Dog Travelling In Car Boot (Rules & Safety)

Having our dogs accompany us by car has become much more common these days and if your dog is travelling in the car boot making sure they are safe and secure before setting off is paramount to avoid any injuries.

You see, many dogs prefer to be on the seats with their owners in view “unrestrained” “but” the problem with this is any sharp braking or maneuvering can cause your dog to be thrown about inside the car which could lead to some serious injuries.

This is why a lot of dog owners will place their four-legged friend in the car boot.

Not only is this option safer but having your dog travelling in the car boot stops them from being a distraction to the driver.

Things To Check Before You Travel

Before you leave you should always pack plenty of water for your pooch especially if you’re going on long road trips or if it’s in the summer season.

When a dog is travelling in the car boot they can get very hot, so having water to hand can not only help keep them hydrated but also help with their temperature.

Just remember to take a dog bowl with you on your journey, or you will have a hard time giving your dog water straight from a bottle, plus if you’re going on a long road trip you will need to bowl to feed your dog.

“So remember to take some food for your pooch”

During the summertime when cars can get extremely hot inside, using the air conditioning can help prevent your dog from becoming too hot and nauseous.

If your car doesn’t have air condition make sure you have the rear windows down so your dog has access to fresh air.

You should also take your dog for a walk at least 20 mins before setting off this way they won’t be so restless in the car.

However, you shouldn’t place your dog in the car straight after a walk as the dog will be too hot and most likely already panting.

You should give your dog at least 5 or 10 mins to cool down first before putting them in the car boot.

Finally, make sure you plan your journey and stop for breaks if you are going on a long road trip.

If your dog is drinking or eating a lot you will need to stop so your pooch can relieve themselves and stretch their legs.

Checklist before setting off…

  • Dog snacks
  • Take a dog bowl
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Have the rear windows down
  • Keep the car cool inside “Air Condition”
  • Take your dog for a walk before a road trip
Picture of a dog travelling in the car boot

Dogs Safety In Car Boot

It’s very important to have your dog fully secure when travelling in the car boot and this can be done in a number of ways.

Now depending on the size of your dog they may require different methods aka “equipment” to have them fully secure.

For example, if you have a small dog placing them in the car boot without being restrained can be very dangerous, especially if there’s any sudden braking or maneuvering.

This is where you would use a dog carrier that’s been fully secured inside the boot using safety straps or other means that will keep your dog safe and confined while travelling.

Picking the right equipment really depends on the size and type of dog you have.

As mentioned in this article if you have a small dog your best option would be to use a small dog crate to safely secure your dog in the boot.

Large dogs on the other hand you can use either a car boot dog cage, barrier, or harness “but again” this really comes down to the size of your dog and what you as the dog owner prefer to use.

If you’re thinking about your dog’s safety when travelling in the car boot we highly recommend using a high-quality dog travel crate or cage.

This way they are confined to a smaller space and at the same time the dog is more protected if the car ever suffers from being rear-ended by another car.

Dog Cage

If you have a medium or large dog your best option would be to use a car boot dog cage. Using a dog cage is actually the safest way for your dog to travel.

Not only will this keep your dog secure “but” some of these high-quality cages can even withstand a collision if you were rear-ended by another car.

Dog Carrier

Now, as mentioned above you can secure your dog in the car boot using a dog carrier,

however, this is recommended for small dogs only if you have a large dog then your best option would be a cage.

The quality of the dog crate is also an important factor! for example, the best and safest crate to use in a car boot would be the hard plastic type.


Dog harnesses are another way to safely secure your dog in the car boot.

The good thing about harnesses is they are well padded which can protect your four-legged friend from any nock or bumps.

To secure your dog in the boot using a harness you can attach dog safety belts to the harness and link them to the loopholes that are inside the car boot “depending on the model of the car you have”

These loopholes are usually located on either side of the wheel arch. You will need two seat belts to fully secure your dog in the boot using a harness.


If you prefer not to use the 3 options mentioned above you can use a dog barrier to keep your dog secure in the boot.

However, your dog will still be able to move around freely in the car boot.

The barrier is used to basically stop your dog from jumping over the rear seats “but” this will not protect your dog from any bumps of scraps if there any sharp braking or maneuvering.


Now a lot of dog owners don’t realize that they can actually use a dog leash to secure their dog in a car and the same goes when your dog is travelling in the car boot.

If using a barrier is not an option for you then you can use a dog leash.

“But again” your dog will still be able to move around inside the boot freely this just stops them climbing out of the boot and distracting the driver.

Know The Rules

Now depending on which country or state you reside in, there are some laws you need to be aware of when traveling with your dog in the car.

Certain countries like the United Kingdom have strict laws when it comes to travelling with pets in a car. For example, your pet cannot be a distraction to the driver when the car is in motion.

The Highway Code Rule 57: When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage, or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.

If the driver is involved in an accident resulting in being distracted by an unrestrained pet the driver can face a fine or worse imprisonment.

So when you do travel by your dog in the car boot make sure they are suitably restraint using one of the options.

When your dog is travelling in the car boot it’s very important to stop for breaks and let your dog stretch their legs especially if it’s the summer season.

It’s also very important to “Never Leave Your Dog Alone In The Car Boot“, even if you’re just going to the shop for some water, you should always take your dog with you for the sake of their safety.


So there you have it! there are some tips where you can safely travel by your dog in the car boot.

“but as before” make sure you check the car laws of the country you reside in before you set off on your road trip.

In the end, we all want to ensure the safety of our beloved pooch and although we can’t protect them 100 percent when travelling in a car, we can improve things and increase their safety by applying these simple tips in this article.

Also, check out our other articles regarding road trips with your dog and see what else you can learn.

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