Seat Belted In for Safety
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Guest post by Richard Howe
This guest post was sponsored by Dogs Corner of the UK.
With Spring already upon us, it is time to start thinking about the warmer months ahead- and of the holiday adventures that await. If your dogs are anything like mine, then they will be looking forward to taking a break every bit as much as you are! Travelling with any pet requires adequate preparation, as all experienced travelers will know only too well. To help make life on the road with your dog more enjoyable and comfortable for both of you, here are our top five must pack products:
Seat Belt Harnesses
Although the law varies from country to country, in my home nation, the UK, it is a little known fact that all dogs travelling in cars should be adequately restrained. This means that even if your dog is an extremely well-behaved passenger you could be breaking the law if it isn’t properly buckled in. One option is to transport your dog in a crate, but if you would rather not use this option (and my two Borders are the perfect example of dogs that would rather not!) there are alternatives. These days there are several great seat belt harnesses especially designed for dogs available on the market. Adjustable for all sizes of dog, they allow your pet to travel safely in the main body of the car without danger of falling off the seat or jumping up and distracting the driver.
Whether it is via micro-chipping or a more traditional name and address tag, you should always make sure that your dog can be easily identified should it get loose. When travelling away from familiar surroundings dogs are far more likely to get spooked and make a bolt for it. Although this is unlikely to happen, you do want to be prepared. In my local neighborhood most people would recognize my dogs should they break out of the garden (which thankfully they haven’t) but on the road the same simply does not apply. Your dog should already be easily identifiable but if they are not, then before you set off on the road is the perfect time to take care of this important detail.
This is another product which we have found to be invaluable. Once again there are a wide variety of seat covers on the market but all work in the same basic manner by clipping in place over the rear seats of the car. Some even hook around the headrests of the front seats forming a hammock style effect and a really comfortable travelling environment for your dog. Covers not only help keep hairs off the seats but also muddy paws, which on holiday are almost certainly unavoidable! Some people use dog beds for the same purpose but these are hard to use in conjunction with a harness. All good covers should be compatible with seat belt harnesses, but if you can’t afford a cover then a towel or rug should do the job.
Something old and something new
Although some dogs love travelling, others find it to be a stressful experience. A good way to help mitigate this is to bring along some familiar items such as toys, or if you can manage their own bed. Bringing along some of their favorite treats for the journey can really help to keep them happy and relaxed. Holidays are also a good time to try out some new toys or dog clothes. There are so many brilliant toys on the market that it is hard to know where to start, but if your dog is a strong swimmer and you are heading near safe-to-swim-in water, then you might want to look at some of the floating aqua toys which are available from most good pet stores.
Of all the gadgets which we have bought for our dogs over the years, this has proven to be one of the most invaluable. Keeping your dogs hydrated is incredibly important when you are travelling with them and these products help make that much easier. There are many different designs from non-spill bowls to bottles with fold out trays but they all fulfill the same function of allowing you to easily carry and present water whilst on the move. We wouldn’t leave home with one!
These are five products which we have found to be invaluable when we are travelling with our dogs- but we could quite easily write a list of twenty! Please share your most treasured travel products in the comments below.