I hope you had a pawesome weekend.
Today’s guest writer is Warren Clarke. Warren is an automotive writer for CARFAX, a leading online car buying destination. He writes about everything from car technology to cleaning tips for families and pet owners.
Taking your pet along for the ride can brighten the journey when you’re traveling by car. However, it’s important to remember that if certain precautions aren’t observed, your vehicle can be a perilous place for your animal companion, and in turn, your car can take a beating from your pet.
Just as child-proofing can protect your valuables from little hands, as well as make your home a safer place for your kids, pet-proofing can be an important step in readying your car for your pet and vice-versa.
Invest in a Safety Harness or Crate. If you’re traveling with a dog or cat, it’s essential to make sure it is securely seated. During a sudden stop or turn, an unharnessed pet can become a dangerous projectile, posing a threat to the safety of your pet and the safety of all passengers on board. A well-chosen safety harness for dogs or a crate for cats can offer this protection. However, not all safety harnesses or crates provide ideal levels of crash protection. This study by the Center for Pet Safety is an excellent resource if you’re interested in choosing products that provide the highest level of crash protection for your dog or cat.
- Keep Your Pet in the Second Row. Yes, it’s great to have your pet in the seat next to you as you’re traveling the highways and byways of life. But it’s important to remember that if there’s an accident, your car’s airbags could be deployed, and they could seriously injure your animal friend. Protect your pet’s safety by making rear-seat travel a must.
- Cover Your Seats. If you frequently travel by car with your pet, seat covers can simplify your life in countless ways. Cleaning pet hair from your seats is no fun, and seat covers serve as a barrier that protects your car’s upholstery from fur. Also, paws and claws can scratch and tear upholstery, and a sturdy seat cover will help you avoid this kind of damage. Finally, if your pet has an accident in the car, a seat cover can help prevent your seats from getting soaked or stained. Look for a seat cover that is thick, waterproof and machine washable.
- Install a Baby Backseat Mirror. Baby backseat mirrors help parents keep an eye on toddlers in the second row. These mirrors can also make it easy for you to see what your pet is up to, and they can keep you in the loop if your pet is experiencing difficulties that require your attention. Some minivans and crossovers offer this feature as factory-installed equipment, so look for this feature if you’re in the market for a new car. You can also purchase one of these mirrors from an aftermarket supplier and install it yourself.
- Purchase Heavy-Duty Floor Mats. Traveling with your pet can lead to all kinds of unexpected messes. Pets may occasionally get carsick or have accidents, which can seriously damage your vehicle’s carpets. Heavy-duty floor mats are made of resilient rubber, and they’re designed to easily withstand messes and wash clean. These mats can protect your carpets from stains, and they’ll simplify the task of maintaining a clean and sanitary vehicle.
- Mind Your Windows. It’s important to keep your pet’s window rolled up when traveling, since flying debris could cause injury to your animal’s eyes or mouth if your pet is allowed to peer out at traffic. However, keeping the windows rolled up leads to another problem: glass smudged with drool. You can avoid this issue by stretching a layer of clear plastic wrap on the inside of the glass before each trip. Once the trip is concluded, simply peel off the plastic, and you’ll be greeted with spotless, drool-free glass that doesn’t need to be cleaned.
Parents think long and hard about safety when traveling with their kids, and our animal companions deserve the same consideration. We must also do our best to protect our major investment as our furry friends tag along. Now that you know how to create a safe environment for your pet and your vehicle, it’s time to hit the road with your favorite animal friend!
Warren Clarke is an automotive writer for CARFAX, a leading online car buying destination. He writes about everything from car technology to cleaning tips for families and pet owners.