For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
Car Safety
  • How do you guys travel with your pups in the car. Crated or uncrated? Do you use seat belt restraints. Do you let your dogs run free? Dawn and I have been putting alot of thought into this lately and were just wondering what you guys were doing to keep your dogs safe in the car.

    We're leaning towards buying two foldable soft crates for car travel. As of right now we tie her leash to a back headrest, and then clip it to her harness like normal.
    Post edited by notoriousscrat at 2012-08-19 10:38:03
  • My comment is a repeat from the other thread....

    For travel I use plastic airline crates with cool packs when it's warm. (We were rear ended this weekend while stopped at a red light, person behind was on their cell or blackberry not paying attention to the fact the traffic was stopped. Anyway, long story short the dogs where safe since the did not get slammed when we were being popped into the car in front. (Uggh...I hate insurance riggamarole....but that's another story.)

    Crates are generally the safest way to go. We strap ours down with rachet straps.


    On a side note: We used to use the halters with fleece but the clips kept breaking. Really you probably need the seatbelt clips with the halter so that the dogs don't step on the seat belt button and let themselves loose. Also the halters don't always fit all the Shibas properly, finding the right size and brand is a pain. In an accident they still would be flung about probably causing a bit of trauma. As the fender bender above proved there is a lot of shift and torque even in a low end accident. I am sticking with the plastic crates now for travel. Also I forgot to mention that with the seatbelt harness I am not sure the dogs would not end up hitting into each other in a crash. So again I think individual dogs separate in individual crates are the best way to go.
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2009-10-20 00:25:01
  • amesylphamesylph
    Posts: 128
    I also use a plastic airline crate for Ki and strap it down (he tends to lean against one wall so if it isn't tied down it can tip during a turn). Since he's a bigger boy his crate doesn't fit in all cars so he also has a lined car harness...unfortunately he does know how to press the seatbelt button so we stick to the crate unless there is some sort of emergency where he has to go in a car that won't allow for it.
  • tobyshibatobyshiba
    Posts: 1121
    When riding with me, Toby usually sits in the passenger seat next to me, in a harness seatbelt. That is kinda bad, I know. But when he goes in the back seat, he chews on the seatbelts and squirms out of his harness ( because he wants to be up front with me ) and it distracts me from the road.

    We don't go in the car much, though. I hate driving. :P Our longest drives are like 30 minutes.
  • We are terrible in the car! If we are just riding down the block to the field where we walk Miso and Sake both sit up front with us. I know, BAD ME!

    When we travel farther than 15 minutes I have an Outward Hound Car Hammock that I use and they both stay in the backseat. It is great because it prevents them from falling into the floorboards and it also creates a barrier to the front seat so they can't jump in our laps. I've attached a sample picture so you can see what I am talking about.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • I used to have a hammock for the back seat. I liked that a lot for local driving but it was a pain when my daughter had to ride in the car- she is too young to ride up front. (two years to go!)

    I put a plastic box in the footwell and covered it with blankets (seat too) so Reilly can lay on the seat and not fall on the floor. She rides in the back becasue she lies down and just rides.

    I used to let Sage ride in the back too, but one day we had to stop suddenly and he went flying over the console between the bucket seats, hit the dashboard turning on all sorts of hazard lights and landed in the footwell of the front passenger side, terifying us both.
    I bought him a seatbelt after that- the RuffRider Roadie- its actually tested to withstand some crazy amount of force. But it is hard to size correctly and paradoxically not easy to put on, but easy for him to slip out of, so we ditched that and I finally bought the wire barrier that goes above the backseat and Sage rides in the Way-Back of the wagon. Since he is reactive, I also papered the windows on the sides of the car so he can't see out the sides. I bought a crate fan that plugs into the car to give him some extra circulation in the hot months when we are driving with the A/c on, and I bought a black foam tube (like what you wrap around water pipes to insulate them, or a water noodle) and wrapped it around the crossbar of the barrier, so if he does bump it, he has some cushion. He would be best in a crate but a crate big enough for him will not fit in the wagon in a way that the crate door will open toward the tailgate.
  • How do you find the seatbelt clips? Our car is very small (and a two door) so a crate is really hard to do (and the only one would be a collapsible wire crate which we would have to collapse then set up again once it's in the back seat. Violet is good in a car (better than me since I get motion sickness) so we're focused on making sure she doesn't get hurt. She will pretty much go to sleep within 5 minutes of getting in a car (and will stay quiet for long rides) and we're not worried about her popping open the seatbelts because she has no interest in it. We though about getting the seatbelt harness but weren't sure about the fit. How did others find the fit? Violet is slender for a shiba (not compact, and a narrower chest and shoulders, plus a long torso, well long everything) so I find the trouble for her is getting the front part of the harness to extend long enough so that we're not cutting under her shoulders or movement in her front legs, yet to still have the part around the chest fit snugly (she wears the planet dog harness right now in the small and the chest section is at the smallest setting it will go but still quite big). We usually have her wear an easy walk in the car though (there's almost no use for it other than the car and the dog park since she's a sitter not a puller, the easy walk just makes her dawdle and sit even more).
  • Bark and Giggle makes seatbelt clips...

    These can be attached to a regular harness and then used with the seatbelt.
  • Oops, bad phrasing on my part. I meant, how effective do you find it? I think Brian was thinking of making one on his own from rock climbing webbing but I was curious as to how effective others found it when traveling. Our worry is primarily if we get into an accident or someone bumps us while she's in the car. We don't want her flying forward, nor do we want her in the front because of airbag issue.
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 437
    I guess this question depends on the size of your car and who else you have to have in it.

    For me, Koda's bigger than a Shiba, his crate makes me fold down the back seat. Doesn't fit by a couple of inches. For long drives I make him go into a plastic crate. If you are looking for safety with this question then a soft crate will NOT keep your dogs safe. If anything they could get hurt inside them and well squooshed. Plastice or mesh would create safety.

    Now, for my not so safe side. I use an Outward Hound hammock like Kristin for short trips around town or when I have to have someone sit in back with him. It has a velcro slit that can be undone so someone can sit in back next to it.
  • I have a Subaru Forester (older style) and my Shiba stays in a crate in the back seat on the passenger side. It is a plastic crate. I secure it somewhat w/ bungee cords between the crate handle and headrest posts so that the crate doesn't bounce upward. The crate has metal air vents on the side, but at least provides some protection from flying glass.
  • I think that if the dog is gonna get squished the dog is gonna get squished. I guess plastic or metal crates would absorb some energy, but once the structure deforms it'd end up just smooshing your dog. I'm not really comfortable riding in the car with a wire crate behind me, I'd be to worried about getting jabbed with it if there was on accident.

    I think we're going to go with a plastic travel crate that can be broken down. My only complaint with the plastic travel crate we have now is that it just eats up too much space when it's not in use. We should have just got a bigger car! lol.

    I want to set the crates up in the backseat. The seats do fold down but I want to keep the pups as far into the passenger compartment as possible. There are way too many SUV's driven by morons on Long Island, and I don't like the idea of some one rear ending us in one and crushing the dog. It'd be bad enough to be in an accident, have Katsu get hurt or killed, and then have to choke somone to death because they were texting while switching lanes in their Suburban, would just be too much to handle in one day.

    I'll just have to trade the Hyundai in for this
  • Very pretty....I like the green one and as far as the car that red sure is nice (LOL). Green and's like Christmas or festivus.
    I would take the crate with you to see if it fits in the door once you have narrowed down the final selection with your options.... Believe it or not some of the rear doors on the BMW's and Volvos restrict loading. Hell for 89 k they should just re-hinge the doors so you can get the crates in. * Grin*

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2009-10-21 20:10:26
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 437
    For $89 k they better give you two crates! lol.
  • Here is the link to Dog Cars, which is a website devoted to evaluating cars from a dog owners standpoint:

    If you are really looking for "dog friendly" cars, this is a good place to start.
  • philly_ypphilly_yp
    Posts: 114
    Posts: 1507
  • as you can see she rides free
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319

    Helpful article that describes basic precautions to take and outlines the different dangers to be aware of.
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
  • phipsphips
    Posts: 106
  • JScarf5JScarf5
    Posts: 202
    I agree with @phips, i also have a coupe and NO room in the back seat!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @phips, can you put down the back seats? and then fit a crate in there?

    I drive a beetle, in my experience VW has been very safe compared to other cars out there.
  • kayla4554kayla4554
    Posts: 169
  • Post edited by IheartShibas at 2012-08-22 10:16:59
  • phipsphips
    Posts: 106
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I'm in the market for another restraint system for my dogs. I have the Kurgo, which is easy and we like, but Kaji chewed through one of the straps, so I need a new harness, or a new system altogether. Has anyone tried this:

  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    I just use Conker's RuffWear harness and a traffic lead. I put the seatbelt through the lead's handle and attach the clip to the harness. Haven't had a problem with this setup yet.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I remembered I purchased a Ruffwear harness (Palisades) a while back at an REI garage sale, so I dug it out. It is still a little too big for my boys. The front fits but the bodice is too long for them. Maybe if they were girls there'd be no problem, but right now, they would get dirty should my boys go potty. I do like the way the harness is heavy duty and very well wrapped around the body. I'll look into other RuffWear harnesses. Thanks!
    Post edited by amti at 2013-03-01 23:12:08
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Bumped up the thread bc I thought it was really good info for everyone! Glad you and your dogs were safe Sandrat888!
  • What do you guys think about using a car seat like this in combination with a good harness? Like one of the Ezydog ones? CHR&ref=us

    My car is also rather small and I have no room for a crate in the backseat...unless I were to put Okami in the trunk which obviously isn't going to happen :-$
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I was just looking at those beds last night and wondered about that too since one of my dogs only sleeps in the car. But I decided against it since the bed alone would not do anything but take up room and be hot in the summer (I live in Texas) and yet, not provide any real safety for the dogs. And I would still need to harness them, but from reading the descriptions, it looks like the seat belts are used to clip the beds into the seats, so I wasn't sure if there would be a way to clip in a harness.

    The trunk? It is padded... semi- sound proof... escape proof... hmmm, I may have to consider that! ;)
  • Welp those car seats do say that they have a harness clip in the seat to attach, which I would definitely plan to use.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    notoriousscrat, I was looking into the Champion Car harness too and thought a small would be a good size for my boys. Kaji is still growning (8 months) and Taisho is about 23 lbs and 20" girth. Do you think I should get the XS? I was also at the pet stores today looking at various car harnesses. Kong makes a really well built one that I am interested in but I wanted to google it to see if there have been any actual studies on it.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Keep it mind also on the type of car you drive.

    My bf and I are Volkswagen fans. Yes German cars are pricy when it comes to maintanence, but they are safe amd definitely worth it in our book. I got rear ended by a Honda Civic before. It barely made a small dent on my car, but the whole front car of the Honda was pretty messed up.

    I don't crate the dogs in my car because of how sturdy VWs are...but I do have a ruffwear harness and a seatbelt to clip on to the harness. I know they won't get crushed, but definitely have to keep them from flying out the window.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks! I just checked their website and it says xs is for up to 15lbs, 11-17" chest. Maybe they changed their sizes. I am going to try to call them later and place an order. Thanks!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    or they changed the sizes... let's go with that! ;)

    ETA: I just ordered two...the solid black and the moonglow. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed everything works and comes. I've read a few posts where people had problems so I made sure to use my credit card. Thanks for your help everyone!
    Post edited by amti at 2013-03-04 16:40:59
  • I too have been trying to figure out how/what to restrain Chewie while in the car. I think for his safety and ours, I am going to train him to ride in a Sherpa Original that straps to the seat belt. It can be unzipped from the top so that he can stick his head out, but his body stays in. Sherpa ...

    We will see how this works. Thoughts??

  • DebDeb
    Posts: 286
    I hit a deer running full steam across the road the other night. Ted and Saki were in their crates which were strapped down in the back seat. The hood, grill and radiator are shot on the car and the dogs were fine and so is the deer, apparently. Even though the deer (a very large white tail buck) lost a bunch of hair and landed on it's side in the ditch. It got up and walked away. I was concerned it was in shock as it was just walking. We went back to look for it later that night, but tracking was difficult as it was very cold and dark and there were several sets of deer tracks. So my bf and one of his friends went the next morning and tracked the deer from where it fell in the ditch for a few miles. It was digging up acorns in the snow, hopping over fallen branches and seemed to be walking fine according to the tracks. I was glad the dogs did fine in a light crash in their crates. They were no worse for wear and weren't upset at all. Crates are good. I vote for crates.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I am one of those very bad owners, I know it. I let my dogs loose in the car. What is worse is I have a Lexus SUV that can fit two crates in the back.

    My puppy trainer says the crate is the safest and best method to use. One of her arguments is that if you are in an accident (which no one can ever predict) and you can't help your dog(s) that if they are in a crate it is much easier and less stressful for rescue people to help you and the dog quickly and safely. She also says to be sure the crate has a photo of the dog, the dogs name, the emergency contact information, and the vet information.

    Again, I know I am very bad to let them loose in the car and that I am risking their safety. My only defense is as a child I never wore a seat belt (actually slept in the rear window of my parents car on long trips) and have survived to this day just fine ... not much of an argument when you realize an accident is just that ... very unplanned and can be very serious no matter how safe the car is rated.

    Right now the crates I would use are soft sided, which are not as good in a crash as they could crumple, so it is on my list to get airline (plastic) travel crates for when I have to transport the dogs. I know it is the right thing to do and should be more of a priority than I have made it so far.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Just an update. I got the harnesses in and they are heavy duty! They are much heavier so when I first put them on the dogs, neither knew what to do. Taisho has decided having the harness on is good news because he likes the car, but Kaji protests and squats down when I put him in it. I really do like them a lot and feel much better about them in the car. I also discovered a good use for them for Kaji. When my father passed away, I stayed with my mom and both dogs were with me. Kaji got up at 7am and started running all around while we were all trying to sleep. When he didn't settle down, I put the harness on him and he collapsed and slept for the next three hours, so we all got some rest. Sounds mean, but he just doesn't move when he's in the harness. He will walk when we take him outside and take a stroll before going into the car, so there is nothing hurting him. He just finds it uncomfortable because it is heavy and bulky.
  • comp142comp142
    Posts: 16

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (0)