Driving with a dog - this is how it works

The holiday season is just around the corner and for many that means: Put your luggage and dog in the car and off you go on holiday! But not every dog ​​likes driving. Some four-legged friends get sick, others are afraid or restless while driving.

So that driving a car with your four-legged friend works well, sufficient training and patience are necessary. In this article I will tell you what is important and how you can get your dog used to driving.

Driving with a dog - the regulations

Before I give you tips on driving with your dog, let's first look at the regulations. According to the road traffic regulations, your four-legged friend is considered a load. It follows that it must be secured in such a way that traffic safety is never endangered. Specifically, this means that your four-legged friend is not allowed to jump around freely in the car. Not even when he's very small. It could distract you and cause an accident. At the same time, it is also about his safety, because in the event of an accident there is a risk that he will be thrown through the car or the window.

These options are available for transporting your dog in the car according to regulations:

  1. A carrier or special dog bag that is secured to the seat with a strap.
  2. A special harness plus safety belt to strap the dog in.
  3. A sturdy transport box made of plastic or metal for the trunk.
  4. A protective grille that separates the trunk.

Which variant you choose depends on the size of your furry friend on the one hand, but also on his behavior. You can easily accommodate a small dog in a dog bag on the seat, a very large one in the trunk. If your four-legged friend is afraid when driving, it can help if he stays in a box instead of riding in the seat with his seat belt buckled. Here it is important to find out what your dog feels most comfortable with.

Practice makes perfect

A lot of dogs get thrown in at the deep end when it comes to driving. They either come from animal welfare and were picked up off the street abroad, for example. The animal rights activists usually have no time to get their protégés used to driving. Or it's a puppy picked up by the breeder. In the best case, he has already taken "driving lessons" with the offspring, but that can differ from breeder to breeder.

The first experiences are important as to how your dog buddy will react to driving in the future. As a basic tip I would like to give you: from easy to difficult. That means start with very short journeys and increase the duration in small steps.

Warning: Does your dog suffer from anxiety or nausea?

Then it may be advisable to enlist the support of a competent dog trainer and/or veterinarian.

Tips for driving with a dog

  • Get your pet used to its crate or bag at home before you take it for a ride. If he feels comfortable in it, it gives him security in the car. You can also make it easier for him if you put a cozy blanket or a piece of clothing that smells like you inside. These products may help: Car Seats
  • Link the trips to something positive. For example, give him something tasty to lick out of a Kong or put some treats in his box/bag.After the trip you should do something nice with him, for example a walk in an interesting area
  • If your dog is strapped into the car with you, you need to get him used to it first. Put him in the car, buckle him up, and practice sitting still. You can also give him something to nibble on to keep him busy.
  • It is best to be accompanied by a second person on the first journeys. So you can concentrate on driving and you can concentrate on the dog. Is he showing signs of stress or anxiety? Does the belt cut in? Is the harness sitting correctly and is the carrying box reliably secured? These are all important points to keep in mind.


Be sure to take signs of stress or nausea seriously. Rarely do these symptoms go away on their own. So ignoring them can exacerbate the problem.

The same applies to dogs as it does to us humans: practice makes perfect. Give your animal friend enough time to get used to driving. Then nothing stands in the way of a joint journey.

Here are some great car seats in which your 4-legged friend is guaranteed to feel comfortable❤️