By preparing correctly and having the right equipment before hitting the road with your dog, you should be in for a fun and hassle free trip. Generally dogs are willing to come for a ride and make eager travel companions… but whether your dog is keen or reluctant, ensuring you have the right equipment and attitude can help to assure that the trip is safe and enjoyable for both you and your pet.
One. Dealing with pet hair.
First things first. Keep it clean! Having cleaning items like old rags or wipes on hand clean can muddy paws is a time saver. Preventing a mess is much easier than cleaning it up afterwards. So, how do we deal with the inevitable pet hair? Not only does it the pet hair seem to stick to your clothing whenever you sit in the car, it is also stubborn in the sense that it refuses to budge for the vacuum. There are a number of different things you can try to help alleviate the stress of removing pet hair – like using a scrubbing brush to help loosen the pet hair in those hard to reach areas after you’ve finished your trip.
However, if you want to protect your car seats from damage and wear and tear over time, try using seat covers – many are machine washable.
Although, if you really want to get serious, there is a product called a hammock, which covers your rear seats and provides a hammock function ensuring your pet stays on the back seat. The hammock covers the back seats entirely, making sure they are left hair-free and mess-free protecting the upholstery! The universal size fits most small to medium-sized cars, and it is entirely hand washable with polyester material and a waterproof PVC backing. You’ll no longer have to spend ages cleaning hard to reach corners of your back seats, just simply take this pet hammock out and wash it off – too easy!
Two. Keep them in one spot.
Left on their own, pets can wander all over your car, creating all kinds of distraction. Some pets may get anxious about travel and may paw at you or even try to jump into your lap – this is not safe for you or for your pet. Generally, this is where a harness could help. Although they are a great way to tether your animal companions to one spot, some pets don’t adapt to them well – especially if they want more mobility, like on a long trip. In these instances, you can turn the cargo bay of your hatchback, station wagon or 4WD into the perfect kennel-on-the-go with a pet barrier. Easy!
There is an SCA black adjustable dog barrier will make sure your furry friend can’t bother you while you’re on the road. The barrier measures 85cm by 100cm, fits most vehicles, and is easy to install.
Fabric models are also available for smaller cars like sedans and sports cars. By using a pet barrier you’ll keep pets from jumping into the front seat and distracting you, all while minimizing pet hair mess by confining this to a single area of your vehicle.
Three. Travel safely.
Did you know, thousands of dogs are injured each year while travelling in the back of utes because they aren’t properly restrained?
Some dogs may be struck by tree branches or cars, be dragged along the side of vehicles or jump from moving vehicles. So make sure you’re travelling safe with your dog on the back of your ute. Cage or tether your dog at all times if they travel in the back of utes, tray backs or trucks. This stops a dog from falling out or injuring itself, and fulfils your legal obligation to make sure your dog is safe.
The safest way to transport a dog in the back of an open vehicle is in an enclosed cage. Make sure the cage is the right size, suitable for the dog. Place the cage behind the cabin of your ute as this will help minimise exposure to dust and wind, keeping your dog feeling comfortable while preventing dust particles harming your dogs’ eyes, ears, nose and lungs. Also, consider the material of the cage, if it has a metal floor it may heat up quickly in the sun and burn the dogs’ paws. If you can’t use a cage, ensure you’re tethering your dog to the back of the ute using a secure neck collar and properly fitted dog harness. Leads with attached choker chains can strangle dogs when vehicles brake suddenly – don’t use them.
For more information on how to transport your dog safely, check with your local council or government.