Having a dog in the car and ensuring his safety

Today, there are a number of products and gadgets for riding with a dog, which will ensure that we can take the dog with us safely on longer journeys. However, you should pay attention to driving safety even if you only drive a few kilometers. Even such a short journey may bring something unpleasant. Whenever a dog is in a car without any safety elements, it may lead to a disaster, not only for the animal but for other passengers as well. We talked to the breeder Jaromíra Sojková about the ways of ensuring the dog’s safety and the possibilities of transport.

What are the options today to ensure a dog’s safety on the road?
Many people use the so-called dog seat belts, made in many variants and models by many brands. The dog is fitted with a special harness and the so-called seat belt is fastened to the rear seat, which we then attach to the harness. The dog has relative freedom in the back seat and at the same time is a bit in contact with you. I wouldn't recommend this method, however. Most dogs are hot on their sets and may get stuck, the fastening may break, especially when you brake hard or when another car hits you from behind.

So what are the more effective ways of ensuring the safety of everyone in the car?
One very simple option is to separate the trunk of the car from the part where the other passengers are sitting. Partitions and barriers can be used. They are usually made in the form of a metal grille, and they can also be bought according to the type of car. But, there are also universal ones made from hammock-like materials. These partitions are the least secure. Other options include various crates, exhibition cages and special transport cages, which are safe and are also manufactured for different brands of cars with regard to their dimensions. There are many of them too. Before buying, it is best to consult with people who already use transport cages in cars, or study some online debates and reviews. You can learn a lot there too. 

Which of these options do you think is most appropriate?
The most suitable are definitely the special transport cages that are fixed and designed specifically for car transport. Some also have a rear entrance located towards the steering wheel. This is for cases where someone hits you from behind, the car has been deformed and you can then release the dog through this rear entrance. I don’t have personal experience with this yet, but I think it may be a very suitable solution. 
Some of these cages also have a lock or a partition, which can also serve as a storage box that you may use for a few hours. Open the back door and the dogs have enough air and are safe. Of course, they can’t stay in a hot car like this if the temperatures are high and you don’t park somewhere in the shade. 

How much does this cost the owner on average?
The price of the cages depends on the material used, quality, the robustness of the cage and other aspects. The cheapest ones can be obtained from about 120 €, but there are also larger, more robust ones, with quality locks and everything around, and these costs up to 1000 €. 

Do owners comply with legal obligations?
Some do, some don’t. I know those who have the rear seats removed and the dog is actually behind the driver with the opportunity to move completely freely. This is very, very dangerous. However, there are also many dog owners who drive with their dogs regularly (canine sports, exhibitions, longer regular trips to relatives), and they follow these rules because they care not only about their own safety but also about the safety of their canine companions.

Are there any other options for transporting dogs?
Another possibility is to take a dog not directly on the board of a car, but having a special trailer designed specifically for the transportation of dogs. Some trailers also have air conditioning, most are very well thermally insulated, have ventilation, well-designed individual boxes for dogs. Buying a new trailer like that costs about 4000 to 8000 €, depending on how many dogs we buy it for. 
Last but not least, I would like to emphasize that it is always necessary to secure the dog or dogs in the car and invest in really safe transport. I don’t wish upon anyone to have a dog transport be the saddest memory of their life if they survive such an accident. It is a cruel statement, but perhaps the owners will realize how important this issue is.

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