Transforming Your Car into a Dog-Friendly Environment

Vacations with a dog make the experience a lot more fun! Plus, they remove the anxiety of leaving your pooch home alone. Traveling with dogs, however, requires research and a lot of preparation.

Cars, for instance, aren’t built with animals in mind. So it’s not a simple matter of telling your furry friend to hop into the car. Thankfully, there are several safety measures you can take to transform your vehicle into a dog-friendly space.

1. Pick a crate that matches your vehicle.

It’s natural for owners to feel awful about caging their furry best friends. In reality, though, the dogs don’t mind at all! More importantly, keeping your dog in a crate while you’re driving gives it more protection.

A previous Simply Pets post discussed the different types of dog crates that are on the market today. Choosing the best crate depends on your situation and what breed your dog is, but there are few things you should always consider: the crate’s durability, how comfortable it is for the dog, and size. If you frequently travel by car, it’s worth considering getting a crate that fits in the trunk for easy storage. When it’s time to hit the road, don’t forget to secure the crate in place with seat belts so it doesn’t slide every time your car makes a turn.

2. Doggy-proof the back seat.

Make no mistake, the back seat is the safest place for you and your dog. As Go Fetch mentions in a blog post, dogs in the front seat are a dangerous distraction to drivers. They may also get injured by airbags in the event of an accident.

Naturally, you’ll have to make some changes in order to make the space comfortable for both of you. First, place a ventilated barrier across the mid-section to prevent your dog from jumping to the front seat. To get a better idea, imagine a traditional NYC taxi cab which has grills or a fiberglass divider in the middle.

Next, place several waterproof pet covers all over the back seat, in case your pooch takes a leak.
If you decided not to put your dog in a crate, invest instead in a safety harness because it allows you to buckle up your dog for safety. The Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness was recently reviewed here on Simply Pets, and it’s specifically made to maximize your four-legged friend’s car safety. A buckled harness is a good alternative for the usually bulky crate.

3. Allot a dedicated space for supplies and a pet traveling kit.

Think of it as a first aid kit, but for dogs. You will want to bring plenty of dog food for the road, especially if you want to maintain its regular eating habits. Don’t rely on the products sold in different towns or states, as they may be different than what your dog is used to. The last thing anyone wants is an upset stomach during the trip.

Be sure to pack a sizable amount of water bottles as well. Again, don’t get supplies from the shops you pass by. US News stated in an article, “Animals can be more sensitive than humans to what’s in the water, and you don’t want issues with their tummies upsetting your trip.”

Lastly, always keep your dog’s medications and prescription papers around, so you’re well prepared in case of an emergency.

Transforming Your Car into a Dog-Friendly Environment
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