dog in the back of car

Driving With Dogs: What to Bring

You love your dog. How could you not? In many ways, dogs are to us what even humans can't be. But somehow, from time to time, we seem to forget, and treat them like any other animal. One of the most common examples of this is in the car. We love on them and cuddle with them all day long, but as soon as it's time to go somewhere, we just throw them in the back seat. Of course, they can't ride like humans can, but the way that most dogs travel is extremely unsafe, both for the dogs and the human passengers. Why do we ignore the dangers of transporting dogs without any equipment? Here are a few things you should consider bringing next time you travel with your dog.

Restraint

Arguably the most important thing that your dog needs to stay safe is some kind of restraint. These come in all shapes and sizes, but are generally some kind of harness that goes around your dog and also attaches to the car. It's sort of the dog equivalent of a seatbelt. It actually solves most of the problems that come with traveling with a dog. Most importantly, if there is an accident, a good restraint will keep your dog from flying around the car and getting hurt. It will also help keep your dog in the back seat. Of course, you don't want your dog getting hurt in an accident, but you also don't want your dog to cause an accident. A dog with access to the front seat can be extremely dangerous to everyone in the vehicle.

Back seat barrier

This is another way to keep your dog in the back seat. Although there are many different options, this is usually a pad or piece of fabric that attaches to the back of the front seats, blocking off the gap between them. In theory, this product would keep the dog in the back seat. If you decide to use one of these, make sure that you get the right one. If it's too short, the dog will simply jump over. Also, if your dog gets a little anxious when separated from you, consider a barrier with a mesh hole.

Zip line

This is an interesting product that allows your dog to move around, while still keeping them restrained. It usually consists of a strap that is stretched between the handles that are above each of the back doors. A strap that is connected to the dog's harness is then attached to the strap. This system keeps the dog from moving too far forward or backward, but allows the dog to move back and forth freely across the back seat.

Bed

A bed won't usually make the trip any safer for your dog, but it will certainly make your dog more comfortable. This is especially true for long trips. If your dog's normal bed doesn't work, you can also buy dog beds designed specifically for installation in a car. These beds vary as much as any of the other products, and can be found for pretty much any size dog.

Carrier

This is another option for keeping your dog safe. A carrier usually surrounds the dog completely. You could just use any standard carrier, but for added safety, look for one that is built to lock into a car seat.

Seat covers

Seat covers won't do much if you have an accident, but they will help if your dog has an accident. It's definitely a good idea to consider protecting your seats with something. There are products for this, but towels or sheets work just as well.

Our dogs are more important than almost anything else in our lives. Let's treat them like that, even in the car.

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