Top Tips for Buying the Right Dog Car Seat
Family road trips should include the dog, so you'll need a pet car seat... Even in a Wagon Queen Family Truckster
Your pooch is a part of the family which means when you go somewhere he or she should come along for the ride. If you want to enjoy happy trails you need to bring along the happy tails!
Remember Kids: Safety First!
You wouldn't dream of driving without safely strapping yourself or your kids into your seats with the safety belts, and Fido should be no different. Although dogs look cute with their heads poking out of a vehicle's window - tongues and ears flapping in the breeze - if they're not secured to a seat properly they are in danger of serious injury. In the event of an accident an unrestrained dog can easily suffer broken bones as it is thrown around the interior, and it can cause similar injuries to the vehicle's other occupants. Also, as AAA points out, a dog roaming inside a vehicle can be just as distracting to the driver as using a cell phone, thus increasing the chance of an accident.
Will the Pet Seat Work With my Vehicle?
The Jumbo Tagalon dog car seat from Solvit has plenty of room inside
In order to keep a pet as safe as possible the dog seat
needs to be attached to the vehicle to keep it secure. Some seats connect to the existing seat belts while others are strapped around the car's seatbacks. Check a pet car seat's attachment specifications to ensure it will work with your vehicle.
Size is another factor in fitting a dog seat. Read the manufacturer's measurements to be certain your car will accommodate the seat. Also note that dog seats don't work so well with extremely sculpted or bucket seats.
Lookout 2 Booster Seat is perfect for small dogs
Size Matters: Matching the Pet Car Seat to the Size of Your Dog
It sounds like a no-brainer but be sure that the pet seat is large enough to comfortably contain your pooch and is constructed from materials sturdy enough to support him or her.
Small dogs usually fare best in a booster seat. These seats are elevated so the dog can see out of the windows; this reduces anxiety and motion sickness, and stops them feeling separated from the family. Typically booster seats are recommended for dogs of up to 20lbs.
Mid-sized dogs should have a pet seat with enough room to keep them comfortable while still keeping them safe and secure. It doesn't have to be huge, but just like your 'people passengers' your dog will want a seat with enough leg room.
Larger dogs will need a seat that firmly attaches to your car to make sure it stays secure during abrupt stops. Look for pet seats with robust or multiple attachments.
The Other Bits You Forgot to Think About
From an aesthetic point of view you may also want to consider if the pet seat matches the upholstery and interior your vehicle.
A seat with a drawer for storage or one that comes with travel racks for food and drinks might pay dividends, especially on long journeys. Some seats even have built-in heaters for sensitive dogs in colder climates.
For maximum safety make sure the pet seat is located away from any airbags.
Always attach the seat's safety strap to your dog's collar to prevent it from wandering around.
Always make sure your dog is on a leash when you get out of your vehicle to prevent it from excitedly running out into the busy street.
By John Bone