• Announcements
  • Dog Friendly
  • Dog Parks
  • General Fluff
  • Health + Safety
  • How-To
  • Pet News
  • A Practical Guide to Dog-proofing Your Vehicle

    by Emily Bergquist

    Taking your pet along for a road trip can be an exciting but tricky endeavor. After all, most cars are not exactly made for dogs, nor are many dogs keen to sit in a moving vehicle for long periods. Ensuring that your car is safe and accommodating for your canine friend may entail making a few adjustments here and there. Dog-proofing your vehicle is essential to traveling with your beloved four legged companions.

    Fortunately, there are simple and affordable ways to dog-proof your car that will make transporting your furbaby a breeze. Here is a guide with a few helpful tips:

    Learn to Properly Strap Your Dog In

    One way to dog-proof your vehicle is to ensure that your pup is secure and comfortable. The seat belts in your car may not be the best thing for that, but you can use car seat belts for dogs instead. These come in a number of sizes to best fit your pet and simply attach to your existing seat belts. As such, you don’t have to install anything new into your car in order to use them. Take the time to find a seat belt that is made of durable materials, as these can provide ample support to keep your furbaby in place.

    In case you can’t seem to find what you need from a store, you can always have custom dog seat belts made. Just make sure that you have your pet’s exact measurements handy.

    Vizsla sits in car with window rolled down.

    Waterproof Seat Covers

    Dogs are naturally messy creatures. There’s a high chance that they might drool, shed, or even poop or pee all over your car. To preserve your car seats and make cleaning up after your pup a lot easier, it’s good to invest in waterproof car seat covers. You might also want to get something durable to protect your car seats from your pet’s nails if they start digging at the seats.

    Give Your Dog a Designated Seat in the Car

    Another way to keep your dog comfortable during car rides is to provide a car seat or car hammock that’s designed especially for them. Much like a regular car seat for children, these dog accessories only need to be in your car whenever your pet has to ride with you, as these products don’t have to be permanently installed. Having a specially designed seat or hammock in the car will prevent your dog from getting nauseous or wandering around the car as a result of anxiety. Plus, they’ll be a lot more comfortable.

    Install Dog Barriers

    While car seat covers are great for protecting your car’s interiors, you still need something that will prevent your dog from roaming around in the car. After all, an anxious pup and a moving vehicle are not usually a good combination to have. Your pet may try to climb over seats to get onto your lap or lay on your feet to calm down, which isn’t safe for either of you when you’re behind the wheel. To keep you and your furbaby safe, install a barrier to keep them from reaching the front seat.

    Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy

    Accidents can happen while you’re on the road, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for them. Make cleaning up after your dog easier by keeping a small container with cleaning tools and products in your car. Your kit should include rags, pet-friendly cleaners, and a portable vacuum to quickly take care of small messes.

    Boston Terrier sticks head out car window.

    Use Doggie Ramps

    For smaller or older dogs, jumping into a car is not exactly easy anymore. Moreover, you may not always be there to carry your dog into your car, especially if you’re preoccupied or are carrying something else. You can make your car more accessible to them by having a ramp specially made for your dog. Look for one that’s sturdy and long, though, as a steep and flimsy ramp might scare your dog away. 

    It also helps to get a ramp that you can easily deploy out of your car when it’s time for your dog to get on. These ramps are designed to slide into themselves so you don’t have to keep setting them up.

    Final Notes on Dog-proofing Your Vehicle

    While your dog can feel like a blessing in your life, traveling with them can be a hassle. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Dog-proofing your vehicle is a great way to make transporting your furbaby a little less difficult for you and more enjoyable for them. With these tips, you can have peace of mind while you’re on the road with your furry best friend.

    Article written by Angela Thompson

    Sign up today

    We're expanding to your area next month! Sign up today for early access and exclusive discounts.

    This field is empty

    Must be a valid email

    Must be a valid zipcode

    Must be a valid phone number. Ex: (555) 555-5555

    Stories, Tips, & Free Giveaways for the Pet-Obsessed

    Like a Kong, we only fill our newsletter with the good stuff.