Summertime means road trips. And if you’re taking the dog with you, it means thinking ahead to make sure ol’ Rover gets to your destination in good health. Here are some things to ponder.
Photograph: Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat; Petsmart.com
- Seat restraints are a must (you don’t want the dog crashing around the interior during a panic stop) but some people think seat belts look, well, inhumane. Answer? Get a booster seat. These luxurious skyboxes provide a good view out the window, and they have comfy linings. Some of them double as beds once you arrive.
Photograph: Water-Resistant Hose-Off Seat Hammock; orvis.com
- Resting easy. It won’t restrain the animal, but a “hammock” style blanket can be suspended in the rear-seat area. Orvis sells a hose-off blanket works as one of these hammocks.
Photograph: Doggles Protective Eyewear for Dogs; Petco.com
- Have vision! Top-down drivers know how much the dog loves to stick his face in the breeze. To prevent eye damage, get specially made goggles for dogs, such as those made by Doggles.
- Escalator to an Escalade. If getting in and out of that towering SUV is an issue, consider taking along a portable ramp or staircase for the dog. Petsmart carries a telescoping ramp that is easy to haul around.
- The friendly fence. If you’re staying somewhere for a week or more and want to give the dog some freedom, there are various electronic-fence options, such as the Wireless Dog Fence ($250). The dog hears the electronic beep in the collar and knows not to wander farther.
- Can we see your ID? All dogs need an ID tag on the collar, but none more than the footloose and frisky fellers who like to make a break for it. Make sure the collared tag has a good nametag with your cell phone number on it. Implanting a microchip ID tag is also a good thing.
Photograph: Collapsible Pet Kennel; mopar.com
- Get the right car. Volvo has custom-made pet barriers for its vehicles, and Jeep sells a whole line of crates and carriers for pets that fit its exteriors exactly right. Ask your dealer if special pet accessories are made for your car.