Transporting a dog in the car? (You need to know)

Want to take your furry companion on vacation, on a trip, to the vet, or to visit distant friends and relatives? Then you can't avoid loading your four-legged passenger into the car. Without the right precautions and equipment, even a short trip can end fatally. Read our article to prevent that.

Dog car shepherd dog
Article Overview

What are the legal consequences, safety and comfort options for your dog in the car, you will learn here.

Legal

Dogs have according to the Road traffic regulations the same status as cargo or baggage. At § 23 of the StVO it says as follows:

"Whoever drives a vehicle is responsible for ensuring that his or her vision and hearing are not impaired by the occupants, animals, cargo, equipment, or condition of the vehicle. Whoever drives a vehicle shall also see that the vehicle, train, team, and load and occupancy are in accordance with regulations and that the traffic safety of the vehicle does not suffer because of the load or occupancy."

This means for you in plain language that you have to secure your four-legged friend in the car. There are two points you should keep in mind:

  • In any case, your darling must not disturb you while driving. 
  • In addition, it must not be thrown forward during emergency braking or accidents and injure itself or other occupants.

Violations of this order are punishable by a fine of €35. If you also endanger traffic, you will have to pay a fine of €60 and receive a penalty point in Flensburg.

If you cause an accident because of your unsecured passenger, your insurance coverage may be voided because of gross negligence expire. However, most dog liability insurance policies include this.

Even at a low speed of 50 km/h, in the event of an accident, a medium-sized dog can become a projectile with the impact force of half a ton. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to secure your protégé while driving.

Backup options

To ensure that neither you nor your faithful companion are injured, there are various securing methods. Which one is suitable for you depends mainly on the size of your furbearer. Here is an overview of your options, how to use them and their advantages and disadvantages:

1. dog belt

Dog belt

These harnesses can be strapped to the car seat belt holders. But most often they are attached to the Isofix system, that is, the child seat holder integrated in the car. This is the most stable and therefore safest option. 

You then strap your four-legged friend to its Tableware tight with the harness. Some harnesses are already equipped with their own harness.

Never attach the harness to a collar, otherwise your furry friend will be suffocated when braking and suffer injuries up to a broken neck.

The Quality of the belt determines whether it will hold in an emergency. Poorly processed specimens can tear. You can avoid this by clicking on "ECE-' or 'DIN-. Test mark pay attention.

The harness must fit the size and weight of your dog. The belt length should be set so tight that your hairy passenger can't reach the backs of the front seats.

In terms of price, the dog belts are the cheapest option for securing dogs in the car. Also the assembly is here the simplest. 

Unfortunately, they are the most unsafe compared to the other options. They often provide too much clearance, which can injure your charge on impact or interfere with your driving.

2. transport box

Dog box car

You probably already have a dog carrier at home. With it you have one of the most versatile and safest transport utensils for your darling. Because you can also use such a box on the plane. 

Once you get your four-legged friend used to it, he will feel very comfortable in it. The box becomes a regular shelter. 

There are a few things to consider with this product as well: Transport bags made of fabric offer no protection in an emergency. Therefore, you should at least invest in a plastic box. These are the safest in the footwell of the rear seats to stow away. There they can not fly around and break. The most robust are dog crates made of aluminum.

The box size must of course be adapted to your protégé. If it has too much space, it can be thrown around and hurt. If there is too little space, it will be too cramped and uncomfortable for your pet. 

He should have just enough space to turn and lie comfortably. The right size will also make it easier for your companion to rest and not constantly move around in the box.

The perfect size for your transport box is as follows:

For its length, add your dog's plus half its leg length. The width should be twice the dog's width and for the height add five centimeters to the head height.

How should I stow the transport box?
Small box Place them in the Footwell.
Medium size box Attach them to the Backistz.
Big box Place them with the long side against the side wall of the Trunk and with the rear side against the rear wall of the rear seats.

The transport box is for you one of the safest options and additionally serves your protégé as retreat. Another advantage is that your four-legged friend immediately secured in the event of an accident is and Do not obstruct approaching paramedics can. Small boxes are very easy to handle and easily stowed. 

Disadvantages lie in the fact that the Mounting on the rear seat not sufficiently stable is. So if in doubt, opt for the trunk. In addition, can be large dog boxes due to their high weight and unhandiness only difficult to transport. It can also take a long time for your four-legged friend to get used to his new shelter.

3. separating grid

Partition grid

To secure your furry passenger in the trunk, you can install dividers between the trunk and passenger compartment. 

Never use nets or cheap universal mesh, even if these models seem inexpensive and convince you their simple assembly.

Nets can not withstand a violent impact. They also run the risk of becoming entangled. Nets or universal grids usually do not close properly with the car wall. Through the gaps thus created, your fur carrier can squeeze forward.

Only a stable grille matched to your car model offers sufficient safety.  Therefore, look for a model that fits exactly in your car. Is this professionally mounted, it offers protection for you and your four-legged friend. 

During installation, care should be taken that your pet does not have too much space. Because that would lead in an emergency that he is thrown against the grid.

4. dog seat

Meanwhile, a car seat has also been developed for dogs. It is used like a kindersitz attached via the Isofix system and is therefore very safe. 

However, it is only suitable for small dogs up to nine kilograms in weight and thus falls away for many dog owners.

5. dog car bed (Dogstyler)

The dog beds of the Dogstyler brand can be adjusted according to size in the trunk or on the back seat. Here they use the stable Isofix system, which allows adequate securing on the rear seats. 

Your protégé is fixed in the bed by a belt. This is to prevent him from leaving the bed. In this way, he can not hinder the driver or rescue workers. The belt is not to protect him from impact, the high and padded bed walls are for that. 

The beds can also be easily removed and used indoors. They come in many different sizes, models and features, such as water-repellent material or removable floor. There are also suitable sizes for all common car models. 

Thereby the prices range from about € 170 for the smallest to over € 1000 for larger beds with premium equipment. 

If you are ready to spend so much on your darling, you will surely find it. Basically, the biggest drawback here is the rather high price, depending on the bed. Safety and comfort are definitely provided with these beds.

How do I get my dog used to driving?

You should start getting your furry companion used to the car as early as possible. 

First, let him get in and out of the car without driving off, and meanwhile, keep giving him treats. Once you've repeated this process a couple of times, you can start taking your furry companion on short trips. 

You should also always give him a treat before and after the ride and praise him so that he looks forward to the splash. Take your protégé, as often as you can, in the car, and driving will become normal for him.

If you have decided on a transport box, you should first get your pet used to it. Do this just as slowly, with lots of praise and treats, as you did with the car. It's best to start in a familiar environment like your home.

If you want to take your little one on a longer trip, you'll need to take a break every few hours. Let your four-legged friend run and play. It's best to play with him extensively right before the trip, so that he gets tired and sleeps during the journey. 

Protect your pet from direct sunlight. For this purpose, there are blinds or films that you can attach to the windows.

Very important: Never leave your dog alone in the car in the heat!

Already at temperatures from 25 °C can change the interior of the car in half an hour to Heat 40 °C and thus becomes a death trap. Your protégé can only withstand this heat for a few minutes before he perishes due to circulatory failure. 

Open windows or a parking space in the shade are not enough, to prevent this. Even when the car is moving, you have to make sure that your little companion doesn't overheat. 

If he is panting heavily with a red tongue and stretched neck, getting glassy eyes, it is high time to cool him down. The best way is water, a damp cloth and a change of location to a cool and shady place.

Conclusion

Which dog security you choose for your car depends largely on the space in the car, the size of your furbearer and your financial situation. The important thing is that you secure it. How you do that is up to you. 

Now you have an idea about the different transport options for your darling. You'll also know how to get him used to driving and what to keep in mind to keep you and your best friend as safe as possible.

Written by Claudia Weise
Written by Claudia Weise

I am the editor-in-chief of hundeo. My mission is to publish the best dog guides on the web. If you have any feedback or suggestions about the article, I'd love to hear from you.

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