I moved half-way across the country this year and had to drive myself, my daughter, and two small dogs from Los Angeles, California to Des Moines, Iowa. I have never had dog seat belts before. Usually my dogs just walk around the car when I take them to the vet or the dog park, but for this long road trip, I felt I needed to get something to help secure them in the car for both safety and sanity.
Before the big trip we did some short practice rides around town to help the pups feel comfortable in their new travel accommodations.
I got the Sleepypod Air, for my senior, slightly blind Shih Tzu named George.
My younger, more active dog, Sarah, got the Clickit Sport.
At first, Sarah seemed a little uncomfortable. It was her first time wearing a dog harness device like this. She was sitting up for a while, but after she got more comfortable, she eventually lied down.
On The Road
The drive from Los Angeles to Des Moines takes about 24 hours depending on traffic and weather. I never drove more than seven hours in one day and tried to stick to around five hours a day of driving with potty and walk breaks through the day. Even with all the breaks, it was a lot of driving in one day for myself, so I can only imagine what it felt like for my dogs. Five human hours is 35 dog hours after all! My pups handled the long road trip like champs, and I felt a lot more relaxed on the road knowing that my babies were safe and secure in the event of an accident.
This is Sara with the Yummy Travel Bowl. It is also amazing on a road trip. The bowl is designed so that the water doesn’t spill out, and the pups drank a lot, which meant we made a lot of stops.
I knew they felt stressed so I wanted to keep them hydrated.
We Arrived Safe And Sound
Gotta mark our turf!
I worried that using a harness and carrier would be a big pain in the butt, but to be honest, we all had a very positive experience with the Sleepypod Air and Clickit Sport Dog Safety Harness. They were easy to use. I do recommend you practice putting them in the car and securing your dog a few times before you take any long road trips. I think Georgie is a bit claustrophobic. He seemed to feel comforted and safe in the Sleepypod Air at first, but after a few hours, he just wanted out. If we ever do another long trip again, I think I will get another Clickit Sport harness for Georgie, as well. The Air is perfect for a flight or shorter road trip, but may not be my choice for another road trip of this length.
Needless to say, we all got to Des Moines safe and sound!
Do you use doggie automobile seat belts or harnesses? If so, which one do you prefer and what do you like about it? Let us know in the comments below!