How to Maintain a ‘Child and Pet Friendly’ Car
If you regularly take trips with your child or pet dog in your car, you’ll want to make sure they are as safe and comfortable as possible. Here are three tips to help you combat some of the most common problems of driving with children and dogs – overheating, mess and danger.
How to Avoid Overheating
On a hot day, a car is like an oven. If you’re driving with a young child or a beloved pet, temperatures in your can be dangerous and even tragic. Babies can overheat quickly, especially in cars. On hot days, it’s advisable to drive in the early morning or evening when it may be cooler. But if you have to drive during the main part of the day, keep the car as cool as possible by rolling down your windows or turning on the air conditioning. Also make sure you dress your child in light, loose clothing.
Hot cars are one of the most dangerous places for dogs. Although it is never advisable to leave a dog on its own, if you have to leave it in the car for a few minutes, make sure that the window is partially rolled down and you have supplied your dog plenty of fresh water. Even when you’re with your dog, it’s at risk of overheating. So look out for signs of overheating and take regular breaks to make sure it’s comfortable.
Keep Your Car Clean and Tidy
Cars with children and pets get messy very quickly. Not to mention that young children and pets will put anything in their mouths. That’s why it’s important to keep your car free from mud stains, food and engine grease. After any car ride, get into the habit of clearing food wrappers, litter and crumbs on the rear seats. When undertaking repairs, find out how to remove grease stains on your seats and interior before your child gets it on their clothes.
If you’d rather leave the task of knowing how to remove grease stains or hoovering up food crumbs to the experts, you can hire the services of a mobile car wash. This is the quickest and most thorough way of ensuring your car interiors are child and pet-friendly.
If you are traveling with the small child or baby, the safest place to seat them is in a rear seat, not the front. If your child is under 12 or less than 135 centimetres in height, it’s important to find a booster seat that suits the height and weight of your child. If you are travelling with children over 12 or taller than 135 centimetres, make sure they are wearing their seat belt before you start moving.
There are many options for travelling with your dog. The safest and most convenient way of travelling with your dog is by keeping them in a crate. Although it’s not the most comfortable, it will stop them from jumping up the back of your seat and distracting you. Another option is a dog harness – this is the equivalent of a dog seatbelt. There are padded versions that you can fit around your dog’s chest and slot into your normal seat belt. If you want to transport your dog in the boot, you can install a car grate, which stops them from leaping onto the back seats. Whatever you choose, take regular breaks to check your dog is comfortable. While some dogs don’t mind being driven around in cars, others hate it.
Driving with your child or pet can be a fun bonding experience. But it can also be stressful if you’re worried about how safe they are. Once you’ve got the safety and cleanliness basics sorted, you can focus your time on having fun with your children and enjoying epic days out with your dog.