Having a furry friend climb around your car while you’re driving can be an unsettling — not to mention dangerous — experience, but with the right gear, you can ensure your dog or cat is safe and secure on the road.
Here we round up the 12 best gear for traveling with pets.
1. Halti harness €19, PetStop.ie
Gabriela Soskova of Big and Small Pet Sitting in Galway City calls this harness a must have for year round use but especially when taking your dog to a new location.
“I love this harness, it’s just the best. Regular harnesses tend to loosen and the dog can slip out and it’s a nightmare to put on a dog, but this works really well for any dog,” she says of the harness she uses and is for her Pomeranian available in three sizes.
“It has a little pocket on the chest that I can put poop bags in so I don’t have to have the little dangling bag roll. The company has been around for years and is perfectly designed to ensure that the dog does not injure itself on the harness or pull its neck. It has a lot of clips and you can use it with a seat belt extender in the car.”
2. Dog seat belt €15, WildTailsCo.com
Carolina Tucci, Founder of PetFriendlyDublin.ie, travels with two medium sized dogs and recommends a special seat belt like those from this Kilkenny based company. Available in a range of colors and prints, the adjustable seat belt has one end that snaps into the seat buckle while the other attaches to the dog’s harness.
“It’s so convenient because we can sit in the front seat and the dogs can’t reach us, so it’s super safe to travel,” she says. “I always make sure to clip the seat belt to their harness and never to their collar because if it were on their collar, in the event of an accident they could get all the impact on their neck and hurt themselves.”
3. Trixie car seat cover From €30.95, PetParlour.ie
Whether your dog is traveling in the trunk, in the front or back seat, a good cover will protect your interior from dirt, sand, moisture and dog hair. “It’s so handy when we’re hiking and the dogs come back with muddy paws,” says Carolina. “It also helps keep the car seat free of dog hair, and it has openings to use the seat belt, so it’s super useful.”
The Trixie version is available in an easy-to-clean black nylon or fleece-lined polyester for a more comfortable ride for your dog, with seat belt slots for secure buckle-up.
4. Voyageur pet carrier €32.20, PetStop.ie
Cat behavior consultant Alice Chau-Ginguene from MaowCare.com calls a good carrier “the most important investment in your cat’s safety”. “I’ve seen so many people who have flimsy baby carriers – they spend tons of money on a cute bow or a bed, but they don’t want to spend good money on a carrier. It’s a big mistake. Cats are very smart and will try to get out if you don’t have a good, solid cat carrier – and then you’re driving on the freeway and a cat scratches you.”
She recommends a sturdy plastic stretcher like the Dogit/Catit Voyageur, which comes in four sizes.
“A lot of people opt for cloth carrier bags and these can be tricky to use – the cat can wriggle out or start unzipping itself. In my experience, the safest thing is a plastic bag,” says Alice. “The wired ones are good, but can get a bit uncomfortable on a longer ride.”
5. Car network €9.95, PetStop.ie
If your pet is in the back seat, a mesh barrier like this car net “can be useful for keeping the dogs away from the driver,” Carolina says. The top corners easily hook onto the roof handles above the driver and passenger seats, while the bottom corners clip under the seats. The durable polypropylene net can be quickly rolled up and stowed away after use.
6. Kurgo booster car seat €58.99, PetsRUs.ie
For smaller dogs, Carolina recommends a car seat that attaches to a front or back seat to keep your furry friend off your lap. She likes the Kurgo one, which has a waterproof exterior and machine-washable inner lining. It is designed for dogs up to 30 pounds and includes a safety harness that attaches to any dog harness. Also, it is foldable for easy storage.
7. Kurgo rear seat bridge €74.99, Amazon
Larger dogs can get a little cramped in the back seat on long journeys. Carolina recommends a rear seat bridge that “makes the back seat taller so the dogs can lie down comfortably.”
It expands the space between your rear and front seats and creates a “bridge” over the footrest to give dogs more space. The reversible base made of waterproof material is black on one side and sandy on the other to match your vehicle’s interior. It holds dogs up to 100 pounds and the sides can be folded up to accommodate a human passenger.
8. Travel Well Spray €14.95, HolisticHound.ie
If your dog becomes anxious about long trips, Carolina suggests this Kerry-based company’s soothing herbal spray. “It’s a calming spray that keeps dogs from getting nauseous in the car,” she says of the spray, which contains peppermint, ginger and valerian to reduce motion sickness and calm the stomach.
9. Travel silicone bowl From €4.95, PetStop.ie
While you might want to bring your pet’s favorite blanket or bed, there’s no need to carry heavy dishes for mealtimes. “You can get portable versions, like collapsible travel bowls. These are easy to use on the journey or at the destination,” says Alice.
These durable silicone bowls can be folded into a flat disc or unfolded when needed. Suitable for wet or dry food and water, they come in three sizes and in red or blue.
10. Paw Pool Water Bottle From €15.99 for 350ml, PawPool.ie
If your vacation itinerary involves long walks or hikes, you might want to bring some water to keep your dog hydrated. Carolina uses a Paw Pool, a rounded-top bottle that fills with the push of a button.
“It’s a water bottle that’s also a bowl,” she says of the product, which was designed in Dublin and comes in green, blue, pink, black and white. “It’s super handy because we can store the water in the bottom and then just push a button and use it as a bowl too.”
11. Petsfit collapsible cat litter $19.99 Amazon
Leave the litter box at home and instead grab a portable version that can be used at your vacation home, outdoors, or in the car.
“You can get collapsible kitty litter, believe it or not,” says Alice. “It folds like a book, but when you open it, it’s a litter box.” It’s more eco-friendly than a disposable litter box and is made of durable canvas, so it will survive a few scratches, with a waterproof lining for easy cleaning.
12. Trixie cooling bandana From €4.99, PetWorld.ie
As the weather improves, your dog may need some help keeping cool in the sun. Gabriela recommends a bandana with a cooling gel that can help your dog cool off. “Cooling bandanas are awesome. You dip it in water and put it around their necks,” she says of the bandana, which cools by evaporation. “It’s the best way to keep them cool. It really works.”
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/dog-seat-belts-and-foldable-cat-litter-trays-top-12-items-for-travelling-pets-41615560.html Dog Seat Belts and Collapsible Litter Boxes: Top 12 Items for Traveling Pets