Dogs, small or large, are great travel companions for short trips around town or longer, more adventurous road-trips. No matter the size of your dog, it is important to consider travel safety gear that works for both dog and owner. While larger dogs can use certain restraint systems in the back seat and cargo, items like tethers and dog seatbelts might not be as effective for small dogs. For dogs that are 30 lbs. or less, there are safer methods for keeping your dog protected while driving. Here are four travel tips for driving safely with your small dog.
Use a Dog Car Seat
For dogs that weigh 30 lbs. or less, a Booster Seat, also known as a dog car seat, is a great travel option. Keeping your small dog in your lap while driving is not safe for dog or owner. While this may seem cute or convenient, it can serve as a major distraction for the driver, and the dog could be injured while trying to roam about in a moving vehicle. A Booster Seat provides a higher position so small dogs have the ability to see out the window and give them their own cozy spot where they are safely contained.
This safety product is installed over a single bucket seat or the smaller side of a split bench seat that folds down. The booster seat hangs over and is secured around a vehicle’s seat by a system of straps. Watch the video below to better understand how the Kurgo Booster Seat is installed:
Increase Protection with a Harness
Harnesses are a must for dogs that frequently travel, regardless of size. For small dogs who are riding in Booster Seats, a harness is essential to be able to keep your dog contained within it. Pick a harness with an attachment at the back that can be easily attached to the carabiner clip on the tether included with booster seats. The safest way for a dog to travel in the Booster Seat is wearing a crash-tested harness that is connected to a vehicle’s seat belt. We recommend the Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness that comes in size extra-small for dogs weighing 5-10 lbs. and small for dogs 10-25 lbs. You will want to attach the harness to the tether and carabiner, which is shown in the Kurgo Booster Seat Installation video.
Use a 3-in-1 Carrier
For dog owners who bring their small pups everywhere – on road trips, to work, out to lunch, etc. – a 3-in-1 carrier might be the optimal travel solution. Kurgo’s carriers, including the K9 Courier, serve as a carrier, dog car seat, and travel bed. Note that these are only for dogs up to 15 lbs. and are not crash tested. To attach a Kurgo carrier as a booster seat, you would use the strap to attach around the passenger seat. If you’re bringing your dog to work, not only will the carrier transport your dog, but it will be a safe and comfortable travel bed for him or her to spend the day, while you work away.
Keep Toys Close
Other than being the safest option for small dogs in the car, booster seats and carriers can be very comfortable. Kurgo Booster Seats have soft liners that can be conveniently removed for washing. They provide a safe and cozy place for your dog to lay down and sleep or sit and pay attention to what is happening around her or him. To add even more comfort to road trips and decrease driving distractions from your dog, add a small toy or two to the dog car seat during rides. Something like the Mini Wapple Ball is the perfect option.
Are you ready to hit the road together? For more tips on traveling with your dog, visit our Dog Travel Tips informational page.
Andie Missert is a Marketing Specialist at Kurgo. Amongst other things, she manages the Kurgo blog and enjoys reading about unique adventures that dog owners go on with their pups.