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  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.

« What Is Your Dog IQ? | Main | Dog Saves Person and Animals In Shelter Fire »

May 12, 2010


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Blair Sorrel

Greetings! Unfortunately, some dog walkers discover a danger, only
sadly, when victimized. Please see the recent canine
shockings/electrocution on StreetZaps and view our safety guidelines.
I confer with Con Edison's Stray Voltage and Public Affairs Units; The
National Electric Code showcases the site. Shock victim, Aric Roman's,
case first appeared on StreetZaps in 3/09 and is in pre-trial at Con
Edison (please see Testimonies, Safety) as he is permanently disabled.
Thank you in advance and stay safe!

In appreciation and with best regards,

Blair Sorrel

Best Graduate School

I enjoy your blog so wanted to come check out this post. You sure bring in some interesting tips. Would never have thought to relate my blog. Sharing personal stories does make for a more interesting post and I have found even as a newbie to blogging that is how I seem to be connecting with my visitors and other members of the blogging community. Will have to try one of your suggestions about how to capture attention with interesting introduction that will draw in the reader.


Great post. I wish more people would take precautions when traveling with dogs. I have a seat belt for my dog and he rides in the back seat. I agree with the dangers of the air bag in the front seat. I wish Romney would have read this post before putting his dog in a kennel on top of the car for hours while driving 60 mph.

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No offense, but i suggest admin adding a google+ button for easy share!

B&G Suspension

Interesting topic. I would suggest that an accompaniment must be with the driver if they have pets in their cars.

bark collar

Whether you have a small dog or a large dog, you may need to investigate different harness/collar options if your dog tends to pull hard or if he/she is difficult to control on a leash. For these dogs that tend to "walk their owners" there are a number of options. You might first try a harness, but if that doesn't work, then you might consider a type of leash that goes around the muzzle and controls the head of the dog. There are also "choke" type collars which are usually more popular with bigger, stronger dogs such as Pit Bulls or rambunctious Labradors. It's not a great idea to put one of these dog collars on a small animal as you might end up with a huge vet bill. If your dog falls into this category, the best answer usually is some training with a professional. The monetary investment can be far less than the frustration resulting from a cantankerous canine.

amy amster

I had an accident with my dog in the front seat and her head hit the windshield. She was fine, but I now use a travel system when transporting her. has everything from service dog vests to travel equipment and "hard to find" items.

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It is really very important for a dog owner to take these types of measures to prevent our dogs getting into any trouble while we are driving them with us in the car. Although I haven't been using this kind of crate for my own dog, but If you can help me find one I will certainly get it ASAP and will place it in my car. Till now had been using the very own cars, seat belt for the dogs as well. But now looking forward to your response. Anna Taylor

Dog Life Vest

Hi Karen,

I enjoyed your post and especially liked what you said about "The back seat is better than the front seat for several reasons".

Luckily my 'Herschel' loves to get in his cage and take a snooze when we go for a ride.

Lets keep em Safe!

Nancy Biggum

We specifically designed an upholstery fabric hammock for the back seat for ALL of the reasons discussed - and MORE!!! Check out The ONLY hammock that keeps seat edges clean, non-slip surface, fun colors, and MORE!

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Depending on the design of the harness, you can have it crossed around your dog. I would recommend having a dog crate if you have more space at the back. Don't let your dog ride shotgun. Last time I did, he tried biting someones hand.

Cat Health Problems

Traveling with dog I always make sure that his is locked into his cage. With some safety accessories and stuff that would entertain him.

pet euthanasia

Dog safety while traveling is the most crucial thing to do. I often go to other places and I have no one to left taking care my pet. I decided to purchase some accessories and dog cage. For me to handle every thing during the ride.


Love the seatbelt. It was super scary taking my newly adopted boy anywhere because he preferred standing wtih his back legs on the back seat and his front ones on the console.
No more. I quickly bought him a harness and a seatbelt and now he can sit with his face out the window and I can drive without THAT kind of worry.

Barbara Handelman

I have tried various car restraints. In my old van, I had a crate that was secured to the floor of the van using tie downs. That was effective but greatly limited seating options for humans.

I had used the Ruff Rider canine seatbelt for which the materials have been tested to meet the same requirements as human seatbelt materials. It comes in a range of sizes but is not adjustable to the dimensions of the individual dog. I did find that my dogs could back out of that harness.

I now use the "Survivor, Big Dog Seat Belt System" for my 85 lb, 2 year old GSD, who is still in the process of filling out around his heavily boned frame. I really like this seatbelt harness. It has heavy weight webbing, and huge welded D-Rings. The straps come over the rib cage on both sides. It comes with a belt that plugs into the car's own seat belt system. My GSD wears his whenever he is in the car, and while he is working, he is my assistance dog. He shows no signs of discomfort, no chaffing at all. I really like this system. The company also makes harnesses for smaller dogs.

I never drive without a seatbelt on myself and every passenger, including my dogs.

One more word about front seats... front airbags deployment poses the same risks for dogs as they do for children. Another good reason dogs should not be passengers in the front seat of a car.

Harry Steinman

I always use a crate for my dogs.

Some people say that their dogs won't 'do' a crate, but that's the point of dog training: To begin, bit by bit, using positive reinforcement, to accustom your dog to the crate.

My dog, Zippy, who I adopted from the MSPCA (Massachusetts) howled and cried all the way home from the shelter when we adopted him. It took about six months of constant training before he would be quiet in the crate. Now, he responds avidly to the cue, "Car" and waits at the back gate of my station wagon for me to open up the crate for him jump in.

Also...of note! DO NOT let you dog off-leash from the car to the house! Even if it's 10 feet. Dogs and squirrels are just too darned fast. One of my students (I volunteer teach at the MSPCA) had her wonderful sweet pit mix rescue--a star of the class--dash into traffic after a squirrel and now is recovering from a couple broken legs.
Safety first!


Another reason front seat is dangerous is the air bag. Like children, dogs can be injured or killed if air bag inflates.

rick smith

I have thought about this a lot and have come to use my agitation harness for driving with my dog, with the harness top ring snapped to a heavy nylon strap (seat belt material) that has been installed by wrapping it around the back seat 2/3 of the way up. the short(polypro) line connecting the harness ring to the seat belt webbing is basically only long enuff to give him the option of laying down or sitting up where he can look out the window. it doesn't allow as much freedom as he likes but is the safest for me in terms of tradeoffs for more movement. the agitation harness has a padded chest of course and i feel that will help absorb fwd movement in an impact. polypro connector because i don't want that to stretch like nylon will. i leave it in the car cause he rides with me a lot more than we use it for training and i always know where it is when i do need it :-) i don't know if they make agitation harness for small dogs, but the same system could be adapted by adding a chest protector to distribute impact loads better than just the thin nylon harness straps used for walking, and they are cheap enuff you could get one just for the car and modify it. i'm NOT a fan of crates (unless they are heavily modified and padded) because they are essentially unprotected boxes that allow the dog to be thrown around during a sudden stop or impact, and whether sleeping or not, they aren't prepared to brace themselves, even tho the box space is smaller than the car interior. This set up works well in my station wagon seats but would need a slightly different installation in a car with a single back seat. he loves it better than being left behind even tho it's the most dangerous thing either one of us does nowadays :-)
re: front seat or back ?? don't know, but the front seat does have an air bag that might be safer in a real hard crash if the dog was restrained while riding there, and some cars have a side bag too (i think)


Just last week, a few days after adopting a 4 y.o. Rhodesian Ridgeback, I picked up a car seat belt for him b/c he had clearly never been trained to ride in a car and struggled to remain standing all the time. And obviously he's simply too big for a crate inside the car. I've suffered a bit of teasing for taking the extra time to "strap in the baby" but travelling by car is far less stressful for all concerned now and he's finally getting the idea that sitting or lying on the back seat is the most comfortable way to watch the world go by as we drive.

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