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Do I need to buy a car harness, travel crate or dog guard?

If you’re navigating the winding roads of pet travel safety in the UK, you might be wondering: do I need to buy a car harness, travel crate, or dog guard? Understanding the best option for your furry companion can seem like a maze at first.

Each choice offers its own benefits and considerations to ensure your pet’s security during car rides. These products are carefully designed to provide safety, comfort, and compatibility with various vehicle types. Let’s explore the ins and outs of car harnesses, travel crates, and dog guards to help you make an informed decision that suits both your pet’s needs and your peace of mind.

Key takeaways

  • Prioritise pet safety and legal requirements in the UK by using car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards to restrain pets in vehicles.
  • Consider pet comfort and anxiety levels by identifying triggers, addressing negative experiences, and ensuring physical comfort during travels.
  • Choose the right restraint based on vehicle size, level of protection desired, and what makes pets feel secure and at ease.
  • Select a properly fitting and crash-tested harness, crate, or dog guard that ensures a secure fit, allows for movement while ensuring security, and regularly check its condition to align with the dog’s preferences and comfort needs.

Types of pet restraints available

You can choose from car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards as types of pet restraints available for your cars in the UK. Car harnesses are designed to secure your pet safely in one spot while you drive. They’re easy to use and come in various sizes to fit your furry friend comfortably.

Travel crates provide a confined space for your pet during car journeys, offering a sense of security and preventing distractions. They’re especially useful for larger dogs or pets that tend to get anxious in new environments.

Dog guards are ideal for keeping your pet in the back area of your vehicle, creating a barrier between them and the front seats. This type of restraint is beneficial for larger vehicles like SUVs or estates.

Each option has its advantages, so consider your pet’s size, behaviour, and comfort when selecting the right pet restraint for your travels in the UK.

Safety regulations in the UK

Ensure compliance with safety regulations in the UK when selecting a pet restraint for your vehicle. It's crucial to prioritise your pet's safety and adhere to legal requirements. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Legal consequences: Failure to comply with safety regulations can result in fines or penalties, and most importantly, it puts your beloved pet at risk.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that you have chosen a pet restraint that meets UK safety standards can give you peace of mind during car journeys, allowing you to focus on enjoying the ride with your furry companion.
  • Responsible ownership: By following safety regulations, you demonstrate responsible pet ownership and show that you prioritise the well-being of your pet above all else.

Pros and cons of car harnesses

When considering car harnesses for your pet in the UK, why opt for this type of restraint over others? Car harnesses provide a secure and designated space for your pet during car journeys, preventing them from moving around the vehicle freely.

This restriction can be crucial for your pet’s safety, as sudden stops or accidents could lead to injuries if they aren’t properly restrained. Car harnesses are also relatively easy to use; you can simply attach them to your pet’s collar or harness and then to the car’s seatbelt, ensuring easy access to the car's rear seats.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider when using car harnesses. While they can prevent your pet from roaming the car, they may not provide as much comfort as other options like travel crates. Some pets may not enjoy wearing a harness or may find it restrictive, causing them stress during car rides.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about the benefits of travel crates, let’s explore how this alternative can provide additional comfort and security for your pet during travels.

Benefits of travel crates

Consider opting for a travel crate as it can provide your pet with additional comfort and security during car journeys. Travel crates offer numerous benefits that can make your furry friend feel safe and content while on the road:

  • Safety: A sturdy travel crate keeps your pet secure and prevents them from roaming around the car, reducing the risk of accidents and distractions.
  • Comfort: The enclosed space of a travel crate can act as a cosy den for your pet, offering a sense of security and familiarity during travel.
  • Reduced anxiety: Many pets find solace in the enclosed space of a crate, which can help reduce stress and anxiety associated with car rides.

Considerations for dog guards

For optimal safety, assess the size of your car and your dog before selecting a dog guard. Dog guards are essential for keeping your pet secure while on the road. Consider the following factors when choosing a dog guard:

Size compatibilityEnsure the dog guard provides a perfect fit for your car seat model and can be adjusted to accommodate your dog’s size.
MaterialChoose a sturdy material like steel or aluminium for durability and strength.
Ease of installationOpt for a dog guard that offers easy access and is easy to install and remove for convenience.
VisibilitySelect a dog guard with good visibility to allow your dog to see you and reduce anxiety.
Cleaning and maintenanceLook for a dog guard that is easy to clean to maintain hygiene for your pet.

 Factors to determine your needs

To determine your needs for car safety equipment for your dog in the UK, start by evaluating the size of your vehicle and your pet. Consider the following factors:

  • Size matters: The size of your vehicle will dictate the space available for your dog's safety equipment. A smaller car may benefit more from a harness, while a larger vehicle could accommodate a travel crate or dog guard effectively.
  • Safety first: Think about the level of protection you want for your furry friend. A travel crate offers enclosed safety, a harness provides restraint, and a dog guard creates a barrier between your pet and the rest of the car.
  • Comfort counts: Your pet's comfort during travel is crucial. Reflect on what would make your dog feel secure and at ease during car journeys. A cosy crate, a secure harness, or the freedom of movement behind a dog guard can all impact your pet's travel experience.

Making the right choice

When deciding between a car harness and a travel crate for your dog in the UK, consider safety as a top priority. Understanding the legal requirements in the UK regarding pet transportation will guide your decision-making process. Factor in your pet's comfort and stress levels to make the right choice for your furry companion.

Safety first: Harness vs. Crate

Consider your dog's size and behaviour when deciding between a harness and crate for car travel safety.


  • Allows more freedom of movement for your pup
  • May be suitable for dogs who are comfortable being restrained
  • Provides a sense of closeness during the journey


  • Offers a cosy and secure space for your dog
  • Ideal for pups who tend to get anxious or overly excited in the car
  • Helps prevent distractions while driving

Ensuring your furry friend's comfort and safety is paramount when choosing between a harness and crate for car journeys. Now, let's delve into the legal requirements in the UK.

If you plan to drive with your dog in the UK, understanding the legal requirements for car restraints is crucial. The law states that dogs must be suitably restrained while in a vehicle to prevent distractions to the driver and ensure the safety of the dog and other passengers.

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and penalties. In the UK, the highway code recommends the use of car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards to secure your pet during car journeys. It’s important to choose a restraint that’s suitable for your dog’s size and behaviour to ensure their safety and compliance with the law.

For customers using the commercial website, UK VAT applies to all purchases, ensuring compliance with Value Added Tax regulations.

Pet comfort and stress

To ensure your dog's comfort and reduce stress while travelling, prioritise selecting the appropriate car restraint that suits their needs:

  1. Consider your dog's anxiety levels during car rides
  2. Address any previous negative experiences your dog may have had in the car
  3. Think about your dog's physical comfort
  4. Ensure the chosen restraint allows for movement while also keeping them secure
  5. Take into account your dog's preferences and habits
  6. Choose a restraint that aligns with how your dog typically behaves during travel


In conclusion, whether you choose a car harness, travel crate, or dog guard in the UK, safety is key. Consider your pet's comfort and the level of restraint needed for a smooth ride. Evaluate the pros and cons of each option, weigh the benefits, and factor in your specific needs.

By making an informed decision, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for both you and your furry companion. To further safeguard your pet's well-being, consider Purely Pet's dog insurance. Their comprehensive dog insurance lifetime cover offers peace of mind and travel protection - covering unexpected medical emergencies, accidents and treatment.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any specific weight or size restrictions for using car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards in the UK?

When using car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards in the UK, specific weight or size restrictions may apply. It's essential to check guidelines to ensure the safety of your furry friend while travelling.

Can car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards be used for other types of pets besides dogs?

Car harnesses, travel crates, and dog guards are specifically designed for dogs due to their unique size, behaviour, and safety needs in vehicles. These products may not provide the same level of protection for other types of pets.

When it comes to safety and durability in car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards, some recommended brands and models are Sleepypod, Kurgo, and Ruffwear. Prioritise your pet's well-being with these top choices.

Do car harnesses, travel crates, or dog guards need to be regularly inspected or replaced over time?

Regularly inspect and replace your car harness, travel crate, or dog guard to ensure ongoing safety for your furry companion. Over time, wear and tear can compromise their effectiveness, so stay vigilant and prioritise their maintenance.

Are there any additional accessories or features that can enhance the effectiveness of these pet restraints while travelling?

Enhance your pet's travel safety with accessories like seatbelt attachments for harnesses, cosy padding for crates, or adjustable extensions for dog guards. These extras can make the journey comfier and more secure for your furry friend.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

The short answer is yes, dogs can eat peanut butter. But there's a few things you need to consider before serving up this treat.

Dogs CANNOT eat all peanut butters

Many Peanut Butters found on supermarket shelves may contain Xylitol. This an artificial sweetener that's often used in foods to keep the product sugar-free. This ingredient is toxic to dogs and even eating small amounts can be fatal. If you are ever offered peanut butter (or peanut butter ice cream) for your dog, always ask to see the container and ensure that xylitol is NOT listed on the ingredients.

Ideally purchase doggie specific peanut butter like the Poochnut Peanut Butter For Dogs listed on our site. This is a 100% natural peanut butter, for your dog! A natural source of protein, made from quality peanuts with no added salt, sugar, sweeteners, additives, or palm oil.

How much can I feed my dog?

Peanut butter is high in calories and fat, so less is more.

As a guide:

½ teaspoon for a small dog, twice per day
1 teaspoon for a medium or large dog, twice per day

No more than 10% of your dog’s total calories per day should come from treats. If given as a treat, your dog will find a small amount just as thrilling as a large amount. Just licking the spoon makes our Barneys eyes light up. Always serve in moderation.

Can my puppy have peanut butter?

You should never feed peanut butter to a puppy under 6-weeks old. Even at 6-weeks it is advised to wait until your puppy is more developed as the oils and fats can be hard to digest.

If you are feeding this treat to your puppy, ensure you;

  • Choose a smooth variety to avoid any risk of choking.
  • Only serve in extremely small portions.
  • Do not use as a daily treat. The level or protein and fat isn’t healthy for your puppy (or even older dogs) in large amounts.

Read more puppy information information over at Ruffle and Snuffle.

Three fun ways to use this tasty treat with your dog

1) Include in a Kong. Our Barney loves fruit, so we tend to blend lots of different fruit together, pour into a KONG, and finish off with a teaspoon of peanut butter. We then freeze the whole thing ready for when we require a cool snack which will keep him occupied.

2) Spread on a LickiMat. Have you tried a LickiMat yet? These are a great way to keep your pup entertained and slow down their feeding. You could also look to purchase a Bathtime Buddy Suction Lickmat. The suction cups stick to the side of the bath, and the licking sensation is proven to have calming properties as well as distracting from the bath time itself.

3) Medication – is there a pill or supplement your dog just won’t eat? Why not try coating it in an irresistible layer of the sticky stuff. This should disguise the smell and taste and make the whole task a lot less stressful all round.

Looking to treat your pampered pouch? Why not browse our full range of dog treats to find something perfect for them. We cater for all dietary requirements, from grain free and gluten free, so those mighty meaty lovers.

If your dog has allergies, is obese, has any special dietary requirements, or If you think your pet has eaten an excessive amount, always consult a vet.


Choosing the right breed and keeping them healthy...

Once the decision is made to welcome a new furry companion in to your home, the next step is choosing the right breed. Knowing all the facts about dog health, pet insurance and how to best take care of this new member of your family is essential. This blog with talk you though the top 10 healthiest dog breeds globally. Concluding with a few dog treats and supplements which promote healthy joint care for dogs.

No two dogs are alike. Each one is unique in size, personality, and health. Although it's not definitive, certain breeds are known to have longer lifespans than others. These dogs may be the healthiest because of their endless energy and, in some cases, a small frame.

Top 10 dogs with the least health problems globally:

1) Australian Cattle Dog

Bred to help ranchers keep herds in check, Australian Cattle Dogs are born to be outdoors with lots of exercise contributing to their long health. The Guinness Book of World Records named Bluey an Australian Cattle Dog as holding the Guinness World Record for being the oldest dog. Bluey passed away at 29 years old.

2) Australian Shepherd Dog

By their name you would expect this dog to originate in Australia, right? Well in fact they originated in the western united states in the time of the gold rush and are often associated with historical ties to the Wild West.  Australian Shepherds, also nicknamed Aussie, thrive on being put to work and are happiest when they have a job to do. Their active lifestyle ensures a long, happy life and make then wonderful family companies. Living anywhere from 12 to 15 years.

3) Basenjis

A Basenjis is a pure breed dog originally from Africa. This breed was found in the Congo, using both scent and sight to flush out small game into hunter nets, along with keeping rodent populations at bay. An interesting fact about the Basenjis is that they love licking their fur clean like cats, and unlike most dogs they don’t bark. Instead they express themselves with a yodel.

4) Beagle

The Beagle is an active companion and best described as a compact, hardy, and mighty dog. Being a hound, you’ll often find their nose to the ground, hunting out that interesting sent. This characteristic can also make them stubborn however, with patient and creative training techniques required. Living between 10-15 years, beagles make loyal companions.

5) Belgian Malinois

Did you know dogs could skydive? The Belgian Malinois is one of the most loyal, hardworking dogs there is and for this reason it is often favoured over the German Shepard by the US police and military. These dogs served in World War I, acting as messengers and assistants to the Red Cross. Now the US military parachutists do tandem jumps with their Malinois and can even train them to jump on their own, landing safely in water. Now that is one pretty impressive dog!

Check out this hero war dog, skydiving with his soldier >

6) Bichon Frise

With its white coat and jet-black eyes, the Bichon Frise is a cheerful little dog breed that enthuses happiness. The Bichon also benefits from a hypoallergenic coat, making them and ideal companion. They love spending time with their owners and enjoy making new friends.

Searching for Bichon Frise gifts? Take a look at our gifts for small dogs section.

7) Border Collie

Originated in the hilly border country between England and Scotland, the Collie was bred to control sheep. Interestingly, they do this using their intense stair which controls the flock. Collies have a need to move, ultimate energy, and a working drive. All this exercise keeps the Border Collie young at heart, well into old age with an average lifespan of around 12 years. Looking for a dog to train in canine sports? The Collie excels in flyball, tracking and flying disk competitions.

8) Chihuahua

A small dog with a big personality. Chihuahua’s are fans of short walks and lots of cuddles in a warm lap. They may be known as the smallest breed in the world, but they are also among the top 10 watchdogs, recommended by experts! Living as long as 18 years, these are perfect family dogs which require a minimum amount of grooming and exercise.

Searching for Chihuahua gifts? Take a look our gifts for small dogs section.

9) Dachshund

Another hound breed, the Dachund may also be known by other names such as Sausage Dog, Wiener or Doxie.  Don’t let it's size fool you! The Dashunds tough enough to take on a badger, in fact that’s where it got it’s name (Dachs meaning badger, hund meaning dog). The Dashunds versatility makes them excellent companions, show dogs and small game hunters. Good daily exercise could help them stay healthy until their 20th birthday.

Searching for Dachshund gifts / Sausage dog gifts? Take a look at our gifts for small dogs section.

10) German Pinscher

The German Pinscher is a muscular and agile dog breed. Powerful, yet graceful, the Pinscher has an elegant appearance always poised and ready for any adventure. This breed makes for a great guard dog along with being a loving family pet. Be warned though, these are working dogs and for this reason need lots of exercise to get them to their maximum lifespan of 12-15 years.

When discussing dog lifespans, people are often under the misconception that the smaller the dog, the longer it will live. Although several of the breeds listed in our list have got a smaller frame, the top spot go’s to a larger dog. The key, as with humans is lots of exercise and a healthy diet.

Motivated by these statistics to focus on dog health? How can you help supplement a healthy diet you ask?

1) Look after your dogs joints with the Vets Kitchen Active Joints Glucosamine Gravy. Issues with joints are a common problem, so any treats or supplements which can help joint care for dogs are a great addition to the weekly diet in our opinion.

2) Promote gum, teeth and mouth hygiene with the Pet Munchies Buffalo Dental Chew. These premium gourmet dental chews are made with 100% natural human-grade grass-fed Buffalo. They are low in fat, gluten & grain free, and even feature Salmon oil to help with the skin and coat. These long-lasting chews keep our pup Barney busy for a good hour. It's great to know that they can be so invested in a treat which is healthy too.

3) Does your dog suffer from stress or anxiety? The Forthglade Calming Treats could be the answer. Lovingly hand-baked, these heart shaped treats contain a mix of natural botanicals widely known for their calming properties. The Camomile & lemon balm are two of the main ingredients for nervous or anxious dogs.

Love all these dog health products? You can find them perfectly packaged in our Dog Health Hampers or check out our range of individual dog health products here.