Monday, February 28, 2011

Dog-Safe Travel, Around Town and on the Highway--Part I of III

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© courtesy K. Litz
Pounce Travels
Comfortably in his Crate

Years ago when Xena was just a pup, I dutifully got her a doggie seatbelt. Xena wore her seatbelt in the back seatfor quite sometime until one day--one scary day--I had to slam on my brakes. 

After that day, she rode with me less frequently on highway expeditions, and more often on my errands to the bank and other drive-through pickups nearby. Slower speeds around town became the mainstay of her car rides. When I did take her to Grandma's or otherwise out of town, she would travel in her crate, tucked snugly in the back of my SUV--a necessity with 3 kids to run carpools for. It wasn't her favorite place to ride, but she soon became accustomed to it, especially when I added a soft bed to the crate bottom. 

I have to give her credit; she always worked with me during periods of change. When Tanner joined the family, Xena decided that the crate was pretty nice digs, now that she had a companion--albeit a whipper-snapper--to keep her company. By the time he rivaled her size, we had taken on an out of town project to manage. The dogs and I did a good bit of traveling for nearly a whole year. We logged a bunch of highway miles and also learned that two dogs in one crate could mean knocked heads. 

My solution to this dilemma was a second crate. My SUV became a Retriever-mobile, with the back seats folded down eternally, and two crates taking up much of the rear cargo area. (Didn't Pounce's mom get creative with her space in the picture above?) Thankfully I was down to one kid at home by that year, so we were able to make this work as family transportation, as well. After a tough year I hadn't bargained for, everything bundled into a bunch of stress that needed to be unleashed--pun intended! 

Soon I discovered a nearby doggie daycare through a friend and began leaving the dogs at Bow Wow Resort on my traveling days. I found that this was a safer and more productive way to manage my days out of town. The downside was that I missed my travel buddies, even though they traveled in a crate in the back. They had provided nice companionship that I missed; it was time for another change.

After the beginning of All Things Dog Blog, I met a new friend through the blog. The owner of Pet Auto Safety, has introduced me to safer options that I never knew existed. Join me for Part II of Dog-Safe Travel, as our journey to safer traveling continues. I'll share our newest travel choices for Oliver and Tanner--more secure and flexible, yet more convenient than ever. Even Tanner has some positive commentary over at 5 Minutes for Fido. See you soon.

*Just as with young children, the front seat is not your best choice for Fido's transportation. Even if Fido is seat belted with a crash-tested safety belt, he is still susceptible to life-threatening injury by an airbag deployment. With most automobiles equipped with front seat airbags, this seat is only safe for pets whose weight does not engage the airbag. Elevated car seats relieve the seat-bottom of the pet's weight, disengaging many newer car's airbag systems for front passenger seats. Check your auto manual for information on your own vehicle's airbag operation before making any decisions. 

Visit Be Smart. Ride Safe.
Need a travel crate? Amazon has over a 1000 different sizes, types and colors. Click here to shop:

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Jan said...

I was pretty casual about where my dogs rode in the car until recently when a friend had a bad accident when her little dog wandered over to the brake and accelerator.

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

How scary. That's a scenario I hadn't thought about. A pup tangled in your feet would certainly be a hazard to driving safely. Thanks for sharing that event.

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