Most of us have to put our dogs in the car frequently. Between vet visits, doggie daycare, trips to the park, and the occasional errand, they are ranking up frequent traveler car miles. Most dogs love going for rides, but the fur and the claws and the slobber can do a number on your interior. Here are a few tips and products for keeping your car clean and Fido safe.
Cover your seats and windows
Dogs wreak havoc on both leather and cloth car seats. They shed, drool, scratch, and track in dirt. If you plan on having your dog sit on the upholstery, the most important part of the equation is some sort of seat cover. Seat covers can help minimize the damage, plus they’re easy to shake out or vacuum when needed. There are hundreds and hundreds out there, ranging from cheap generic options to far more expensive custom-fitted units.
One of the telltale signs there’s a dog in the car are those nose prints and slobber streaks on the windows. Eliminate these by covering the window with clear plastic wrap before you hit the road with your dog. The clear plastic can be seen through and easily taken off after the ride.
Fido wants to be safe too
Having your dog pace back and forth or jump from seat to seat as you’re driving is not only distracting—it’s also dangerous for both of you. Although not required as of today in Pennsylvania, a bill proposed in 2005 would have required pets being transported in a vehicle to be secured in a crate, cage, dog seat belt system, or with a pet gate to keep the dog out of the driver’s space and prevent distraction to the driver, as well as injuries in the event of a crash. This bill also would have required the dog’s head and body to remain inside the window at all times.
Even if your dog is chill on car rides, get them a harness, properly securing your pet with a car safety harness and/or a dog seat belt every time you drive is a smart idea. This will keep them from landing in your lap, leaping out of the car when you stop, jumping out the window in pursuit of a squirrel, or in the event of an accident, getting tossed around the car.
Fido having trouble getting in the vehicle?
If your dog is a senior, injured, or has difficulty jumping into the car, keep a step stool or retractable ramp in your vehicle. This keeps you from having to pick them up and place them inside, and, depending on how good your back is, you may or may not be able to provide that help. Ramps are the answer, but make sure that you don’t go with the cheapest, smallest ones you can find. If you go with a ramp, choose one that is long enough to create an easy angle and sturdy enough not to rattle or sway when your dog walks on it.
Make a dog care kit
This might include:
- Food and Water
- A collapsible bowl
- Harness (can be the one like above used as a seatbelt)
- Animal first aid supplies
- Towels (one for cleaning off dirt, one for drying wet fur)
- Wet wipes for dirty paws
- A lint roller (for heavy shedders)
- Waste bags
- A small bottle of urine eliminator and spot remover
- And MOST important – dog safe TENNIS BALLS!
And, of course, never leave your pup alone in the car — especially in warm weather. Interior temperatures can rise well above air temperature in a matter of minutes, even with the windows cracked. Dogs can suffer heatstroke as well as an injury due to cold temperatures and lack of ventilation or water.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf signed The Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act into law in October of 2018 making it illegal to leave animals unattended in a hot vehicle. The legislation allows police and humane officers new powers in saving the lives of innocent animals left alone in extremely hot vehicles.
The law protects pets by establishing the following:
- Officers can remove dogs or cats from an unattended motor vehicle if they believe the animal is in imminent danger after a reasonable search for the car owner.
- Requires that an officer who removes a pet from an unattended vehicle must leave a note for the owner, with the officer’s information and where the pet can be picked up.
- Updating the definition of neglect — prohibiting the confinement of a dog or cat in an unattended motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health and well-being of the animal.
- The law also protects officers who remove a pet from an unattended vehicle from liability for any damages.
Norton’s Body Shop has been providing fine collision repairs throughout Northeast Pennsylvania for more than 50 years. Our entire team is committed to providing you with an exceptional customer experience from the moment of the first contact.
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