Magic loves car rides. Those who read my Facebook page (more pictures there) know we recently traded our previous Volvo (the Magic-mobile) for a bright red Camry, yee-haw! The poor dog couldn’t understand why he wasn’t getting his daily car-ride “fix.” But you see, the dog thinks he should drive. He liked to stand on the middle storage thingy (that’s a writer technical term) between the front seats, and pose like a furry hood ornament.
I’d taught him to “wait” and not dash out the front door over the driver (that’s me!) whenever we stopped. Oh, he knows the “wait” command. He’s known basic commands since appearing on TV at ten weeks old (clicker training rocks!), but in the car, all bets were off. And I’ll admit, I was impatient.
So for the first several car rides, he wore his leash, which I shut in the back door as a do-it-yourself tether. But I know my dog. It’s safer to BE SURE he’s reliable when needed, such as a car accident or unexpected exciting event makes it impossible for him to hold that “wait.” A new car is the perfect opportunity to create a better dog-safe ride. Besides, Magic got a gift certificate for Christmas that burned a hole in my pocket.
I chose the Universal Car Pet Barrier by Precision Pet Products and I paid close to $100….and am KICKING myself because this link has it listed for $20! Oh well. There are others available but reviews lamented the difficulty of assembly and when quizzed, the store staff admitted every one of the others that they’d sold had been returned for that reason. O-kaaaaay…
This one, though it indicated “for all cars,” most usually is fit into SUVs, but it actually worked well for the Camry. It fits with tension poles against the floor and roof, and expandable width to fit most any size. An additional add-on was needed to fill the gap between the front seats—Otherwise smarty-pants dog stuck his head through the gap to reach his perching post.
Yes, that picture is of my boy in HIS new car! Don’t worry, the windows were down just for the picture and get rolled up when we start rolling. He’d love to stick his head out but my roughneck dog is sure to get an eye injury from flying who-knows-what.
This won’t work for small dogs (or cats). They’ll go through the bars. A carrier in the back seat is best, or clip the harness to the seat belt. Even if you have the best behaved pet on the planet, CRAP HAPPENS! You don’t want to lose your pet out the door, or have him crushed by the front seat airbag.
This past Sunday, N. Texas got snow. Oh, those of you reading in other parts of the country shake collective heads and say, “so what?” Well, in Texas if it even threatens to flurry, the sidewalks roll up, kids get a free day from school, and drivers try out for race car status to get out of the mess that much quicker. Yikes! Magic, of course, has a fur coat (how politically incorrect!) and revels in throwing doggy snowballs at me and scooping white stuff onto Frisbees he proudly carries into the house.
By today (Woof Wednesday), snow stopped but temps dropped. The inside of your nose freezes with each inhaled breath. Any pet allowed outside risks frostbite or worse. Fur provides great weather protection, but even fluffy cats and dogs can suffer frostbite on the thinly furred parts of the body.
Cold climates offer the most risk. Even moderately cool temperatures can be dangerous due to wind-chill. Wind strips away the protective layer of warm air trapped by fur next to a pet’s skin. Getting wet makes the cold even worse, and body parts that come in contact with the icy ground have little protection from the cold. You can learn more about preventing frostbite, recognizing it, and giving first aid in this article. Until next week—STAY WARM!
Woofs & Wags,