Traveling with pets is incredibly rewarding. A contestant companion on the road. But there are many challenges. From making your vehicle a comfortable and safe place for your dog to feeding and fun. Setting up your car or truck for your pet is key to a fun trip for both you and your road buddy. There are plenty of options for your dog to have as much fun on your road trip as the rest of the family. New sniffs are everywhere.
Protect Your Vehicle
Your car is the second biggest monetary investment you make. And cleaning it when you have a dog can be a furry situation. Some pets get car sick or may have an accident and it is best to be prepared. Leather seats are a bit easier to clean but your dog’s claws can also cause expensive damage. The best way to protect your seats is with a heavy-duty seat cover. Plus, it will make it much easier to clean at the end of your trip by simply removing it, shaking it out, and tossing it in the wash. In addition, rubber floor mats are great idea as well. WeatherTechs are my personal favorites. For spills and accidents, keep a few microfiber and cotton towels in your vehicle with your favorite interior cleaner. I prefer Adam’s Interior Detailer kit.
Buckle-Up Your Pup
You don’t want your dog to suddenly turn into a projectile if you have to hit the brakes or if get into an accident. The first step is to buckle up your pup. There are several items available that either attach to the seat belts or clip into the seat belt buckle. It is wiser to attach these to a harness as opposed to a collar to lessen the chance of injury to your dog. This will also keep your pet from chasing after anything when you open the door.
Keep Them In The Back
One of my pet-peeves is people who drive with a dog on their lap. Not only is a huge distraction, but in the event of an accident you will have a Chihuahua-shaped depression in your chest when the airbag goes off. Keeping your pup in a collapsible canvas travel crate is one solution. Or, as we do, put up a barrier between the front seats. This will keep your furry friends from jumping up front on their own or as that projectile I mentioned earlier. For comfort, we have a small dog bed for her and her blanket. Any other items in the back are strapped down and buckled up to protect her.
Where is my Dog?
Losing your dog at home is stressful enough, but on the road even more so. Our Zoe is a black dog and hard to find at times (even when we know exactly where she is). So, when we travel she wears a blaze orange hunting vest. In addition, her orange collar has her name and my cell number embroidered in it, and her tags. And of course, she is chipped. Good training for your dog is a definite must to keep them from running off, but … squirrels happen.
We do everything we can to make things easy to feed our dog on the road. Her food is bagged in individual meals, her snacks are in bags, and we have a small can of peanut butter. And of course, she has her bone. Dry foods are best. Everything is packed in a hard, plastic bin that fits snuggly on the floor. We also have small hanging bag attached to the back of the seat for her toys, collapsible bowls, and other items. Finally, and most important, water. We buy a two-gallon bottle of water from the grocer and refill it with tap water as needed.