Travel can be stressful on you and your pet, and keeping your furry friend restrained in the car will keep her safe and allow you to focus on the road. There are a variety of dog carriers that fit between the front seats to leave plenty of room for you and your dog's gear in the rest of the car. However, this might not always be the safest option.
Hard-sided crates are solid and difficult for nervous dogs to scratch or chew through. These carriers block a large percentage of the dog's view, which can be helpful for anxious car riders. They come with ventilation holes on the sides of the carrier to ensure that your best friend is getting some air. You may want to put a towel or pillow on the bottom of a plastic carrier to make it softer and easier on your dog's joints and to prevent sliding in the event of hard turns or sudden stops. The smallest plastic crates are around 12.5 inches wide, so you will need a relatively wide center console area to use this option.
Mesh sided carriers are soft and often collapsible, which can make them easier to transport and store when you don't need them for your furry friend. They also allow greater airflow and visibility for your dog, and may be more comfortable than a plastic carrier. However, they are more easily damaged, and nervous dogs may chew or dig a hole through the mesh relatively easily.
Purse style carriers are usually similar to a mesh carrier in the practical sense, but they are designed to be much more stylish. While style may not matter too much inside the car, having a versatile carrier will limit the amount of products you need to buy. Purse dog carriers are designed with the idea that you will be carrying them for long periods of time, making them more comfortable for everyday use.
Console pet car seats strap into the console of your car to hold it in place. There is either a hook inside that attaches to your dog's collar or harness or a fully included harness to keep your dog inside. This may be a good option if your dog is more comfortable when she can look around the car, but may not be as safe as a closed dog carrier.
Always secure the carrier to a seat belt so it won't be thrown in an accident. In general, the front seat is not the safest place for your dog. In an accident, the force from front airbags can injure or even kill your best friend. Your dog's carrier should have enough room for her to stand, sit, lie down and turn comfortably. If there is a choice between her fitting between the front seats and having a comfortably sized carrier, it's important to choose what's best for your dog. You can get a dog safety harness for the back seat, but the Humane Society of the United States suggests that a carrier secured to a seat belt is the safest way for your companion to travel in the car.
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