What Are The Best Car Accessories for Dogs?

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What Are The Best Car Accessories for Dogs?

Let’s face it, traveling in a car with your dog is like traveling with a child.  You want to have everything for them, just in case. But just when you thought you’ve got everything, something else pops up that you need. I will talk about some must-have dog accessories that you should have in your car.

Now there are differences between a quick trip to the store and taking a road trip with your dog. However, there are some dog accessories that you should have in your car regardless of whether it’s a five-minute trip or a 5-hour trip. I’m going to break this down into two sections. 

  1.  Must-have dog accessories that you should have in the car for all trips; and 
  2. Must-have travel accessories for dogs that you should have with you on long car trips.

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yellow lab in a car sticking his head out the window with text overlay that reads Dog Accessories for the car

Best Dog Accessories for Cars

Below is a list of must-have dog accessories that you should have in your car for all trips, whether it be a five-minute trip to the grocery store or a jaunt to your Auntie’s house for a weekend visit.

  1. Dog car harness
  2. Waterproof dog seat cover for dogs
  3. Portable dog water bottle
  4. Chew toys for dogs
  5. Adjustable dog ramp or steps for dogs
  6. Dog first aid kit
  7. Pet Insurance

And the following are the additional items that you should add to your list if going on a longer trip with your dog.

  1. Dog bed for the back seat of your car
  2. Dog crate for dog travel
  3. Spill-proof dog bowl
  4. Dog calming treats
  5. Travel dog bed
  6. Pet Insurance

Now keep in mind that this list is not inclusive and if you’re a super dog parent, you may have everything – I mean let’s face it, we all want our dogs to be safe, comfortable, and happy no matter where they are!

So let’s start!

Dog Harness For Your Car

So the first must-have accessory that you should have is a car harness. First and foremost we want our lovable fuzzy friends to be safe in the car. Now there are many ways to do this, however, for a quick trip to the park, the quickest and easiest thing to do would be to attach them to a seatbelt.

Have you ever been driving down the road and had to hit your brakes hard? At which point everything on your seats when flying onto the floor. Now imagine if this was your dog – your dog can be injured by slamming into the back of your seat, falling to the floor, or God forbid, in the event of a bad accident, going through the windshield.

I’d like to make a quick point here. NEVER NEVER NEVER connect a seatbelt to your dog’s collar.  Doing this can cause severe injury to your dog should you have to stop quickly.  When using a dog seat belt only attach it to a harness. Remember, above all safety is your biggest priority to keep your lovable furry buddy safe.

Waterproof Dog Seat Cover

We’ve all been through it. You take your dog out with you to run errands. and it’s raining. Your dog jumps into the back seat with wet muddy paws and annihilates your upholstery. You instantly know that you will have hours of cleaning ahead of you.

Or how about when your dog is shedding and even after brushing him for what seems like an eternity. You could easily take off another two dogs. Then you take your fuzzy in the car with you and there is air all over your back seat, the floor, probably the windows The Doors, Etc.  you know the deal, it goes along quit being a pet parent.

But by using a dog seat cover, you can help reduce some of the Mounds of fur that would normally be sticking to your seat.

And let’s face it, I don’t know of a pet parent out there that wouldn’t jump at the chance to reduce the post-car-ride fur clean-up extravaganza.

So I would highly recommend a good quality waterproof dog seat cover. it will make your life easier and keep your car looking a little less Pike you’re growing a second dog in there.

Now just a side note about dog seat covers That I learned the hard way.  In another lifetime, I had spent a crazy amount of money having a waterproof car seat cover custom-made for my car.  Admittedly, it did fit perfectly. and I was ecstatic. 

However, there was one very large downfall which cost me to ditch the very pricey custom-made waterproof dog seat cover and opt for a less expensive,  but more comfortable and safe alternative for my dogs.

This dog seat cover was made of a material that was so slippery and had no grip to it. So every time I went around the corner or even gently put on my brakes, my poor dogs would slide all over the place. Needless to say, I was very unhappy with my very expensive purchase and found out quickly that you need to do a little bit more research before you spend a couple of hundred dollars on a product.

Although my much cheaper version did not fit as well as my custom-made seat cover did, it was much safer and much more comfortable for my dogs and I’m pretty sure they were grateful as well! 

Also, make sure that your car seat cover is compatible with your back seat. Pay special attention to what type of vehicles it will and will not fit in too. This is a common mistake I see a lot of people making. 

One final thought, if your dog tends to get up all in your business in the front seat, a lot of dog seat covers have a section that goes across the front to help keep your dog in his place, which is a nice feature to have.

You can also get them with a mesh front so that your little guy can still see out the front but he cannot nudge his way up between the front seats.

This item has all of the following:

  • Car seat cover
  • Breathable mesh windows
  • Convertible hammock
  • Pillow covers
  • Seat belt
  • And of course completely waterproof and washable

BONUS

Here is something that isn’t on the list but I thought looked intriguing, especially for those long trips.  It’s called a dog seat extender or a bridge extender.  It looks like it will give your dog a little more room to move around and not struggle to stay on the narrow back seat.  The only thing that I would be cautious of is making sure you get the right one for your car or it may not fit.

Portable Dog Water Bottle

Ok, so I think this would be a no-brainer but very necessary, so it needs to go on the list.

An easy-to-store and carry, portable dog water bottle is ideal for almost any situation. For just being in the car or going on a hike, you cannot lose having this in Your Arsenal. These are very affordable and convenient.

Ever have a dog that wouldn’t drink out of your hands? or have you ever gone somewhere and had to carry a plastic container with a lid everywhere you went so that your dog would drink?

This eliminates those problems and allows you to have an easy-to-carry water bottle with an attached drinking ball, which is sure to make your fuzzy bear happy.  you can pick these up almost anywhere. They come in different size bottles as well as the drinking well, which is good for your big snouted friends.

Chew Toys for Dogs

Next up on the necessary dog accessories for cars, is the good old chew toys. 

Do you have a dog that just likes to hang out in the back seat and watch the world go round?

So you have a nervous Rider?

Do you have a hyper, pacer?

Having a variety of chew toys in the car with you will help keep your dog focused and busy.  

Let’s face it, we don’t want our dogs to be anxious while in the car. We want car rides to be fun and something that they look forward to.

I always keep dog treats and toys in the car with me because you just never know when you might need them.

Oh and one side note, I would not get anything that squeaks!  That could turn out to be a very long and annoying car ride for you!

I also would not recommend anything that you would stuff with food, like a Kong, send some dogs have sensitive stomachs when they are in the car. The last thing you want to do is be cleaning up the remnants from your dog’s breakfast. 

Below are some various types of toys that your pampered pup may enjoy, while in the car.

First Aid Kit

Next on the list, is the very important first aid kit.  

Again, I equate dogs with children, and if you’ve ever had a child you know that if there is a way for them to hurt themselves, they will find it!

So always have a first aid kit on hand for any unexpected injuries or boo-boos that your dog may suffer while out and about. 

You don’t need anything expensive or fancy, just a basic first aid kit with the basics,  that is appropriate for your dog.

Something as simple as this will work just fine.

Dog Ramp or Stairs

Now let’s talk about Another necessity that you may need, depending on your circumstances. 

Do you have any of the following? A senior dog? A small dog? A dog that has mobility issues due to illness?

If you said yes to any of the above, then you may want to consider getting a ramp or stairs for your puffer to get in and out of the car easier. 

Now if you have a little guy, you can just pick them up, assuming they don’t mind being picked up. But for those of us with the bigger and heftier sizes, a dog ramp or dog stairs Is almost a necessity.

The last senior dog that I had was about 60 lb. And once I had to take him to the vet by myself, and it was a real struggle to get him into the car. Once I got to the vet I asked someone to come out and help me get him out. Needless to say, shortly thereafter, I invested in a ramp for the car.

When looking at a ramp, I would recommend that you get something that’s telescoping So that it will work on any size or height vehicle, as well as something a little wider for those unsteady pups.  I would also look for something that has a little bit of lift on each side just in case they slip a little. 

 Something like this one will work great for your dog and save your back!

Not all dogs will like ramps. Some will prefer steps. 

When researching different types of steps, you will want to make sure that it is lightweight and easy to fold.

Next, let’s take a look at some car accessories for dogs that you might want to consider taking on a longer length trip.  

Dog Crate for Travel

Now you may be the type of person that would prefer to have your best friend in a travel dog crate. If that’s the case then you will want to make sure that you get one of the safest dog crates for dog travel. If there was an event while you’re driving, you want to make sure that your dog is the safest that he can be considering the circumstances.

One of the basic things that you will need to check is that you are buying the right size crate. Just like if you were buying a crate for your house, you need to make sure that it is the correct size for your dog. You do not want your dog crunched up and uncomfortable for the car ride.

This past year I have observed a shift and popularity from the hard-sided crates to the soft-sided crates. They have their advantages, such as easy to fold down, easy Mobility, and easy to store. However, I am not entirely sold on the safety of these soft-sided travel crates. 

To start, you can look into getting something basic and simple, such as this:

Or you could get something like this, that may be a bit more comfortable for your traveling mate.

But in researching different types of travel crates for dogs, I came across something that I am very excited to try.  It has the following features, which I think are ideal for anyone traveling with a dog.

First, and in my opinion, the most important feature, is that they are impact resistant. So they have a high safety factor.

All-aluminum.

Lightweight.

Collapsible.

They have no chewable parts.

There is one for every size dog and situation. They have more than 10 sizes.

They are stackable.

Many color options.

Comes fully assembled.

Has a lifetime warranty.

If you would like to chem them out, you can go to https://www.impactdogcrates.com and see what you think.  They are an investment, but isn’t your best friend worth it?

Check out this video about the Impact Dog Crates. They have many many videos on YouTube that you can take a look at, as well as testimonials.

Spill-Proof Dog Bowl

Ok, just like the portable dog water bottle, a spill-proof dog bowl is along those same lines.

Whether you have a finicky picky eater or an all in at once type of eater, you will want a spill-proof dog bowl as part of your traveling necessities for your dog. 

Dog Calming Treats

If your dog is nervous, you may want to look into something such as dog calming treats, to help them travel with a little less stress and anxiety.

Imagine This. You are petrified of flying and just the thought of getting on the plane scares the bejesus out of you. if your dog is a nervous traveler, he is going through the same thing. So why not get some calming treats just to take the edge off of the entirety and make his trip a little more comfortable.

 Something like this would most likely help you achieve that. 

However, I would always recommend that you speak to your vet to make sure that this would be an appropriate action to take in order to help your dog relax while traveling. 

Travel Dog Bed

Having a travel dog bed in your car while traveling can serve two purposes. 

One,  it can be used in either the back seat along with a harness and seat belt or you could also place it in your travel dog crate to make your dog’s trip a little bit more comfortable.

Two,  it can also be used when not in the car, as a dog bed for hotels, campgrounds, friends or relative’s homes, or any other situation outside of the car where the dog will want to lie down and relax.

Something like this one would be good for traveling as it comes in many sizes, styles, and colors, as well as a carry bag for Easy Transport.

This would be a great bed for keeping your dog off the ground while he sleeps and will help keep him cool in the hot weather.

If you have a burrower like I do, then this dog bed would be perfect!

So as you can see there are many many different types and sizes to accommodate your specific situation when traveling with your dog.

Pet Insurance For Dogs

Pet insurance is something that you may or may not want to get for your dog when traveling. It really comes down to personal preference and your financial situation.  

My thought is pet insurance can be equated to health insurance for people. You may or may not need it, but if you need it you want to have it. 

Read more about what pet insurance is, how it works, and what it covers.

Conclusion

This list is not inclusive and every trip and every dog will have its own set of circumstances that will dictate what you do and do not need.

However, this can be a good jumping-off point to get an idea of what you should include when traveling with your dog.

If you travel with your dog let me know some of the things that you are must-haves are for both you and your dog. I would love to hear them!

brown, black and white dog lying in the back of a car with text overlay that reads things you need when traveling with your dog

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