For some pet parents, travelling without their four-legged furry friend is unthinkable. And although some of them can make for the best co-drivers when you’re riding in the car, most dogs don’t exactly keep calm – they can whine, bark and be hyperactive. This only adds to the importance of being properly prepared for a trip, especially if it’s a long one.
Apart from safety reasons, if your dog isn’t suitably restrained when travelling by car, you could be breaking the law. There are rules and regulations for travelling with your dog. For instance, although it may be natural and tempting for you to have your pet curl up in your lap while driving, you could be fined for doing so.
That is why you need to keep your dog out of your lap and out of the front seat. Instead, as a responsible pet owner, keep it safe and secured in the backseat and use a carrier or a crate. The chosen travel carrier should be able to give your pet enough room to stand, sit, lie down and turn around which is extremely important, especially on long-distance car trips. Also, be sure to always secure the crate so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
If you don’t want to put your dog in a crate, you can instead use a harness attached to the seat buckle. Buckling your dog can keep it from hitting the windshield if you suddenly brake or crush. But keeping your dog on the seat can also mean lots of mess, hair or muddy paw prints. To protect your seats from dirt, water and scratch marks you can place dog car seat covers. These are made from waterproof material that is also comfortable, which makes them a pleasant place for your dog to lie on and relax. You can even put them into the washing machine for easy cleaning. They need to fit right so that they don’t slide around. Highly versatile dog car seat covers that can switch between hammock style and standard bench cover are a good option since you can get two products for one price.
Finally, in order to make your trip even more enjoyable and trouble-free, start your pet’s travel feeding schedule with a light meal, three to four hours prior to departure. Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle, even if it is a long drive. Also, make sure you stock up on some travel papers, bowls, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, medication and of course your dog’s favourite toy or pillow to give your dog a sense of familiarity.