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How to Choose the Safest Car Travel Seatbelt for Your Dog

Dogs are wired to love their human family unconditionally, and are extremely loyal as well as being sensitive to moods and emotions. This is what makes therapy dogs so amazing for children with autism.

Dogs also respond well to fixed structures, repetition and patterns, which makes it easy for them to fit straight into the routines and mindset of those with autism. If you have a therapy dog as part of your family you will want to make sure they are safe at all times when travelling in a vehicle, so choosing the right seatbelt is important.

There’s no doubt that some dogs would prefer to enjoy the ride with their heads out of the window, or ride shotgun with no restraints, but the risk of them, or another passenger being hurt in even a minor traffic accident make that a definite no-no.

Still, actually choosing the right travel seatbelt for your particular dog can be a bit of a headache, especially when you need to be sure it is the safest possible option. The fact is there are lots of different dog restraint products on the market, and some are not that useful, while others won’t suit your dog.

That’s why we have put together these handy hints and tips to help you make the best possible choice you can.

Be guided by your dog’s weight

Small dogs are generally safer in a specially designed booster seat, which allows them to see what is going on in and outside of the car but is fixed securely to protect them in an accident. The seat, (which looks more like a comfortable open box than a child car seat), is secured using the seatbelt points, and the dog inside it wears a harness which is secured to the seat itself.

Of course, you can skip the seat and just use a harness if your dog isn’t fussy about looking around.

Medium and large sized dogs need a secure harness which is attached to the seatbelt points. If your dog is extra large or very powerful it’s safest to use a seatbelt clip on top, to add an extra level of restraint, as a weight of the dog could snap the regular restraints with a sudden or high impact move forward.

Next look at comfort

The safest car seatbelt is one the dog will tolerate, and anything which is uncomfortable will not work. The material should be wide and strong enough to suit the particular dog, and not be something which will dig in, irritate their skin, or pull their hair out.

Dogs which are small or have short necks may find wide straps uncomfortable, while overly stiff harnesses can make it difficult for a dog to lie down comfortably. Some companies make car restraints which are softer and easier to wear, especially with older dogs or those with medical problems in mind.

Whichever kind of car travel seatbelt you decide to go for make sure the model you pick has fasteners which are compatible with your car, and any existing harness you may already have.

Whether your journey is just across town or a multi-day road trip your dog will thank you for keeping him or her safe and comfortable as a treasured passenger, leaving you free to concentrate on the road knowing your pet is happy and secure behind you.

For more information on choosing the correct seat belt for your dog, check out

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