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Article: How to choose the right dog bed for car journeys

How to choose the right dog bed for car journeys
car journey

How to choose the right dog bed for car journeys

Traveling with your dog can be a challenge, and while some dogs enjoy a quick car ride, others find it terrifying. In this blog, we’ll share advice for choosing the right bed and tips for making sure road trips are a breeze.

When it comes to choosing the perfect dog bed for your pup to travel in, there are a few questions you might want to ask yourself.

two dogs in nest bed in car

Is the fabric easy to clean?

Car journeys can quickly become messy, especially if your dog finds themselves feeling unwell on long trips. Opt for a bed with a machine washable cover to make road trips a breeze.

Does the bed fit snugly in the seat?

Ensure your pet has room to turn around and get comfortable on long drives, without sliding around the backseat at every turn.

If you frequently travel with your dog, you will want to find a bed that fits easily into your car. Our range of nest beds are designed to fit snugly into most vehicles and most have sturdy sides to leave your dog feeling snug.

Can I safely secure my dog in the seat for the whole trip?

For a bed to be considered safe for car use, you must be able to attach a seatbelt onto their harness whilst on the move.

For bigger cars, and for nervous dogs, you might want to consider fitting a crate into the vehicle to provide your dog with extra security. If you plan for your dog to be crated during the journey, a soft and cushioned pillow bed is all you need to ensure your pet has a comfortable journey.

black lab in car

Factors to consider when buying a dog bed for your car:

  • Comfort: Comfort is a big consideration when it comes to choosing the right dog bed for your pup. Each dog bed has their own specifications, and some beds have specific materials to meet certain dog’s needs.

    For example, our beds are packed with polyester fibre filling to guarantee a warm, comfortable and healthy spot for your dog to relax on, perfect for older dogs or those that suffer from chronic pain.

    Even if your dog is young and healthy, a dog bed made from good quality fabric can help to soothe their nerves in the car by giving them a cosy place to relax. The comfier their bed is, the more likely they are to curl up and rest.
  • Stability: Stability is crucial too. Just like us, our dogs aren’t likely to be comfortable in a bed that is sliding side to side with every turn.

    A quality dog bed should be secure once installed, and it should remain in its place, even if you have to brake suddenly. The less that the dog bed moves, the more secure your dog will feel and the easier it becomes for them to peacefully sleep during your time on the road.
  • Installation: The right dog bed should be easy to fit each time. It should be simple to work out exactly where and how the bed will be installed in your car, to ensure safe travel.

    Consider where your dog is most comfortable sleeping (if at all) during car trips, and set up their bed in that area of the car. Ensure the bed you choose is simple to set up and that you will easily be able to install it before your trip.
  • Durability: Choose a hard-wearing bed that is simple to clean. The right dog bed will need to be well made and durable so that you do not need to repair or replace it frequently.

Pay attention to the cleaning instructions too – machine washable beds make for quick and easy cleaning once you reach your destination.

If durability is a concern, we recommend the Chenille Dalton nest bed, which is made using the finest chenille upholstery fabric to guarantee the bed will maintain its shape after many years of use.


Choosing the right bed can help eliminate stress for dogs who feel nervous in the car.

Signs your dog may be struggling include:

  • Experiencing anxiety which leads to heavy panting, crying, shaking, shedding, and gastrointestinal upset.
  • Claustrophobia which can be triggered in cars due to it being such a small area. This can make some dogs panic and causes them to dread their time in the car.
  • Having a difficult time getting comfortable due to confined space and uncomfortable seats. This can lead to negative associations with car rides.
  • Having a hard time calming down due to anticipation of where they might be going. Since some dogs may associate going to the vet with being in the car, this can make it more difficult for dogs to calm down.

 cockerpoo wearing lead

Tricks and tips for entertaining your dog during the journey

To keep your dog entertained on long journeys and help alleviate some of their concerns, pack a few of their favourite distractions into their crate or bed. 

  • Treats: Giving your dog their favourite trip during a car ride can help to remove some of the negative connotations that they might associated with car rides – such as a trip to the vets! If they know that they will get a delicious treat each time they go in the car, they may feel less fear and more excitement when it comes to car journeys.
  • Chew toys: The act of chewing and licking can be soothing for your dog, so give them a distraction in the form of a chew toy during their time in the car, to help calm them down. There are also several toys that are made specifically for dogs with anxiety that are designed to distract them, such as Lickimats which are specially designed to calm and soothe.
  • Blankets and toys with the smell of home: Don’t forget that our dogs experience the world very differently than we do. All the noise of a car engine and motorway traffic can be disorientating to some dogs, so make sure they have somewhere to relax, surrounded by familiar smells.

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