May 28, 2021 3 min read

There’s nothing quite like a trip out with our canine companions. However, most cars are unfortunately not designed with our pets in mind, so in this article we will be sharing how to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible when travelling.

Our pets must be safe during car journeys, whether in a carrier or wearing a harness that attaches to a seat belt. Securing our pets in the car will not only protect them from moving around the vehicle and prevent them from hurling forward in an incident of an accident, it will also save owners from being distracted from the road.


When choosing the equipment you wish to use for your pet, consider what will be best for their personal needs. The standard choice is between a carrier and a harness that connects to the seat belt. For example, if they are prone to feeling claustrophobic, a carrier would not be the best choice. If you decide to go for a harness, ensure it fits them correctly as if they are nervous and fidgety and pull, the harness could rub on their skin which could cause painful irritation. For a harness to be comfortable, you should be able to fit two fingers between your dog and the harness.  As a harness fits around the chest and neck, it is a far safer option than just using a collar to connect to a seatbelt, especially if you have to make an emergency stop, causing your beloved pet to be flung forward. We wouldn’t think of wearing our seatbelts round our necks would we?

Harnesses should really only be suitable for dogs. Other pets such as cats and rabbits are better suited to carriers. Their carriers should be spacious enough to be able to sit, stand, move around and be able to lie down comfortably.

In addition to the correct equipment to secure them into the car, another common issue is that our cars’ seats and other car materials often become damaged with scratch marks and matted pet hair. As many times as you hoover, more pet hair always seems to appear! A great solution to protect your car is our Anti Scratch Pro Seat Cover. It is a large piece of soft padded, waterproof and anti-scratch polyester material, that simply hooks onto the back of the car's headrests. It will help keep your vehicle clean and is completely weather-resistant, so you can easily wipe away those muddy paws and hairs.


After you have the right equipment, you're halfway there. The other key is that your pet's behaviour is correct, which will also contribute to their safety and the enjoyment of the ride.

Making them feel comfortable:

  • If you are using a carrier for your pet, let them explore the space in the comfort of their home first, which will allow them to get to know the area and leave their scent.
  • Provide your pet with one of their favourite toys or blankets for the journey. A familiar smell from home will offer comfort to them in the car, particularly when they first begin to ride in the car, which can be daunting.
  • Train your dog to refrain from the comedy scene of sticking their head out the window during the journey. Although they may enjoy the breeze, the dangers of being hit or even escaping are not worth the risk.
  • Many car seats are sloped, so place a towel underneath a carrier to make the surface level.
  • Provide a calm environment, avoid playing loud music and taking sharp turns, which may cause distress.
  • Try to make the car temperature a similar temperature to your home. The less change, the better, as they will be introduced to many new sounds, sights and smells throughout the journey.

If your pet is having a tough time adjusting to trips, a great tip is to start with short journeys. If their behaviour does not improve over a prolonged time, consider taking them to a trainer. It is common to do this and is worth the time if it means you can travel without them feeling distressed.

If you follow the above, you should be able to travel with your pets with ease. Remember to reward your beloved pets with a small treat after journeys to reinforce the scenario as a positive experience.

Safe Travels!