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Car Safety for Your Fur Family
March 17, 2021
Many of our Bivvy pet parents are millennials. They’ve got only fur-kids so far, and they treat them like family, enriching their lives as much as they possibly can, including by taking them out on adventures planned just for them, or just taking them along as little sidekicks as they cruise around ticking things off their to-do list. Teaching your dog or cat to ride in the car and enjoy it, in a manner that’s safe for both you and them, is a worthy endeavor.
Start ‘em Young
Periodic drives to the vet will be part of your pet’s life, not to mention drives to the dog park, on road trips with you if that’s your thing, or to extra-fun outings for them like pet playdates, hikes, campouts, and the pet store. Not all dogs are born automatically loving to hop in a car and stick their heads out the window as they watch the world go by. For some it’s stressful—hopping into a loud, moving machine with unfamiliar scents, sights, and sounds. And cats tend to have an even harder time with it. Any pet may get car sick, or may be provoked to excitement and energy that gets expressed negatively, like flying about like a pinball, posing danger to both of you.
Teaching pets good car etiquette will go best if you do it early and often. Not too early—if they’re babies, wait until they’ve had all their initial vaccines, and consider even consulting your veterinarian to see when it seems best to them. And start with short car rides. We’re talkin’ turning on the car and just backing to the end of your driveway the first time. Then around the block. Getting them used to the car in this manner gives them their best shot at having car rides be something they look forward to.
Once you’ve gotten your pet comfortable riding in the car, in order to keep all parties safe, you ought to do your best to keep them out of the driver’s seat. If they have a hard time with this, you’re in luck—there’s a whole industry of innovative options. Check out this list of the best pet car barriers on the market as of 2021.
You can get anything from ones that look like the metal grills in the back of police cars, to mesh, which is easy to install but works best only for smaller or calmer pets. The metal variety was generally ranked as most effective.
Another option is the FrontPet Backseat Pet Bridge, a sturdy cloth rectangle that covers the backseat, with a panel that goes up in front, blocking the pet’s access to the front seat. It’s able to withstand 150 pounds, and also protects your seats from tearing, hair, and drool, and it has pockets to hold all your pet’s necessities.
Mesh pet barriers tend to be the cheapest, ranging from $7-$20, and the metal ones, good for big dogs and excitable pets, are most costly, at $35-$99. And any barrier shouldn’t impede your line of sight. Make sure you can see clearly behind you and in your mirrors.
Crates and Cat Carriers
Check out Business Insider’s top recommended offerings on the current cat carrier scene. They range in price from about $20 to over $200. Their favorite is one that has an expandable side compartment that gives your cat more room. The highest-end is the third-party crash-tested $225 Away Pet Carrier.
Keeping Yourself Distraction-Free
Here are some things to keep in mind for yourself:
And don’t @ us on this potentially controversial one, but…consider leaving your windows rolled up, especially on busy streets and highways. Though we romanticize the idea of a happy dog with his head hanging out the window, think critically about this. They could at least get bugs and dirt in their eyes, and at most could jump. Speaking of, make sure your pet’s wearing a collar with an ID while traveling, in case they do jump out. They could also choke if the window somehow gets rolled up while they’re looking out. In fact if your pet’s not restrained, use child locks on the windows and doors so they don’t accidentally hit a button that opens them.
Avoid Queasy Critters in the Car
Try some of these out if your dog or cat gets green around the gills in vehicles:
Having a car trip-friendly pet will enhance your life and theirs. It will open up a world of adventuring possibilities that will strengthen your bond, or at least ensure that on vet days, they’re not already frazzled and traumatized from the drive before they even get to their appointment. And when you get to the vet, make sure you’re equipped with the best pet insurance around! Bivvy covers illnesses, accidents, and prescription medicine. And you can use it at any vet, if something happens when you’re on a road trip with your pet and you have to go to a clinic other than your usual. Bivvy insurance reviews show that our pet parents appreciate our low price and that claims are processed quickly. Check us out, so you and your sidekick can enjoy your life on the go!
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