How to travel safe with a dog in any vehicle, keep car seat clean and pets safe

“Get back in the car, puppers” you say to your dog while waiting at the bank drive-thru window. He knows there’s a treat with his name on it as the bank teller smiles and asks, “How many?” Sure, it’s adorable. For the teller. She doesn’t know when you pull away you’ll be in a fender bender at the next intersection. Dog wasn’t confined, distracted your view, and so you smashed into the car in front.

Wouldn’t it be safer to restrain your pet? Dog crates are portable and not that difficult to set up in the back of the vehicle. Fold open the soft mesh or metal wire panels and you’re hooked up, ready to go. For small dogs on short road trips, hand-held designer carriers make a nice fashion accessory when resting on your lap. Long trip planned? Some carriers have docking bases just like those for infants.

Must see, too? For window view, a car seat booster elevates dogs up to 40 pounds. Straps secure your pup into place or boost up from the bottom. Find car seats designed with storage areas for accessories. Soft, padded cushion lines the interior for a restful ride. Safety leashes and seat belt harness connection allows for easy in – easy out plus no more escape worries.

Upholstery is a mess again. Your turn to clean it. Enough of draggin’ out the vacuum to suck up all the dog hair left behind. A car seat cover for the vehicle is the wisest investment a pet owner can make. We tried using a blanket, did not work out so well. Several styles to fit your front seat and backseat, even a hammock design. Keep mud outside where it belongs with mats and fitted liners for the cargo area of your van, wagon, or SUV.

Vehicle barriers offer your pet a cabin area of their own, giving privacy to driver and passengers. Contain dogs and dirt. Different styles are available, including tubular wire, wire mesh, and net. Responsible owners know we don’t leave the pets in there for too long, especially in extreme temps, right?

Next time you visit the bank drive-thru, have your precious puppers safely confined in your vehicle. The teller will still ask “How many?” over the barks in the back.