Confused about car travel with puppy

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Shazkins, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Shazkins

    Shazkins Registered Users

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    Hi all,

    We're picking up our new chocolate Labrador, Cassie, on Saturday. We've got a small carry case that our breeder has said will be suitable for bringing her home in, but I'm sure she will grow out of that in a matter of weeks !

    I definitely want her to be used to car journeys from an early age, but I'm confused about how to properly and safely restrain her while we're in the car. I have a saloon car rather than hatchback, so I'm limited to what can be used in the main part of the car - using the boot isn't an option.

    Enclosed pet carriers look like they'll be too small, open dog carriers don't appear to offer much in the way of safe restraint, and I'm not sure whether a puppy is too young/small for a harness.

    So I'm really confused! I would really appreciate recommendations and advice on how best to travel with her.

    Thank you !
    Shaz
     
  2. Megan H

    Megan H Registered Users

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    When we brought Kali home from the breeder at 8 weeks I just carried her in my lap. The drive was about an hour in a half and she did well. We were unsure on how to travel with her and thought about putting her in a crate but decided to just keep her close to us since it would be the first time away from her mother and siblings.

    Since then when we take her to places local I bought a back seat cover that's kind of like a hammock between the back seat and front. I then have her attached to her harness to the back seat. It seems to work pretty good. She has some freedom but is secure. In the beginning I would have her in the front passenger seat but that became very dangerous to my driving. Since she has been riding in the backseat she seems to enjoy it.

    We've been on longer car rides to my parents house about 2 hours away and we have put her in the crate with the back seat down so she is right behind us. She wasn't too happy at first but then settled down and slept most of the way. This was before I got the backseat cover and I think for the next long ride we might just let her be in the back seat.

    Hope that helps. Everyone has a different system and you just have to find out what works with you and your dog. I can't wait till she is old enough to jump in and out of the car.
     
  3. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    we had numerous seat belt restraints & harness for Kyko but he wasn't overly keen on feeling restrained. Like you the boot is not an option. Eventually we stumbled across the Kurgo zip wire & he is so much happier using that. I did have him in front with me when I was alone but it was getting dangerous. Like you we have the hammock cover but he could still get pretty far forward. Last weekend I decided to put my back seat forward & attached the zip wire to the metal clips for the seats now he can get his head up to me but can't get any further forward than that so finally can travel safely with him. Not sure if any of this makes sense I have a bad habit of rambling :D

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KURGO-ZI...hash=item2aa6916f4d:m:mUBJRdkAkUJ1FG62na0KlNw

    We also bought a cheap swivel hook connector so he could turn round without the lead tangling up
     
  4. Shazkins

    Shazkins Registered Users

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    Thanks both for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it.

    I was going more for the harness solution as well - do you think a 10 week old puppy will be big enough for a harness/seat belt combo? Guess I’m just worried she’ll still be too lively and might hurt herself?

    Thank you!
     
  5. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    My dog hated the seatbelt harness so I bought a dog guard that closes the gap between the front seats:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pet-Brands...53&hvtargid=pla-422204862665&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

    and a hammock that protects the seats and also prevents him falling into the foot well. I had to buy some luggage straps to get the dog guard to fit my car as it doesnt have adjustable headrests to attach to.

    He loves going out in the car now, the difference is amazing.
     
  6. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    The other thing I considered was a 'pet tube'. Didn't go for it in the end as quite expensive and wasn't sure if it would suit my very tall, car and confinement phobic dog but it might suit you as you can vary the length so it could grow with your puppy.
     
  7. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    we had Kyko in a harness & seatbelt combo from the beginning
     
  8. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    I bought a guard last weekend as due to having the zip wire on the roof handles he could still get half his body into the front, however because of the shape of the car and the fact it was going behind the front seats it wouldn't fit. But I have one of the cars where the bottom of the seat goes forward too so the space from the boot to the front seats is flat, once I moved the zip line further back he can now get no more than his head through so much safer for me now. Also as a added bonus I can't taxi people around anymore as I have effectively turned my car into a van & only have 1 spare seat now :D
     
  9. Shazkins

    Shazkins Registered Users

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    Ha yes, I suspect puppy is going to take priority over everyone from now for me too ! I think I'll go with the seatbelt/harness combo, but will have to wait until I get her so I can get the right size.

    Thanks again for all the advice, much appreciated :)
     
    teide likes this.
  10. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    when we got Keeks we bought an RAC car harness in size small it wasn't a bad fit & was relatively cheap but he grew out of it within weeks, so until he grew a bit we just used his everyday harness. We now have a Kurgo tru-fit travel harness which is crash tested up to 75kg & its a good fit, just use it for walking too
     
  11. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    You might want to look at an 'over the top' seat protector for your back seats and then a harness. You will need to change harnesses as the puppy grows. However, do take care when leaving the pup in the car unsupervised whilst wearing a harness - especially if it's still plugged into the seatbelt - they can twist around and around and really tie themselves up. (Say, whilst you are shopping.)

    It is safer to unplug them when you are away - but you then risk your car getting destroyed if the pup fancies having a chew and everything in the car becomes accessible (ie chewing gum in the front door compartments, de-icer etc etc).

    Really, a cage or containment in the boot is the safest option - you might need a new car ;)
     
  12. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    When I was researching dog guards for my car (electric so a bit specialist) I came across this thread which totally changed my mind about dogs in car boots:
    https://www.speakev.com/threads/zoe-dog-owners.51857/
    You don't have to read the whole thing but there is a photo half way down that will say enough.
    All of jo's concerns about do destroying your car or getting into the front and eating something can be avoided with a front seat guard in addition to a hammock (and harness if you are in the car with your dog)
     
  13. McGuillicuddy

    McGuillicuddy Registered Users

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    Other than the ride home from the breeder, we have always put Gary in a Kong harness (attaches at his back) and buckled in using one of those pet seatbelt buckles. He sits in the middle seat in the rear between my two boys. We also have a waterproof seatcover ordered from Amazon. So far it has been a good system. I'm not sure how we could make him any safer without unreasonable restraint.
     
  14. Shazkins

    Shazkins Registered Users

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    Hi all,

    Thanks again for all the helpful responses, really much appreciated. I thought I'd come back and provide an update.

    We initially tried a small crate in the backseat as I was still a little concerned Cassie was too small for a seatbelt harness at the moment. But she didn't like the crate and it didn't really fit properly to the point I was concerned whether it was secure enough. So we did try a harness with seatbelt attachment, and .... complete success ! Cassie really settled with the harness from day one of using it - she sat down happily in the backseat (I've also got a backseat cover - leather seats and dogs aren't a great combo!), very settled and not stressed at all. We did have to slightly shorten the seatbelt attachment a little so she has enough movement to sit/stand/lie down but not so much that she can get off the seat or reach me while I'm driving. But actually she hasn't attempted either, she's quite happy sitting or laying down. She even fell asleep yesterday on the trip back from the vets for her 2nd vaccination!

    So all in all, the seatbelt attachment with harness is working perfectly for us, so really happy with the solution :)

    Thanks again,
    Sharon & Cassie !
     
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  15. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

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    We bought a Travall guard for our Suburban, because there were no other really solid options for the Suburban. We have an OEM guard in our Subaru Outback, though I see Subaru no longer calls it a pet barrier.
     

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