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.
Are you taking spring break with your dog? If so, don’t forget to keep him safe in the car when you travel. There are a lot of great pet travel products out there that your dog will love. And if he doesn’t love them, well, at least he will be safe.
BreezeGuard Window Screens
The weather is warm so roll down those windows and put your nose to the wind. But keep your pet safe too. The BreezeGuard window screens allow you to roll down the windows and let your dog get a whiff of the air, but they don’t let him put his head out the window. This keeps him in the car in the event of an emergency car maneuver or auto accident. And it also keeps your dog from being hurt by flying road debris. The BreezeGuard window screens are custom made to fit your vehicle and so can take 2-3 weeks to make. It may be too late to get them for spring break but I’m sure you will still be taking your dog for rides in the to the dog park this spring and summer.
Kurgo Backseat Bridge
This is one of my most favorite pet travel products, next to the dog car harness that is. Even though my dogs wear a seat belt for dogs, the tether on their harness is long enough that they can still move around. The Kurgo Backseat Bridge gives them that room by covering the floor of the car and, in a sense, extending the seat. This is an especially great product for long road trips. Plus, your dog won’t get thrown on the floor in a sudden stop.
Seat Belt for Dogs
Since seat belts can save people’s lives in a car accident, they can save your dog’s life too. Fortunately, there are a lot of seat belts for dogs out there on the market. Many have been tested for strength and durability but only one brand, Pet Buckle, has had them crash tested. But if your pet won’t wear a seat belt for dogs, there are other safety pet travel products you can use.
Pet Travel Crate with Kennel Restraints
If your dog doesn’t like to wear a dog car harness, secure them in a pet travel crate instead. Then secure the pet travel crate with kennel restraints. The kennel restraints from Pet Buckle are made from the same strong material as seat belt webbing. Plus they have been crash tested. They work by wrapping around the pet travel crate, then being secured with the seat belt system of your car.
Other Important Things to Remember for Your Pet
Don’t forget your pet’s food, water, leash, pet tags on your dog’s collar, poopie bags, and an emergency kit. It also helps to keep a copy of your pet’s vet records with you and an emergency phone number for your veterinarian. These may not be specifically pet travel products but they are important none-the-less.
Unfortunately, I don’t get a spring break. But the dogs and I will still be taking some trips on the road this spring and summer. Maya and Pierson wear a seat belt for dogs, we use the BreezeGuard window screens and Kurgo Backseat Bridge. What sort of pet travel products does your pet use? Where are you taking your dog for vacation?
(Special note on above photo: My dog Maya is wearing a sea belt for dogs in this photo, it is just difficult to see.)
I love this product! In the past, I have used a similar product from Outward Hound. When I found out about one from Kurgo, I had to try it out. Kurgo makes very high quality products including the Tru-Fit Smart dog car harness, the Wander Hammock, and the Kurgo Cargo Cape. These products are a bit pricy as compared to similar products but they are far more durable.
The Backseat Bridge has lots of other great features that the one from Outward Hound didn’t have. The flaps that go up from the back of the seats help to keep my dogs from stepping in the crack between the Backseat Bridge and the back of the seat. The barrier in the center of the Backseat Bridge is sturdier and my dogs can’t push it down to get their heads on the center console. The Backseat Bridge is waterproof so that muddy paw prints and other liquids are easy to clean. The Backseat Bridge also matches better with your car’s interior. The one from Outward Hound only came in blue. But the Backseat Bridge is black on one side and khaki on the other, so you can choose which color is best for your car. I chose the khaki and matched it up with a brown houndstooth pet car seat cover.
The Backseat Bridge from Kurgo attaches easily. Simply wrap the top straps around the front seat headrests of your car. Then wrap the bottom straps around the bottom part of your seat, between the back and cushion. When you tighten these straps, anyone sitting in those front seats won’t even notice them.
The Backseat Bridge and other pet travel products from Kurgo and other companies can be found on Pet Auto Safety.com. Stay tuned for reviews on some of our other new pet travel products.
In conjunction with the dog car seat belts, I use the Backseat Bridge in my car whenever Sephi and Maya travel with me. The device worked perfectly when we first used it on a four hour trip from Kansas City to St Louis. Sephi and Maya were much more comfortable on this trip because they had more room to move around or lay down and stretch their legs.
What is a Backseat Bridge? The Backseat Bridge is a sturdy device which attaches around the front car seats and headrests in order to cover the floor of the back seat. The Backseat Bridge by Kurgo is slightly padded and designed for dogs over 30 pounds. Sephi is 55 pounds and Maya is almost 70 pounds and the it has shown no signs of weakness or breakage.
How does the Backseat Bridge protect your dog? The most defining feature of the Backseat Bridge is it keeps your dog off the floor of the car. If you have to make a sudden stop your dog could fly forward and crash onto the floor, possibly spraining or even breaking their leg, hip, or back. But if your dog is wearing a seat belt, how could this happen? True, with some dog car seat belts the dog would not crash onto the floor because those seat belts severely limit your dog’s movement. However, other dog car seat belts have an adjustable strap which gives them more freedom to move and sit, stand, or lay down. The Backseat Bridge provides even more space for your dog to move around which can be very comfortable for those long road trips.
How does the Backseat Bridge protect me? The Backseat Bridge has a flap which provides a visible barrier between the front seats. So if your dog is not wearing a dog car seat belt, this flap may deter them from trying to get into the front seat and distracting you while you are driving. The flap is not a complete deterrent, however. The best way to prevent your dog from getting into the front seat while you are driving is to have your dog wear a dog car seat belt.
Are there any drawbacks to the Backseat Bridge? One feature we have noticed is there is a slight gap around the side edges. So it is not recommended for smaller dogs who may be able to slip between those gaps. The straps can be tightened so that the padded base is flush against the back of the front seats. However, if the back of the front seats are not straight, there may be additional gaps. The back of the front seats of my car are not straight. However, since Sephi and Maya have the dog car seat belts with adjustable straps, I make the straps long enough for them to still move around but short enough so they can’t get their foot caught in the gaps.
Is the Backseat Bridge right for my dog? To find out, ask yourself these questions:
1) Is my dog or are my dogs over 30 pounds each?
2) Do my dogs hate being restrained in the car?
3) Will my dog be using a dog car seat belt with an adjustable strap?
If you answered yes to all three questions, then the Backseat Bridge is perfect for your dog!