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Find the perfect dog walk on your journey - Driving with Dogs

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Creatures Great and Small: Car Picks for Pet Parents

Creatures Great and Small: Car Picks for Pet Parents

If you have a dog, you'll know the affection your four-legged pet brings to your life. There's nothing like wilderness walks and lakeside trips with your furry friend. But is your car kitted out correctly? No matter how big (or small) your dog is, there are some considerations to think about for their safety and comfort.

Unlike people, pets rarely get a vote in what kind of car you drive.  Your pet is at the mercy of your driving decisions and must deal with whatever comes its way once it's strapped in.  Fortunately for all parties involved (including your dog) there are plenty of options that make it easy for pets to ride shotgun.

The safety guidelines are straightforward if your pet is small enough to fit in your lap.

You've undoubtedly already heard the rule to always buckle up and never leave a pet alone in a vehicle. An accident could happen at any time.  Here are some simple tips.

  • Use a harness-equipped car seat or booster seat. You'll want something made of sturdy material that is specifically built for dogs because you don't want it to pull out while you're driving.   The harness should be tight enough around the body to prevent movement while still allowing enough slack to allow the wearer to move about freely inside the seat without becoming caught in their own straps.   Remember that dogs need space to spread out, especially while travelling by car.  
  • Be sure your dog can see out the windows easily and comfortably. Look for seats with enough clearance for his head so he doesn't have to strain his neck while looking around.
  • Make sure there's no chance your pup will get stuck if he needs to be rescued during an emergency or a situation where you're forced to brake suddenly.
  • Take note of whether there's enough space between your pet's seat and the driver's seat so he won't be able to reach over and press any buttons while you're driving.

Choosing a new car with your pet in mind

When choosing a car, there are many questions to consider.

·       How much do you want to spend?

·       How long do you want to drive?

·       What is your dog's size?

·       How much space do you need for shopping or luggage?

·       How much fuel and maintenance costs are acceptable?

Some car models are undoubtedly more dog-friendly than others due to their inherent design, but the best option for our tail-wagging passengers may not always be a vehicle with a large trunk.

"When it comes to car considerations for your furry friend, there's a couple of things to think about that'll prevent a rough ride" say experts at Caruno. "Should your dog be able to get in without assistance? If so, you want to look at the height of the car. What about the space inside? Can they stretch their legs out? Are they sitting front or back, and is there a way to secure them?"

Here's a couple of models you may want to look at:

·       Skoda Superb Estate: When it comes to carrying dogs, it lives true to its name. Even the largest dogs shouldn't be cramped in thanks to its enormous 660-litre boot and hopping in and out is made simpler by the wide entrance and low load lip. Additionally, the boot contains practical features that increase its adaptability, such a pair of side compartments where you may keep small objects like dog leads.

·       Peugeot e-Rifter: Right up there as one of the greatest cars for dog owners, even though it's not the most desirable car on the roads. It now comes powered by electricity, providing significant operating cost reductions. It's ideal for owners of large hounds thanks to its enormous 775-litre boot, large opening, and the complete lack of any load lip.

·       Ford Focus Estate: Evidence that you don't need the largest car to keep your pets comfortable on road trips. Despite not having the biggest boot in this range, it's still rather spacious at 608 litres, and thanks to the adjustable boot floor, you may give up a small bit of luggage space in exchange for the ability to entirely remove the load lip and store the car's parcel shelf.

You can travel with pets safely by following these tips and doing some research about dog car accessories.

Start with the basics:

  • ·       Make sure your pet is wearing a harness or collar that complies with government safety rules. These are available from many different retailers, online, as well as via animal shelters or rescue groups.
  • ·       A dog carrier may be useful if your dog has trouble staying still for long periods of time. A lead and collar will help keep your pet from moving about inside the car if they are susceptible to motion sickness.

The best thing about the car picks we've mentioned here is that they can be used by pet parents, giving options for everyone who wants a safe, reliable vehicle. Our hope is that these cars will help you find something that fits your needs and budget keeping your little fur babies safe along their journey.

Driving with your dog