Dog Car Accessories to Keep Your Pup Safe and Comfortable
With warm weather right around the corner, it’s time to get ready for summer road trips with the whole family, including your dog. Before you set off on your adventures, you’ll want to make sure your dog has everything they need to have a fun, safe, and comfortable drive. From seat belts and harnesses to treats and water, there’s an array of pet travel gear to choose from. Here are our top picks for best dog car accessories:
Dog Car Seat Belt
To make sure your dog is secure in the car, get them a seat belt that clips to their harness, such as our CarLeash Adjustable Car Dog Leash. While it may seem fun to have your dog roam around the car, it isn’t safe for them or you. They can easily get hurt if you brake too fast or get into an accident, and not to mention, a free-roaming dog in the car can be a distraction to the driver.
A seat belt is the best tool for safety, just like with your other family members. Look for one that is adjustable, easy to install, and works with your dog’s harness. Simply hook the seat belt to your dog’s harness, and you can have peace of mind while driving knowing everyone is safe.
Dog Car Carrier
If your dog is too anxious or unfamiliar with the car to be attached to a seat belt, try a dog carrier instead. Gone are the days of the bulky, hard-plastic carriers (although they are still around). Car carriers come in all shapes, sizes, and materials to fit every breed of dog.
Carriers are built to keep your pet safe while on the road once they are secured in the car, usually through the seat belt or anchors depending on the size and construction of it. The carrier should be large enough for the pet to stand up, lay down, and turn around without difficulty. They are also great options for dogs that have back or neck injuries who need to be transported as they won’t have to have extra pressure on their neck from a collar or harness.
When looking for a car carrier, keep in mind the size and personality of your dog. For calmer and more anxious dogs, consider a soft-sided carrier, like the K&H Travel Pet Carrier made for cars in mind. Dogs who are bit rougher and may chew on the sides would need a hard-sided carrier to keep them safe, such as the AspenPet Pet Porter that fits dogs up to 125 pounds and has plenty of ventilation and visibility.
Backseat Pet Cover
Between dog hair and the occasional accident, traveling with dogs in cars can get messy. Protect your car seats and keep your dog comfortable with a backseat waterproof pet seat cover protector.
Built with durable, non-toxic material, this backseat cover adjusts to cars of all sizes and unlike some pet hammocks, it will allow you to have more passengers in the back to keep your dog company. A backseat pet cover also prevents smaller dogs or dogs who aren’t used to moving cars from falling onto the floor and acts as a partition to reduce distraction of the driver.
A Ramp or Stairs for Mobility Impaired Dogs
Many dogs are excited for road trips and eagerly jump right into the car, but sometimes dogs might need a little extra help getting up into the seat. Let them get into the car with ease with our folding aluminum pet stairs. These are great for older dogs, mobility impaired dogs, and dogs with joint problems.
They are sturdy, lightweight, and easily fold away to be stored in the car.
First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit specifically for your dog keeps you ready for an accident that might occur on your car trip. A basic first aid kit for dogs should include at least:
- Wound disinfectant
- Saline wound flush
- Cotton swabs and cotton balls
- Gauze pads
- Bandage tapes
- Gauze rolls
- Digital thermometer for pets
- Emergency warming blanket
- Instant cold packs
- Medications your dog is taking
- Eye flush
- Blood clotting powder for pets
You can build your own first aid kit with the above items, as long as the items are considered safe for pets. However, there are many pre-made kits on the market that will save you time and money and you can ensure they will be safe for your dog.
The Adventure Medical Kits Me & My Dog Canine First Aid Kit is the perfect starter first aid kit. It has all of the necessary items you need plus a wilderness medicine guide and first aid book for dogs when you need some extra guidance. Everything is neatly packed away in a small carry bag that you can readily store in the car.
Just like humans, dogs get thirsty on long car rides and need their own water bottles. Use a no-leak pet water bottle that is easy to use to keep your pet hydrated. Press the button to release the water and let your dog drink up. When done, if there’s anything left, press the button again and tilt the water back to save it.
Don’t forget to take frequent breaks along the road so your dog not only has a chance to relieve themselves and stretch, but to take a drink of water if they are hesitant to use it in the moving car.
Treats and Snacks
A road trip wouldn’t be complete without snacks! Bringing a few of your dog’s favorite treats on the journey will help them from getting bored and hungry. Put a few pieces into a puzzle toy to keep your dog entertained while you drive. Providing a few snacks will help reduce dog car anxiety and reinforce good behavior on the trip.
Don’t forget to bring their favorite toy as well! Having your dog’s favorite toy will keep them busy, and having something familiar will help your dog to enjoy the car trip even more.
Towels may not be the first car accessory you think about when preparing to take a car trip with your dog, but they are handy to have. From spills in the car to muddy paws, having a quick-drying towel tucked into the car will keep both your dog and your seats tidy. They also double have a blanket if your dog gets a little chilly or needs extra comfort. Place it in your dog’s carrier to prevent accidents from destroying your car.
The Bone Dry Pet Groom Towel is the perfect road trip towel. The lightweight towel is easy to store in the car and the soft microfiber is super absorbent and machine washable. Keep one or two on hand to make sure your dog stays dry and comfortable.
A Pouch to Carry Everything
With all of the dog car accessories you are bringing on your road trip, you’ll want to keep everything together in one place with a bag, like our Dog Training Travel Pouch.
The Dog Training Travel Pouch has an adjustable strap, drawstring pocket, and is made of easy to wash fabric. It’s the perfect size to carry your dog's water bottle, treats, and doggy bags on the go. Additionally, it has room for your phone or wallet and a design that allows you to be hands-free. Easily store it in your car for access to everything you need for a successful road trip.
Tips for Road Trips with Dogs
Road trips can be a lot of fun when your best friend is with you. The key to having a successful journey with your dog is preparation. Once you have the dog car accessories you need, here are some tips on keeping the trip fun and safe:
- Take Frequent Breaks - Dogs need to stretch their legs too. Make frequent stops on your trip at pet friendly rest stops to let your dog walk and use the bathroom. Take some time to throw a ball a few times to release some of the stored-up energy.
- Prevent Car Sickness - Some dogs don’t respond well to the movement of the car. Talk to your vet before taking a trip to see if they have medication that can ease any dog car sickness.
- Ease Anxiety - Before taking a long car trip, drive around the block a few times with your anxious pup in a secured carrier or car seat. Talk calmly to them to reassure them that the car is a safe place to be.
- Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car - Even if the windows are cracked and you are running into the gas station for a second, cars get hot quickly. Leaving a dog in the car unattended could lead to sickness and even death.
Have a Fun and Safe Drive
Dogs are family, so their safety should be as important as any family member. Bringing these pet travel accessories on your next drive will ensure your dog will be safe, happy, and comfortable. They will be entertained and secure, letting everyone in the car enjoy the adventures of the open road safely.