January 2nd is National Pet Travel Safety Day…


Founded by Celebrity Pet and Safety Expert, Animal Behaviorist and former Los Angeles Paramedic Colleen Paige, the goal of National Pet Travel Safety Day is to raise awareness of the importance of pet safety when it comes to all areas of travel. Petmeds

Many people are in denial that their pets are at risk in a car because they’ve never had an accident.

Often we’re thinking about the “other driver” not realizing an unrestrained pet is a huge distraction and can easily interfere with our own ability to drive safely.


When Jaxson was a puppy, he was a #loosedoodle in the back seat…


As he got older, he would often try to ride between the two front seats #consoledoodle While it looks super cute – it’ not safe at all.

At just 10 mph – should I have to stop suddenly or swerve to avoid someone or something, my pet faces the risk of flying into the dashboard, windshield or the back of my seat.

If I’m blessed and there’s no “physical” damage to my pet – there’s bound to be emotional distress #foreveryone

I see dozens of drivers with small dogs riding in their lap, or resting on their lap while their upper torso hangs halfway out the window. These precious pups could be crushed between the driver and the steering wheel in a sudden stop OR suffocated by an air bag deployment due to an accident – or worse – they could be ejected from the car into oncoming traffic #OMDoodle

Once upon a time, I used to let them ride in the trunk area of the SUV


Not anymore – I have no way of protecting them if someone rear-ended me. They just wouldn’t survive.


During the summer of 2016 – Jaxson started to enjoy riding down the road, head in the wind, hair blowing like a shampoo commercial…

NATIONAL PET TRAVEL SAFETY DAYHe always seems to have so much fun.

Does your dog like to “eat the breeeze” while cruising down the road?


At least for me –

  • Never did I think about the eye and/or head injury risk from road debris.
  • Have you ever gotten a chip or crack in your windshield from a rock flying at your car? It travels almost as fast as a bullet leaves a gun doesn’t it?
  • Now imagine something like that (or bigger) hitting your dog in his face, eye or head.

OR – 

  • How many times has a bush or a tree branch sideswipe the side of your vehicle?
  • What about those huge trucks with the protruding sideview mirrors?

Pretty scary stuff huh?

I also love my back-seat hammock, it prevents the Boys from falling off the seat in the event I do stop suddenly. #doodlecradle

If your car cannot accommodate a crate, and you can’t afford a harness, you can always loop a strong thick leash through the seatbelt to confine him from moving around. This is by no means 100% effective – but it does lessen the risk significantly.

For us, the harnesses work the best…


There are dozens to choose from with all different price ranges, and most adjust to the front or back seats of any vehicle.


Traveling by plane? –

  • Book a direct flight whenever possible
  • Make a Vet appointment for a check-up
  • Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate
  • Make sure the crate has proper identification
  • Tell EVERY airline employee you encounter (on the ground and in the air) that you are traveling with a pet.

Traveling by car? –

  • Prep your pet for a long trip
  • Keep your pet safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate, carrier or harness restraint
  • Have a pet-friendly travel kit
  • Never leave your animal alone in a parked car

Tips for other modes of transportation (like trains and buses) can be found here


Making our pets mobile just seems “natural” to millions of pet parents all over this world. It can be done, we’ve just got to remember to keep our pet’s best interest in mind AND use the best practices to get all of us to our destinations – happy, healthy AND safely.

They’ll thank you for it…


In life you have three choices – give up / give in / give it your all ❤️


Good Reads:

  • Emma
    January 2, 2017

    Had no idea today was this day or I would have posted. We are so sick and tired of seeing dogs riding in unsafe conditions! We do ride in the back of the SUV belted in sometimes, but there is a lot of space, so if we were hit, it would hopefully not be that bad. These days, Madison and Bailie both ride in the back seat with their seat belts on a hammock cover. I like the back for myself, but we rarely ride anywhere with the three of us, so I sometimes go in the back seat too. Great post! Sharing!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 9, 2017

      I with you Emma. I don’t like to see dogs endangered because they put all their trust in us…

  • Monika & Sam
    January 2, 2017

    My pups tend to lay quietly on the seat, not adventuring the prairie dog pop up routine until the car is shut off. It ain’t perfect, but better than a sharp stick in the eye, right? Love your life observation of “give up, give in or give it your all” philosophy! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 9, 2017

      Hey Monika – there is never any fail safe – iron clad – perfect way for any of us. All we can do is try. XOXO

  • Sand spring Chesapeakes
    January 2, 2017

    Great post! My dogs are free in the car sometimes but in there training boxes when in the truck. A lot of great information to keep your pet safe! Thanks

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 9, 2017

      The Boys sometimes have freedom on long trips. I can’t even begin to imagine Jaxson in an open bay truck LOL He would enjoy it I’m sure.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    January 3, 2017

    Good post. Safety in vehicles is so important. Lately we have both been in a crate inside the car
    Happy New Year
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 9, 2017

      I wish I had a crate big enough, but if I did it wouldn’t fit. They both seem to be okay in the harness. Long trips (8 hours) are harder because they really want to lay down on their backs, paws up in the air LOL But we’re working it all out.

  • Erin Gleeson
    January 3, 2017

    These are great tips and points. Just this morning I saw a small dog riding with her head out the window, in rush hour traffic (which in south Florida is no joke). I personally use a booster seat and harness with mine because otherwise, he will not stay contained. Thanks for including us!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 9, 2017

      Erin, that action blows my mind. I had a neighbor whose dog FELL OUT one day in the neighborhood. She STILL let’s her 9 lb pup ride on her lap as she drives, head hanging out the window.

  • Kevin
    January 3, 2017

    We are guilty of letting the boys ride in the back of the SUV – although I’m not sure how we could get around that space wise. We definitely need to pick up a barrier and harness. Thanks for the reminder to look into all of this – it has been on my mind for quite a while!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 9, 2017

      Kevin – we ALL need those gentle reminders. I’ve started looking at a new car, and I’m more concerned about how and where the Boys will ride than any other feature. LOL The salesmen think I’m crazy – I can feel it – the way they look at me like I have two heads.

  • Jan K
    January 10, 2017

    We are also guilty of letting our dogs sit loose in the car, but we’re trying to do better. I once got stung by a bee when I had my hand out the car window. I will never forget how much that hurt, and from that day forward no dogs were allowed to hang out the window! We will crack the window just a bit and they can put their nose up to it to smell if they want, but that’s it.

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