An unrestrained canine can make the whole car her playground, a potential safety hazard for both driver and pooch. For those of us who choose not to buckle down our buddy in a car-seat safety harness, the next best thing is to keep little miss born free in the back of the car.

That's where the K&H Car Travel Safety Barrier comes to the rescue.  A 22-inch-wide rigid curve of nylon-covered closed-cell plastic foam blocks the space between the driver and passenger front seats. At each end, sewn-in elastic bungee cords with strong plastic hooks fasten around both front seats' metal headrest bars.  The material below that rigid barrier section is a flexible polyester canvas with elastic cross-hatch webbing that stretches so two bungee cords at the bottom corners can hook tautly onto the front seats' back floor posts or metal brackets. You can placate your back-seat rider by placing treats or toys in the big mesh pouch on the back of the barrier.

On a recent driving vacation, I found the Travel Safety Barrier helpful in keeping my front-seat dog, Shayna, from hopping into the back seat in search of chewable objects whenever she was left alone in the car (in safe temperatures, off course) during pit stops or visits to sites that banned dogs. The 22-inch-wide by 24-inch-high barrier is an effective safety device – though no guarantee against a really spry jumper.

The K&H Car Travel Safety Barrier is $29.99 at khpet.com.