Becoming a pet owner is a big responsibility, and it's not something you should take lightly. You may think your life won't change much, but your pet becomes a significant part of your daily routine—especially if you have a dog. Dogs require plenty of love and attention, which isn’t possible if you always leave them home alone. Many pups love car rides, but it can be difficult to ensure everyone's safety in the vehicle if your pet isn’t seated properly. Follow along to learn how to install a dog seat in your own car and keep your four-legged friend comfortable.
The Benefits of Car Seats
There are many benefits associated with putting your pup in a car seat. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, they may be on their best behavior during car rides if they're in their own seat.
Safety should be your number one concern when it comes to car rides, and a doggy car seat is the ultimate way to ensure safety for you and your furry friend. When your pet roams freely throughout the vehicle, it can distract you while you drive. Furthermore, dogs can get injured in car accidents if they don't have anything restraining them; for example, hitting your brakes suddenly can cause harm to your pup if they aren't secured.
Elevates Your Pup
It's no secret that dogs love to look out the window as you drive down the road. However, it can be tough for them to do so in cars with deeper seats. Many dog car seats elevate your pup so they can look out the window and easily see where they are.
Keeps Your Car’s Interior Clean
One of the biggest disadvantages of having a dog is being unable to keep your car clean. It's great to take your pup along, but their fur ends up stuck to everything, their paws track mud in, and their nails damage your upholstery. These factors might make you less likely to take them on car rides, but dog car beds can help you maintain a clean interior by keeping your dog secure and off your vehicle’s seats.
Reduces Motion Sickness
Unfortunately, many dogs experience motion sickness, but sitting in a car seat can help. Because they can see out the window, feel the breeze, and sit in one secure spot, your pup may not feel as sick during car rides. If this doesn't help, you can also talk to your vet about motion sickness medications.
Gives a Sense of Security
If your dog experiences anxiety when it comes to car rides, a dog car seat can put their mind at ease. By sitting still in a confined, cozy space, your pup will feel safe and secure. Rather than excessive panting, whining, or whimpering, your pup will probably sleep through the entire trip.
Types of Car Seats
Now that you know why you should consider a car seat for your dog, explore which one will work best for your pup. Basket and bed styles are the two most common options for those wanting the best possible dog car seat.
Basket-style car seats are the most common for dogs, and they're extra cozy for your pup. Typically, they have durable outer edges and a blanket-like material on the inside. Most basket-style seats have an elevating design since they strap around your car's headrests and suspend in the air. This is the best option for small breeds.
Bed-style car seats are less common, but they still provide security for your pup. Generally, this style is comparable to a regular dog bed, but it has straps to secure it to your vehicle’s seats. These car seats are more likely to have a backrest and sides to better protect your interior and pup.
How To Install Dog Car Seats
Installing a dog car seat isn't entirely complicated, but you can follow these steps to ensure you're doing it correctly.
- Decide how tight the straps need to be to achieve the desired height.
- Secure the straps to the headrest in your car and to the basket.
- Put your pup in the seat.
- Decide where to put the bed—the backseat typically works best for this style.
- Secure the dog seat straps using the car's seatbelt, or attach them to the metal latch connectors on the back of the seat. You may have to fold the seat down to reach these.
- Put your pup in the bed.
Reasons a Car Seat May Not Be Right
Car seats are incredibly useful for most dogs and owners, but there are a few different circumstances in which this may not be the best option for your pet. If you can relate to any of the following, consider using a harness to restrain your dog in the car.
If you have a large breed dog, you may not be able to find a suitable dog car seat. These seats work best for smaller pups, but that doesn't mean larger dogs don't require certain safety measures in the car. Harness restraints are the perfect option for bigger dogs that need security inside your vehicle. Dogs like Golden Retrievers and German Shephards deserve to be comfortable during car rides; consider giving them a blanket or a comfort toy to make them feel cozy during the trip.
Your Dog Doesn't Like Small Spaces
Like humans, many dogs struggle with claustrophobia, meaning they don't like to be in small spaces. If this is the case for your dog, a pup car seat probably won't help keep them calm, safe, and secure during the trip.
Installing for Each Ride Is a Hassle
Many people have more than one car, and they likely use a different one each time. Unless you get a dog seat for each car, you may have to move it each time you decide to take a different vehicle. It could become an inconvenience if you have to install and uninstall the car seat after every trip. However, if the seat will stay in your vehicle almost all the time, purchasing a dog car seat can be worthwhile.
Knowing how to install a dog seat in your own car is incredibly helpful if you plan to travel with your pup frequently. Safety should always be your top priority, and having a doggy car seat is the best way to keep your dog comfortable and calm during the trip while limiting distractions.