3kg Yorkies and not 55kg of Rottie.
I would suggest that you have a cargo net stretched across the back of the car to the rear of the front seats. You should be able to clip it onto the roof where there are grab handles in a number of cars and also onto the clips that hold the seat in position when upright. Not ideal but it should offer some extra protection.
 

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