This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in May 2014.
Looking for the perfect pet safety solution? There are many items you can invest in to make your auto customized for the animals in your life. Listed below are some of the products I’ve tested out and liked.
Consider your own vehicle when reading through these suggested items – an SUV and sedan will accommodate different products. Also remember, some car and truck manufacturers have their own recommended add-ons to help you customize your ride for your best pets. Be sure to look into those options as well.
1. Dog Seat Belt: That’s Cody shown at the top of this post, my furry 90-lb Bernese Mountain Dog who loves breakfast, long walks on the beach, and car rides. When we transport him in our smaller car, he sports a dog seat belt restraint. A good dog seat belt fits snug like a harness, and attaches to the human seat belt. It allows him to sit or stand comfortably, and will help prevent him from lunging from side to side and into the front seat in an accident. You can find many different dog restraint online for <$30.
2. Metal Trunk Barrier: In addition to using the seat belt, we also have a metal safety barrier that divides the backseat of our Jeep from the trunk area. It keeps him safe and us safe, and also prevents him from kissing/licking the kids while we drive. Most models are adjustable both by width and height to fit many different vehicles – here’s the one that we have if you want to order online or buy in store.
3. Backseat Hammock: I once made a car hammock that was loved by my parent’s Golden Retriever (my parents loved it too, for the way it kept their car clean). The one I made consisted of outdoor fabric and terry cloth towels, but you can buy a similar dog hammock model here, sold by Fosters and Smith.
4. Portable Ramp: A great solution for smaller dogs and old dogs who love a good car ride, a portable ramp or staircase will make it easier for both you and them to enter and exit the vehicle. You can find a bunch of car ramp and car step options at various price points here.
5. Comfy Bed: If your pet is transported in a small crate, or loose in the back of an SUV, remember to put a bed underfoot. Whether you make a cushy pad or order a large store-bought dog bed, having a little extra padding will give them something to grip onto and nap comfortably on during your travels. I wrote a tutorial on how to make a dog bed using a memory foam mattress pad.