Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice

Joy ride or nightmare - Border Collies and Golden Retrievers in the car

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice car cages

Dogs should be secure in the car, this large
strong crate provides security and safety.

Security First

The law is very strict regarding the safety of people in cars, we are required to wear seat belts and secure children before setting off, we understand why and few people would argue with the good sense of these rules. So why do people who love and care about their dogs not treat them with the same consideration, respect and common sense they would extend to the rest of the family. To allow a dog loose in a car is put him at unnecessary and unfair risk.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice car safety

If the car is too small for a crate secure the
loop of a lead through the seat belt

A loose dog in a car is at risk, not just from the direct effects of an accident. We know of several incidents over the years where a slight "prang" has caused no serious damage to either vehicle or occupants but well-meaning witnesses have opened the car door to ask if the driver is hurt and released panic-stricken dogs onto the road to become victims of passing cars.
A dog loose in a car is in danger of jumping out whenever the car doors are opened to let the driver or passengers in or out, any dog can be distracted by other dogs, children, animals or friends outside the car. A moments lapse of concentration can lead to tragedy, it is safer and more responsible to make sure your dog is safe and secure in the car.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice dogs in the car

This arrangement will at least prevent
a frightened dog bolting after an accident

If you travel regularly with your dog in a car you should equip the car to enable a dog to travel safely or buy your dog a car harness. However if neither is an option for any reason you should still make sure that you secure your dog in the car by putting a strong lead on her, running the seat belt though the lead's hand loop then fastening the seat belt. Whilst this will not offer much safety to you dog in an accident it will prevent her bolting in panic from the car, perhaps into the path of other vehicles.
However, never leave your dog unattended tethered in this way unless you can see her, in case she becomes tangled in the lead and causes herself injury or distress.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice dog seat belts

Get your dog used to the feel of a car harness
before strapping her in the car

Whilst a well secured lead is better than nothing, if your dog regularly travels on the seats of the car a proper car harness is a much better idea. A car harness fits around the chest and body and has a loop through which the seat belt is fastened. If there is an accident your dog will be safe from being thrown against the windscreen and will not be able to run away if the door is opened or a window smashed. If you use a car harness check it regularly to make sure that the clasps and webbing are in good order and not cracked or worn, if it is damaged it may not protect your dog in an accident. Before using a car harness on your dog for the first time, get her used to wearing it in the house so that she is not distressed by being restrained in the car.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice car safety for dogs

Rebekah is safe and comfortable in her car harness

If you are concerned that your dog may become excited or restless in the car it is best for her to be strapped to the front seat so that if she becomes agitated you are near to prevent her becoming tangled in the harness. Be very careful not leave your dog unattended in the car whilst wearing a car harness or she could become entangled and injury herself.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice suitable cars for dogs

Ordinary household dog crates are quite
suitable for use in the car

Hatchbacks or estate cars can be fitted with purpose built dog guards, some of these are available very cheaply and consist of bars or a mesh panel that expands to fit the width of the car. Whilst these may be effective in discouraging a dog from jump from the back of the car into the rear seats they will offer no real protection in an accident, either to the dog or to other occupants in the car. They also offer no protection against a frightened dog escaping into the road if the rear or side windows are broken. The better dog guards are of strong construction and bolted into holes drilled in the body work of the car, these will prevent a dog being thrown forward in the event of an accident but will still offer no protection if the rear or side windows are broken.

Rear guards are also available which are bolted in to the body work of the car and provide a mesh barrier across the rear opening of a hatchback or estate car and have a small door that can be bolted. These can be combined with a dog guard to create safe area in the back of the car, however they do not provide any protection to the side windows.


Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice car cages

A strong purpose built car crate is the
best and safest solution

The safest way to transport your dog is to fit a cage or car crate inside your car so that your dog is secured in a small and totally protected area. There are two ways of doing this, either by using a standard indoor kennel or crate in which case you should secure the crate (unless it is very large) to prevent it being thrown around in an accident or by using a purpose built car crate. A proper car crate is the best solution, these are strongly built and designed to fit most models of vehicle, they are easy to lift in and out and do not deed to be bolted to the car. Such a crate will provide protection for your dog in case of an accident and prevent escape if windows are broken or a door carelessly opened. Car crates can also be padlocked making it safe for you to leave your dog in the car with the back open or windows wound down PROVIDED THE WEATHER IS and will remain VERY COOL AND OVERCAST. Never leave a dog in a car even with windows and doors open unless you are quite certain that solar gain will not raise the temperature to uncomfortable levels. Remember that each year many dogs die in cars through overheating even when the outside temperature is quite low and the sun not apparently bright.

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