Dog Crate or Seatbelt?

Author: Amy Holloway

Travelling with your pet doesn’t have to be stressful. With a bit of planning, you can safely transport your dog from A to B using a seat belt or a crate. Let’s take a closer look at the two options.

Ask our team about travel advice for your pet

Seat belts for dogs

Seatbelts are a must-have for any pet owner that often travels with their dog in the car. They secure your pet safely and are ideal when space is limited.

A couple of tips:

  1. Never let your pet travel in the front seat of your car even with a seatbelt as they could be seriously injured from your car’s airbag should you have an accident, plus they can be too much of a distraction when you are driving.
  2. Don’t leave the back windows open enough that your pet could climb out and be left hanging by their seat belt.


  • Seatbelts come in a variety of styles
  • Suitable for dogs of all shapes and sizes
  • Your dog will feel less restrained than in a crate
  • Ideal if the boot or back seat are too full to use a crate


  • Won’t protect your dog to the same extent as a human seatbelt
  • Not suitable for dogs that like to chew – you may find the seatbelt doesn’t exist by the end of the journey

Pet crates

Crates and gates are optimum for car safety and are great for trained dogs. They may be ideal if you have  dogs that like to move about a lot when travelling.


  • Ideal for safety – limits mobility
  • Provides a reassuring space for an anxious pet
  • Suitable for trained dogs
  • Fits a car boot or back seat


  • Could take more time for a non-crate trained pet to get used to
  • Crates for large dogs can be very heavy

What does the highway code say?

Rule 58 of the Highway Code deals with travelling with pets and states: “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.”

What do we say?

In terms of optimum dog safety, we advise that crates and gates are used where possible.

Travelling abroad with your dog

Thinking about taking your dog abroad? If yes, it’s time to apply for a pet passport. Your dog will need a full health checkup in order to issue the relevant travel documents to support you on your journey. Ask a member of our team for more information or visit our page on pet travel & passports.

Please note, you should always check the D.E.F.R.A. website for up-to-date travel information for each country you are travelling to and from before making any travel arrangements.