How To Secure Dog In Cargo Area Of SUV? (2023 Guide)

The popularity of SUVs has grown significantly over the years and the same can be said about dogs traveling in them.

With sixty-seven percent of the U.S households now owning a pet, it’s safe to say that having dogs accompany their owners in an SUV is becoming second nature.

However, making sure that your four-legged friend is safe and secure when traveling is very important. And the safest way to secure your dog would be what’s called the cargo area of the SUV.

So How To Secure Dog In Cargo Area Of SUV Exactly?

Well, as mentioned the popularity of SUVs has grown significantly over the years and so have the model type of SUVs.

Mainly they come in two different sizes, there are the mid-size and full-size types of SUVs.

The good news is no matter what size SUV you have they can still be used to secure a dog in the cargo area.

Now, the best way to secure your dog in an SUV is by using a dog crate.

You can use other methods, but using a dog crate keeps your dog safe and confined, and they won’t become a distraction to the driver.

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dog Secure In Cargo Area Of SUV

How To Secure Dog In Mid-Size SUV?

Thanks to the design of the mid-size SUVs you actually have more room inside the truck, especially behind the rear seats aka the cargo area, making this the perfect place to secure your dog.

To fully secure your dog in the SUV it is recommended that you use a dog crate. By using a dog crate you are able to secure your dog much easier using the rear seat belts.

If you have a large dog which means having a larger dog crate you should be able you fold the rear seats down to make more room if required and again using the seat belts to fully secure your dog.

If your SUV is fully loaded and you can’t use the rear seat belts to secure the dog crate then you can use Bungy hook cables.

Bungy cables can easily attach around the cargo area of the SUV without any problem and they are very cheap the buy.

“The average pair of Bungy hook cables would cost you no more than 10 pounds”

secure dogs in car

How To Secure Dog In Full-size SUV?

Full-size SUVs are quite large compared to the mid-size version, giving you the ability to tow trailers and cars.

However, they are shaped slightly differently and don’t have the square-like shape the mid-size SUVs have.

Because of this, you don’t have much room behind the rear seats, “But” with limited room, this doesn’t mean you can’t secure a dog in the cargo area of your SUV.

Of course, you can! It might be a tight squeeze depending on the size of your dog and crate and you may have to make room by laying down the rear seat but this can be done.

Securing your dog in the full-size SUV is the same principle as the mid version and again using the rear seat belts or Bungy hooks is an excellent way to secure your dog.

Ways To Secure Your Dog In SUV

So you now know how to secure a dog in the cargo area of an SUV using a dog crate, and even tho this option is the safest way, there are other methods you can use to fully secure your dog.


If you don’t have a dog crate then using a dog harness would be your next best option to secure your dog in an SUV.

A dog harness can be used in multiple ways mainly by using the rear seat belts.

Most dog-good quality harnesses are designed with a handle on the back that can be used to loop a seatbelt through fully securing your dog.

Not only that “but” a well-padded harness can also protect your dog from any bumps and scrapes.

You can also use what’s called a “Bungee Safety Belt” which works best when securing your dog in the back of the SUV as these belts have an adjustable buckle on the straps with elastic bungee inside for easy fitting.

However, this works best if your dog harness has extra attachment points!


Using a leash is another way your can secure your dog in an SUV.

Now this works better if your dog is wearing a harness, “But” with being said, you be surprised how many ways you can secure your dog using just a leash.

The great thing about traveling with your dog is you will always have a dog leash with you, not only that but they are very cheap to buy.

“If you do decide to use a leash to secure your dog in SUV make sure it’s a good quality leash”


Many people get confused with a crate and carrier thinking they are both the same.

But this is not true, a crate is made of hard plastic and has a metal cage door, and is something you would use for a trip to the vets.

Yet, a carrier is designed for comfort and is made using soft materials.

These carriers can also come in all shapes and sizes and are perfect for long journeys.

“But” what’s good about these carriers is they are designed to secure in a car or even an SUV using the seatbelts, you can even secure the carrier in the footwell.

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Why Your Dog Needs To Be Secure In SUV?

Having your dog fully secure in an SUV or when using any other transportation for that matter is crucial. Whether you’re going on a short journey or a long journey your dog needs to be secure.

For example, if your dog is not fully secure and you’re forced to hit the brakes when driving at high speed then your dog can become an instant projectile and be seriously hurt.

Another reason to secure your dog is most dogs like to hang out the window when driving along,

However, this can be very dangerous and in some cases, dogs have been known to jump out of a moving vehicle.

Even in certain counties like the United Kingdom, they have rules about animals being lost in moving vehicles.

For example, if the driver is involved in an accident as a result of being distracted then a hefty penalty can be issued.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry”

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Dog Seat Belt For Back Of SUV

Now, if you prefer to travel with your dog on the back seats and you don’t like having your dog confined to a crate or carrier then you can use what’s called a dog seat belt that you can use in an SUV.

These dog seat belts are very similar to dog leads which are easy to pack away and are very cheap to buy at places like Amazon.

If you do decide to have your dog travel on the seats just remember to never place your dog on the passenger seat.

The reason being, if the airbags are ever deployed this can seriously injure your dog.


So now you know how to secure the dog in the cargo area of an SUV and as mentioned above if you don’t have room in the cargo area then you do have other options.

In the end, it’s always best to have your dog is safe and secure before setting off on your road trip, even if it’s just a trip to the vet, you can never be too careful.

Just remember, even if you only have a dog leash you can still safely secure your dog in your SUV or car and as mentioned above make sure you are using a good quality leash.