Holiday season is slowly approaching, road trips are being planned and our dogs want to come along for the ride. Here are some tips for safely and enjoyably taking our four-legged loved ones on the road.
#1 Harness/restraint. (Warning, some of these videos may be hard to watch!)
According to Barkbuckleup.com, a 60-lob dog traveling at 35mph can turn into a 2,700 projectile in an accident. For the safety of your dog and your family, look for a harness that lets your dog sit or lie down, but will keep them retrained in an accident.
There are plenty of safety harnesses out there, but I only found two that had been thoroughly crash tested. Pet Buckle Dog Car Safety Harness and Sleepypod Passenger Restraint System.
Puet Buckle Dog Car Safety Harness
Pet Buckle has had their seat belts crash tested through the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE). You can view a crash test video HERE.
The harness has received wonderful reviews from safety experts. You can compare Pet Buckle with other brands here.
Sleepod Pet Passenger Restraint System
This company hired a U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sponsored crash-test facility to test the crash-worthiness of its entire line of pet carriers along with a generic plastic pet carrier and a generic pet safety harness, using MAX, our weighted crash-test dog.
Below, Sleepypod’s videos from two crash tests.
Below video shows what happens during accident when using a generic/non crash tested brand:
This video shows sleepypod crash test success.
Cargo area mat or liner
Mats and liners help protect carpets and make cleanup easier. Look for one with a 2-3 inch lip around the edge to keep spills contained.
If you have a pet bed at home, you can bring it along to help keep your pet comfortable and make them feel more secure. Or get one just for your car. Beds for the cargo area are one option, as are hammocks that fit over the rear seat area.
A resealable container is fine, but you can find ones that are collapsible, spillproof, or both. One cool model from BarkBuckleUp.com fits in a cupholder.
Smaller and older dogs can more easily get in and out using a ramp, and it makes loading easier on your back, too. A variety of models and sizes are available. Telescoping or foldable models provide extra length without being too long to fit in your car.