Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Dog in Car + Carseat: What do you do??

Coming from 3rd tri with a question.....

I was taking my dog to daycare today (I know, I know...but he needs it!) and just thought of this. He rides in the back seat and I usually buckle him in with a harness. However, even buckled in he takes up 2/3 of the back seat - he's a big 100+ pound hunting dog mix.  I just realized that is no way to have him back there and LO in her carseat in the middle seat.  Riley (dog) and baby will have to ride together at least sometimes - we do a lot of family picnics and walks and camping where we'll want both dog and baby there. What do you do??? DH and I both have just regular sedans, no big SUVs or anything to put the dog in the very back trunk area.  I can put LO's carseat on one of the outer seats, but that's not as safe as the middle (although we don't have LATCH in the middle seat, so if we get a better fit on one of the outboard seats she might end up going there regardless of the dog issue).  It's not always going to be possible or practical to take two cars, one with the dog and one with the baby - for instance, when DH goes back to work and I have to take the dog to the vet or to daycare, I'll have to have LO with me. 

Ideas? What do you do with your dog and baby in the car?  We're looking at getting a new car for one of us but I don't know if that will be feasible, so say that's completely off the table.

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Re: Dog in Car + Carseat: What do you do??

  • We had to buy an SUV just for this problem! Can the dog go in the front passenger seat, DH drives and YOU in the back?? Not the best situation, but it might work.
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  • That is a great suggestion from the post above. I have 3 dogs all in the 90lb average range. We are looking into getting a SUV for this issue too. I want to have the option if we need to take all 3 dogs and the baby we can safely.
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  • We have 2 dogs, but we have a Volvo wagon, so they are in the back.  It works great for us, and gets better mpg than an SUV.  We bought our certified pre-owned in 2008 and love it!
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  • kcl22kcl22
    Fifth Anniversary

    We were lucky that we had an SUV to begin with so our dog graduated to the cargo area.  Have you looked up your cars make/model to see if having the babyseat on either of the passenger sides is okay?  It sounds like that might actually be your only option... 

    And seriously, good for you for taking the time to harness your dog in.  I see so many people with their dogs riding shotgun unrestrained and I want to scream at them.

  • Other than putting the dog in the front seat (which I can't imagine is safe with a dog that size) I think that realistically your only good option is to buy an SUV or wagon.  I don't think there's another good answer for you.  

    And BTW, the LATCH system isn't any safer than a seatbelt installation.  It's just that it is a bit easier to install with LATCH vs. a seatbelt and therefore the chances are better that it will be installed correctly.  Having said that, the middle is definitely the safest place for LO. 

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  • I don't have a dog, but I have a toddler and a baby with just a sedan.  I can't fit the infant seat in the middle with the toddler seat in the back.  So the infant is behind the driver's side.  Even if we had an SUV or a minivan, both kids couldn't be in the middle. 


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  • lilylowlilylow
    Sixth Anniversary
    My dog just sits next to the car seat in the middle.
  • I'm curious.  Does a 100 lb dog have a bigger butt then a 180 lb human?  I'm trying to figure out how DH and my mom could sit in the back with LO in the middle but your dog can't.  I drive a Matrix.
  • Our car only seats two people in the back seat, so there is no seatbelt in the middle. Because of that, LO's carseat has to go behind the passenger's seat. If you have to put LO on one of the outside seats, it's not really that big of a deal. Then the dog can ride next to the carseat.
  • We have 2 medium dogs (1 named Riley too!) and we ended up getting a small SUV, a Subaru forester.  The dogs ride in the back and baby is in the back seat.  If you can keep your dog from licking the baby constantly (which was our worry) then just let him ride in the backseat beside baby.  Our carseat is behind the passenger seat.


    ETA - our dogs go to daycare once a week too!  I don't care what anyone says, it's an awesome service :) 





  • Put the baby seat behind you with the LATCH, and let the dog ride behind the passenger.
  • skioskio
    5000 Comments 250 Answers Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its

    If you can't get a new car and can't use two cars for all your dog+baby trips, there's only one option - put the carseat in one of the side seats vs. middle. It doesn't really seem like you have any flexibility here. If you decide to get a new car, I ditto the pp that recommended a hatchback-type over an SUV if you don't want a gas guzzler.

    We have an SUV with a third row that we bought a couple months before LO came, so our pup has her own bench.

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  • In one of the cars we have the carseat LATCHed behind the drivers seat (mine...I'm too short to reach the middle of my Rav-4) and the dog (about 60 lbs) rides beside her.

    In DH's car we put a really solid wooden box behind the passenger seat to essentially make it even with the seat.  It creates enough space for her to lay.  You have to play around with the passenger seat to make sure the box is really secure, but it definitely helped our furry friend have more space.  (We take our dog to doggie 'yappie hour", so I totally get the daycare thing)

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  • image 6fsn:
    I'm curious.  Does a 100 lb dog have a bigger butt then a 180 lb human?  I'm trying to figure out how DH and my mom could sit in the back with LO in the middle but your dog can't.  I drive a Matrix.

    You'd think no, but the way he sits/lays he takes up a lot of room - since it's a dog butt plus four paws versus one human butt....especially the tail wagging everywhere.  :)

    Thanks everyone!! You guys echoed what I was thinking, I just needed outside opinions/realities to affirm it was correct. I really appreciate it!

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  • Another reason we won't own cars lol We have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Jeep Cherokee. Since baby rides with me [at least for now bc hubby is deployed] my dogs go in the cargo space, and we even bought a metal car barrier to keep them in the back. I have [2] 50 pound dogs, an aussie and a pitbull. The main reason we got the barrier is If we got into an accident, I don't need the baby seat flying back the dogs flying forward and a foot or tooth going into the baby. Also if I go grocery shopping or have anything in the back and we got into an accident, everything stays in the back and doesn't fly up and hit the baby.
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  • We have 3 pugs and they go everywhere with us, so when DH and I both go somewhere i ride in back with LO and the pugs ride in the front seat. Basically the dogs always ride in the front seat and LO in the middle of the back. 



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  • Well I have an SUV but wanted to point out that the middle is not necessarily thevsafest place. Check your manual. We have DS on the drivers side per our manual. Sorry if this is a repeat I didn't read the other posts yet.
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