Your Furry Friends Don’t Have To Stay Behind: Refreshing Road Trips For The Entire Family

Beige puppy peeking out of a car window

You may love your vehicle but you love your pooch even more. The only problem is your little friend likes to make messes and cause a bit of mayhem (not always intentionally) when you’re making your way to your destination. As much as you enjoy having them around with the rest of the family, damage repair isn’t exactly cheap and cleaning up on the go isn’t as simple in a moving vehicle as it is back home. With the warm weather finally here, it’s probably about time to start preparing for upcoming road trips and we have a few simple ways you can go about making your trip much more fun – not just for you but also for your best friend.

Safety First: No More Puppy Shotgun

Woman inside a car with his dog
Inside the car

If you’re riding with one of those puppies who love to jump from the back seat to the front and just can’t seem to stand still then it may be time to consider installing a pet barrier. This will help you keep your non-human family member in an area that you are most comfortable with, limiting their access to wires, chords or other things that they may end up damaging while you have your eyes on the road.

Many barriers are retractable so you can have them in place only as necessary and quickly move them out of the way. Others are made of medal or mesh, connecting to the front seat head rests, giving you complete visibility of your little guy or gal. If you have a larger car with foldable seats, you may want to designate that flat surface for pets. Not only will this keep them out of your way so you can safely get where you’re going but this will also limit the space affected by debris left behind from dirty paws.

Creating a Cozy Environment

Brown dog inside a carrier
Cozy environment

For pets that aren’t as comfortable on the road and have a more difficult time relaxing in the car, a carrier may be your best investment. Place the carrier in a location where they can see you or other family members and don’t forget to bring along some of their favorite items from home such as a doggie bone and soft pillow. The more you can transform your vehicle into a familiar space, the better – you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand and not have to worry about what Fido is getting into. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and you already pay enough for car insurance, no need to make those numbers climb.

Preparing Your Pet for the Road

Before committing to an extended road trip, get your furry friend ready for the outing by exposing them to short rides in the car. This is going to help minimize not only their anxiety but yours as well and help you better assess the situation. If he or she begins scratching at your door panel or having accidents out of pure excitement than having them loose isn’t only going to be stressful for you but also for your wallet.

For puppies that are known to have accidents, allow them to relieve themselves immediately before departure and frequently on the road. Doing so may mean more time spent driving but you car will thank you. It never hurts to bring cleaning wipes and sprays along for the ride but don’t hesitate to invest in seat protectors to keep hair and leaks from harming your upholstery. The seemingly little upgrades can make drastic changes in your overall experience. Did we mention your car will thank you, too?

Today’s guest author, Dawn Anderson, is a financial consultant at Money Saving Angels, an insurance company based in England. She strives to perform well at her job. For more info, you can follow her on Twitter @msa_dawn.

Please visit my web site at Pet Portraits by Deena and see the many portraits I have painted. Dogs, cats, horses, what will be next? 10% of proceeds goes to support CorgiAid!