Can My Dog Ride Safely in the Travel Trailer?

Owning a travel trailer means having the freedom to venture to many different places, and it makes it much easier to bring your pet along with you. The drives can be long and the car may get cramped, so you may consider putting your dog in the travel trailer as you are driving in order to give the dog some room to stretch its legs and to rest more comfortably. This is very dangerous. 

It is very dangerous for dogs to ride in a travel trailer when it is moving. Not only can they get thrown around, but you risk items in the trailer falling on your pet. Also, your dog will not be able to communicate if they are hurt or have to go to the restroom.

Dogs Riding in a Travel Trailer

Dogs have a higher chance of death due to car accidents than humans do, and this is mostly due to the way we restrain them during travel. A study done by the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital found that 12.5% of dogs die during a car accident. The roads are a dangerous place. You want to ensure that your dog is as safe as possible, so avoid anything but safe, veterinary-approved restraints for your dog to use inside of the vehicle.

It is necessary to clarify that we are talking about detachable travel trailers in this article, NOT RVs. Just like with humans, occupying a travel trailer as it is being towed is dangerous. It is illegal in many U.S. states. This is something to consider as you cross state lines as you may be breaking the law by being inside the trailer as it is being towed. There are many things that could go wrong when doing so, and should be avoided for both human and animal passengers. 

This article will explain the reasoning behind why you should reconsider letting your dog ride in the trailer while it is in motion.

Is There a Safe Way to travel with your Pet in a travel trailer?

One solution that many pet parents think is safe is a kennel. They strap the kennel down inside of the travel trailer to keep it secure. In this way, they believe their dog is safe inside the travel trailer while it is being towed. Seems logical, right? However, this method does not account for the danger that comes from being in the trailer as it is moving, which means there is no safe way for your dog to be in the travel trailer as it is in motion.

What is the best way to travel with your pet while towing a travel trailer?

The best way to travel with a pet when towing your travel trailer is either in a kennel that is strapped or buckled in just in case of an accident, or with a doggie seatbelt harness.This way, your dog is safe with you and they are bucked in. Always use a harness when using a dog seatbelt, not just a collar.

Why you Should not travel with your pet in your travel trailer

Potential Accidents

Driving with a trailer attached to your vehicle, especially a travel trailer, comes with many more risks than driving without one. The increased size and decreased visibility mean that you are at a much higher risk of an accident. Pet owners should reconsider this when keeping their dogs in the travel trailer as it’s moving.

The most common causes of RV and travel trailer accidents include:

  • High winds
  • Blind spots
  • Speeding
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Runaway trailers
  • Poor turns

The majority of accidents are caused by an outside force colliding with the trailer. This means that your no matter how well your pet is protected in the travel trailer, they will still be in serious danger. Their best bet is to stay up front, properly restrained, with you.

Hazards From Within

In the event of an accident, travel trailers can become disconnected from the truck that is pulling them. Disconnects that happen at high speeds are extremely dangerous for anyone who may be inside the trailer as it was moving. Would you want to be separated from your pet in the case of a disconnect? You probably don’t.

The inside of a travel trailer as it is moving is also very bouncy. Many of the appliances in the trailer are built into the trailer itself so that they don’t move while in motion. If your pet is unrestrained in the travel trailer is moving, then they are at significant risk of being injured by something falling off the walls and shelves. 

Severe accidents will cause even more to come loose and go flying about the trailer. Imagine all of the items you have inside of your trailer. A big enough crash will cause a lot of them to be thrown around, instantly becoming dangerous projectiles. This is the last thing you want to happen while your pet is inside the travel trailer, even if they are in a strapped-down kennel.


The last thing that should convince you not to put your dog in the trailer is because it isn’t compassionate. Even secured within a kennel, your dog will be confused by the chaotic movements and may become anxious. Your dog will feel safest and most comfortable in the vehicle with you instead of a bouncing trailer. You want your pet to be in the safest environment possible. You want your pet to survive an accident. The best bet for this is to keep them properly restrained in the vehicle itself and not in the trailer that is being towed.

In short, do not let your dog ride in the travel trailer as it is moving. If it is dangerous and potentially illegal for humans to do it, then it is definitely not safe enough for your furry friend.

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