Pups love road trips, and humans love bringing their furkids along. Whether you’re picking up supplies from Home Depot, taking a scenic drive around town, or heading out for a trip to the mountains, there are a number of must-have car items that can ensure your trip is safe, fun, and stress-free for you and your pet.
First and foremost, you’ll need a car pet safety restraint for your pooch. Securing your dog will keep him (and you!) safe from injury and harm in the event of an accident, a sudden stop, or a sharp turn. There are several options, ranging from travel carriers and crates, to doggie seat belts, to pet barriers. You’re sure to find one that is just right for your pet--just make sure he’s acclimated to whatever device you use before you take him on any kind of trip.
Injuries and sudden illnesses do sometimes happen on the go, so make sure your car is equipped with a doggie first aid kit. Kits can be purchased pre-assembled, and commonly contain cotton balls, tweezers, sting relief ointment, gauze pads, and alcohol wipes.
Next, The Basics.
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It goes without saying--your pup won’t be comfortable for long without adequate food and water.
You should bring an extra portion of dog food or treats, even if you’re only heading out to run an errand. If one errand suddenly turns into two, then three, then lunch, you’ll be prepared. You’ll need a spill-proof, airtight container to store the food, and of course, a dish to serve it in. We recommend a convenient, space-saving option like the Kurgo Collaps-A-Bowl--a collapsible silicone bowl you can tuck away just about anywhere.
When it comes to water, you’ll need plenty for Rover to drink, plus some to wash him (and possibly yourself!) with if he gets into something messy, so it’s best to have a large jug onhand. . The Collaps-A-Bowl is great for serving water, too, but there are also other nifty car-friendly options like the AutoDogMug, which has an innovative design that prevents spills and waste.
Moving on to Mess Management
Dogs tend to find (and often make!) messes wherever they are, and it’s essential to have cleaning supplies on hand when you’re on the go. Basics include a towel to dry your pooch if he gets wet and/or dirty, paper towels to clean up small accidents and spills, and rags to clean up dirty paws.
If you’re looking for extra-convenient cleanup options, several companies offer wipes specially made for doggie skin. And we can’t help but love this portable doggie shower, which fits on standard water bottles and allows you to do a decent quick-clean for a sandy or muddy pup (this is where that extra water comes in handy!).
Of course, your dog won’t keep his messes all to himself, so you’ll also need items on hand to keep your car clean. Doggie hammocks and cargo covers are a great way to keep hair and dirt from ever reaching your car floor and seats. Putting a doggie t-shirt on your pet doesn’t prevent fur messes, but it does reduce them considerably.
For quick hair cleanup, lint rollers and mini-vacs work well. We’ve also found that a simple hand rub-down of seats with a latex glove will catch most dog hair, which can then be easily piled up and discarded. Alternatively, simple devices like the Kurgo Shed Sweeper can help with loose and embedded hair on both seats and carpets.
A car garbage bag will help you easily throw out used paper towels, wrappers, and pup hair, keeping your car tidy while you’re on the go.
Lest we forget, one other car cleanup essential is . . . poop bags! It’s very important to keep places you visit tidy, which means picking up after your pet when you’re out and about. So the humble poop bag is a must.
Give your dog something to do on the road by packing a favorite toy (or two!). Give him something to look forward to by packing some irresistible treats for good car behavior. And give him somewhere cozy to rest by bringing along a comfy bed or blanket.
With these essentials, you’re on your way to having a great trip with your furkid, no matter where you go!
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