We all have to travel from time to time and we like to bring some company with us while we set off on our next driving adventure. We usually bring our family and friends along, but what about our pets? Of course, we’d feel bad if we’d leave them all alone in our house while we’re out traveling for a while.
Thus, we need to bring our furry friends with us and let them explore the wider side of the world with us. Safety is our top concern when driving, it should extend to our pets too. Dogs can be a handful to bring along in our cars, but the company and entertainment they bring make them great travel companions.
That said, we need to make our car pet-friendly, especially for our dogs. If you’re planning to bring your canine friend on your next road tour, read on as we share some nifty ideas in dog-proofing your car.
Get Your Car Pet-Ready Before Traveling
Not all cars have pet-friendly features. Even the latest car models are still primarily designed for human passengers, so you’ll need to equip your car with accessories made for pets. Dog claws, furs, dirt, and drool can do a number on your car seat, which is why you need to set up a back seat dog cover as part of your pre-journey preparations. A cover made especially for dogs will come in handy and is a good investment if you frequently travel with your canine pal in tow. Choose a rear seat cover that is easy to set up, durable, and fits perfectly on your back seat. As an extra precaution, prepare absorbent materials to lay over the seat cover to make cleaning easier afterward.
If your pet dog is energetic and loves to move around we recommend getting a rear seat cover that comes with a hammock to provide extra protection for your pet and your car. Your dog and its mess are kept from falling on the car floor and you have fewer worries about cleaning your car later. Your dog can have more room to rest and sleep with a hammock included. If you have a large dog, seat covers will not be enough but rather big dog beds will do the job of keeping your large furry friend comfortable. You need the extra padding and durability to make your large dog comfortable in the backseat of your car or on the cargo bed of your pickup truck.
Prepare Dog Essentials Before Traveling
Just like human passengers preparing for a long trip, dogs also need to have food and water ready as part of your pre-journey preparations. Bring specialized containers for food and water, especially if your travel has a few stops. A portable dog water bottle is ideal for long walks and car trips as it is easy for dogs to drink from and there are fewer spills. Travel bowls are also good to have, especially if they are hungry while you’re traveling. Non-slip and collapsible bowls are great to have, especially if you are feeding your dog while on the move. For mess-free storage, keep your pet food and water in sealed containers for future use.
Equip Your Car with a Dog Harness
Seatbelts are made for adult passengers, baby seats and belts are made for baby passengers, and dog harnesses are made for dogs. Don’t settle for a regular seatbelt to secure your dog as it doesn’t provide enough protection, it can be too restrictive, or it can be easy to slip through. Regular dog harnesses are designed to fit with the car seatbelt and secure your dog in one position. This is recommended for well-behaved dogs as it only allows a limited range of movements. Be sure to make the harness fit comfortable and out of biting reach to prevent your dog from chewing on the harness while traveling. If your dog is active and loves to move around, a zipline harness is perfect for keeping them safe even if they frequently move around in your backseat.
Make the Windows Off-Limits
In short, do not let your dog have access to the windows, especially if they are open. Most dogs love to feel the breeze through furs, but it can be dangerous to let their heads out of the window. They may be struck by a flying object, why could be hit by another vehicle, or worse, they might even jump off of your car. While it’s true that dogs need sufficient ventilation when traveling in a car, there are ways you can keep them comfortable. Your vehicle can get very hot for dogs, so you need to turn on your car AC to keep them cool and comfortable.
A rechargeable portable fan is an energy-efficient device that can help lower your car AC use while also giving both you and your dog the ventilation you need to stay cool while inside the car. If you want to catch some fresh air with your dog and enjoy some roadside views, be sure to find a safe parking space for your car that’s a considerable distance away from the main road or highway so that you can open the window for dogs and let them feel the outdoor breeze.
Set Up a Backseat Barrier
Even though we have managed to secure our dogs with harnesses in the backseat, dogs still have the tendency to wander or make sudden movements when they are anxious, bored, or afraid. Small dogs can squeeze between doors and seats, while large dogs can suddenly rear their heads in between the seats. These sudden, unpredictable movements are not worrying, but they can also be distracting for drivers, and it can be dangerous. To prevent your dogs from suddenly jumping on the driver’s lap or springing up out of nowhere, make the driver’s seat off-limits by setting up a backseat barrier. You can hold of letting your dog sit on your lap or cuddle you until you safely arrive at your destination.
Include Your Pets in Your Car Insurance Coverage
Insurance may not be part of your physical preparations for keeping yourself, your pet, and your car safe but it pays to think that far ahead. Unexpected things can happen on the road, and having your car insured is a measure of protection for the vehicle and its occupants. Most auto insurance will cover dogs and cats but be sure to review your insurance policy if it covers injuries sustained by your dog in case of a car accident. Making sure that your pets are covered by your auto insurance will put your mind at ease and give you confidence in bringing your pet dog or your other pets when you travel.
There are a lot of things you can do to make your car pet-friendly not just for your dogs but for other kinds of pets as well. Even if your car is not designed for bringing pets along, there are accessories you can equip your car to make it safe for pets. You can also be creative in your preparations to give an added measure of protection for your pets. Nothing beats having a wonderful and safe travel experience with your pet.