Some pets love travelling with us and if you want to take your dog with you on holiday for example, you need a way to make your car pet-friendly for the whole journey. It’s important that your pet can travel safely and securely at all times, for everyone’s safety.
Unfortunately, just putting your dog or other pet on the back seat, is not the answer as they can jump around and could cause an accident.
To give us a better perspective on this subject we asked the people of Bigmotoringworld.co.uk and they gave us some practical tips in making your car pet friendly. So before you head out on the road with your pet in tow you need to look at some of these guides.
- Set up the back of your car as the pet zone
Some cars have storage space at the back which you can partition off with a wire gate, to make it your pet’s travelling zone, such as a large hatch back. You can then lay down newspapers and blankets and everything your pet will need to be comfortable in the back. They can happily look out of the windows and can still see you through the partition for comfort, but they can’t jump into the front of the car, keeping you safe.
- Use an in-car harness
If you can’t separate your dog using a gate or other form of separation then invest in an in-car harness which will again stop your dog from jumping over into the front of the car and causing problems. It will also help stop the dog from falling if you had to make a sudden stop – think of it as a seatbelt for your pooch.
- Pet blanket
It’s not just about getting to your holiday – you need to think about making your car pet friendly when you leave again. If you are taking your dog to the beach or for a walk in the muddy woods, you will want to protect your car from the dirt but also to keep your dog warm on the journey home, so put out a large blanket across the seats for the return trip.
- Washable seat covers
To keep your car clean and hygienic which will make it much more pleasant for you and your pet, invest in washable car seat covers to cover your front and back seats. That way you can take them off and throw them in the washing machine after each trip. These will also protect your seats against scratches and rips.
- Removable floor mats
By the same token you will want to protect your car carpets so invest in removable floor mats which you can take out regularly and clean or beat to remove pet hair, mud and other debris from your trips out.
- Clean your upholstery regularly
Even with the protective covers, your car’s own upholstery is bound to get pet hair and dirt over it so make sure you regularly clean your car’s upholstery and use pet-friendly products to keep them smelling fresh and keep them healthy for your pet at the same time.
- Think about the sun
We all know about not leaving our dogs alone in the car when it’s hot and sunny but remember that on a long journey the sunshine could be equally uncomfortable for your dog so you should think about investing in some window sunshades to help keep your dog cool and keep the glare out of his eyes.
- Check your insurance
If there was to be an accident and your pet was injured you need to know that either your car or pet insurance will cover the potentially expensive vet bills so make sure you double check your insurance coverage before you head out.
- A dog’s best friend
Travelling might be quite stressful for your dog so if he has a favourite chew toy or blanket that he sleeps with at home, bring that with you to give him comfort while in the car – having something familiar might help to keep him calm.
- Get veterinary advice
If you have a particularly nervous dog or you are worried that he might end up barking and whining the whole journey then speak to your vet to get advice about how to keep your dog calm during the trip. If your dog is likely to get very stressed it might be that the vet can help with a stress-relief product to use.
Taking your pet away with you can be very exciting and saves money and the stress of putting him in boarding kennels while you are on holiday. However, it’s something which needs careful consideration and planning.
Your pet’s comfort needs to come before convenience so it’s important to weight up what the dog would find more stressful –time away from you in a kennel, or a long car journey and time in an unknown location.