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Dog and airbag

I drive a 2002 Grand Caravan. The back two seats are removed permanently. My Labrador Retriever sits in the passenger seat with a dog seat belt on. Should I disable the airbag on his side? Is his dog seatbelt enough to keep him from getting hurt in an accident?

Airbags are for people. What’s more, they must be within a certain size range and are presumed to be sitting upright. Your dog will not cooperate with these limits.

I recommend you disable the airbag. It is unlikely to do much good. If deployed they are expensive to replace. Trust the seat belt to provide adequate protection in mild collisions.

I’d expect there to be websites specifically clarifying this subject. Perhaps a .org site. Have you tried googling?

The best way to transport dogs is in a crate in the back of the vehicle. Unless your dog has learned to sit in the seat like a human would, the seatbelts can cause injury, even if it’s a “dog” seat belt, in a crash.

I agree with shadowfax. My dog began riding in the crate behind the passenger seat of our minivan. He is very happy there and I know he is safe. All I have to do is open the sliding door to the minivan and the door to the crate and he jumps right in.

I agree that a crate is the safest place. However, the lab has been riding in the front seat of most cars all of his life. He sits on the seat or lies down on the seat.

When we make a quick trip to the post office, for example, he automatically jumps into his seat and I put on his dog seatbelt. If he was to be crated, it would defeat the purpose of his going for a ride and enjoying the ride. Perhaps I should eliminate those quick trips around town unless he can ride in a crate.

Our next long trip is going to be a move cross country with a van load of boxes. So there will be no room for a crate.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and wisdom!