Must Haves for Hitting the Road with Doggo
Bloo taking a water break on our most recent road trip to Montreal. She sat like this while I ate my ice cream.
Bloo has been amazing with cars since we brought her home. She’s never made a peep, just curls up, and takes a nap, occasionally waking up when we slow down or stop to look out the window. On really long car rides, she might just chill and look out the front or stare at her paws contemplating doggy life.
I HAVE to have this in my car always. I literally never know when my dog might take a mud bath. And it also makes spontaneous trips to the lake possible.
Features you should look for include side flaps, and anchors on the back so that the cover doesn’t slide around on the seat.
The one I have is this one:
I measured our SUV for the size, so that I can use it in both cars. It’s a little big for my hatchback, but not so big that it’s not functional. There’s just a small bulge of fabric in the middle, but you can hardly notice.
It’s super inexpensive and was much higher quality than I thought it would be. Some friends have asked me where I got it because a lot of the ones you see in stores give off a strong plastic odor. I totally get why you wouldn’t want to spend hours in the car breathing in those VOCs. I wouldn’t have thought of this as a “feature”, but I’m really glad that our pet cover was great from the start. It’s a really nice quilted fabric that is comfortable for both Bloo and humans (if they choose, it’s pretty easy to unclip as well). If there’s loose dirt, I just vaccuum it with my cordless Dyson (literally, the most life changing purchase of 2018) or I toss it in the washer and air dry. It dries in just a couple hours in the summer, or I wash it at the end of the day and it’s ready to go by morning.
I used to keep this folded up in Bloo’s duffle that I keep in the back of the car, but she gets dirty so often, I just don’t bother putting it away anymore. Besides, no one sits in the back other than her.
Seat Belt and Harness
This I consider a safety essential. I always put Bloo into her Kong Harness and then clip her into the Kurgo seat belt tether. Bloo doesn’t move around in the car, so this is mostly in case of an accident, she won’t become a furry projectile. 🙁
What’s really important to understand is that most harness/tether combos that you get in the pet store, aren’t actually properly crash tested. They mostly just prevent your dog in place. Additionally, you want a harness that supports their whole ribcage so that in case of an impact, the pressure is equally distributed. I never just clip Bloo to her collar because decapitating my dog is a real fear.
I decided to put together my own harness/tether combo. It’s not crash tested, but this Kong harness seemed sturdier (and more comfortable) than the others available at the store. The Kurgo seat belt tether was the one most readily available in chain pet stores in my area and the reviews on Amazon were mostly positive, especially for small/medium dogs.
Even if we aren’t going anywhere far from home, I always like to keep food, water, and travel bowls on hand, so that if I want to stay out longer I can, and Bloo won’t go hungry (even though, she’s picky and only likes to eat at home…). Most parks have water fountains, but I never know when you might need to stay out longer or stay the night, so I keep a glass water bottle filled with water.
And all this stuff hardly takes up any space. I usually also bring her medium Casper dog bed with us too so Bloo can have a great night sleep wherever she is. I put that in the trunk first and suitcases and such on top.
See? Lots of space! Everything is in that little denim duffle.