Sometimes you just feel like taking an adventure. When the mood strikes to hit the open road, your best canine pal is going to want to tag along. Exploring your neighborhood, visiting a new city, or heading out for a walk in the woods or on the beach is even more enjoyable with your fave pooch along for company. However, if the idea hits when you’re already out on the town, you might find you are missing some of the essentials you need for your dog to join your day of fun. Many dog owners are now stocking their vehicles with a few “must have” items that enable them to be spontaneous and take little detours with their doggy companions whenever the mood strikes. Those few critical items can give you the freedom and flexibility to go wherever the wind may take you and your pooch when you feel a day of playing “hooky” might be just what the doctor ordered. What are the top products every dog owner should have in their vehicle?
A First Aid Kit
No adventure is complete without a plan for emergency situations. All pet owners should have a first aid kit at home, but it is equally important to have one inside your vehicle as well. Included in your first aid kit should be items such as Benadryl to address mosquito and black fly bites or bee stings, alcohol wipes to clean wounds, surgical tape and vet wrap in case of sprains, and tweezers to remove splinters or shards of glass that may find themselves embedded in your pooch’s sensitive paw pads. Though many pre-made kits are available at local pet stores, you can just as easily make your own to keep on hand.
An Extra Dog Leash
Though most families don’t leave home without a leash for their dogs, dog leads can fray, unravel, or snap, leaving Fido free to take off wherever his nose may take him. It is always an excellent plan to store an extra leash of excellent durability in your car in case a backup is needed.
Some families also like to keep a Flexi in their vehicle. This type of leash allows a dog to have a larger area to roam while still keeping him safely tethered to his owner.
An extra leash also comes in handy in the event you decide to carry Fido to the car instead of leashing him then want to go for a walk but can’t because you don’t have a lead with you.
Cleaning up after your dog is a necessary part of responsible pet ownership. Be sure your car is well-stocked with poop bags. The more you can accumulate the better as you will likely encounter other owners who didn’t have the foresight to pack the essentials who will want to borrow one of yours.
A Car Harness
Most dogs love to go for car rides. Unfortunately, accidents happen without any warning and can put your dog’s life in jeopardy. A secure containment system is necessary to prevent injury or death in case of a collision. Many owners like to make use of crates which is an excellent solution to the problem. But some dogs prefer to be “part of the family” and in on the action. To accomplish this, many owners purchase a car harness.
Most car harnesses come in two parts: a harness for the dog and a tether. In order for this important piece of safety equipment to function properly, it is critical that the harness be properly fitted to your dog. If your pooch can wriggle free, the harness is too large and an ineffective tool.
Some training is also required to get your dog accustomed to his new harness and seatbelt system. Many dogs resist this type of containment, but soon come around with enough treats and praise. In time, many dogs begin to prefer this type of car safety device to a crate.
If you have a pooch that is trustworthy enough to be allowed off leash from time to time, you will undoubtedly enjoy taking him to visit areas where off leash activity is encouraged. However, even a dog with the most reliable recall is still a dog and when something catches his attention, Fido just might head off in search of it. A GPS collar allows you the luxury of knowing precisely where your dog is even if he is no longer in your immediate field of vision. This clever tracking tool is an invaluable asset for dogs who become lost or who wander off and find themselves in distress.
Though GPS collars can be costly, this is one item that has the potential to save your dog’s life, and thus, is a wise investment.
Though water should not be stored in a car due to safety issues involving chemicals which can leach from plastic bottle into the water supply and harm your dog, you should begin the habit of carrying a water bottle with you each time you head out for a day of fun with your pooch. No longer is it necessary to tote bottled water along with you. Today’s leading pet manufacturers have created a pet-safe plastic bottle which can be filled with water from your tap at home then sealed off with a lid. The bottle neatly slides into a water trough, providing you with access to clean, potable water which can be poured into an easy to use drinking vessel. Extremely inexpensive, these water bottles can be purchased online or at many high quality pet retailers. For best results, place the entire unit in the fridge once filled to keep the water cool and refreshing for your dog to enjoy.
A collapsible bowl is another great item to have in your car. If you’ve forgotten to bring your water bottle with you, you can easily stop at a corner store or gas station to buy a bottle of water to quench your pup’s thirst. Problem is…what are you going to put it in? Having a collapsible bowl on hand provides you with the luxury of having the ideal vessel for drinking water whenever you need it.
Want the flexibility to take your dog for an adventure whenever the mood strikes?
Stock your car with these pet essentials, and your only limitations will be your imagination and your fuel budget!