Transporting The Dog Correctly – That’s How It Works

For most dog owners it is quite normal to be in the car with their four-legged friend. Whether on the way to a special trip, to the vet or on a holiday together, today’s dog is an integral part of the family and is therefore always part of the party, whether on foot, by car or by plane. However, there is a long way to go before everything runs smoothly.

To ensure that you and your darling arrive safely at your destination, it is important to take a few safety precautions. In this article, you will find out what has to be considered for safe transport and how you can best get your dog used to the exciting journey.

Regardless of whether it is a large dog, a medium-sized breed, or a particularly large four-legged friend, the safety of your dog must always come first. Unfortunately, however, statistics indicate a very different fact, which is that 80 percent of dogs that are taken in a car are unsecured.

In addition to a point in Flensburg and a fine, this has other, possibly even very serious consequences. These affect other occupants of the car. An unsecured dog can quickly become a hazard. It is not uncommon for dogs to fly uncontrolled through the car and not only harm themselves, but also injure other people.

But even without an accident, dangers can lurk. Dogs that are not secured can simply move freely in the car if they want to. This of course leads to distractions, so that road safety can no longer be guaranteed.

What does the law say about dogs in cars?

Of course, there are not only a lot of product recommendations, all of which ensure the safe transport of dogs of different breeds. So far, however, there is no special law for transporting dogs or animals in the car. However, a dog in the car is categorized as a risk to important road safety. In the event of damage, your own comprehensive insurance has the right to refuse payments.

In the Road Traffic Act, pets are regarded as cargo and a load must always be optimally secured so that it neither becomes a danger nor a distraction. Section 22 of the StVO, paragraph 1, applies here: “The load, including devices for load securing and loading equipment, must be stowed and secured in such a way that they do not slip, fall over, roll back and forth, fall or avoidable noise, even in the event of emergency braking or sudden evasive movements can generate. In doing so, the recognized rules of technology must be observed.”

Securing the dogs in the car – this is how it’s done

If you want to transport your dog safely, you should use special products that are specially made for this purpose. But not every model is suitable for every dog. For this reason, it is important that you test the different methods beforehand in order to be able to choose the best product for your dog.

For these accessories, not only the size of your dog plays a very important role, but also the character of the animals. For example, some dogs do not like being locked in a crate at all, and others are very reluctant to be strapped in a harness. Dogs that urgently need a little more freedom of movement can even be transported in the trunk, which is of course particularly comfortable for you as the owner.

You can find out what options you have below:

The dog harness:

There are special dog seat belts that you can use to buckle up your dog. This can be used normally on the passenger seat or the rear seat bench and can be used with the normal belt buckles. There are now many different belt systems. With such a safety system, it is important to ensure that there is not too much leeway and that everything fits properly.

The harness used to fasten the safety belt must be adapted to the size and physique of the animals and must not cut in despite the tight fit. Since the straps sit close to the body, it is important that they are softly padded, which of course greatly increases the wearing comfort for your dog. It is also important that the belt is firmly anchored. The belt length, on the other hand, should also be nice and short. In such a way that the dog can sit down as well as lie down, these two variants are completely sufficient. This technique is considered to be particularly safe and also comfortable for the animal.

The protective cover:

Protective blankets are also very popular. This is a blanket that is attached in such a way that the dog can no longer fall into the footwell. However, it usually only offers really reliable protection during normal braking and light collisions. However, the animals and the occupants are not adequately protected in the event of serious accidents.

The transport box:

The transport box for dogs is probably the most used option to protect both yourself and the dog while driving. How safe such a box is depends on where exactly it is placed in the car. ADAC has tested that boxes placed behind the front seats are the safest, although this is of course only possible with smaller animals.

In addition, of course, boxes made of metal are much safer than versions made of plastic.

Most dog owners put such a box in the trunk. If you want to travel by plane, such boxes are mandatory. It is important to choose a model that is the optimal size for the dog’s final size in adulthood.

Your dog should be able to move around a bit and lie down. It must be large enough for your dog to stand and sit. For longer car journeys, it also makes sense to choose a model that offers the option of hanging a drinking bowl. In addition, transport boxes for dogs are ideal for equipping them with a cozy blanket or your favorite toy.

The partition net or partition grille for the trunk

Also very popular and above all particularly practical is a separating net or a separating grid for transporting dogs. These are available in different heights and in different widths. Most products from this area can also be pulled out and thus individually adapted to the vehicle.

This method of security is one thing above all – very practical. Once the net or grid is in place, it can be left in place. The trunk can be used as usual and if the animal rides with you, it can move freely. In the event of an accident, the occupants remain protected and your dog cannot fly through the entire car, but is intercepted beforehand, so that safety is the top priority here as well. Nothing needs to be drilled for assembly, so there is nothing to worry about in this regard either.

This is how you can get your dog used to driving

Anxious dogs can quickly become a problem while driving. They either whine about the ride or even start resisting the safety precautions. So it always happens that animals want to disassemble the interior of the car. Many other dogs experience nausea and vomit while driving. It is therefore important that you get your dog used to such journeys in order to take away his fear of driving. So you can simplify the next trip. First of all, one thing is important: Always reward your darling with treats so that he perceives the car as positive right from the start. How this works is explained below:

  1. Above all, the dog’s fear of the car must be taken away. It is intended to become a completely normal object and is therefore easy to accept. Don’t make a fuss, but show your pet what’s coming up. For this reason, it is advisable to simply let the dog into the car at the beginning so that he can sniff it out extensively. However, it is important not to force him to do anything, but to simply let him do it. If he wants to go straight out, let him. This process can of course be repeated as often as you like.
  2. At some point the engine should also be started. It is not uncommon for the animals to be frightened. Even then, you should give your dog the opportunity to leave the car at any time.
  3. Only when your dog is no longer afraid of the engine noise should you get him used to securing it while driving. With a dog transport box, you should always put your dog in and out or close the opening. With a safety belt, the animal has to be strapped in and a safety blanket must also be set up so that your four-legged friend gets to know everything exactly. With a safety net or safety grille, on the other hand, it is enough to put the dog in the trunk and close the trunk lid from time to time.
  4. When the dog knows all the precautions, you should start taking small rides with him. How about a short drive to a place where you can then go for a walk together? So he can get the feeling while driving the car.
  5. If your dog is used to short rides, nothing stands in the way of a holiday together.

While driving

In addition to impeccable safety, it is also important not to lose sight of the needs of the animals. Depending on what time of day you ride and what your dog’s character is, you’ll definitely need to take multiple breaks. Short walks are not only good for you, but also for your dog. You should also make sure that the fur nose always gets enough fresh water. Animals that suffer from motion sickness can be given medication in advance, so you have nothing to worry about in this regard either.


If you draw a conclusion, it quickly becomes clear that traveling together in the car can only work if a few precautions are taken in advance. From getting used to the car to the right security for your dog to the right behavior while driving, all this contributes to safety.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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