Whether you’re making a quick trip to the vet or going on a road trip with man’s best friend, you’ll want to make sure that your car is as pet-friendly as possible. After all, car rides can be very dangerous to both your pet and your car if you don’t pet-proof in advance.
Here’s our fuss-free guide to how you can keep your car safe and comfortable for your furry friend.
Clean your car
Before all else, ensure that your car is free from any debris or small items of trash that your pet could mistakenly ingest or inhale. If your pet has any allergies, ensure that no allergens are in your car.
Also, avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your car, you don’t want to irritate your pet’s skin!
Lock windows & doors
While your canine companion might love to stick their head out of the window as you’re cruising along a highway, this is a big no-no. Open windows and improperly locked doors add to the risk of your pet escaping out onto the road and getting seriously hurt.
Check and double-check all your windows and doors before you set off to prevent escapes and any other accidents.
Secure your pet
The last thing you want is your pet jumping all over the place in your car during a ride. Just as putting on a seatbelt is crucial to humans, so is securing your pet.
Invest in a pet carrier or crate that you can secure in your car or a specialised removable pet seat. If you’re sure that your pet can sit still in a car seat, you can opt for a well-fitted harness and a special loose pet seat belt that keeps your pet secure and comfortable at the same time.
Protect car seats
Claw marks, fur, and the occasional toilet accident are all things to anticipate when bringing along your pet on a trip on the road. Prepare in advance and lay down waterproof protective coverings on your seats. Trust us, no one wants a wet hairball or a pool of dog slobber on their freshly-cleaned car seats.
You can buy hammock-style waterproof car seat covers for pets that keep pets comfortable and safe, while also being easy to clean.
It’s always a good idea to make sure your car is well-stocked with whatever your pet might need. Food, treats, medication, water, a food/water bowl, and absorbent pads are just a few things to always have in your car, just in case.
If your pet is a bit of an escape artist, bring along an extra leash or collar. Better safe than sorry, we always say.
Familiarise your pet
Car rides can be an anxiety-inducing experience for pets, especially if it’s their first time on the road. This is why it’s so important to get your pet used to the car before any long rides. Start by allowing your pet to just sit in the car and explore it frequently, and your pet will be calmer and happier on the ride.
No car ride with your pet should be traumatic- for your animal companion or your car. Our handy guide to making your car pet-friendly is sure to keep your pet safe and your car looking good as new, so you can focus on bonding with your furry friend.
(Related story: How To Travel Safely With Pets)