6 Rules for Traveling with Your Pet in a Vehicle

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 06/01/23 •  5 min read
The contents of the OurFitPets.com website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

When you want to go on a holiday or picnic with your pet, you need to drive for hours from one place to another. It may be difficult for your pet to hold on to their seats and patiently wait for the arrival, but if you create the right conditions, this isn’t impossible.

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Your safety and the safety of your pets are priority number one. When you’re thinking about traveling in a vehicle together with your pet, you must think of all the possibilities that may happen, like getting the dog’s head out of the window or even jumping out, or letting them run through the car interior and eventually covering your eyes, making it impossible to see where you’re going.

Before taking off, you must know the seven rules for traveling with pets. If you want to know how to do it right, you’re at the right place. Go through the points below, and you’ll learn everything about this issue.

6 Rules for Traveling with Your Pet in a Vehicle

1. Use a crate, no matter what anyone says

You’ll hear how people feel that animals are not enjoying their crate experience. This is utterly wrong. A dog will love spending time inside a crate because it feels like home. Genetically, dogs are animals that used to live in the wild and hid in caves, so this feels exactly like a cave where they are confident and safe.

Install a specialized dog box for a UTE, and see how comfortable your dogs feel inside. They’ll enjoy the entire trip, and when you open the door, they’ll gladly jump out and have fun, but during the ride, they’ll stay calm, and cause no trouble whatsoever.

2. Make sure it’s comfortable for them

The only thing to mind when you set a crate for your dog or a place to stay for any animal is to make it comfortable for them. If you let them stay in the rear tray in an improvised boot gate, make sure they have a comfortable blanket that will keep them warm, especially if it’s cold.

Animals are entirely comfortable spending time on rough surfaces, but they’ll feel better if you let them ride on something more comfortable. However, don’t go overboard and try to make a 5-star hotel service. They’re still just dogs or cats, and they’re happy with less.

3. Pet carrier is just fine for smaller dog breeds and cats

If you’re transporting a cat or a smaller dog breed, you’re fine with a pet carrier. Instead of installing a big dog crate in the back of your UTE, you can comfortably place the pet carrier on the back seat, where you’ll have visual control over them at any time through the mirror.

The pet carrier acts the same as the crate. It provides a place where your dog or cat will feel in their own space, and nothing will bother them. Dogs might get distracted by things outside the car, but if they’re in the crate or the pet carrier, nothing will provoke them.

4. Don’t let them roam around the car

The most dangerous thing to do when you’re traveling with pets is to let them roam around the car while you’re driving. This is dangerous both for you and for your pets. Animals are unpredictable and you can never know what goes through their heads that will make them react impulsively and hurt you while you’re driving.

It’s enough for them just to bark at one point and make you turn the wheel just a little bit, and if they jump off their sit and get on your lap, this means enough distraction to cause an accident. If they constantly roam from one seat to another, you’re surely risking everyone’s life inside that vehicle.

5. Use seatbelts for them just as you’d use for your children

The seatbelts inside the car are mandatory for any type of pet transport. If you choose not to put them in a carrier, and they are only on a leash, you definitely must put a seatbelt on them, and be sure that they won’t fly out of the vehicle in the case of an accident.

Even if they are in the carrier, they are still not as safe as they can be. A seatbelt on them will ensure maximum safety. Instead of risking the carrier going through the windshield, you’ll have the seatbelt protecting them.

6. Create some breeze in the vehicle

Animals are a bit different than humans when it comes to fresh air. We can feel relaxed and enjoy ourselves with the AC turned on at the perfect temperature, but animals prefer a light breeze that will keep the air fresh at all times.

Put the window down a bit, and let the air go through the vehicle. This will make them the most comfortable. Never leave them alone in the car and make more stops so they can stretch their legs.

(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!