Who doesn’t love the sight of a dog sticking her head out of an open car window, with ears and tongue flying like flags in the wind? You smile at that dog. You want to give treats to that dog. But you also wonder about if they’re strapped in and secure, right? The last thing any animal lover wants is to see their dog injured in a car accident.
Your furry best friend’s safety and well-being while travelling by car or plane is of utmost importance. With so many pet travel products to choose from, luckily The Basic Concept has done it again, and combed the globe looking for top-of-the-line travel products specifically for your dog on the go. But before diving into our amazing products, let’s start with some background on why dog car seats are important and how to get your pooch to use them in the first place.
Why Do Dog Car Seats Matter?
There’s a human and canine side to the answer. For humans, driving with a dog who is sliding around or crawling into your lap can be a dangerous distraction, and leave everyone involved more accident-prone.
For dogs, their safety and well-being is at stake. In a worst case scenario, such as a head-on collision with another vehicle, an unsecured dog could experience extreme injuries or even worse.
Your cargo is too precious for that, but there’s no need to stress. With just a few precautions, such as a dog car seat and harness, you could help prevent some serious consequences. And still look fabulous while driving around town with that top down.
If you’re unsure of how your pooch will take to a dog car seat, we have a few tips to help you out.
How Do I Get My Dog Used to a Car Seat?
First, you may want to rule out any physical conditions such as motion sickness. If they do get motion sickness, talking to your vet about medication such as Dimenhydrinate (e.g. Gravol) can go a long way in making travel more comfortable for your dog. As an alternative or adjunct to Gravol, many dog owners give ginger biscuits to their dogs before or during travel because ginger is said to have anti-nausea properties.
If your dog experiences fear or anxiety around car or plane travel, additional training to help make them comfortable with the process and remove unwanted behaviors can also be key factors.
Speaking of training, if you and your 4-legged family have “sit-stay” down pat, this will be a huge help to the car seating process. Once they are actually in their car seat, repeating this to them will help them understand the task at hand.
Another factor in acclimating your dog to their car seat is helping them see it as their happy place. The Pupping Car Seat at TBC conveniently doubles as a travel bed. You can start by introducing the bed to your dog at home. Lavish them with treats in it and get their scent all over the fabric.
Next, when you and your fluffball are ready, you can graduate to the next step and play with scooping the bed up by the handles and transporting them into the car.
Finally, you can start drives when you’re certain your dog is in a relaxed, positive mood. Then, incrementally increase drive time while your dog is in their car seat. You might start with a 1-minute drive, then 3 and 6. This will help form positive associations with travel, and gently adjust them to enjoying the dog car seat lifestyle.
What About Airline Approved Carriers?
If your dog is small enough to be travelling with you in-cabin, you will need an airline approved carrier. Generally speaking, it needs to be large enough for your pet to comfortably stand and sit erect (without touching any side or the top of the container). They also need to be able to comfortably turn around and lie down, without having any of their body parts protrude from the crate.
Your carrier should also be well-ventilated, leak-proof and can have soft or hard sides. Make sure to check with your specific airline because many have maximum dimensions for in-cabin carriers, and other specifications. Some may also have additional fees, and/or require that your pet carrier count for your one piece of carry on luggage.
For example, Southwest Airlines requires that carriers be able to fit under the seat in front of you and have maximum dimensions of 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide. American Airlines requires a carry-on pet fee, and that your pet stays in the kennel and under the seat in front of you the entire flight.
Get Your Stylish, Safe Dog Car Seats and Accessories at The Basic Concept
We’re hoping the travel bug has started to bite, because what’s life without a little adventure? To help with that, we’ve curated the world’s finest (if we do say so ourselves) dog car seats, convertible day bags, snap button, microfleece camp blankets, collapsible, BPA-free, silicone travel bowls and other accessories to make your dog’s travel experience as safe and stylish as caninely possible.
So don’t delay: get your dog car seat and get on the road to new adventures today!