AskPatty’s Automotive Holiday Guide for Pets
Just as you would safely buckle up yourself or your kids safely, you should also keep your pet buckled up while riding in the car. Small dogs and cats can travel in a Sleepypod mobile pet bed, which keeps them safe and comfy in luxurious ultra-plush and foam carrier. Priced around $150, the Sleepypod can be carried by its handle, over your shoulder on a strap, or strapped in to your car using the vehicle's regular car seat in just seconds.
Larger animals should be protected with a seat belt harness, such as the PetBuckle Seat Belt Harness which provides protection for a dog in a standard vehicle by using the vehicle's seat belt, LATCH bar system, or cargo area connections to securely restrain a harnessed dog. Just slip the seat belt through the web loop on the harness and buckle up, or purchase a Kwik-Connect tether to allow your pet more freedom of movement in the seat and easier "push and click" connections for you. Such harnesses can be found for about $30 in store or online at PetSmart.
A portable pet ramp is ideal for any dog that has difficulty making into your car, SUV, minivan, or even up on to your bed. Lots of features are built into this pet ramp, making it handy to take almost anywhere, including rubberized grippers for secure placement, and a ribbed non-slip surface with unique rubberized coating that is safe for all pet paws, and which also solving the problems of moisture, mildew, and odors that carpet can causes. (about $133)
Don't forget new leashes and collars! If you're looking for branded pet merchandise, Mini offers a very cool folding travel bowl set ($22) as well as a Mini-branded leash ($22) and collar ($20). These products are available directly through your local Mini dealer.
Finally, be sure you have a bottle of stain and odor remover, in case of pet "mishaps" on the road. Buster's Secret is a natural bio-enzymatic cleaner that eliminates urine, feces, blood, vomit and perspiration, and restores color and luster to carpets, floors, and upholstery with no perfumy cover-up. ($15 for 32-oz spray bottle) Your car, hotel, and relatives will be glad you brought some along.
If you'll be traveling with your pets this holiday season, the Pet Safety Lady offers the following tips:
- Be sure to keep your pet safely secured in a travel harness or crate. A 60-pound dog in only a 35-mph accident becomes a 2,700 pound projectile so securing your animal, whatever their weight, is very important and too often overlooked. Be smart, ride safe, and buckle up the whole family.
- Remember to take any medication your pet will require in the time period you will be away. Your pets usual food should travel with you.
- Never let your animals drink from the gutter or near cars along the way, as coolant and antifreeze are poison to pets! So are some household cleaning/chemicals, so if you need to use any to clean up after your pet make sure it is both child and PET SAFE.
- Keep your VETs info handy, regardless of whether you post it a magnet on the fridge, or in your phone book or cell phone. but also it is in your Pet Safety Kit. Also ahead of time make sure your VET will have someone on call for holiday, where they are located and how to reach them.
FINALLY: Don't forget your pet's ID TAGS! If your pet gets lost, you'll want to be sure the kind stranger who finds it can reach YOU! Also, Bark Buckle UP offers a FREE pet safety kit to help in case of an accident in your car. The kit assembles all the important information about your pet such as name, vaccinations, and vet info onto a convenient travel card. A sticker on your vehicle window alerts First Responders to the pet safety kit in your glove box so they can call your contacts to come get your pet and inform them you have been in an accident.
Happy holiday shopping! In case you missed one of them, please refer to our other AskPatty automotive-themed gift guides with great ideas for car-loving ladies, auto-oriented kids and teens, and gearhead guys!
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