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Car Seats

The Best Car Seats for Pugs

Already know all the important reasons why a car seat is vital for a Pug? And just want to jump right to which one to use? Jump to: Recommended Car Seats

Overview

You may wonder if you need a car seat for your Pug puppy or dog, and if so, which type is best. 

Whether you only drive your Pug to local places or take long road trips, having the right type of car seat is vital. Not only can it drastically reduce car sickness, which is very common for canines, but it can also save your Pug’s life.

In this section, we’ll cover the important benefits of a car seat, some of the best types for this breed (and why), and also some tips to help your Pug better enjoy being in the car.  

The Benefits of Car Seats

sad-looking-pug-dog
Champ, photo courtesy of Praveen 
#1 Reduces motion sickness:

It’s really common for puppies and dogs to have trouble handling car trips. Common signs of motion sickness include nausea, dizziness, and/or vomiting. And feeling this way can make dogs panicky. 

This can come on quickly within just minutes of driving, or it can develop once a dog reaches a certain point. 

One of the main causes of car sickness a disconnect between what a dog’s eyes see (the inside of the car is not moving) and what he feels (his body feels the motion, and particularly starts and stops and turns). 

For this reason, the right car seat can be a great method of reducing the disorientation and sickness that a Pug may be enduring when driving. There are 3 ways that a car seat helps: 

1) It keeps a Pug’s body secure, so that even with starts, stops, and turns, the dog’s body stable.
2) If you use a canine booster seat, this raises a Pug up high enough that he can have line-of-sight out of the windows. This is a key part of reducing nausea. 

3) Since weather conditions may dictate how far a window can be rolled down for fresh air (which also helps dogs feel better), having a booster seat keeps a dog bit closer to helpful air flow. 
#2 It can prevent serious injury and save your Pug’s life:

If you aren’t sure if your Pug really needs a car seat, you’ll have no doubts once your read these 7 startling facts and stats:

1.

There are over 16,000 car accidents per day in the US. In fact, the average driver will be in at least 3 collision in their lifetime. This ranges from fender-benders to serious and fatal accidents. 

2.

Worldwide, there are an average of 3287 deaths per day due to vehicle accidents. 

3.

Think it’s the driver that’s most at risk? While there are no nationwide stats for pets, it’s sobering to know that in the US, over 1,600 children (15 years and under) die in car accidents each year. 
pug-puppy-female
Maddie, at 9 weeks old,
photo courtesy of Colleen Matter
4. 

Think it’s only risky if you go for a long drive? The majority of accidents happen within 3 miles of home. 

5. 

Just having your Pug unrestrained creates danger for both of you. 

In the US, each day 8 people are killed and over 1,100 are injured due to distracted driving. Looking away from the road doubles your chances of a car accident. And if you’re traveling at 55 MPH, with a distraction of 5 seconds, you travel the length of a football field. 
pug-dog-posing
Marley, photo courtesy of Lynn
Think this only applies to texting? In an AAA/Kurgo study of pet owners, 65% of owners admitted being distracted by their dogs, including petting (52%), using their hands to hold their dog while breaking (23%), allowing their dog to sit on their lap (17%) and using their arms/hands to keep their dog from climbing around. 
6. 

Injured pets are rarely covered by insurance. If an accident is your fault, most likely your insurance will not cover vet bills for injury. If, however, another driver is found to be at fault in a collision, you may be able to collect payment for vet bills and the worst case scenario of cremation or burial. 

7. 

Your insurance company can refuse to pay your anything on a claim. If you’re found at fault for distracted driving due to your Pug being unrestrained, your insurance company is within their rights to invalidate your insurance claim. This means not just no money for vet bills, but no payment for repairs, your own doctor bills, or anything else.  
Side note: You can also get a ticket (moving violation that causes your insurance rates to go up) in several states that have passed laws in regard to pets as passengers. Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, and New Jersey have these laws, and fines range from $50 to a whopping $1000. 
8. 

Last, but not least, if your Pug is not safe in a car seat, the risk for injury or death skyrockets. This is due to crash force. Crash force is the force at which an unsecured object is thrown. 

In a crash going just 35 MPH, a 5-pound Pug puppy would be thrown with the force of a 175-pound object. In a crash going 55 MPH, a 15-pound adult Pug would be thrown with the force of an 825-pound object. 

That is enough to cause serious injury, and even cause a dog to be thrown through a window like a projectile. 
Bottom Line

If you would buckle up a baby or a child, buckle up your Pug.
Not using a car seat is playing with your puppy or dog’s life.
There’s no excuse.

The Best Types of Car Seats for Pugs

There’s just a few things to keep in mind when you’re ready to keep your Pug safe in a car seat:

1. Proper size. You’ll want the seat to be big enough for your Pug to fit comfortable, but structured small enough that it provides stability. 

2. Inner harness belt. There needs to be a short harness connector belt and clip inside the seat. This is meant to be connected to a puppy or dog’s harness. NEVER attach this to a collar; doing so can cause terrible neck injury.

It is already highly recommended to keep a Pug on leash and harness, not collar. This is because using a collar with this brachycephalic breed increase potential breathing difficulties and neck injury including collapsed trachea. And it is that very same walking harness that should be used with the car seat. 

3. Raised. You’ll want a booster seat that rises to a moderate height. The idea is to have your Pug up high enough that he can easily see out of the windows. 
Below are some of our top recommended car seats, that have all of the qualities of a safe and comfortable seat for this breed. You’ll also see a great harness that is perfect for both walks and cars. 

If you do not see the images, try a refresh. And on mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4. 

And next, we’ll cover some super helpful tips to keep your Pug as happy and comfortable as possible. 

11 Helpful Car Tips and Advice to Keep a Pug Happy

black-brindle-pug-dog
Gabby, photo couresy of Mike Dillow
Once you have a safe car seat for your Pug, it’s time to look into some additional steps you can take to help make car trips more enjoyable. 
1. Don’t give your Pug a full meal within 1 hour before getting in the car; food is more easily vomited out if it has not had a chance to digest. 

However, do offer a small dry dog snack; this can provide some cushioning in an otherwise empty stomach. 

2. If your Pug still tends to get sick, offer a small amount of sugar 10 minutes before leaving. This can help settle the stomach. A small jelly bean often does the trick (just be sure that it contains real sugar, and not any sort of sugar substitute which are toxic to canines). 

3. If you’re just getting your Pug used to the car, keep the trips short and make the destinations something fun (a trip to the pet store for a new toy, the dog park to play, etc.).

4. Reserve one special toy that is kept just in the car. 

5. Play relaxing music. 
Dogs are very attuned to music and the right songs can work well to keep a dog’s stress level low (this is also a great tip to incorporate for Pugs that have trouble when home alone). 

6. Even if your Pug seems to be doing great, if the drive will be longer than 30 minutes, pull over at the halfway point for a break. Allow your Pug to get out (on leash) to find his bearings, stretch his legs, go to the bathroom, and have a drink of water (and, if needed, another dry biscuit and/or jelly bean). 
7. Dogs often do best with the temperature a bit on the cool side. 
8. Always have a window a little bit open. In the winter, this may mean turning up the heat enough to even this out, and in the summer, this will mean increasing the AC.   

9. In the winter, warm the car up before placing your Pug in, and in the summer run the AC and check the surface temperature of the car seat before placing your Pug in. 

10. Take note of how the sun shines into the car. Strong sunlight in a dog’s eyes can impede his ability to look out the window and can be terribly uncomfortable. If needed, use a car window sunscreen, like the TFY Car Window Sun Shade Protector Shine Blocker, that does not block the view but does block the sun. 

11. The safest spot for pets is the middle of the backseat. And this is actually a great spot in regard to a Pug being able to see straight out of the front window. 

This said, we realize that many owners do prefer to have their dogs ride shotgun. If so, bring the passenger seat as far back as it can go and be sure to disable any passenger air bags (these can be deadly if deployed close to a dog). 
small-pug-in--garden
Jacqui Bo Shae, at 13 months old,
photo courtesy of Christine Chinn

A Final Word

Dogs will follow us anywhere and never question our leadership. So, your Pug is trusting you to keep him/her safe in the car. 

Not buckling your Pug up is akin to letting a young child be in a car unrestrained. So, let’s all make a pledge to protect our Pugs to the best of our ability. 
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