What Are the Dangers of Dogs in Cars?

An unbuckled pup puts everyone, including himself, in danger.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

From trying to sneak up front to torpedoing through the car when you slam your brakes, dogs present lots of dangers when inside cars. Buckling your pal in and keeping him at home when the weather's hot limits those dangers.


If you find yourself in a car accident, or even slamming on your brakes, your dog, if unsecured, becomes a projectile that could seriously injure you, your passengers and himself. Jennifer Huebner-Davidson, traffic safety programs manager at AAA, notes that in a 30-mph crash, a 10-pound dog will exert 300 pounds of pressure. That number goes up dramatically as a dog's weight increases.

Other Dangerous and Solutions

Two other dangers revolve around canines in vehicles: distractions and heat-induced illnesses. Crating your pup and securing his crate with a seat belt or using a tethering seat belt system prevents most distractions and the dangers of him becoming a canine projectile. Leaving his butt at home during a hot day when you plan to run errands prevents him from getting overheated in the car. Cracking the windows while he's alone in a hot car is not acceptable -- the interior of your car will still become too hot for him to handle.