5 Ways To Make Your Car More Pet-Friendly

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5 Ways To Make Your Car More Pet-Friendly

Few things sound more fun and enjoyable than going on a road trip with your best bud. If your best bud is a furry, four-legged friend, though, you may find yourself facing more than a few challenges. That’s because cars and SUVs are typically built to ferry humans around, and aren’t exactly designed for animal passengers.

To get around this, you may want to buy car seat belts for your pet. You can also read on and learn what else you can do to make the journey a great one.

Set Up a Pup-Friendly Back Seat

Pets and young children are safest in the back seat, so you should focus most of your attention there. Putting your pup in the back means protecting them from the impact of airbag deployment should anything untoward occur during the trip. It'll also mean being less distracted your pet’s antics as you drive.

If your pup fits in a secure carrier or crate: congratulations! You can go ahead and skip the rest of this section. Just make sure the crate is big enough to accommodate your furry friend’s height and length comfortably.

Otherwise, car seat belts or harnesses may be a better choice for securing bigger dogs. Amp the safety up with a mesh barrier to keep your dog from jumping toward the front of the vehicle.

To keep your pup’s skin from getting irritated, you can also go a step further to ensure that the seats are lined with waterproof hypoallergenic material.

Clean the Interiors

You wouldn’t want to leave anything lying around in the car for your pup to accidentally swallow or choke on. Before the trip, make sure you’ve performed a deep cleaning of your vehicle’s interiors. Check under the seats and the carpets for any leftover food and small items that could be possible choking hazards. You’ll also want to secure anything that’s loose, as your pet might fancy gnawing on it when you least expect it.

Address Potty Problems

Even the most well-behaved and potty-trained pups aren’t immune to the occasional accident, especially ones who aren’t used to riding in cars. You can protect your seats with dog seat covers like the ones mentioned above, then line the floors with something absorbent like old newspapers or towels. Always keep extras on hand as well as standard household cleaning and deodorizing products. They’ll come in handy if you ever need to clean up any messes along the way.

Make Sure They Have Access to Supplies

Much like their humans, pets need to stay hydrated during long trips, too. Bring a travel bowl along so your dog always has access to fresh water. It's also a good idea to pack dry snacks in your pup's go-bag, just in case they get hungry while you’re stuck in traffic.

Finally, pack a toy or a blanket along. It will remind your pet of home and give them comfort on the road.

Keep the Windows Closed

As cute as it is to see photos of dogs sticking their heads out of car windows, the practice isn't safe. Stones and other road debris could fly into your pup's eyes, nose and mouth, causing serious injuries. Even a sudden brake at just the right angle can cause your pet to cut himself on the window or the frame. Keep the windows closed but make sure that your buddy is well-ventilated at all times.

If you plan on traveling frequently with your pet, it could be a good idea to stock up on these essentials in advance. Start researching what exactly you need to buy at least a few weeks before your trip. That way, you’ll be sure to make the journey fun and safe for your fur baby, too.