Road Trip With Rover

Road Trip With Rover

Spring is finally here and with warmer months ahead, it's time to start planning your road trip with Rover. But before you load up the kibble, water bowls, and toys be sure you have the proper travel gear to keep your pooch, you, and other drivers, safe on the road.
Written by Kathleen A. Hunter, MS | Above photo by Julie Clegg
Crates. According to the Center for Pet Safety, size does matter when it comes to crates and carriers for your dog. They state, “… it should be no more than six inches longer than the pet.” And, latch anchors or cargo straps must be “…strong enough to maintain connection during impact.” It is also important to keep in mind that a product tested for travel does not necessarily mean it has been crash tested or that it has passed the crash test.

The Petmate Navigator is the first quick-assemble, fully ventilated plastic kennel with a two-way door and Microban technology. With its unique antimicrobial protection in the base, this kennel provides resistance to odor-causing bacteria. Best of all, assembly takes only seconds with its Slide ‘N’ Snap design, dual turn-dial door latches and rear security clips.

In addition, The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) published a Crate and Carrier Crash worthiness report and the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed, “performed exceptionally well.” Wire crates are not recommended for travel in vehicles. They simply do not provide the protection necessary should you be in an accident. The website, provides videos of the crash tests. 

Car Guards. If you prefer not to crate your dog while traveling, the next best item to install is a car guard. Designed to prevent pets from climbing into the front seat and distracting your driving, the Walky Dog adjustable car barrier mounts to the headrest, installing in minutes. 

Harnesses. Should you decide to harness your pup instead of traveling in a crate or behind a guard, here are some initial guidelines to follow as provided by the ASPCA: Allow two fingers to slip between each strap and the dog’s body and be sure to check the fit of the harness each time you put it on your dog to make sure it has not become too loose or too tight.

Kurgo has made significant improvements in their products since the 2013 report. According to Stephanie Fasi, who leads Kurgo’s public relations team, the Tru-Fit Smart Harness is now up to version three and has been crash tested for dogs up to 75 pounds. Primarily, this means their harnesses now have a tether strap which provides a third point of restraint for your dog. They also have a brand new product called the Impact Harness which has been tested for dogs up to 130 pounds. 

In October 2013, CPS and Subaru crash-tested a series of harnesses. Included were the Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness, Klein Metal AllSafe, Cover Craft RuffRider Roadie, RC Pet Canine Friendly Crash Tested, Bergan Dog Auto Harness, Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength, and IMMI PetBuckle. The Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness was the only pet restraint that earned a top score, providing “adequate protection to the dog and the passengers of the vehicle.” According to CPS, the main features to consider when testing a harness for optimal safety are that the “… pet harnesses must maintain the dog’s stability and restrain its movement.” Additionally, the harness must “… stabilize the spine of the dog and limit rotation in the event of an accident.” The remaining harnesses in the test group were found to have a less than optimal performance. In fact, three of the harnesses, the IMMI PetBuckle, Kurgo's harnesses for 25 pound and 75 pound dogs, and the Bergan in the 75 pound size “were labeled catastrophic failures.”

It might take a few practice sessions to allow your dog to get used to the harness before venturing on a long distance road trip. It’s a small investment for a lifetime of safety for you, your dog, and other road travelers.

Comfort Features. Now that you have the safety pieces in place, it’s time for the fun features. Kurgo offers a variety of travel accoutrements, from kibble carriers to collapsible travel bowls. We epspecially dig their Voyager Dog Canteen. Featuring a BPA-free bladder that comes inside a handy shoulder bag, it’s just what you need to keep your adventure-loving dog hydrated while on the trail. Just squirt the nozzle directly into your dog’s mouth, or use it with a travel water bowl!

Now that you're ready to hit the road with Rover, order your copy today of the Doggone Travel+Adventure Guide. After 13 years of digging up the best places to sit, stay and play with your pooch, CityDog Magazine is putting it all in one place -- a 200-page, full-color, glossy guidebook!

The Doggone Travel+Adventure Guide is chock full of the best doggone getaways, the best dog-friendly hotels, and the best destinations for you and your travel hound.

And, it's DONE...all 200 pages of it! Now, all we need to do is go to print and it ain't cheap, so we've launched a Kickstarter campaign, with some cool options! Depending on what level you pledge, from $10 to $65, you will receive a hot-off-the-press copy of the Doggone Travel+Adventure Guide, a one-year subscription to CityDog Magazine, plus your name in print and YOUR DOG's name in print.

If you pledge $100 or more, not only do you receive all of the above (copy of the Doggone Travel+Adventure Guide, one-year subscription to CityDog Magazine, plus your name and your dog's name in print), but we will also feature your dog's picture in the book! Space is limited for this level, so please make your pledge today! 

For a sneak peek at the Doggone Travel+Adventure Guide, click here.
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