Volvo study shows that dogs roaming inside the car increases driver stress

It's best to strap your furry friend into a special buckle or keep them crated.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Volvo dog
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Volvo dog

Keep your good boys and girls restrained, folks.


Taking our dogs on a trip is one of the many joys of having a furry friend, and for those outside of walking distance to parks, ice cream parlors or other hot destinations for dog moms and dads, the car is the best option

However, it's probably best to keep the dog restrained in some fashion and not let loose in the back seat. Volvo and The Harris Poll released a new study that looked at the effects of driving with an unrestrained dog and one that was restrained. While it may sound cruel, it's actually good for dogs. A key highlight was decreased stress not only for the driver, but also for the dog.

The study found that unrestrained dogs had a heart rate seven beats per minute faster than dogs that were restrained in some form. Drivers saw heart rates plunge by up to 34 beats per minute. Naturally, a lower heart rate corresponds with less stress.

And while many may say their dogs are totally well behaved in the car, there was no denying the link between unrestrained dogs and distracted driving. While following 15 drivers over 30 hours of driving with their dogs, those who kept their dogs unrestrained were distracted for a total of 3 hours and 39 minutes. Compared that to the 1 hour and 39 minutes drivers with restrained dogs clocked and the evidence is clear.

Not to mention, should the worst happen and the driver is involved in a crash, having the dog restrained can keep our pets safer. A whopping 77% of Americans surveyed said people don't take dog safety seriously when traveling in the car.

Here are the 10 best cars for dog lovers, according to Autotrader

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Watch this: Our best gadgets to keep dogs safe in cars