Now is the time to plan your spring and summer road trips. If you anticipate bringing your furry family members along (of course!), it’s important to make your car pet friendly.  

Gone are the days of letting Fido sit in the truck bed or catch the breeze by hanging their head out of the car. Yet, making your car pet friendly is about more than just having your pet in his or her crate/carrier.

Ways to Make Your Car Pet Friendly

    1. Crate or harness – Although we touched on the importance of having a proper carrier, a cozy crate lined with a favorite bed or blanket also makes for a great mode of transport. Just make sure your fur friend’s carrier can be securely attached to a seat belt. For those dogs who are acclimated to car trips and like to sit in the backseat, a seat belt adapted body harness can also be a great choice.

Whatever your choice, it’s necessary to take your pet out on a few practice runs to ensure the seat belt system works and that your pet has plenty of room to stretch out and get comfortable.

    1. Supplies and entertainment – Much like little kids, pets require a lot of “stuff” – from snacks to entertainment – while on the road. However, beyond a few special dog or cat treats and a favorite stuffed toy, consider keeping all of these pet-focused items in your car:
        • Pet waste baggies
        • Towels and wet wipes (for cleaning up or wiping off messy paws)
        • Pet first aid kit
        • Copies of your pet’s medical records, list of medications, and print out of local (destination city) emergency vet clinics
        • Extra food, water, and a few treats
        • Backup collar, leash, and ID tags
        • Chew toys and favorite games
        • Brush or comb

This may seem like a lot of stuff to lug around, but you’d be amazed at how handy some supplies can be when on long road trips. And hey – unlike your kids, your pets aren’t going to ask “Are we there yet?” a thousand times!

    1. Temperature control and general safety – Many pets are sensitive to hot and cold weather, and summer months can be scorchers. Before you head out with your small pal, make sure you maintain your car and have it inspected by a mechanic – including any needed repairs and an A/C charge. If your car’s air conditioning system is on the fritz, skip the trip with your pet until it can be fixed. Hot weather can rapidly dehydrate a small pet.

If your pet has trouble riding in the back seat, be sure to disengage the passenger side air bag in the front – especially if your pet is not crated and using a seatbelt harness. Airbag deployment can be very dangerous to our animal companions.

Remember to never leave your pet alone in a vehicle or unattended at a rest stop. Having a road trip buddy along to help out is a good idea – and the more the merrier!

As for having pet-accommodating fun along the way, we recommend the following apps:

For any health related questions or additional tips to make your car pet friendly, please call your friends at LVVH. Safe and happy travels!