Help Keep Pets Safe in the Car With These Trainer-Recommended Products

Planning to hit the road with your pet this summer? Great! Planning to let your cat or dog ride shotgun — or in your lap, or with his head out the window? Not so great.

Unsecured cats and dogs can be a hazard, both to themselves and to the driver and other human passengers. A free-roaming pet can distract the driver — after all, your pet doesn't understand that you're driving and can't play or pet him. And in a crash, an unsecured animal can go flying, injuring himself or someone else.

Here are my four favorite products for car travel with pets. All have been rigorously crash-tested by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) and, when installed and used properly, can help keep your furry friend safer in the event of an accident — or even just a sudden stop. And just in case anything goes wrong on your journey, make sure your pet is wearing a collar with tags and that the information on his microchip is up to date.

Safe travels!

Canine Car Safety Gear

dog in seat belt harness in car

Photo courtesy of

Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness

The Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness is my go-to harness for car travel. It secures into the seat with a three-point connection, and the wide vest helps to disperse damaging force during a crash. Dogs can still lie down and remain comfortable while secured when wearing this harness, which was a 2013 CPS Top Performer in crash tests.

Sleepypod Clickit Utility Dog Harness, $89.99

dog peeking out of safety travel bed

Photo courtesy of

Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed With PPRS Handilock

The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock is an excellent choice for cats and small dogs weighing 15 pounds or less. This multi-use containment option consists of a base that can serve as a pet bed and a zip-on mesh dome that can be added for travel. The bed secures to the back seat with your car's existing lap and shoulder belt system. When used with the PPRS Handilock, the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed performed well in CPS crash tests and was named a 2015 Top Performer.

Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed With PPRS Handilock, $169-$189

pet carrier for traveling

Photo courtesy of PetEgo

PetEgo Jet Set Forma Frame Carrier With ISOFIX-Latch Connection

The PetEgo Jet Set Forma Frame Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection can be securely buckled into the back seat of your car. The carrier's lightweight frame supports its soft sides, creating a safe haven for your pooch, while the ISOFIX-Latch Connection uses the same technology as child car seats to keep the carrier steady in a crash. The easy-to-use ISOFIX-Latch Connection is a safety must; in CPS crash tests, only the carrier that was attached to the base passed. Bonus: The carrier is also airline approved, so it meets all of your travel needs.

PetEgo Jet Set Forma Frame Carrier, starting at $150
ISOFIX-Latch Connection, $100

kennel for traveling

Photo courtesy of Gunner Kennels

Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate With Tie-Down Straps

The Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate was named CPS Top Performing Crate in 2015. The kennel, designed to fit most dogs up to 75 pounds, is made of 45 pounds of reinforced plastic and, for optimum safety, must be secured in an SUV's rear cargo area with the compatible eight-foot-long tie-down straps. But in crash tests, when properly secured, the crate maintained contact with the floor of the cargo area, making it ideal for the open road.

Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate, $499.99
8' Tie-Down Straps, set of four, $74.99

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