Picture this. It’s the summer holidays. You are cruising up the coast road on the way to the beach. The tropical tunes are playing on the radio and your husband and kids are ready to hit the waves for a bit of surfing. You are dreaming of catching up on some reading in the sun.
Suddenly your precious pet pooch lands on your lap as you are driving at 80 km an hour. This 10 kg fur ball is out of control and your heart is racing as you struggle to maintain control of your SUV.
Your dog is thinking it’s time to snuggle up with you and get the best views out the front window. You are trying to stay calm, but inside you are freaking out because you know everyone is in serious danger. As you pull over to the side of the road you thank your lucky stars there wasn’t an accident.
This incident was one with a happy ending. There are other such cases that ended in tragedy.
To avoid dangerous and potentially fatal situations like this we recommend you always use a dog barrier when traveling in your vehicle with your pet dog.
In This Article
Products You Might Like
With a range of quality products on the market it can be overwhelming deciding which one to purchase. We’ve written a list of great pet barriers and given an honest review of each one. We hope this helps your shopping easier.
It’s reassuring to buy a product that you know has positive reviews and ticks all the boxes when it comes to the safety standards.
Best Pet Barriers for SUVs:
With a durable design it's ideal for big dogs even if they jump up and try to say hello to the driver. The smooth steel bars are heavy duty but won't mark your car interiors or hurt your dog. Safety matters to this company who have designed the pet barrier with a safe journey in mind.
We give this product a paws high five!
With a lifetime warranty and free shipping this product is a great option for all dog owners who value safety and security on the road. The reviews are glowing.
We are wagging our tails about this product!
We would use this product for our own precious pooch!
Constructed from heavy duty material, this adjustable pet barrier fits in any wagon or SUV and won't damage the vehicle interior. The see-through design eliminates blind spots for an extra layer of safety.
We give this product the Happy Paws rating!
Other Recommended Dog Car Barriers:
What Are Dog Barriers For Vehicles?
Dog barriers for vehicles keep your dog confined to a certain area of the car or truck so they can’t distract you while you are driving. They are a clever invention that can prevent accidents and save lives. Or in the case of an accident your dog will be safer with a barrier in place.
Pet barriers for vehicles are durable barriers or gates made of sturdy mesh or strong metal and are easily removable. They separate the area of a vehicle at the front where the driver and any front passenger is sitting and the rest of the vehicle where the passengers are sitting.
You can install a dog barrier in your vehicle in less than 20 minutes and may choose to leave it there permanently or put it in when you have a trip planned. They come in different sizes and materials but the market has you covered no matter your vehicle type of dog breed so everyone can have a safe drive wherever they are headed.
Specifically they are designed to keep the driver, passengers and dog safe while driving from A to B.
Who Needs A Dog Barrier?
Dog barriers are essential for every dog owner who takes their pet in the car.
Even if you only take your dog for a ride now and then you need a car barrier. Even if your dog is well-trained and doesn’t usually roam around inside the car you need a dog barrier. And even if you only have a small dog you need a dog barrier.
Farmers were some of the first customers to buy dog barriers for vehicles. As the years have gone by the product has become more mainstream and now every sensible and responsible dog owner who drives has one. Yes, every man and his dog has realized the value in having a dog barrier for their vehicle.
Basically if you own a dog and have a driver’s license then you need to make the wise investment of buying a car barrier.
Benefits Of Using A Dog Barrier
The biggest benefit of a pet barrier in your vehicle is that the dog can’t roam around inside the vehicle while you are on the road. The risk for a potential road accident is greatly reduced if you eliminate the chance of your pet interfering with your concentration while driving.
If you have an accident and it was caused by your dog distracting you from your driving we know you will be regretful that you didn’t invest in this essential pet and vehicle accessory.
While the biggest danger is your dog joining you in the driver’s seat there is also a lot of other mischievous activity your dog could get into behind your back.
We’ve heard of dogs doing the following without the driver realizing until later:
- Chewing or scratching the upholstery
- Leaving hard-to-remove paw prints everywhere
- Eating the groceries
- Getting tangled in seat belts
- Accidentally unclipping children’s seat belts
- Making a mess by rummaging through things
- Trying to jump out the window
- Eating a week’s worth of doggy treats
All of those naughty activities were either expensive, annoying or dangerous. To avoid all of those situations you can use a car barrier. Problem solved!
As well you can keep the front seats of your car clean and tidy. No fur, wet dribble or even worse things (yes, we are talking about doggy doo) will litter your area of the car. It is embarrassing if you pick up a friend or work colleague and they are covered in dog fur by the end of the trip. Avoid this messy situation with a dog barrier in your car.
Really there are many benefits to using a pet barrier.
What Might Happen Without A Dog Barrier
If your dog jumps on you while driving you can be distracted and cause an accident. This can lead to damage to your car and injury or death to anyone involved. This could include yourself, your passengers, a driver or passengers in another car or pedestrians.
Although in many places it isn’t law to have a pet barrier installed in your car, you might have a hard time claiming insurance if the insurance company knows your dog was the main cause of the accident. As you know insurance companies are notorious for avoiding payouts so it could end up being a very costly accident in physical, emotional and financial terms. More on this later.
A dog barrier can block the way if you have to stop suddenly or hit something driving at high speed. It can prevent your dog from flying through the windscreen.
If you introduce a dog barrier to your life from the time you buy or adopt your puppy or dog it will be a proactive safety step that ensures your whole family is kept safe.
We know some pet owners will use pet carriers and crates to contain their pets during travel time. A quality pet barrier is much better. It won’t obstruct your view because it’s not big and bulky.
For your beloved pet there is much more freedom with a car barrier than being locked inside a container. Not many dogs like getting into those. In fact it can be a downright wrestling match to get a dog inside a car crate, especially if they even get a scent of a possible visit to the vet.
Dog Barriers Are Better Than Crates For Dogs That Get Car Sick
Some dogs get car sick. Just like us humans they can suffer from motion sickness and the feeling isn’t nice. You wouldn’t want your pet to experience car sickness. There’s nothing worse.
If your dog is free, as possible with a car barrier, it is far less likely to suffer from motion sickness than if it was confined to a cage or crate. Just like humans, the younger ones are more prone to car sickness. So puppies and younger dogs are the ones most frequently getting queasy in the vehicle.
It is thought they are more prone to car sickness because the inner ear isn’t fully developed in puppies and younger dogs. It will usually pass as they mature and fade away after the first birthday.
Signs your puppy or dog is car sick include:
- Licking it’s lips
- Drooling and dribbling
- Wide eyes
- Whining and sighing
- Body language that indicates distress such as being hunched over
A dog barrier for your vehicle will help avoid car sickness bouts if a carrier or cage is what you are currently using. Other ways to help your dog with car sickness are as follows:
- Medication including over-the-counter meds like Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine®). Note this antihistamine can cause drowsiness and a dry mouth in dogs.
- Encourage your dog to look forward while driving. Talking to your dog may help encourage this.
- Keep the car cool and have the windows down a little. The fresh breeze may help your dog feel better.
- Essential oils that are natural and recommended for animals.
- Pet therapy such as Reiki.
- Don’t let your dog eat too much before the trip. A full stomach can make nausea worse not to mention you could have a bigger mess to clean up on arrival to your destination.
- Avoid long trips if possible.
- Ask your local veterinarian for a prescription medication if you feel the problem is chronic or if you have a long road trip that can’t be avoided.
Every dog is different. Some dogs will never suffer a moment of car sickness even for the longest trips. Others could start to feel unwell even with a trip around the block.
Also the remedies might work well on some dogs but not others. You just have to try them out and find the one that works best for your travelling best friend.
Important Features To Consider When Buying A Dog Barrier
There are many factors to take into consideration before buying your first dog barrier for your vehicle. Here’s the lowdown on the important issues to think about.
Price and Quality: Like any product there is a wide range of different prices and quality. We recommend you invest in the best quality pet barrier you can afford. It is going to be used regularly and for many years to come. Look for companies that offer warranties and replacement products in the case of a faulty barrier. Some companies even offer a life-time warranty.
Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap version of what we recommend below. Dogs products including toys and accessories always get a lot of wear and tear so even quality products can’t be expected to last forever. Just look at how many chew toys your canine buddy goes through on a yearly basis!
Size of Your Dog: If you have a large dog like a Great Dane or an Afghan Hound you will probably need a metal barrier that you can keep permanently in your vehicle. If you have a medium or small-sized dog like a Beagle or French Bulldog you should be fine with a mesh barrier that is easier to take out of your car frequently if needed (for example if you are a two-car household).
For smaller dogs you can also find a dog barrier for your vehicle useful. After all a small dog that launches itself into the front of the car while you are doing a tricky U-turn or 3-point turn can also cause as much distraction as a big dog. For those little doggies you can also put them in a dog seat belt or booster seat for dogs.
Habits Of Your Dog: Many dogs like to chew on basically anything they can get their paws on. If you know your dog likes to munch on things then go for a metal dog barrier. The metal tubes are hard to chew and will not be damaged by your dog. On the other hand a mesh barrier won’t last long if your dog is a chewer. It is not easy to train your dog to stop chewing a dog car barrier because you will be busy driving. A chew toy might distract it for a bit but we know there’s nothing more tempting than a new stretchy fabric to munch on.
Number of Vehicles You Own: If you own several vehicles you will want a car barrier that is easily to remove and swap between vehicles. Maybe you have a work car and weekend car or you and your partner both have cars. In that case you will be taking your dog in both vehicles from time to time. If you are swapping your car barrier between vehicles more than once a week it is probably easier to buy barriers for each vehicle.
Number of Dogs You Own: If you have a big, strong dog you will want a heavy duty steel barrier that isn’t possible for your dog to penetrate. You also might want to consider going for the strongest and best barrier if you have several dogs.
Even if they are medium-sized dogs they are double trouble if they get frisky in the back. Better safe than sorry and then we know there are some of you fur parents out there with more than 2 dogs.
When Should I Buy A Pet Barrier?
We recommend you buy your first pet barrier for your vehicle as soon as you buy or adopt your puppy or dog. If your canine grows up seeing the barrier in the car it will accept it as normal. This will make your life easier because you have enough hours of training your dog ahead of you.
Once a dog gets into a bad habit of riding in the front with you it won’t want to be demoted to the back seat. We know it’s tempting to let your pet ride in the front for company if you are just taking a short trip to the shops. It will be much easier if sitting in the back behind a barrier is part of your dog’s training from the early stages.
We know all dogs are different. A dog with a calm, zen temperament will react differently to a dog with a frisky, playing nature. But even the most high-energy pup should learn to behave well when inside a vehicle.
Even if you have a puppy that is in the early months you will be able to predict its eventual adult size. Keep that in mind when choosing the best pet barrier for your vehicle. If in doubt ask your vet or a dog breeder how big your dog will be when it grows up.
We don’t recommend buying second-hand pet barriers as they might be weak and worn out. Always buy the best quality possible and from a reputable retailer.
How To Care For A Pet Barrier
Most modern dog car barriers are easy to clean and rust resistant. You should clean your barrier frequently with hot soapy water to remove any dirt, fur and other germs that may be lurking on the metal or mesh. Cleaning the product often will help it last longer.
Comments From The Dogs
You know when you look into those adorable puppy dog eyes and can literally read their mind about what they are thinking? Some owners did exactly that and reported back some cute comments about dog barriers in vehicles made by their very own pups.
“I am curious why my direct path to mamas lap is blocked. That black barrier is stopping me from being the co-driver.”
– comment by Rover the Alsatian.
“I’m not impressed and would like to complain because I deserve to ride in the front seat like any Princess should.”
– comment by Princess the Poodle.
“When I can’t play around the car I have no other option but to take a snooze until we get to our destination.”
– comment by Don the French Bulldog.
Safety is a serious issue but we can still have some fun!
Legal Matters and Insurance Companies
Every country and states or provinces have different laws, rules and regulations on driving with animals and what is required regarding safety. So it’s always a good idea to research how the law applies to you.
It might complicate issues with your insurance company if they know your dog caused an accident and you didn’t have a dog barrier installed in your vehicle.
Even if it’s not required by law we recommend you take every precaution to stay safe while on the road. Having a dog barrier in your vehicle is a great idea, in fact many say it’s a no brainer!
Other Accessories For Your Travelling Dog
Dog seat belts are a kind of safety harness that connects to the seat belt to keep your dog restrained while you are driving. They are best for smaller dog breeds.
You can use a dog seat belt alone or with a dog barrier for extra protection. You can be confident your dog will be super safe when wearing a dog seat belt. We like to treat our lovely pets well and in the case of an unfortunate accident the outcome can be the same for a person or a pet that isn’t restrained safely.
Dog booster seats are secure containers for small dogs to sit in and enjoy the ride. They will be firmed secured and harnesses and seatbelts can add an extra layer of safety. They are also really well-suited to smaller dog breeds and toy dog breeds.
Many booster seats are cozy and warm with lined inners so your dog can relax and even take a nap during the journey. Like the dog barriers they are designed with convenience in mind with features like side pockets to store supplies in that you might need to reach for during the trip.
For bigger dogs you can buy handy car hammocks which gives the dog a giant bed in the back seat. It can block the front seat area so your dog won’t be trying to get in the front. Also it will stop fur and dirt from being spread all over the place. For long trips a car hammock can be an ideal accessory for a well-behaved dog. Also old dogs and sick dogs will react well to being transported in a hammock usually.
It really is a great life for a dog when you get to relax in a hammock and rocked to sleep by your own personal chauffeur.
Finally dog toys are the ultimate accessory for your car. Often dogs will get restless and bored and that will be what motivates them to move around inside the car.
Keep different toys for the car so they are engaged and interested in what they are given. Don’t pass the toys to your dog at the beginning of the trip. Wait a bit and if you sense some restlessness pull out the toys to distract and entertain your dog.
No matter the size or age of your vehicle you will be able to find a suitable dog barrier for trips and travel. Stay focused on the road while driving without any thought of doggy distractions with a dog barrier installed in your vehicle. You wouldn’t let your baby crawl around at the top of steps without a baby gate and you shouldn’t let your dog roam around in the car without a dog barrier either.
Now you can make that weekend family trip to the beach with total peace of mind that everyone in the car is safe. No more panicked stops or close calls as you dodge traffic because your pet has intruded on your space behind the wheel.
Enjoy the beach – the only problem now is how to keep the sand out of your luxury vehicle. Sadly this invention hasn’t been made and all we can suggest is the local car wash or you can get down and dirty and do it yourself.
Remember, there is nothing more important than keeping yourself and everyone in your vehicle safe while driving including your Mr Happy Paws. A vehicle dog barrier is recommended always whether you are taking a quick trip to the supermarket or a long road trip across the country. It could save lives.
The creation of dog barriers is one of the most useful and innovative inventions we can buy for our pets. The investment which is kind of like having insurance is totally worth the cost. Happy shopping and see you on the road!