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Riding with Rover: 10 Must-Haves for Driving with Your Dog

By: Tierney BranniganMarch 21, 2017
Prepare your ride for a trip with your best friend.

If you’re a dog owner, you want that fantastic little fur ball with you as much as possible. Transporting your canine companion can be tricky though; from battling fur storms to soothing car-induced anxiety, driving with Fido can work YOU like a dog.

Don’t worry—we’ll throw you a bone! The products below are sure to keep your dog as safe and comfortable as possible AND keep you from getting distracted on the road.

1. Dog Seatbelt

You’d never begin driving without putting on your seatbelt, so why not do the same for your dog? For those sharp turns and sudden stops, buckling your dog in will help them feel secure AND, in the event of an accident, keep them from being thrown from your vehicle.

2. Seat Cover

If you love taking your dog on hikes, beach trips, or even just to the park, chances are you end up taking a lot of dirt, sand, and fur home with you. Instead of constantly vacuuming and scrubbing stains out of your car, consider investing in a dog seat cover.

Most covers are waterproof and even extend to the front seat of your vehicle. This means your dog has a wide, washable surface to lay on and doesn’t have to worry about falling onto the floor.

3. Pet Barrier

True to its title as man’s best friend, your dog may want to be near you and part of what you’re doing at all times. Though it’s sweet, in the car it can be distracting when your furry friend attempts to join you up front—talk about a back-seat driver!

By installing a lightweight barrier between the front and back seats of your car, your dog can still see and smell you without scrambling to get in the driver’s seat.

4. Car Ramp

Just because your furry friend’s getting up there in age doesn’t mean they can’t join you for car trips. If your dog has weaker joints, consider buying (or making) a dog ramp.

With a ramp, you won’t have to worry about lifting your dog into the car, which could end up hurting you AND your canine companion.

5. Pet First-Aid Kit

From arduous hikes to relaxing days at the dog park, situations requiring medical aid for your mutt are bound to arise. At the very least, make sure to invest in a pet first-aid kit equipped with tweezers (for ticks and splinters), antiseptic pads or ointment, gauze/bandages, and gloves.

6. Lint Roller

Why do dogs seem to shed twice as much in the car? We may never know, but there is a way to combat onslaughts of fur: lint rollers! These inexpensive and easy-to-find essentials will keep your clothes and car upholstery free of fur.

7. Collapsible Water Bowl

We’ve all seen it at some point: you’re at the park on your way to get a sip of water when you spot a dog drinking directly from of the water fountain. Though we love them, dogs aren’t known for having the cleanest mouths.

Having a collapsible water bowl in the car is a mutt-worthy must especially for sunny days and post-exercise hydration. Plus, when you bring an extra water bottle for your pup, you don’t have to worry about driving around, trying to find a drinking fountain or sink to refill the bowl.

8. Sunscreen

Just like us, dogs have sensitive skin susceptible to burns. Protect your pooch’s skin (especially on the nose, feet, and ears) with sunscreen specifically made for dogs.

Canine sunscreens come as sprays, wipes, and balms for easy application. Be sure to keep some form of sunscreen in the car for those impromptu beach trips and sunny, fun-filled adventures with your furry friend.

9. Pet Waste Bags

If your dog is a lean, mean, pooping machine, be sure to keep a few rolls of pet waste bags in the car. It could be a hike, a long car ride, or even just a trip to the pet store—you never know when you’ll have to clean up after your pooch.

10. Anxiety Essentials

For some reason or another, certain dogs become anxious and stressed while riding in the car.  Here are a few suggested items to keep in the car if your pup is a nervous passenger:

  • Toys and/or clothes.
    • The familiar scent of a favorite toy or even your own clothing can soothe a stressed pooch in no time.
  • Treats.
    • You can use treats to positively reinforce riding in the car, which will lessen your dog’s anxiety over time.
    • Don’t feed your dog too many treats in the car; doing so could lead to motion sickness.
  • Medication.
    • Talk to your vet about calming medications you can buy or have prescribed for your dog, especially on longer car rides.

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