Defensive Driving


Here at we are all about passenger safety while riding in an automobile. Everyone in a car should have a seatbelt, not only because it is smart but it’s the law. But when our passenger is the four legged sort we have no laws but we do have some options.

Recently on the NPR blog for the show “Car Talk” they had two experts address the issue of all things animal and automotive, focusing primarily on dogs. Dr. Sip Siperstein and trainer Melissa McCue-McGrath share their knowledge of seat belts and other restraints for our dog passengers.

Seat harnesses – There are many options out there and part of what you choose depends on the size of your pet and the size of your car. A crate is recommended over a harness but do not fit in many cars. Seat belts usually involve a harness of some type that the seat belt attaches to and that can be used outside the car as a walking harness. This can prove to be very convenient.

But seat belts as these have their limitations. These restraints can keep your dog in place before an accident occurs, which is a good thing, but can be uncomfortable and too restraining at times. If you love the idea of a seat belt there are great ones out there. Our authors recommend Sleepypods Clickit Utility Harness. Any harness you buy should be researched thoroughly to be sure it is well designed and has passed safety tests.

Gate dividers – Dr. Sip uses a gate divider, which come in many shapes and sizes, as well as materials they are made from. These are very practical if you have a large car such as an SUV and a large breed dog.

If your dog is well behaved then a mesh divider would be better than metal. If you have a chewer on board then something more substantial is best. Be certain that it is installed properly or you can have a smart dog crawl under it or around the edge.

Crates – A crate is the absolute safest restraint of all for your pets. Safer for them, for you and for people in other cars who want to wave to the cute doggie and end up rear ending the car in front of them. Dog trainers are huge fans of crates, especially if you have a dog that is sensitive or reactive to everything going on in a car. You can also throw a blanket over it to minimize the visual stimulation.

Whether you are protecting yourself or your pet in a car, restraints are a must. And if you need more information about anything driving related just log in to

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