5 Ways To Secure A Dog In The Cargo Area Of SUV?

The SUV is a popular choice for large families and their pets which offers the spaciousness of a minivan without the high price tag. But, like any other type of vehicle, it needs to be safe for your dog, this is where the cargo area comes in!

The Cargo area of an SUV is not only the easiest way for your dog to travel, but it also gives your dog a lot of space to move around.

However, It can be a challenge to keep your dog safe in the cargo area of your SUV. But, there are a few things you can do to make sure your dog is secure and safe while traveling.

So to help you solve this problem we will share some of the best practices you can use for securing your dog in the cargo area of your SUV and also discuss why it’s important for your dog to be secure.

How To Secure Your Dog In A Full-Size SUV?

A full-sized SUV has a lot of space to work with, so you should find it easy enough to secure your pet in the cargo area. However, because each full-size SUV model is different we are going to share 3 methods you can use to secure your dog in the cargo area of your SUV.

1. Dog Harness & Leash

Step 1

  • To get started the first thing you should do is look for attachment points in the cargo area, most vehicles have them including SUVs. These attachment points are usually located on either side of the rear wheel arches or on the floor (depending on what type of SUV you have).

Step 2

  • Once you have located the attachment points, take the seatbelt and feed it through the attachment ring on your dog’s harness. You can, of course, use a dog’s leash instead of the seat belt if you don’t have one! But, we strongly advise against this as a dog’s seatbelt is the safest method.

Step 3

  • Now that the seatbelt is fed through the attachment ring on the dog’s harness, all you have to do is buckle it into the attachment points on the floor and that’s it, your dog is now safely secure in the cargo area of your SUV.

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2. Dog Carrier & Cables

Step 1

  • First, place your dog carrier in the cargo area, preferably you want a carrier that has attachment points, however, if not you can use the top handle the same method applies! You can also secure the carrier with your dog already inside if you prefer this.

Step 2

  • Before attaching the cable make sure the carrier is close to the attachment points you are going to use. You don’t want it in the middle of the cargo area as it can still move around when the vehicle is in motion.

Step 3

  • Now using the bungee cable thread it through the attachment point on the carrier or the top handle then round the entire carrier itself and then hock the cables on the secure point on the floor then give the carrier a pull just to make sure it’s secure and you’re ready to go!

3. Dog Cage, Cables & Harness

This is a very popular method for securing dogs in SUVs because it allows them to move around inside the cage, but still keeps them restrained. It’s also big enough so you don’t need to use any extras to secure the cage in the cargo area.

With that said, you may want to use a dog harness just so your dog doesn’t get any bumps or scratches if there is any sudden braking!

Top Tip: Harnesses are known for being very insulated and well padded which can protect your dog from any bumps that may occur on the road!

Step 1

  • To start place the cage inside the cargo area. It should fit nicely without being able to slide about and that’s all you need to do! You can then place your dog inside. but, if there is room for the cage to slide or you are not satisfied with it then go ahead and use bungee cables to secure it in place.

Step 2

  • If you want to use a dog harness with this method simply put the harness on your dog before placing them inside the cage. This way you don’t have to try and put the harness on your dog while they are inside the cage!

Step 3

  • As we mentioned earlier, you may want to use cables just to make sure the cage doesn’t move around while in transit. Simply take the cable and hook it onto the cage and to the attachment points on the floor.
Attachment Points In The Cargo Area

For A Medium Size SUV

Medium Size SUVs have a lot in common with their larger counterparts, which means you can use some of the same methods to secure your dog.

The only difference with medium-size SUVs is they don’t have as much space in the cargo area. This means you might not be able to use the cage to secure your dog in the cargo area of your SUV.

However, because the cargo area is smaller you can use this to your advantage! So we are going to share which are the best methods to secure your dog in the cargo area of a Medium Size SUV.

4. Guard Barrier & Leash

Step 1

  • This is one of the simplest methods to secure your dog in the cargo area of your SUV. All you need is an SUV guard barrier, which you can find at most online stores.

Step 2

  • To install the barrier, simply follow the instructions that come with it. But, in most cases, all you have to do is hook or clip the barrier to the headrests in the back seat and that’s it!

Step 3

  • This is more optional, but if you have a restless dog in the back then you may want to also use a leash. You can either attach the leash to your dog’s harness or collar and then simply attach the leash to the attachment point on the floor!

5. Trunk Inner Liner

This is another very popular method for securing dogs in the cargo area of your SUV! The trunk inner liner will create a soft and padded surface for your dog to lay on.

Most trunk inner liners are made from waterproof and durable materials, which is perfect for those rainy or muddy days! But it also acts as a hammock that can prevent your dog from jumping onto the rear seat.

Step 1

  • Once you have the trunk inner liner, all you need to do is place it in the cargo area and that’s it! But, if you want to be extra secure then you can use a leash to make sure your dog won’t move around.

Step 2

If you want to use a leash, as before, simply attach it to your dog’s harness or collar. And that’s it! This is a very simple but effective way to secure your dog in the cargo area of your SUV.

Step 3

  • Now, this step is more of a bonus for your dog and that’s dog treats! Yes, we said it, give your dog a treat for being good in the back. This will help to create a positive association with your dog and the SUV and make them more likely to stay put!

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Is It Safe To Put Dogs In Cargo Area Of SUV?

Now that we have gone over the best methods to secure your dog in the cargo area of your SUV, you might be wondering if it’s safe.

The answer is yes! It is perfectly safe to put your dog in the cargo area of your SUV as long as you use one of the methods we have shared. So if there was a head-on collision then your dog would be fine if properly secured of course.

But, if your dog was on the back seat then they could very well be injured or killed since there is no way to protect them in the event of a collision.

When taking into account how safe your pooch can be while driving around there are some other factors worth considering such as weather conditions.

Always Make Sure Your Dog Is Secure In A Moving Vehicle

No matter which method you choose to secure your dog in the cargo area of your SUV, always make sure they are safe and secure before starting to drive.

Although having your dog in the cargo area does provide them with plenty of space this can also be dangerous if your dog is not secure.

Take Note: If there is any sudden braking or if you get into an accident and your dog is not properly secure, they could be thrown around inside the SUV and could be seriously hurt.

Dog That Is Unsecure In A SUV

A dog that is unsecured in a moving vehicle can also be a distraction to the driver which again could result in an accident.

In certain countries like the United Kingdom, it’s against the law (Highways Code 57) to have an unsecured dog in a moving vehicle.

Having your dog roams free in an SUV brings up other problems for instance dogs have been known to jump out of the window of a moving vehicle while the owner is driving.

Not only could this be dangerous for your dog, but again can also result in a serious accident.


We hope this article has given you some good information on how to secure your dog in an SUV. the safety of your dog is your responsibility to take the time to find out what’s best for them and their size.

There are many different sizes of SUVs with various cargo areas, but they all have one thing in common: a need for security that will keep your pup safe on any trip!

Just remember your dog’s safety is paramount and they need your help to make sure that every trip is a safe one.

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