Driving Safely with your Pets

by: Ursula Nizalowski

Much like children, driving with pets in the car can be a hassle due to the extra complications that follow. Though in particular, how to transport the pet without giving it unwanted stress and ways to keep it occupied during the trip. Fortunately, there are methods for dealing with both issues. One such method is putting the pet in a crate, and the other is having the pet sit in a car seat similar to the seats young children are put into. Some other factors like accessories and warranties should also be considered, which are outlined in this article in addition to the types of car seats and crates suitable for pets of all sizes.

Driving Safely with your pets Driving with pets

Types of Pet Car Seats

Car Harness 

Argued to be the “most cost-effective” restraint option, according to Buckle Up for Life’s website, harnesses can be worn by dogs and cats. They are similar to vests in design that allow the seatbelt to attach and keep the pet secure during car rides. But keep in mind what size the pet is, since not all harnesses will fit the pet-in-question, and if the harness has been “crash test certified” as stated by the CPS (Center for Pet Safety).

Booster Seat

Shaped like buckets, a booster seat is meant to be a sort of mobile bed for the pet to sit in and not be too restrained. For this reason, such seats are considered to be very comfortable with prices ranging from $26.95 to $80.99 depending on how sturdy and flexible the material is. With that said, the typical size of booster seats is for small-to-medium sized pets.

Hammock Seat

Though they are “slightly more expensive” than booster seats, according to Top Dog Tips, having a hammock-style seat gives the pet more freedom in terms of mobility. For this reason, hammock seats are good to use for large dogs. But they do take up the entire backseat, which could be an issue depending on how big the car is and the amount of things being packed for the trip.

Types of Pet Crates


As described by Hepper, fabric crates are made of soft material with “hard steel or plastic frames” making them very portable and weigh considerably less than common plastic crates. This kind of crate is often used for well-behaved pets, since the fabric crate’s lack of durability makes them easy to tear apart. Plus, if the pet is not house-trained it can be a pain to clean up any accidents from fabric compared to plastic crates which “requires less time and effort” according to The Nest.


While they’re not as comfortable compared to fabric crates, hard plastic crates are more durable. Thus, they can withstand the scratching and chewing that less-behaved pets may be inclined to do while stuck inside the crate. Although plastic crates do tend to be bulky and not as easy to carry, unlike fabric crates.

Other Factors to Consider


Since the car is liable to take sharp turns, accelerate, or even brake abruptly, the pet’s safety could be at risk from any one of these possible incidents. Therefore, it might be good to consider additional attachments to the crate or seat the pet is in for better security. Some examples include sturdy handles and loops to go with the seatbelt or headrest.

Pet Accessories

Depending on how long the car trip will be, the accompanying pet is likely to get bored, thirsty, or hungry. So packing extra accessories like “Meals, treats, and chew toys” are useful for distracting one’s pet according to Rover. This will make the trip less stressful for the driver, but also the pet.


Among certain brands of pet crates and seats, there may be a warranty included. This can last from “30 days to multiple years,” says Hepper depending on the warranty itself. Now since the warranties might cover certain components legally, it would be good to pay attention to these components in case the crates/seats get damaged at any point along the trip.

For any further questions about pet safety in cars, feel free to contact attorney Rick Wagner.