For her first few trips I've been hauling Cassie's metal crate out and using it in the back of my minivan. It's getting old - it's a hassle, it rattles and I really have to finagle to fit it back there with the double stroller. I'd like her to travel safely, so I can't leave her to roam free in the van. She's all over the place and ends up under my feet, so it's really not safe for any of us. I'm not sure a seatbelt/harness would work well, as she'd have to be belted in on the 3rd row bench seat since I have the 2 child seats in the middle row. She'd be too far away for me to comfort her while she gets used to it and she won't be able to see me at all while I'm driving (a source of whining right now). I'm considering buying a plastic travel kennel (the air travel type) for the rear of the van that I could tether down and leave there. Is that the best solution?
I have a large SUV with two metal crates in the back. A plastic crate would be fine for your pup.
Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable with using a divider for a puppy. The puppy could chew seats, carpet, etc., and since they are in the way back part of the van you would never know it. Also, there is no way to keep a puppy from jumping out of the back of the van as you are raising the back door. If the puppy is in a crate you can safely get a leash on them before letting them out of the crate and then out of the car.
I used a plastic crate until he outgrew it. We then bought a organizer-thing from Wal Mart that fit between the two seats in the 2nd row (we had an Odyssey), and he never ventured over it, though he could have. Toby has never chewed anything, but then again, we don't leave him alone in the car for too long.
Now I have Jeep Cherokee, and he sits in the back without any divider. He is the most mellow dog I have ever known!
I have a puppy harness that clips to the regular seatbelt. Mom insists that I wear this in the car because she once had a little dog that was thrown only a foot or two (but still a whole foot or two!) when some idiot slammed on his brakes in front of her. She's WAY too nervous and concerned about my safety to let me into the car without my seatbelt harness. Even the first few months when she and dad were cleaning up my travel nausea each time I was in the car they still insisted on having me safe.
One time I even puked ON mom while dad was driving since she clipped my harness through her seatbelt so I could sit on her lap. Now THAT'S love.
Could you use a seatbelt harness in the front seat?
When he gets older, I thoroughly recommend the pet barrier. We have one in our SUV, and also a vinyl mat which fits into the cargo area to protect the carpet. That has been an absolute godsend. Even though ours have never pottied in the car, we have had incidents of puking and of course the muddy paws everywhere. It is a breeze to just wipe down the vinyl. On long trips we put their beds in there so they can ride in style and comfort.
We have a full size conversion van..the minute Dakota is in it..he lays on the floor, either between us..or in back of my husbands seat. This is my van..hubby has an Avalanche, we put the back seats down and off we go..we only take them to the beach which is a 5 minute ride from our house, it's for 4 wheel drive vehicles..when we go out on errands and take the dogs..we go in my van.