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Neal, Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 8349
Experience:  Auto repair pro and Mechanic on multiple makes.
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front passenger seat..s Tom and Ray column in the middletown Times

Customer Question

I am a volunteer for Puppies Behind Bars, which provides prisoners with dogs that the prisoners raise and train to be service dogs for wounded veterans. The insurance company insures the dogs for $31,000. They have determined that the safest place for the dogs in a car is on the floor of the front passenger seat of the car, contrary to what was stated in today's Tom and Ray column in the Middletown Times-Herald Record.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Neal replied 4 years ago.

I'm Neal and I am here to assist you. Only accept when you are happy with my assistance. If I can't help I will open your Question to other experts.


What did the article you read state? And where did they get their information?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The article I read stated that the best place for a dog in a car should be in the back seat. I do not know where the authors got their information.
Expert:  Neal replied 4 years ago.

Besides being a mechanic which is the family business I also have been a firefighter paramedic for over 20 years and have seen more accidents than I can even remember, and I agree based on my experience that the safest place for an unrestrained dog would be in the floor board. Of course nothing is 100% but a dog in the back seat is either going to be ejected or thrown forward into the windsheild and dash area, the front seats will usually not stop them from flying all the way to the dash in a head on collision.


Again this is based on my experience and is not based on any scienticic study, this is just what I have seen from real world experience with accidents with and without dogs involved.

Expert:  Lisa replied 4 years ago.

With all due respect, to the car expert, the safest place for a dog depends on the size of the dog. An unrestrained dog on the floorboard of a car is more likely to recieve blunt force trauma to the body, which can be fatal to dogs.


A medium or small dog should be in a crate/kennel in the middle of the backseat or restrained in a dog-approved seatbelt/harness. There are literally thousands of possible ways to restrain small to medium sized dogs in a car that range from the inexpensive harnesses to more expensive metal sided crates that bolt into the car itself.

A large dog should be restrained in the kennel in the backseat or in the cargo part of a van or SUV.


Dogs on floor boards get killed either due to impact or injury from the car being out of control. Additionally, the person driving the car can be injured due to the unrestrained dog flying about the vehicle during an accident.





Expert:  Neal replied 4 years ago.
As was speaking only of unrestrained dogs as your question appeared to indicate. A crate would always be a better choice of course but they are rarely used in cars. I should also note that two other experts have agreed with my answer.

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