Dog Friendly Tips: Seat Belts for dogs
In the UK there is no police practice of enforcing dog restraint laws, though there are laws about dogs being restrained in cars. Most people still travel with dogs loose. In an accident they would be catapulted forward through the car and onto the windscreen, at worst, causing injury to the passengers. If lying on the back seat, they might just be thrown against the back of the front seats.
Harnesses tend to be better suited to smaller dogs. Alternatively restraint barriers may provide some protection in the event of an accident.
A best-practice travel tips website recommends: Practice Restraint: Be sure that your pet is safely restrained in your vehicle. Utilizing a pet safety harness, travel kennel, vehicle pet barrier, or pet car seat are the best ways to keep your pet safe. They not only protect your pet from injury, but they help by keeping them from distracting you as you drive.
A safety harness functions like a seatbelt. While most pets will not have a problem adjusting to it, you may want to let them wear the harness by itself a few times before using it in the vehicle.
If your pet prefers a travel kennel, be sure it is well ventilated and stabilized. Many pet owners prefer vehicle barriers, particularly for larger pets. Vehicle barriers are best suited for SUVs (and estates).
Smaller pets are best suited for pet car seats. The car seat is secured in the back seat using a seat belt and your pet is secured in the car seat with a safety harness. In addition to it's safety features, a pet car seat will prop up your smaller pet, allowing them to better look out the window.
No matter what method you choose, back seat travel is always safer for your pet.