Monday, February 4, 2013

Better Safe Than Sorry-Traveling With Your Fur Kids

All strapped in and ready to go!

·       Better safe than sorry”, is something I live by when traveling with my dogs. There are three main types of distraction when an owner is traveling with an unrestrained dog: Visual — taking your eyes off the road, Manual — taking your hands off the wheel and Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing.*
I didn’t start strapping in my four-leggeds until about three years ago. After adopting Sophia, she really wanted to be in my lap while I was driving. That made me a bit nervous about our safety. Not that I am a bad driver, but she was just a too big of a distraction.

My sister gave me a single car set (for one pet) by Outward Hound that she wasn’t using. During our use of it, some of the plastic buckles have broken. I need to replace them before I pass it along to a friend.

A single dog car seat worked fine until we adopted Niko. After research, I purchased the Pet Gear large booster seat for two animals up to 25 pounds from Amazon. It works well for us.

Harnesses are needed to hook the dogs to the car seat straps. I keep a couple of extra harnesses under the car seat pad for emergencies. Every time I see a clearance sale at a pet store, I find myself checking for harnesses. It seems that I can not have too many

Dylan, our Mountain Fiest, is a little too big for a car seat so he has his own system.  He has a KURGO Smart Harness. I found it on a Petco clearance table, but would pay the full price for it if I have to get another. This thing is industrial-strength!

Strapping my fur kids in is something I feel pretty strongly about. It keeps my eyes on the road and it keeps them from getting thrown around if there is a wreck.  It’s a bit of a hassle, just like caring for small children. But making sure everyone is strapped in and safe is, for me, worth the extra effort. 

A view showing how the Pet Gear seat attaches. It's also a good place to stash leashes. 

A very strong clip attaches the Kurgo to your car's seatbelt.

The Kurgo gives Dylan plenty freedom to sit or lay down.

Sometimes Niko just doesn't want to stay put, but things get worked out. 

* These facts are from Be Smart Ride Safe, a site about traveling safely with you dogs.

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