The 10 Best Dog Car Barriers
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Why leave your furry friend at home when you can install one of these nifty dog barriers in your car? Our selections offer compatibility with most vehicles, and will keep Fido safe and comfortable on vacations or trips to the vet. They also prevent your pet from climbing into the front seats and interfering with your driving while you're trying to concentrate on the road ahead. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 25, 2020:
We removed the Pet Net Plus due to availability concerns. We’ve decided to add the Jumbl Pet Adjustable, which can be expanded along both the vertical and horizontal axes to fit in large vehicles or disassembled so that you can stick just the central panel into a car that can't fit the side panels. Another plus is that it requires no tools to attach to the headrests of your vehicle.
June 01, 2019:
If you've ever had a dog jump into the front seat while you're trying to drive, you know how important a pet barrier can be. We chose our selections based on value, durability, and ease of use, and they cover a range of styles and connection methods. Removed an item due to concerns about its availability. Added The Great Divide because it was designed based on years of customer feedback received by the people who brought you the Pet Net Plus, which also features prominently in our list.
Dangers Of Unrestrained Dogs In Cars
Even if your pet somehow manages to escape a serious car accident unharmed, they pose a threat to first responders.
AAA performed a survey and found that 56 percent of dog-owning participants had traveled with their dog at least once in the previous 30 days. Of those participants, 50 percent admitted to having been distracted by their dog in some manner while driving. In 2009, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reported that 20 percent of injury crashes were the result of distracted drivers.
Dog-related distractions can include using one's arm to restrain a dog while braking, taking one's hands off the wheel to prevent a pet from climbing into the front seat, or even holding a small dog in one's lap while driving.
According the to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, taking your eyes of the road for just two seconds doubles your risk of getting into a crash. Despite these troubling statistics, only 16 percent of the dog owners surveyed used some form of restraint when driving with their pet. Even a small, ten-pound dog becomes a dangerous projectile when inside of a car traveling 50 miles per hour.
Studies have shown that a ten-pound dog involved in a collision at 50 miles per hour will exert over 500 pounds of pressure on any object that it hits. An 80-pound dog exerts over 2000 pounds of force. If the car were to hit a person or small child, both the human and the animal would wind up with serious, life-threatening injuries.
Even if your pet somehow manages to escape a serious car accident unharmed, they pose a threat to first responders. It is natural for a dog to be frightened or shocked after a car accident. They may also become protective over you if you are knocked unconscious. This may prevent first responders from getting to an injured person while they wait for an animal control professional to arrive on the scene. Should a first responder decide to forego the danger posed to himself at the mercy of a frightened dog and sustain a bite, protocol requires that other emergency responders attend to their colleague's injury before treating the person actually involved in the crash.
Why It's Safer For The Dog Too
Keeping a dog restrained while driving is not just about human safety. It increases a dog's safety as well. There are many situations that result in injury to an unrestrained pet, which is completely avoidable using the proper barrier for protection in the car. If a car window breaks during a collision, a loose dog may escape and run into the middle of traffic or become lost. A loose dog on the road also causes additional accidents.
Many people allow their dogs to stick their heads out of their car windows while driving. A dog with it's tongue hanging out and ears flapping in the wind is the stereotypical image that most of us have in our minds when we picture a dog in the car. No matter how cute it seems or how much a dog may love it, it is one of the most dangerous positions for a dog to be in while traveling in a car. Large flying road debris may hit a dog in the head, and even small debris can cause injury if it hits a dog in the eye. There is also the danger of other cars passing by in very close proximity and hitting the dog with their mirror or other protruding vehicular objects. This becomes increasingly dangerous the faster a car is traveling.
Falling out of the vehicle is another danger faced by unrestrained dogs who stick their heads out of a window or riding in the bed of a truck. The author of this very article experienced a situation where their dog fell out of an open car window and was severely injured. It resulted in the dog's colon being separated from the rectum, which was nearly fatal for the dog.
Buying A Dog Car Barrier
Dog barriers are designed to keep your dog safe and secure in the back seat or in the back of an SUV. This helps to minimize any chances for dangerous distractions, while reducing the chance of your dog becoming a dangerous projectile in the event of an accident. The best dog barriers are made out of a sturdy metal. This makes them more durable to chewing and more protective in an accident. Ideally, one should look for a lightweight barrier made from tubular steel that's easy to install and remove on one's own.
This way, you won't have to buy a separate barrier for each car.
The best dog barriers also have multiple connection points. The more places a barrier attaches to the inside of a car, the more secure it becomes. This is also important if you have a large, rambunctious dog who may be able to dislodge flimsy barriers.
If you have multiple cars in your home, a good choice may be an adjustable dog barrier that can be sized as needed to fit into both cars. This way, you won't have to buy a separate barrier for each car. Many models come with extendable sidebars and telescoping rods, allowing them to fit a variety of car sizes and styles.
If you have a smaller dog, it is advisable to avoid dog barriers with large spacing between their bars, as a small dog may be able to slip through it. Even if it cannot fully slip through, there is always the danger of them getting their head stuck. The best options feature a mesh-style metal grate that prevents any chance of a dog slipping through or injuring themselves by getting their head stuck.