Nine nicieties to consider when taking your doggy on a road trip.
Life-savers and luxuries to keep you and your canine companions safe and happy when you are having adventures together.
Are You a Cat or Dog Person?
Swansway Group, a family-owned business of car and van dealerships across the North West and Midlands, has been proud to support National Pet Month 2021. This project encourages pet ownership throughout the UK, a subject very dear to the hearts of the Swansway family. The last staff survey conducted on the topic saw over 53% of staff members declare themselves a “dog person”. Twenty-two per cent could not decide if they favoured dogs or cats. A mere 11% came out as feline fans only.
It has been reported that over three million households (source: BBC News) in the UK have added a pet of some description to their household during the global pandemic, and a great many of these are adorable doggies.
As the current restrictions on our travel movements ease, many new dog owners will be considering taking their dogs out in their cars for the very first time, for a day out or a UK staycation. Swansway Group has produced a list of “nine niceties” to consider when taking your pooch out in your car with you. That way, you and your canine companion can have the very best experience:
1. Keep Track of Your Hound With a GPS Tracker
This innovative product gives you extra reassurance when you or your dog are in unfamiliar territory. You can keep track of them even if they have decided to have an adventure all on their own.
Some products allow you to go into “live” mode. These devices update your dog’s whereabouts every two or three seconds. Additional everyday uses are as a fitness tracker for your dog to see just how much exercise they are doing each day. Some will even give you location history and heatmap options. These features will show you where your dog likes to “hang out” when not with you.
They are designed to fit easily on most dogs’ collars. Some also feature a warning if your pet is in adverse temperature conditions, and an alert when the tracker is removed from its collar attachment. Certain devices also use the virtual fence feature.
2. Keep Your Dog Clean With a Portable Washing Device
All true adventurers, especially the canine ones, know that a day of fun is not complete unless you have encountered your fair share of muck! These innovative designs come in various sizes, some holding up to eight litres! They could be the solution to any muddy problem.
Some come with handy brushes to allow you to attend to any grubby paws. Some brands have cleverly created the ability to keep water warm for up to 2.5 hours! It is a useable option for the muckiest of dogs – or humans! The device is also small and flexible enough for you to easily take with you on your travels. While your dog may not love you for insisting they have a quick shower, your car interior certainly will!
3. Use Car Seat Protectors
While any seat cover is advisable to avoid passengers damaging or dirtying your upholstery or door interiors, it is worthwhile spending the time to look for efficacy and value for money.
Features to look out for include heavy duty waterproof fabric, storage pockets, a viewing window to check on your canine passenger, non-slip PVC mesh for comfort and safety, a safety belt, an adjustable format to allow a human passenger to sit next to your dog and high sides to stop even the most energetic puppy from moving around too much in the car and distracting the driver. A multi-functioning must-have for dog days out this summer.
4. Compact Foldable Drinking Bowl
Avoid desperately dehydrated doggies with a Land Rover drinking bowl. With all the Land Rover design capability, combined with the fact that over 50% of Land Rover owners also own dogs, it is perhaps unsurprising that Land Rover has produced a drinking bowl that is one of the very best available. It holds food and liquids with a mighty 1.5-litre capacity and is easy to clean, fold away and carry. This lightweight, convenient product will enable you to travel many miles with your dog without worrying that the fun will have to stop due to dehydration. A quick pit-stop, and you can be on your way again!
5. Calming Chews
Calm your canine on a long-distance journey with some calming chews. Ensuring that your dog doesn’t suffer anxiety or hyper-activity on your car journey is not only beneficial in avoiding stress for your beloved pet, it also enables you to concentrate on your driving, making sure you arrive safely at your destination. These chews are suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes. They support a calm and relaxed state without making your pet dozy or unresponsive. And they can be formulated with various flavours to make them attractive to the most discerning diner! Peace of mind for everyone in the car.
6. Safety Light
Be safe and be seen when you are out at night with your dog with a safety light. Should you need to make an emergency trip out with your dog while camping, for example, this innovative safety light will clearly signal that you and your dog are there.
These lights are versatile, and you can clip them to your dog’s collar or to your clothing to make sure that you and your dog are visible in poor light conditions. Some manufacturers claim that the light is visible from a distance of up to 5km, and they shine from a wide-angle so you can see it from lots of different directions.
Waterproof options can withstand the worst of the weather or, indeed, a swimming trip. High-quality options have a battery life of 100-250 hours, depending on how you use them. And you can choose a variety of colours – a different one for every dog, child or adult in your group!
7. Dog Accessories
For dogs that travel in the boot of any car, accessories designed specifically for your brand of vehicle will only enhance your experience and the appearance of your car.
Volkswagen Accessories, in particular, produce a variety of partition grille and boot mat options to suit all models within their range. There are many non-branded pet accessories available on the market for those willing to install them themselves. However, the bespoke accessories can go with your vehicle when you are ready to change it as an attractive feature in your resale or evaluation, especially when you show that qualified technicians have fitted your accessories.
It is convenient, and you can be confident of the safety and security of any installation when you order your brand-specific item online and collect the item from your preferred dealership. The fitting of an item is usually included in the price.
8. Pet First-Aid Kit
Knowing what to do in a medical emergency and having supplies readily available is very important. As is having a pet first-aid kit to ensure that you can address any immediate concerns before seeking professional help. From sting relief to syringes, kits can have up to 40 items and the best ones come encased in a handy waterproof case.
This addition to your toolkit should give you the confidence to cope should an accident befall your best friend. The PDSA also has a helpful guide about pet first aid that is free to download and gives essential information about what to do in various circumstances for any responsible pet owner.
9. Dog Ramp
Last on our list is an adjustable dog ramp that will allow a safe and steady transfer to and from the ground to the boot of your car. A ramp like this one is ideal for the senior dog, one that is a little unsteady on its feet or even for the owner who no longer wants to lift their pet into their vehicle.
There are many variants available on the market, but the cream of the crop has been produced by Jaguar and is the pet ramp to fit the F-Pace. The ramp comes with a minimum of 12 months’ warranty, has a high grip tread pattern for paws, and rubber feet on the ramp, both to prevent any slipping. It weighs 6kg and can be stowed away in a handy storage bag. It really is the perfect way for your beautiful big cat to transport your gorgeous dog!
It’s going to be a summer for making marvellous memories! Every responsible dog owner must remember to clean up after their dog, respect walking permissions and livestock. They must also bear in mind that if a pavement gets really hot for our hands – it is also going to feel really hot for those precious paws! Now all that remains is for you and your dog to decide where you will head to first!
About Swansway Group
Swansway Group has 23 dealerships and one accident repair centre, from Birmingham in the Midland to Carlisle in the North. It represents Volkswagen, Audi, Land Rover, Jaguar, Seat, Cupra, Peugeot, Honda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, plus operates five Motor Match non-franchise locations.
The family dealer group was founded in 2003 by Michael Smyth and is now run by him and his three sons.
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We hope you enjoyed reading our article “Your Doggy Road Trip“. If you’d like to read more of our articles about looking after your dog, click here.