Whether your dog enjoys them or not, car rides are going to be a regular part of your dog’s life. After all, we have to take our pet’s to the veterinarian for regular checkups—not to mention emergencies or other health concerns; we also have to take our pet’s to the groomers, or even overnight kennels if we can’t take them on vacation. And some of us simply like to take our dog to visit friends, family, or down to the dog park and other destinations that will bring our pets some joy and much needed exercise.
But riding in the car with a dog is not as simple as putting your dog in the backseat and taking off. In many ways, riding with a dog is similar to riding with a child—you need to be keep safety in mind, have certain necessities packed and on hand, and be prepared for potential surprises to pop up.
Let’s take a look at 6 essential we have to repaper when our dogs ride with us in the car. The next time you’re prepping your dog for a ride, make a checklist—and check it twice!
Rear Dog Car Seat Cover with Seat Anchors
If you’ve ever had a dog ride in your backseat without a cover, you’ve probably had to deal with some unpleasant aftermath. When dogs ride in backseats without any cover, they tend to leave a little damage behind such as scratched leather or torn fabric, fur that has been shed, drool, or even bathroom accidents. A seat cover will ensure that your car seats remain damage-free; all while letting your dog enjoy the roomy backseat.
You should always look for rear dog seat covers for your cars that have seat anchors; these seat anchors will ensure that cover does not move or slip at all, and are the safest way to install seat covers that will be used while your dog is riding.
Big Storage Bag for Dog Stuff Keeping In the Car
Dogs are like babies: they have certain things they’ll need on the road or at your destination, but they can’t actually pack a bag themselves. This is where you come in: a large storage bag can be used to store all your dog’s necessary items, such as food, treats, toys, waste bags, medicine, leashes, and so on.
One thing to keep in mind is that you want the bag to have easy access. Harness storage backs actually hook onto the back of either of your front seats, and are designed with “on the road” easy access in mind. This means you won’t have to go digging in the bag for your water bottles or food; they’re right there in easily used pockets and compartments.
Dog Travel Water Bottle and Bowl
It’s certainly doable to bring your dog’s regular water dish on the road, but it’s not the most practical solution. Instead, look for a travel specific dog water bottle and bowl; these are designed for on the road use! A stainless steel dog travel water bottle will ensure the water is kept clean and cool during the trip, and a travel specific bowl will make it easy for your dog to get some refreshing water during stop—and easy for you to dry it off and store it in your travel bag once your dog is done. The large size of the typical dog travel water bottle will ensure you to be able to take your dog on longer trips or walk at your destination before you need to refill.
Water Bottle Holder or Carrier(Optional)
This item is optional, but definitely recommended if you plan to take your dog on a destination trip to a park, trails, or anywhere else where you’ll be walking with your dog and need to carry your dog’s travel water bottle with you. A water bottle holder is designed to be easy on the shoulders and carry a standard travel sized water bottle; all you have to do is sling it around your shoulders, and your dog is good to go!
Survival and Disaster Kit for Dogs
No one likes to think about something bad happening when you’re with your dog on the road, at a destination, or even at home—but accidents and emergencies do happen. The best thing for your dog—and you—is to be prepared for injuries and other emergencies before they happen. A survival and disaster kit is designed with two functions:
- Provide your pet with everything they need in a situation where you might suddenly have to leave your home with your dog and may be without regular food and water for a period of time
- Provide you with items you may need to treat your pet’s injuries in case of an emergency where you are unable to get to a veterinarian when they need some form of quick treatment.
First aid kit for dogs should contain items such as:
- at least 12oz of dog food
- 12oz of water in Mylar sealed pouches
- waste bags
- a first aid kit designed for pets
- disinfecting wipes and/or liquid
- bandages and gauze
- rubber gloves
You should keep at least two survival and disaster kit for your dogs: one to stay in your home, and one in your car whenever you have your dog riding with you.
There’s nothing wrong with having your dog carry some of the weight! A dog backpack is designed to be harnessed onto a dog so that they can carry some of the load while you’re walking on a longer trip. You should always read the dog backpack owner regulations to find out what the recommended size and backpack weight for your dog is—and always be sure to give your dog a rest by removing it when you’re sitting down for a break yourself.