I drive a Honda Crosstour. I was wondering what I can use to make sure that the my dog, a german shepherd, can be kept safe and comfortable in the trunk/backseat and also prevent any damage to the car, from for example scratching.

Should I pad it with particular material? Is there a special type of seating material or restraint recommended for this case?

  • Mostly dog like to enjoy the air from the window and prefer to sit on the next to driver seat. Mostly dog doesn't trashes. My sister's dog have shown motion sickness once but her second dog never made any problem. So it depends from dog to dog. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 13:10
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    The worst thing our dogs do when we put them on the back seat is to lick the window…
    – Baarn
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 13:15
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    I think it would be good to note if the dog has a history of scratching or destroying things. I've never seen a dog that destroyed anything while in the back of a car. (and if I'd give an answer it would basically tell you this. But that would not help if the dog has already adopted a habit of destroying stuff)
    – Baarn
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 13:16
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    Is this a problem that is happening now or something you fear will happen? What damage are you concerned with?
    – user9
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 14:34
  • We used to let the Irish Setter just ride in the back seat, which we covered with a blanket to contain some of the shedding. Never had a problem with damage to the car. Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 15:50

3 Answers 3


Depending on the country someone will be driving your dog in, some laws may be in effect about this topic. The best way to know is to ask your vet about this.

For example, here in France, you have to make sure that the dog will, in no circumstance, be able to reach the driver if sitting on the backseat. So a net is in order if you are not using the belt.

Here is the "kit" I'd suggest:

  1. Buckle-leash: It is a simple small leash that has a buckle instead of a loop at the end. Note that most brands fit all cars but Volvo.
  2. Harness: You could buckle your dog using the collar, but might hang him if something happens. Also, a harness tends to calm the anxious dogs.
  3. Some rubber/Teflon sheet that holds onto the 4 head rests of the car. Teflon makes it a little bit more pricey but easier to wash and dry. The rubber part makes sure that it is not slippery.

I did not use a sheet until recently. The only reason we decided to get it is because the dog started to love swimming... Enough said :) But since then, he has an easier time staying in place, before he would slip a bit.

Note: the sheet we got required some small modification for us to be able to pass the seatbelt through. But it prevents the dog from reaching the driver so the belt was really just for the dog's safety.

The sheet I am trying to refer to:


EDIT: Coming back to this question/answer after a while I do realize that not enough emphasis was put on the fact that the safety of your car should be your last concern after taking care of the driver's safety, other occupants safety, and dog safety. A driver getting his elbow pushed by the dog who's asking for a scratch may become the cause of an accident...


Generally speaking, all dogs will handle car travel differently. My sister's small dog throws up every time he gets in the car, so he has a his own crate for car travel. It helps him feel safe so he doesn't get sick as often and also helps confine the mess if he does get sick.

Whereas my dog enjoys it and has a lot of freedom to move. He doesn't scratch anything, and the hair vacuums up easily off of leather (when I had cloth seats, we usually put a sheet in the back seat to protect the seats from hair).

But with dogs in cars, safety is a concern. One of our previous dogs cracked the window with this head when my mother had to make a quick change of direction (fortunately he has a hard head and was ok). So a doggy seat belt might be the best solution. It will keep him in place so he can't be too destructive, while at the same time permit him to ride safely so he doesn't get hurt.


Legally now the animal must be restrained (such as a harness or be in a crate) otherwise it Illegal and insurance is void

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    try to give more details and take a look here on how to give good answers pets.stackexchange.com/help Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 7:48
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    Illegal where? It is a big world, and laws are very local. Additionally see the link by trond. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 13:13

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