How To Keep Your Cavapoo Safer In A Car 2023

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As Cavapoo owners, we want to take our dogs with us wherever we go.

Summer time especially is when we like to go to dog parks, go hiking, try some boating or just spend a leisurely day at the beach.

Most of the time this involves travelling by car so it is really important to learn how to keep your Cavapoo safer in a car.

Even if you have a well behaved dog that listens to you, you still have to make sure they are properly and correctly restrained.

In most States and countries it is illegal to drive with a dog in the car that is not restrained and there are very valid reasons why.

“According to a survey by the American Automobile Association, over 80% of dog owners drive with their pets in the car. There are 43.3 million households with pets, so that is an impressive number of people on the road with dogs in the car. Only 16% of people who transport their dogs use proper safety restraints.

Why should You Restrain Your Cavapoo In The Car?

I cannot emphasis enough the necessity of properly restraining your dog while traveling with him in a vehicle.

Even the most well-mannered dogs require some kind of control, and this should be done at all times, even if you are only traveling a short distance.

  • Dogs have the potential to be a distraction, since they may try to sit on your lap or climb between the seats. Simply looking at your Cavapoo to see if everything is okay or reaching out to pet them can be enough. A collision can be caused by distractions in as little as one or two seconds, which unfortunately can have very serious consequences. The possibility for distraction can be greatly reduced by using restraints and by transporting dogs in the back of the vehicle.
  • Accidents happen. Accidents can happen to people who are extremely careful behind the wheel, and dogs that are not restrained are more likely to hurt themselves in addition to hurting their owners. Pets that are not properly restrained may be flung around the vehicle by the impact of a collision, and the momentum they carry may cause serious harm to both the animals and anyone else who is in the vehicle. Just like us, seatbelts save lives.
  • Unrestrained dogs have a greater risk of exhibiting fearful or even violent behavior after an accident, particularly if they are in pain and unsure of their surroundings. If they are securely confined, it will be much easier to access them safely in order to help them, and there will be a lower likelihood of them fleeing the area or acting irrationally out of fear.

How To Keep Your Cavapoo Safe In The Car

There are various options available when deciding which type of restraint to use.

The emphasis should be on safety and the best products are those that will protect your dog and yourself while travelling in the car especially if you have to suddenly slam on brakes or if you are involved in a collision.

The most widely used is a doggy car seat and a harness but there are some other products you can try. You need to match the correct way of restraining your dog with what he is comfortable with.

Never ever attach a tether to your dog’s collar. This is extremely dangerous for your pet. If they are flung around the car then the collar can end up strangling your dog or even breaking their necks. Always use a harness.

If you want your dog travelling and secured on the front seat then make sure to deactivate the passenger front airbag. If the airbag deploys then it is very dangerous for your pet just like it is dangerous for a human baby.

I am going to discuss each option and make recommendations of products for you to choose from.

Best Dog Safety Car Restraint – Crash Tested

You might be surprised to learn that the best car restraint safety wise is a crash tested harness.

I watched a lot of videos showing different products being crash tested and a correctly fitted crash tested harness keeps your dog on the seat and does not allow them to hit the back of the front seat or fall off the seat during impact.

There following brand came out on top.

Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Harness – Best For Adult Cavapoos

The unique Infinity Loop design, together with an energy-absorbing padded vest, work to distribute and reduce the force of impact by up to 10x compared to other harnesses.

It’s great for any dog looking to take their next adventure while still being both safe and comfortable.

 Clickit Sport is the only harness to receive a five star rating from the Center for Pet Safety. 

 The Infinity Loop system has three points of contact to reduce forward and lateral movement in the event of a collision or sudden stop.

There are loops on the sides of the harness through which you thread the seatbelt and then secure it into the seat belt slot.

It allows freeway and “give” in the seat belt at the instant of impact before it locks your pet into place, much like a human in a seat belt. 

It is very important that you buy the correct size to ensure a snug fit and the most safety.

The Sleepypod ClickIt Sport is recommended for dogs over 18 pounds. For dogs and puppies under 18 pounds I would consider either a booster seat or a soft crate.

If safety is your number one priority then this harness is the best buy. It might not be as comfortable as a booster seat but your dog will be much more protected and safe.

Best Dog Booster Seat – Best for Small Cavapoos and Puppies

A booster seat allows your dog to easily see out the window. Cavapoos love to watch what is happening and love to be part of the action.

The best feature about a booster seat as that they can help your dog not to get sick in the car.

The raised platform is high enough for them to look out the window or even through the front windscreen. This helps greatly to prevent motion sickness.

I chose the K&H bucket booster seat because they have been in business for over two decades and they are a trusted brand.

K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat

The K&H Bucket Booster Seat is securely attached to the car seat belt. There are two tethers that can be used to secure your Cavapoo into the seat.

The fleece cover is removable and can be machine washed.

It can be installed in either the front or back seat of your car and it is quick to remove when necessary.

The front of the seat dips down so your dog can easily get in and out.

This is a well made and durable booster seat that your dog will love. Please make sure that you use a harness and never attach the tethers to a collar.

Please note that the K&H Bucket Booster Seat has not been crash tested by any federal agency but nevertheless this booster seat comes highly recommended and is a good buy.

Center Console Dog Seat

A dog center console seat is a good choice for owners that would like there dog to be right next to them. The downside is that space is an issue so they will only be suitable for smaller Cavapoos.

Make sure you measure the distance between the two front seats very carefully to make sure the size fits. Then measure your dog so that you will know if he will fit inside.

A console seat, in most cases, will not allow your dog to stretch out or lie down comfortably so is probably more suited to short trips and when you are running errands.

Snoozer Console Pet Car Seat Cream Fur

This middle console-mounted dog car seat provides a comfortable and secure place for your Cavapoo to ride along next to you.

It is attached to the console’s lid and comes with a harness attachment to hold your dog inside the seat. As a result, both the dog and the driver can relax and have fun while traveling together.

Your dog will enjoy a front-row seat in the car with the Console dog car seat. It was designed to accommodate dogs weighing up to 12 pounds, and it works exceptionally well for dogs that experience motion sickness or anxiety while traveling in a vehicle.

This is because looking out the window has been shown to alleviate feelings of nervousness and nausea in animals.

Once they have their very own safe and comfy seat to rest in while watching the world go by, even dogs that don’t like traveling in cars can learn to like the experience.

The Snoozer Console Pet Car Seat is made from fade-resistant, wrinkle-resistant and shrink-resistant poly cotton fabric. The seat contains a high quality dog bed and is suitable for heavy use.

If you have a smaller Cavapoo and the idea of having your dog right next to you is appealing then consider using a console seat.

Car Seat Hammock

A car seat hammock serves a dual purpose.

They are invaluable when transporting a muddy or dirty pup. After having a good swim or digging on the beach then your Cavapoo could be more messy then you would like and you could be hesitant to put them back into your nice clean car.

A car hammock will protect your car seats and help keep them clean.

Secondly, a car hammock can prevent your dog from gaining access to the front of the car.

Part of the hammock is a flap of material that protects the back of the front seats. This portion of the hammock effectively closes off the console area and stops your dog from gaining access to the front seats of your car.

Please note that you will still need to secure your Cavapoo to the back seat belts using a harness to restrain him properly and to keep him safe.

4Knines Dog Seat Cover with Hammock for Cars and SUVs

This durable and popular car seat hammock has multiple layers, one of which is a waterproof and non-stick backing.

It is constructed out of colorfast materials, ensuring that the dye will not transfer into your seat.

The cover is installed using anchors that slide between the seats and straps that clip around the headrests. It is designed to look like a hammock.

In addition to that, it has padding and is offered in a choice of two sizes and three different colors.

It takes minutes to install and is just as quick to remove.

A car seat hammock would be perfect for a larger Cavapoo or for dogs that tend to suffer from motion sickness causing them to vomit in the car.

Dog Car Seat Belt Tethers

A tether is used to attach your dog’s harness to the car’s seat belt.

This product will be needed if you are intending to only use a hammock or dog barrier in your car.

A tether should only be connected to a harness. Never attach it to a collar as the collar could cause your dog to choke if your dog falls off the seat.

Kurgo Direct to seat Belt Tether for Dogs

The one end clicks directly into the seat belt slot while the carabiner hooks onto your dog’s harness.

The carabiner locks preventing your dog from escaping from their restraint. Because it just clips into the seatbelt slot there is no need to undo the seatbelt every time your dog gets into the vehicle.

The tether can be extended from 15 inches to 22 inches. Adjust the length to what you need.

Tip – if your Cavapoo is smart enough to learn that they can get loose by stepping on the seat belt release then simply buy a seat belt release cover to stop this from happening. (Same as ones used to prevent kids from pushing the release button)

Soft Dog Carrier

I prefer to use a soft carrier instead of a hard plastic one. The reason for this is because if your car is involved in an accident then a soft material carrier will have some give when your dog bounces against the side.

A hard plastic crate can cause fatal injuries to your dog with the force of your dog’s body hitting the sides. This hard bouncing can cause major internal damage.

The downside to a soft carrier is that if your dog is a chewer then he might be able to escape from it. You also need to make very sure that you close the zips properly.

K&H PET PRODUCTS Travel Safety Pet Carrier

The K&H Pet Products Travel Safety Carrier is an easy and convenient way for families and their pets to remain secure while traveling in a car together.

When pets are kept confined and not permitted to run free, the risk of their distracting drivers is significantly reduced. The Travel Safety Carrier is the most user-friendly method of containing a pet, and it comes in three different sizes.

The carrier comes with a comfortable pad that can be removed and washed in the machine, making maintenance and cleaning a breeze.

Easy access is provided via exits on both sides as well as in the front, and installation can take place on either side of the backseat.
There are straps that loop around the headrest, as well as straps that attach to the seat belt of any car, so the carrier can be secured fastened into place.

It is simple to assemble and disassemble, and it folds up neatly for convenient storage.

The small size is suitable for use in any front seat, while all three sizes are suitable for use in any back seat. Large doors, allowing for quick and simple entry, are standard across the board.

The smallest size has dimensions of 17 by 16 by 15 inches and is suitable for animals weighing up to 10 pounds. The dimensions of the medium carrier are 24 by 19 by 17 inches, and it is ideal for animals weighing up to 20 pounds.

The large size, which measures 29.5″ x 22″ x 25.5″, is suited for larger pets.

Designed by K&H, a company with over 20 years of experience in the production of secure, forward-thinking, and high-quality items for pets. This carrier has a limited guarantee of one year.

Dog Barrier or Guard – Front and Back Options

You can prevent your dog from being a distraction to the driver by placing a dog car barrier behind the front seats of the vehicle. You also have the option of installing a partition behind the rear seats in the cargo area.

Dog car barriers can be made from mesh or come as a grid like metal structure.

Even though there is a barrier, please still tether your dog to avoid him bouncing around in the case of an accident.

Only adult dogs should be kept in the cargo area.

Rabbitgoo Dog Car Barrier – Best steel Mesh

This dog car barrier comes highly recommended and is designed to fit perfectly in large cars such as SUVs and hatchbacks.

It is made from a high-quality steel that will not fall down if your Cavapoo pushes on it.

It is simple to install (and doesn’t require any equipment!) and it can be adjusted to fit perfectly in your car, SUV or hatchback by moving the side panels to fit the area.

Since it may be either a front seat barrier or a cargo barrier, you have the flexibility to switch between the two uses depending on the situation.

The see through steel mesh does not hinder driver visibility at all. It is durable and made from rust-proof material for long term use.

The steel mesh is smooth to prevent injury to your dog while also protecting the interior of your car.

 It is easy to install and remove as well as being foldable so you can store it anywhere.

DYKESON Dog Car Net Barrier Pet Barrier 

A mesh dog barrier is suitable for small to medium sized dogs.

If your dog likes to climb over the center console to get to you, this Dykeson Pet Barrier that stretches between the two front seats can be your answer.

This affordable net features four hooks that link to the headrests and seat rails, and it expands to fit in most automobiles and SUVs. Plus, it contains two layers of mesh so it can double as a car storage area as well!

The durable material ensures that your Cavapoo does not wriggle through the mesh panel.

This is an excellent product for dog owners to keep in the car.

Important Tips

Start with short trips

To get your dog used to whichever restraint you decide on, it will help to take things slow. In all likelihood he will not be too enthusiastic about being restrained and will want to get to you. Starting with short trips will get him used to the idea of being in the vehicle but not free to do whatever he wants.

Give him a toy to play with and talk to him while you drive. Keep your eyes on the road and resist the urge to keep checking up on him. He will be just fine and will get used to being restrained.

Never allow your Cavapoo to sit on your lap when you are driving

It is incredibly dangerous for you and your dog to allow him to sit on your lap when you are driving. Your attention will not be focussed on driving and you might miss a red taffic light or loose control of the vehicle. A dog sitting on your lap becomes a deadly missile if your car is involved in an accident and the chances of your dog or you being seriously hurt will be very high.

Keep the temperature in the car moderate

If it is a hot day then turn the air conditioner on. Likewise if it is cold then turn on the heater. A dog that is hot will be fidgety and is more likely to suffer from motion sickness. A cold dog will just be plain miserable.

No food or treats when travelling

If you know you are going to be travelling with your dog then do not feed him just before starting your journey. The movement of the car will cause him to vomit up his recently eaten meal. Feed him at least 3 hours before travelling. This will give him time to do a poop as well before departing. Feeding him treats while driving can be a choking hazard.

Do not let your dog stick his head out the window when the car is moving

Cars that are travelling in front of you or busy passing you can kick up small stones or pebbles. These can then hit your dog in the face injuring them. Your dog can also sustain ear damage from the wind so it is not a good idea to let them stick their heads out when the car is moving.

Photo of author


Irma Bense is an experienced dog owner with over 43 years of experience with dog showing, dog breeding, dog training and general dog ownership. Her love for spaniels also includes the Cavapoo, a wonderful mix breed between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Presently she is the proud parent of two Cocker Spaniels, Charli and Bailey and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Tucker.

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