By: Sam Bisby
There is nothing better than being greeted with the happy face and wagging tail of your loyal companion at the end of a long day. However, dogs can be very active and occasionally boisterous, meaning owners have to be on hand to give them the attention they need.
These problems can often create issues for owners required to take dogs in cars, whether that be on holidays or on the way to walks in the woods. To make such journeys easier for both you and your pooch, these dog car accessories will ensure trips are enjoyable, as well as safe, for you and your Fido.
Dog seat covers
If you are planning to take your fluffy ball of joy with you for a walk in the woods or on the local field, your dog will probably get muddy or wet at least once. This can cause a problem for your car’s seats as it will leave potential mud stains or water marks on the seats. You can find waterproof seat covers that can custom-fit your car’s seats. Made from vinyl or cloth, these covers are usually machine-washable and lightweight. The seat covers are ideal for leather seats as these seats can often be difficult for dogs to get a grip on.
Blankets or towels can cover your seats, but remember that if you are putting your dog in your backseat, they may move around causing the towels or blankets to fall down anyway.
Dog car harness
If your dog is a chewer, dog harnesses are probably not the answer to your travelling blues as they can be easily chewed through. You can find dog car harnesses to fit your dog if they are 10lbs or more. The harnesses generally have padded chests for protection but also have straps to attach the dog to the car’s seat belts. Some harnesses can be used on walks so it is easy to make the transfer when you arrive at the woods or park. The pet harness will keep your dog sat in place and ensure its safety on the journey while providing him or her with the freedom to change position from sitting to laying down.
You can also get a dog hammock which can extend your car’s seat. The hammocks straps can also be chewed so please avoid this option if you have a chewer.
For anxious dogs or dogs that wander in cars, pet barriers can be the best option. In a hatchback, you can change your car’s boot in to a dog travel area or if you have a saloon car, you can put a dog guard between the front and rear seats. In fact, you can even find window grilles to prevent your dog jumping out of the window but allowing air to still circulate. Although they are rarely used due to the immense space required for larger dogs, there are dog car crates which can prevent your dog moving around too much and can encourage dogs to lie down. Cats are generally transported using small cat crates. Barriers and crates ensure your dog is safe while on your travels.
Although dog ramps may seem like an indulgence, for larger dogs, tiny or elderly dogs it can make all the difference for easy transportation. The ramps save owner’s backs and means the dogs don’t have to struggle to get in to the car. There are three main types of dog ramp: telescoping, fixed and folding ramps. Easy to clean with a non-skid surface, the ramps are lightweight but durable and sturdy.
Dog first aid kits
Dog first aid kits are ideal for dogs prone to travel sickness or for those accidental paw injuries; the easy way to ensure you are covered for any dog emergencies. There are many first aid kits out there containing bandages, tape, latex gloves, scissors and tweezers. The first aid kit will offer you peace of mind.
Dog water bowl
Water makes up to 80% of your dog’s body, therefore it is natural that they will need to replenish the water they lose while travelling or walking. On average a dog is meant to drink approximately an ounce of water per every pound of body weight per day. Water can help regulate body temperature, flush toxins and facilitate the metabolic process. You should take a water bowl and some water with you wherever you go. Some pet stores now also sell portable dog bowls from foldable bowls to pet water bottles with an easy, built in dish.
Taking one of your dog’s favourite toys in the car with you may have him stay calm and relaxed. The toy will keep your cuddly dog focused on his or her toy instead of on the journey. You shouldn’t take balls or squeaky toys, but cuddly toys, rubber toys or ropes can help your dog.
Every car journey with a car should include treats, especially for those dogs obsessed with food. Dog treats help you train your dog to obey commands through positive reinforcement. You probably already know your dog’s favourite treat. Make sure that you keep the treats out of reach though, otherwise you may turn up at your destination and find that there are no dog treats left.
To prevent your dog shaking all of the mud or water on to your car, remember to take a spare, old towel. You can get your dog to sit and stand to clean him or her all over to prevent the mud or water getting on your car’s upholstery. Another way to prevent mud staining your seat’s you can use seat covers
Your dog will appreciate the home comfort of being able to curl up in their own bed on a journey. You can also get travel dog beds that are thinner and smaller to fit in your hatchback’s boot or on the rear seats of your car.
Looking for the perfect car for your pooch? Take a look at the article on the best dog friendly cars.
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