I had never thought about a seat belt for my dogs until I was in car accidents. I’ve been driving since I was 16 years old and have been in two car accidents. One of them very bad and would have cut me in half had I not been in the very large SUV I was in. Now, I think about my dog all the time, especially in the event of an accident. So, what are some of the best seat belts for dogs out there?
There are a lot of seat belts for dogs to choose from. I’ve shopped at several online sites, looking at a ton of videos and, yes, I ordered one some time ago. Atlas now wears it every time she goes in the car with me to ensure her safety. Since I bought one and have been using it for a few weeks now, I know what to look for.
First, How Large Is Your Dog?
One thing to think about with the seat belt you choose, is how big is your dog? If you have a very small dog, then the standard seat belt won’t really work for them. I have a 2.5lb Chihuahua and I imagine that if I were in a fatal accident, she would most likely fly around everywhere.
When it comes to small dogs, I think of small children for safety. In this event, I would want the booster seat that fits almost like a baby seat. It boosters them up to make them a little higher up and not so close to the seat. It also has a harness that straps them into the booster and attaches to the metal hooks in the seat itself.
If you have children, think back to their child seat or booster seat. Same concept for the small dogs.
Medium sized dogs, depending on their height, can use either the booster or harness attachment. The best bet is to be the judge on how secure you think your dog is with the seat belt.
If you have a large dog, then you would want the standard harness seat belt that wraps around their chest. It’s also padded so that if you’re in a collision, the impact isn’t crushing their bones or chest. I know, it’s a lot of information and not all of this is fun to think about. However, you should always plan for the worst case scenario when it comes to your family.
When it comes to how they attach to your vehicle, there are two options.
One Kind Clicks Into The Seat Belt Holder.
The seat belt that I recently purchased has the seat belt tongue attachment. Meaning, it actually clicks into the seat belt buckle. It has the tongue on the end so your dog will need their own seat. I actually like this option because I feel that my dogs are very secure with this option.
It also forces me to place my large dog in her own seat versus letting her sit on my kids laps. More often than not, in the truck, my kids want the dog on their laps. I worry about this in the event of any collision. In an accident, things tend to fly in unprecedented ways. Limbs will fly around, heads will go back and forth and side to side. Anything hard can make an impact in a negative way.
In my last accident, which was horrific, the middle console and door handle broke my ribs on both sides. Anything hard can break bones. So imagine a very large dog on a child’s lap. Anything devastating can happen in that event, especially bones colliding with bones.
For me personally, my dog gets her own seat now when we ride around. She may not like it, but it’s the safest way to travel.
Another Dog Seat Belt Uses A Carabiner.
The other style of dog seat belt uses a carabiner to attach to the seat belt buckle or the metal hook in the seat. This would be a great option if I didn’t worry about my children attempting to have my dog on their laps. I believe that they would attempt to attach her spring-style strap to their belt buckle.
Imagine, a very bad collision where the dog flies side to side hitting the children. Yes, I worry about my dog, but I worry about my kids more. Dogs heads are very strong and able to withstand a lot of force. I’m not sure whose heads are harder; though when the kids are in trouble, their heads are pretty tough and thick. In the case of a collision though, I want to be sure there’s no possible way they can be injured.
If my kids were older and knew more about safety, then the carabiner would be a great option. I do like the versatility with this one as I could attach it anywhere that’s secure in the vehicle. Especially during long trips.
One thing I do want to note that’s very important, is what the seat belt components are made of.
Choose Metal Over Plastic!
In looking through a bunch of different styles of harnesses, I noticed that some have plastic clips. Where the harness buckles over the dog, it’s a plastic attachment. I know, in any bad collision, plastic is not going to hold. The plastic will break. If it’s just a minor fender bender, than it might hold.
We all know that accidents are just that, accidents. They can happen at any time and in the blink of an eye. Taking precautions is just that, precautions. That way, if something tragic happens, your dog is safe.
The one I ordered for my dog is plastic, but it came with the seat belt tongue that I wanted to attach to a seat. I ordered another harness separately that is made of metal components and has been crash tested.
I would also choose metal over plastic especially if the dog is very large. Their weight and size will have an overall impact in the performance of the seat belt.
Final Thoughts – Best Seat Belts for Dogs
I know some of my words have been grim. Sometimes, we have to plan for the worst events that many of us don’t want to think about. Living in Alaska, with icy roads now, it’s safe for me to ensure my dog is strapped in. Sliding unexpectedly often happens on the roads here. Especially when we have rain/snow mix and it freezes overnight.
Hopefully you’ve been able to find the best seat belt for your dogs after reading up on what to look for. I’ve also included some examples in this post of each kind you can purchase.
Clicking on the pictures will take you directly to the site where you can buy them. Make sure to keep your fur babies safe and buckle up.
Besides, it also keeps your dog in one seat and not jumping all around the vehicle. Most dogs get very excited to be in the vehicle with you, so naturally they’ll jump around. You don’t want them hindering your ability to see and drive safely.