It’s almost time for our annual road trip from Kansas to Texas to visit family. The drive takes about eleven hours. Taking such a long trip with two big dogs requires careful preparation and planning.
Why Do We Drive?
An eleven hour trip sounds intimidating. But when you have two big dogs, visiting family for the holidays doesn’t leave many options. Boarding kennels and pet sitters tend to be booked up this time of year. Flying can be expensive, not to mention a very stressful situation for pets that need to ride in the cargo area of the plane. Winter weather can also prevent your dog from being able to fly.
While driving requires several hours of our vacation to be spent on the road, for us it is the best option. I’m not sad and worried about Maya and Pierson because they’re with me. And the gas expense is less than one flight ticket.
PREPARING FOR THE TRIP
Now that we know we are going to drive, we just need to work out the logistics. Is our vehicle in good shape, including the tires? Is a car enough, or should we rent an SUV? Last year we rented an SUV because our friends went with us and four adults and two big dogs just wouldn’t fit in our sedan.
This year it is just my husband and I and the two dogs so we can take our car. We’re not taking mine this year, though. We are taking my husband’s. My car is already fitted with all the dog gear, but it is an older model vehicle and I don’t want to risk it breaking down on the way. So before our trip, I need to outfit my husband’s Camry for Maya and Pierson. The first thing it needs is a seat cover. I will also install the Backseat Bridge because it covers the floor and gives my big pups more room to stretch out for the long trip.
Will we do the entire drive all in one day, or will we stay overnight at a hotel? Most times, we drive straight through. But this year, we are visiting friends in Tulsa and so will stay in a hotel. To prepare, we need to find a pet friendly hotel in Tulsa and make reservations.
Health & Temperament
Maya and Pierson are in good health and so will be fine on this trip. But depending on your pet, you may want to consider his health before going on your road trip. In addition, think about how much or how little your dog likes to ride in the car. If he doesn’t like to ride, you may need to start getting him used to it now by taking short road trips to somewhere fun. You can also ask your vet about possible pet anxiety treatments you can give him.
A week before the trip, I compile a packing list. I add to it as things come to mind so that by the day of the trip, I know everything I need to take. For the dogs, I need their food, treats, food and water bowls, water, toys, blankets, beds, leashes, veterinary records, poop bags, their dog seat belts, first aid kit, and I need to make sure their id tags are secure on their collars. Since we are staying in a hotel, I should think about bringing their pet crates too.
Right Before We Leave
Besides checking off the packing list and making sure our vehicle has gas, I also like to administer Travel Calm to both Maya and Pierson. Maya gets excited in the vehicle and the all natural Travel Calm really helped keep her relaxed and quiet on our trip last year. Pierson sometimes gets car sick and Travel Calm helps with that too.
The next thing we do before we go is let the dogs go potty. And the final thing is to make sure our house is secure. If we didn’t already have someone watching our house, we’d be talking to our neighbors to ask them to keep an eye out. We’d also reduce the thermostat and make sure we didn’t leave any unnecessary appliances turned on.
THE ROAD TRIP
When traveling such a long distance, it is a good idea for us and the dogs to make plenty of pit stops. We stop at rest areas or gas stations to stretch our legs or use the restroom. For the dogs, I make sure their leashes are secure before letting them out of the car. It helps that they are already secured in their dog seat belts. All I have to do is attach their leash, then release the buckle that keeps them secured.
When I take them to go potty, I make sure they only go in designated pet areas. And I always pick up after them. If we’re in a public area, I am careful about not imposing my dogs on other people. I keep control of them as much as possible for both their safety and for the sake of others.
While it would probably be much more convenient if we could travel without having to worry about the dogs, I really enjoy taking them. For me, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without my Maya and Pierson. If you’re traveling by car this holiday and taking your best friend with you, consider our preparation plans and apply them for your situation. And send us pictures!
Dawn with Maya & Pierson
Friday is here again. Let’s do the happy dance! What’s the happy dance? It’s the same dance your dog does when it is time for dinner. This week’s Follow Up Friday is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs. After you see what we have been up to this week, visit their blogs and other dog blogs from the follow up blog hop below.
Last Week’s Follow Up
We Live in a Flat says they can’t use the new ClickIt Utility because they have an older car without the latchbars. Guess what? My car, the one that was recently rear-ended, is an older car too. It has no latchbars either. So if Maya rides in my car, I can only secure her through the back of the ClickIt harness. I can’t use the two side tethers to secure her. Despite that, Maya is still very secure, as secure as she was in the other dog car harness brands. However, her security is not as good as it would be if she was using all three connections. But it is still secure and I am a firm believer that something is better than nothing, especially when using nothing means Maya will be all over the car and distracting me when I drive.
Canine epilepsy was from a post back in May, but the comment is from this past week. Dawn Frost with MR2BC Travel Logs asks, “By the way, what do you do to keep Pierson safe in your vehicle in case he seizes. We have a backseat hammock for Morgan. The hammock keeps him from getting caught in cracks and crevices.”
The hammock is an excellent idea to keep Morgan from getting caught on something and from falling onto the floor. Pierson wears a dog car harness to keep him from falling onto the floor if he seizes. The Kurgo Backseat Bridge also helps keep him from falling onto the floor. And I suppose the pet car seat cover keeps him from getting caught on anything. Who would have thought that pet travel safety products can also help protect a dog with canine epilepsy?
Comparing Pet Seat Belts
Mollie’s Dog Treats says, “I’ve got to get Mollie a new seat belt, the one she has is fraying as we use it for walking too and has been washed so many times where she goes in the mud LOL. XXOOXX“
Yes, you definitely should get a new safety harness if the other one is fraying. You don’t want it to break.
Roxy the Traveling Dog says, “Torrey is in the back seat and lays down, sits up, changes positions. I can’t see her loving a harness at all.”
So very true for many dogs. Pet seat belts will take away their freedom and could make them uncomfortable. I could say, too bad. If we make our children wear seat belts even though they are more comfortable without them, then we should make our dogs too. But it is not just about comfort. A dog that does not like to be restrained will likely try to get out of the harness. Sorry folks, but there is no such thing as an escape-proof seat belt. A determined dog can get out of them. And the harder they try to get out, the more likely they are to hurt themselves and defeat the purpose of the safety device.
Training might help. Maya had to be trained to get used to hers. I have to work with her again with the very restrictive ClickIt Utility. She had more freedom with the other brands, but this one is something she is not used to at all and I don’t want her to fight it and get out of it. There are also other pet travel safety products such as a secured pet travel carrier or a car seat for dogs (which Roxy is considering).
We had a number of friends tell us their dogs already wear pet seat belts. Let’s put our paws together for Snoopy with Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Shiner with Pawsitively Pets, and Dexter with Fidose of Reality! A lot of people loved Clover’s photo from Wordless Wednesday so here are a couple others of her:
ClickIt Utility Giveaway
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway posted on October 5th to win the new ClickIt Utility. If you’ve already entered, don’t forget you can submit more entries on the rafflecopter by tweeting daily.
Thanks for joining us for this Follow Up Friday. Thank you Jodi and Linda for hosting the blog hop. Enjoy your weekend and see you all next week!
Friday is here again! It’s time to recap the past week’s events. And let me tell you, it has been an eventful week. Before I get to that, though, let me thank Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Lynda from Two Ears and a Tail for hosting the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Thanks!
There were a lot of great comments from last week’s Follow Up Friday. One that needs special mention is the one from Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews. She knows we go from Kansas to Texas and back every year and that we drive through Oklahoma on the way. So she invited us to stop by on the way back! I’m so excited!!! I can’t wait to meet Flash, Patches, Jimmy, and all the lovely hens. And Flea would love to meet Pierson. So be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss the post about our trip at the end of December.
The New ClickIt Utility Dog Safety Belt is Here!
I knew the ClickIt Utility was going to be nice but I didn’t really expect it to work well enough to keep my Maya in her seat. She is a crazy dog and likes to stand up and move around. This is the first pet car harness that keeps her in her seat. I really truly love it!
Ms. Phoebe the cat had a good question about the ClickIt Utility. She asked if her 70lb doggie sister would be able to lie down in the harness. The answer is yes. My Labrador Maya wanted to move around so badly, but the only thing she could do to move was to lie down. Having the Kurgo Backseat Bridge in place might help my big girl be able to lie down in the forward facing position without hanging off the seat. (The photo of Maya above does not show the Kurgo Backseat Bridge because I took the photo in my husband’s car. My car is a 1998 and does not have the latch system.)
Snoopy with Snoopy’s dog blog asked if the dog safety belt harness could also be used as a walking harness. Yes, Snoopy, it can. It has a ring on the back to allow for this. It does not, however, have a ring in the front like the Kurgo harness does.
Roxi asked if her 75lb German Shepherd and 30lb mixed breed could both ride in the back seat while wearing this pet car harness. Yes, Roxi, both can ride in the back seat. All vehicles 2001 model and later have the latchbar system in place for baby car seats. This latchbar system consists of these metal anchors located between the seat cushions. For both the left and right side of the seat (but not the middle) there are two anchors.
There are no anchors in the front seat so your dog will not be able to wear the ClickIt in the front. Other brands, however, may work in the front seat. We usually do not recommend dogs in the front seat, though, because front passenger side airbags are not safe for dogs.
The Center for Pet Safety Report is Out
Remember the 2001 report where four harnesses failed, thereby mislabeling all pet seat belts as a failure? Well the October 2013 report showed that not all brands were failures. The ClickIt Utility dog safety belt got the highest marks. It outperformed all other brands. Other brands did okay and still others completely failed. If you haven’t read my post regarding this, please go check it out now. It was published October 3rd, 2013.
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky’s mom from SamsNorthernGirl blog mentioned a couple of dogs probably would not be comfortable wearing the ClickIt Utility dog safety belt because it is too restrictive. Both Callie and Shadow have mild hip dysplasia that could be aggravated by being forced to stay in one place. The restriction of this particular brand is definitely something people want to consider. While it is good to be as restricted in the car as much as possible in most cases, I can see how something like hip problems could be an exception.
Thankfully, other brands did not fail the test. A brand like the Ruff Rider Roadie harness may not have done as well as the ClickIt, but it did not fail the testing done by the Center for Pet Safety. There are other methods of keeping your dog safe in the car as well. A secured pet travel crate might be just as good as a harness. The Center for Pet Safety has not yet conducted studies on this but will. We will keep you posted.
Thank you all for stopping by and for your comments. The more we engage in conversations about the safety of our pets, the better things will get.
Today I am joining Jodi with HeartLikeADog for the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Thank you so much Jodi for inviting me!
Comments from Recent Follow Up Friday #9
Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews says her dog Patches loves to put his head out the window, probably for the extra bug bonus!
Hawk with BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com says he doesn’t get to put his head out the window. I also noticed on his September 2nd post that Hawk rides in a crate in the cargo area. He’s the perfect dog to show that not all dogs have to wear a dog seat belt in order to ride safe. Give me a high five paw!
Donna’s mom with WeLiveInAFlat says they had something hit their windshield once when they were driving and it left a dent. She imagined how terrible it would have been if it had hit a dog in the face. Ouch!
Jodi with HeartLikeADog wanted to know if we will let you all know about any new safety test result reports from the Center for Pet Safety. Absolutely! If there are brands they recommend that we don’t currently have, we make sure to get them on our site too. One particular brand that I am super excited about is the new ClickIt from Sleepypod. They are coming later this month. I have already spoken to the people at Sleepypod and they said much of their design is based on information they’ve received from the Center for Pet Safety.
Jodi says she sometimes uses a bar barrier in her vehicle to keep her dogs from getting in the front. She says she is bad about using them, though, and I completely understand. The metal barriers can be a hassle to put up and take down. The Pet Net Brand pet car nets are easier.
Jodi says Sampson likes to ride shotgun and will try to sneak up front when the car is stopped. I admit there were a couple of times when Sephi rode in the car and I didn’t put her seat belt on her. She would do the same thing.
Carol with FidoseOfReality thanked us for posting about alternatives to dog seat belts. Thank you, Carol for stopping by. And thank you for all the valuable information you have shared on your blog about ACL injuries. I’ve never heard of it before your Dexter. I hear Sherman from MyBrownNewfies has the same injury. It must be more common than I thought.
Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs likes the idea of the Breeze Guard car window screens. And Snoopy with Snoopy with SnoopysDogBlog asks about the Backseat Bridge. He asks if it basically extends the depth of the back seat. Yep, that is exactly what it does. There is more room for a big dog like you to stretch out. Although, if I remember correctly, you feel more comfortable on the floor.
Maya’s Pooch Plunge
After spending a marvelous weekend visiting my mom in Missouri (see my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.wordpress.com), Maya went on her first car ride since our car accident in July. I’m glad the event didn’t scare her from car rides as she was as excited as ever. Where did we go? I took her to the Pooch Plunge here in Lawrence, Kansas.
Every year at the end of summer, the public pools are drained. And the day or so before they are drained our Parks & Rec opens the pool to the dogs. It was just $5 and it was a blast! Here is one photo from the event. For more photos, and hopefully a video too, check out my other blog on Saturday.
Recent News Events Involving Dogs in Car Accidents
Three recent news stories brought tears to my eyes. All are about dogs being involved in car accidents. The first one is about a dog named Ily (pronounced Ely). She, her owner, and another dog were involved in a very serious car accident. The other dog was killed. The owner was seriously injured. And Ily ran off in fear. Ily was missing for over two months in the Arizona desert. She lost 25 pounds during the ordeal and was so lucky to have been found.
The other story is about a dog named Jet. Jet also went missing after a car accident in Pequannock Township, NJ on August 23rd. Jet was found yesterday and is in good spirits. There is an awesome reunion video on a Facebook page for Jet. I’ve also posted it on our PetAutoTravelSafety Facebook page. Be sure you have a tissue handy before you watch it. Also, a Rottweiler named Isa that went through the windshield in a car accident in Howard City, MI has been found safe. The story is covered by Fox17.
Still missing is a Tibetan Terrier named Monk in Milladore, WI. His story is on the Marshfield News Harold.
That’s all I have for this week. I hope I didn’t forget anything or anyone. Thank you everyone for stopping by. And thank you Jodi for giving me the opportunity to co-hose the blog hop! Dawn with Maya & Pierson.
Last Saturday, I talked about the reasons why a dog should be restrained in the car. The post mostly focused on the benefits of a pet car harness. But let’s face it, not every dog will wear one. Plus, there are a few legitimate concerns about dog seat belts. So here are some other pet travel products to consider:
Have your pet ride in a pet carrier. Make sure the carrier is secured in the vehicle so that if the car goes out of control, the dog crate stays in place. You don’t want it and your dog to be thrown about. Whether a secured travel crate is as safe as a pet car harness is not known. Not much testing has been done on pet travel carriers. However, I imagine that a secured crate is probably just as safe (strictly an opinion). Traveling in this way covers all the reasons discussed last week about why it is better to have your dog secured in the car.
Dog Car Barrier
A dog car barrier can help keep your dog in the back seat and from being a distraction. Depending on the barrier, it may keep your dog from being ejected out the front windshield. However, it can’t keep your dog on the seat and it can’t keep him inside the vehicle if someone opens the door, a window breaks and he jumps out, or he hangs his head out the window and jumps or is thrown out.
I can’t tell you how much I really love the Kurgo Backseat Bridge. I have two big dogs and there is no way Maya can stay comfortably on the back seat, even with her pet car harness on. The seat is too narrow and Maya is too big. And she is too energetic to sit still. So covering the floor of the car helps keep her from being thrown onto the floor. If you’ve read some of the news about how dogs should stay on the seat when wearing their dog seat belts, you can see how difficult it would be to restrain a dog to such an extent that he wouldn’t get thrown forward or onto the floor. The Backseat Bridge can help because it covers the floor. The Backseat Bridge also has a barrier that covers the center console area. If your dog is not buckled in, at least the bridge can keep him from getting thrown onto the floor and possibly keep him in the back seat so that he is not a distraction. A dog car hammock has the same benefits as the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.
This is a brand new product. There hasn’t been much testing on it yet. But it sure looks promising. The K9 CarFence keeps your dog from being a distraction and it helps to keep him in his seat.
Breeze Guard Car Window Screens
This is another product I really love. I used to let my dogs put their heads out the window. After all, they really love it. But one time, Sephi yelped. I think she got hit in the face with something, probably a small pebble. Thankfully, it didn’t hit her in the eye or nose. She wasn’t injured. But it made me think that perhaps letting her have her head out the window wasn’t such a good idea. Also, a friend of mine on Facebook told me about how a friend of hers had her dog thrown out the car window. He was hanging out having a good time when they suddenly had to swerve their car. Their poor dog flew out and ended up getting run over by the rear tire. And, one final story, I had a dog years ago that actually jumped out the car window. Luckily, we were driving slowly down an old dirt road when Huckleberry saw some cows and jumped out to get at them. He was okay. It shocked us both. But all these incidents will never happen again because of my Breeze Guard car window screens. BTW, despite having screens on my windows to allow the breeze in, I never ever leave my dogs unattended in the car.
If you’re concerned about the safety of your pet but aren’t sure about the safety of pet travel products, there are a lot of alternatives to consider. A pet car harness and pet carrier have a lot more safety benefits, but every dog and every situation is different. Consider your various options and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Time for another Follow Up Friday hosted by HeartLikeADog and Flea with DogTreatWeb! We had a lot of great comments this week.
Jodi with HeartLikeADog pointed me in the direction of a review of a dog seat belt approved for pet car safety in Germany. The seat belt brand is AllSafe. A friend of mine in the UK actually pointed it out to me a couple months ago. I like the v-neck design and they appear to be very comfortable. The website claims to have tested them and they even show a crash test video.
The video and their testing claims looks a lot like the videos and testing claims as our US brands, so I have put aside any final decisions until the Center for Pet Safety releases an updated report on their testing of various dog seat belt brands.
CENTER FOR PET SAFETY
The Center for Pet Safety is a nonprofit organization, so I will be more inclined to trust their test results rather than I will the test results claimed by individual manufacturers. The report is supposed to be released this fall. Hopefully, this time they will be able to disclose the brands (they did not disclose the four brands tested in the 2011 report).
I will keep you posted. I am confident of the brands we have. But if a brand I sell does not do as well as others, I still contend that something is better than nothing. However, we will notate the results on our retail website and phase in the best brands possible.
Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs commented on the hiking with your dog post last Saturday. She agreed that knowing your dog was important, especially concerning their recall. She also reminded me of safety protection against two-legged predators. Good point! I forget about the unsavory folk because I’ve always had big dogs and they always seem to be a good deterrent. However, I have to remember that Maya loves everybody. She’d probably greet Jason and Freddie like a BFF.
OTHER PET CAR SAFETY METHODS
Kimberly with KeepTheTailWagging.com mentioned she is getting something to keep her dogs in the back seat, to keep them off the floor, and to keep them from putting their heads out the window. This is great! A dog seat belt is not for every dog. And if you have a large dog or more than one dog, putting them in a pet travel crate in a small car is not always feasible. So whatever you can do to help your best friend is simply pawsome! I think this Saturday’s theme for Pet Safety Saturday will be about alternatives to dog car harnesses.
BREEZE GUARD WINDOW SCREENS
I replied to Kimberly’s comment about how the products she mentioned resembles the Backseat Bridge and the Breeze Guard window screens that we have. Jodi with HeartLikeADog remembered my recent post about the Backseat Bridge but wanted to know more about the Breeze Guard window screens. The Breeze Guard window screens are a great product made right here in the USA by an entrepreneur like me. Well, not quite like me. I sell what others have made while Sue actually invented and patented her window screens! Click the image below of Maya looking out of her Breeze Guard window screens and find out more information.
OzTheTerrier, Flea with DogTreatWeb, and Snoopy all liked the Wordless Wednesday post about Maya’s birthday. Oz loved the video of Maya playing. Snoopy clearly agrees with Maya’s philosophy about work. And Flea’s comment made me smile:
“Maya is just ADORABLE. Well. Since it’s Maya’s birthday, we won’t talk about Pierson. ”
As you may know, Flea has two adorable Aussie mixes, Flash and Patches. She has an extra fondness for the breed which makes Pierson her favorite (shhh, don’t tell Maya).
SAFEST PLACE IN THE CAR?
Snoopy also asked a good question:
“What do you think is safer, being in the trunk or where I currently sit? Which is on the floor behind the driver seat (I didn’t like it on the seat), I’m strapped in with my harness and attached to the seatbelt. I used to sit in the trunk but Dad thought it isn’t safe if someone rear ends us.”
By trunk, do you mean the area in the back of a hatchback or SUV? I don’t think there have been any studies about whether the floor of the car or the cargo area can be a safe place to ride. It probably depends on the kind of car accident you are in. You’re right about the cargo area possibly not being safe in a rear end collision. But what if you’re on the floor and in a front impact collision? Will the front passenger seats get pushed back and squish you? There are so many factors that I honestly can’t tell you which place is the safest. But I do believe that the fact you are wearing a dog seat belt improves your safety no matter where you ride.
Snoopy says he always wears a dog seat belt and he is never allowed to put his head out the window. Yay, Snoopy! Your Monday Mischief posts always make me laugh so I can only imagine what kind of mischief you’d be getting into if you weren’t using a safety restraint in the car. Good job!
Thank you, everyone, for all your great comments. And thank you for stopping by! As always, please feel free to comment and ask questions.
We’ve had a couple of wonderful questions about dog seat belts and the Backseat Bridge this week! Donna with WeLiveInAFlat had an incident where they had to slam on the brakes, causing the dog to get thrown onto the floor. The question was whether there was a difference between a regular harness and a pet car harness.
We were happy to hear that the dog was okay. Scary!!! And all just because of a quick stop! Yes, there is a difference between a harness and a pet car harness. There is a difference in safety. A regular harness might be okay for a sudden stop like the one described. But a dog car harness is designed to fit better and to be stronger in more serious incidents.
We directed them to our site where there was information on safety as well as some videos. One of the videos found was from Kurgo.
Notice the dog still flies off the seat. WeLiveInAFlat had some concerns about this. We agree that a dog would still fly off the seat. Keeping the tether short could help. The Center for Pet Safety is continuing to do more studies on the safety of dog seat belts. The tests are ongoing so there haven’t been any new publications. But I do know that most of the positive testing results they have had were on harnesses with short tethers.
Hawk with BrownDogCBR asks: “A bridge is a good idea. What happens when one front seat passenger has the seat forward and the other has it back and somewhat reclined?”
Our reply: “Very good question, Hawk! It will still work, but there will be gaps and this could be an issue. The Backseat Bridge has a flap that goes up along the back of the front seats in order to try to cover that gap. However, if you are loose in the back seat and step in that area just right, you could get your foot caught. I would try to lessen those gaps or cover them as much as possible. The bridge fits most average sized vehicles, but if your car is wider than most, you could also have those gaps on the sides.”
I would also like to add that the Backseat Bridge could help in the situation observed by WeLiveInAFlat by keeping dogs from getting thrown onto the floor.
Lindsay and her dog Ace with ThatMutt held a calendar contest this past month. I entered a great photo of Pierson playing in the snow, then I begged for Like votes on Facebook. The contest ended yesterday and I am happy to say that Pierson is a tentative winner! Why tentative? He received enough likes, but Lindsay needs to make sure the photo entry meets all the guidelines. The winners will be officially announced on Monday. In the meantime, go visit her Facebook contest page and go check out the ThatMutt blog.
Thanks again for all the wonderful questions. You all bring out some great points and possible drawbacks of some of the products. Keep them coming. They help people make educated decisions and I’d rather people know what to expect in advance than to find out later. These discussions also help stimulate the manufacturers into continuing to make improvements.
Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend!
Join the Blog Hop for Follow Up Friday below!
It’s almost time for the new year – 2013! What is your New Year’s resolution? Me, I’m going to try to exercise more and eat healthier. I get plenty of walks with the dogs but I need to do more. My dogs Maya and Pierson want to learn more tricks. Pierson also wants to keep his teeth cleaner so that I will stop brushing them. So what is your New Year’s resolution?
How about keeping your pets safer in the car? Perhaps your dog is good in the car, like my Pierson. Pierson just sits there very quietly. But he is my baby boy and I want to keep him safe for in case I have to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way of something in the road or away from a crazy driver. Pierson wears his Bergan dog car harness and I have the back seat floor covered with the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.
Perhaps your dog is crazy in the car like my Labrador Maya. Maya LOVES to ride in the car. Even if I am taking her to the vet, she is super excited both on the ride there and on the ride back. She wears the Kurgo Tru-Fit smart dog seat belt but uses the Bergan replacement tether. I like the Bergan replacement tether because Maya likes to move around a lot and will get herself tangled in the loop tether provided with the Kurgo Tru-Fit.
If your dog is crazy in the car like my Maya, consider the Bergan brand dog car harness or even the Pet Buckle brand. For a small dog, make sure to get the one with the Kwik Connect tether included. Otherwise it uses a loop tether similar to the one from Kurgo. For a large dog, our large Pet Buckle travel kit comes with both the harness and the Kwik Connect tether.
If you don’t think your dog will tolerate a dog seat belt, consider a pet travel crate strapped in with the safety tested kennel restraints from Pet Buckle. Or use a pet car barrier. After all, our pets are family. We want to keep them safe like family. And pet travel safety supplies are easier than ever to get and most of them have been safety tested.
So practice pet travel safety and have a Happy New Year with your pets!
Maya & Pierson get to try most of our pet travel products. I say most because they are both too big to try out the pet car seats.
Here is Maya trying out the red Kurgo dog car harness (only the black harness is available on our site).
You can also see the Kurgo Backseat Bridge in the photo below. I love this product because it covers the floor of the car and gives Maya & Pierson more room to move around.
Pierson is wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Both the Kurgo brand and the Bergan brand pet car harnesses have been tested for safety.
For more great pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
The beautiful spring weather makes this time of year the perfect time to go on vacation. Your dogs would love to go too. But to bring the dogs, it means you will probably need to drive to your destination. Long car trips are not all that comfortable for people. We can’t lay down or stretch our legs. But you can help to make your dog comfortable on long car trips. Whether your vacation spot is a few hours away or several hours away, it is good to be prepared.
Keep Your Dog Cool
Spring does tend to get a little hot. Make sure your dog stays cool. Use the a/c in your car. Or put the windows down for a nice fresh breeze that dogs love. Be sure not to let him put his head out the window, though. This can be dangerous – especially in a sudden stop or emergency car maneuver. Road debris is another danger for a dog with his head out the window. The BreezeGuard window screens are great for allowing your window to be down and your dog to be safe.
Another way to cool your dog is with a Cool-It bandana. Or if it is really hot, you can wrap towels around ice packs for your dog to lie on. Make sure lying on the ice packs is an option. You don’t want to make your dog uncomfortable.
Be sure to bring plenty of water for your dog. Pet travel bowls are a great way to water him in the car or at any of the stops you make.
Give Your Dog Room to Stretch Out
If you have a big dog, the back seat of a car may not be that comfortable. Give him more room to stretch out with the Kurgo Backseat Bridge. This product covers the floor area of the back seat so that your dog has a full stretch of space and so that your dog doesn’t fly forward in a sudden stop. The Kurgo Backseat Bridge also has a flap that covers the center area between seats so that your dog can’t stand on the center console or bother the driver.
If you have an SUV and your plan on keeping your dog in the cargo area, consider the Snoozer cargo liner pet pad. This is especially helpful for older dogs who need a little extra cushioning for their joints.
As always, have your dog wear a canine seat belt or use another pet travel safety product. For the back of the SUV, a good canine seat belt is the one from Pet Buckle. Get the one with a Kwik-Connect Tether because it has a clip which allows you to clip it onto a metal ring, generally in the cargo areas of most SUVs. The Pet Buckle canine seat belt can also be used in the back seat of a car.
Make Frequent Stops
The best thing you can do for both you and your dog is to make frequent stops. Stretch your legs and let your dog stretch his too. You can do this at rest stops, gas stations, scenic routes and other points of interest. Keep your dog on a leash and make sure he is always wearing his collar with tags.
We make at least one really long road trip with our two big dogs every year. Frequent stops are a must. With our car and the two big dogs the Kurgo Backseat Bridge is perfect for us. Our dogs also wear the Bergan canine seat belt. They don’t have the most fun ever on these long trips, but they are comfortable. If they weren’t comfortable, they would have no problem expressing it and so could be a big distraction to whoever is driving. A comfortable dog on a road trip is much more pleasant for everyone.