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View Full Version : Booster seat and tips for riding in the car?



cavalover
1st April 2012, 01:08 AM
I am wondering if anyone has a good suggestion for a cavalier-sized car booster seat. I have been looking at Skybox by Kurgo and the Solvit Tagalong. Any feedback about these or other good/bad seats? Butters loves to look out the window when riding in the car, but I want him to be safe. My husband and I already have a harness for him, which we use all of the time. We are going to make a big cross-country move from New York to Texas (about a 24 hr drive) in a couple months. We have to drive separately due to the reimbursement guidelines for our moving costs (can't just ship the second car). I will be driving with Butters, and he has never driven alone with just one of us. He rides well, with the stipulation that he needs to always be on a lap (such a typical cavalier). We have tried harnessing him alone, but he whines and chews on the seatbelt and door locks! But, when he is on a lap he can pleasantly sleep for hours. Any tips for riding solo with just you and your cav? Any words of wisdom about long trips?

ashleighelizabeth
1st April 2012, 01:33 AM
I haven't bought a booster seat yet, but I really want to get one! Sonny's sister has one and her owner says she LOVES it. I made a 9 hour drive with Sonny back in November (he was 5 months at the time) and I just put him in his crate. He did great as long as I stopped to let him out and stretch his legs a couple of times. Good Luck! I'm excited to hear other people's reviews of booster seats! Sonny gets car sick and I think being able to look out the window will help him.

RodRussell
1st April 2012, 02:22 AM
Whatever you do, don't allow any dog in the front seat. A "deployed" airbag could kill it.

We use a harness attached to a seat belt in the rear seat for each dog. If the dog won't sit still and ends up twirling around and getting hung up on the harness (like one of ours does) use a small crate or a Sherpa Bag.

MadeleineSarah
1st April 2012, 10:23 AM
I have Oliver ride in the boot on a harness and clip for normal (up to an hour) journeys. But when we drive to Wales (about 3 hours max) he travels in his crate with a half way stop.
I personally think they are safer in the crate and on a long journey I would always have him crated.

It does allow them more freedom to circle and get comfy too.

M&O

Calandra
1st April 2012, 12:55 PM
My Chloe Louise has the Solvit Tagalong. I bought it from Amazon, and it's great! Chloe is just about 7 months old and 9.4 lbs and still fits in the medium just fine and can curl up and lie down in it still. I like this product enough that I would buy the large when she gets bigger, but I don't see a need for the bigger size anytime soon. Here's a picture of her in the seat. I know... should be in the back seat. I know...
http://i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u418/landieloves/IMG_1178.jpg

Another view...
http://i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u418/landieloves/IMG_1263.jpg

Desrae
1st April 2012, 08:38 PM
Hi Calandra, and the devise keeps her safe? That is what I always worry about...

This is a good thread, because I just use a crate strapped into the seatbelt now, but just never know what would be best.

Nicki
1st April 2012, 09:23 PM
She looks really sweet but please if you are going to clip her to a seatbelt, you need a proper harness not just a normal walking harness - that would not keep her safe in the event of an accident :(


The Gift shop [supporting Rupert's Fund, the Cavalier Collection scheme - both for research into Cavalier health - and Irish Cavalier Rescue] has these wonderful car harnesses which we use

http://cavalier-gift-shop.org/cavali.../prod_216.html (http://cavalier-gift-shop.org/cavalier-king-charles-spaniel-ezydog-harness/prod_216.html)


http://www.pbase.com/trevorhughes/image/138821143/medium.jpg

They are excellent as walking harnesses too so you don't need to take them on and off when going out in the car. The panel is neoprene so dries very quickly. It looks firm when it arrives but quickly moulds to the shpe of the dog!


It is comfy to wear too!

http://www.pbase.com/trevorhughes/image/138821145/medium.jpg http://www.pbase.com/trevorhughes/image/138821135/medium.jpg



It has clips on both straps so you don't have to pull it over their head [which many Cavaliers hate :(] Mine have learnt to hold their paw up to have it put on!]

http://www.pbase.com/trevorhughes/image/138821147/medium.jpg


You can also get the camo colours - this is the pink [of course!] - but there is also a blue camo

http://www.pbase.com/trevorhughes/image/138821139/medium.jpg http://www.pbase.com/trevorhughes/image/138821141/medium.jpg



Something special for your Cavalier and supporting these wonderful causes too!


More on this thread
http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?40749-Harnesses-car-harnesses&highlight=ezydog




The Highway Code - Rule 57 says:

"When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."



If your dog is not happy in a car harness, as Rod says, the next best thing is a sold sided crate, like the airline crates

http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/dogs/dog_cages_carriers/crates

Make sure these are safely secured though, either with the use of a seatbelt or using the bungee cords that are available at many shops or motor accessory stores. Most cars have points to secure these to.


One of the books I was reading recently [whose title currently escapes me - senior moment!] has photos of dogs loose in the car, riding on the driver's lap, head out of the window etc, :mad: it then shows photos of young children in the same positions - an amazingly effective way of getting the point across.

Nicki
1st April 2012, 09:31 PM
Just reading the first post - please don't EVER let your Cavalier travel on your lap. This is extremely dangerous, in the event of an accident the force of your own body being shot forward would be enough to seriously injure if not kill your precious wee one :(

Is he crate trained in the house?

it is a matter of training to get them used to travelling in a crate or harness [if he is chewing it might be better to put him in a crate, he can have some safe chewies/toys in there to keep him entertained] - put Butters in the car, do not start or move the car, and just give him a few treats for sitting quietly. You will need to gradually build this up so that he has positive associations with sitting quietly - most Cavaliers fall asleep when travelling. Make sure he has had a good walk or training or play session first so he is tired.

You can feed him his meals in the car, anything to make positive associations. Once he is quiet, then build up to starting the car, going short distances etc etc.

In the meantime do not ever let him sit on your lap in the car again - try not to take him anywhere in the car other than when you are doing the above training.

24 hours is a very long journey - you will need to stop at least every 2 hours to take him out to stretch his legs and for potty breaks - also offer him a drink, and give him small, light meals.

it's good for you to stop regularly too!

Are you stopping somewhere overnight? It's much easier if he is crate trained - most establishments are much happier to take dogs if they are trained. Also carry a clean up kit in case of accidents.

cavalover
1st April 2012, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the response, Nicki. I should specify that, thus far, I have been sitting with him in the back of the car while my husband drives. Butters is ALWAYS harnessed to the seat belt next to me, and he lays his head over onto my lap. It is only when he is left alone in the back that he gets upset :( My concern about the crate is, if we get in a rolling car accident somehow, he will be rolling loose inside of the crate! He also does really like to look out the window. My hope with the booster seat, keeping it in the back, is it could provide a more secure way for him to look out the window and avoid access to the seat belt. Giving him chews help distract him, but the biting at the seatbelt seems to be in an effort to get free to us when we both are in the front. I have seen that most booster seats have the leash attachment that hooks into the dog's car harness (like in Calandra's picture).

He is fully crate trained with the metal crate, which he sleeps in at night, and hasn't had an accident for a very long time. But, his crate does not fit in my backseat (too wide for my car). I would have to buy a sherpa or other travel one if we end up going the crate route instead of the booster.

We have been allotted 5 travel days, so we can fairly gradually make our way down there. I know I could never make the trip in one continuous swoop! We take him out for potty breaks every hour or so, because he usually gets antsy after that amount of time in the car. Also, we will be staying at dog-friendly hotels. He will sleep in his crate there, just like he does at home :)

Furrfoot
3rd April 2012, 04:36 AM
We have one of these: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Signature-Pet-Car-Seat-Carrier-Blue/14568758 (or had, I have to repair the netting where Rose tried to get out when she thought a dog was snarling at her child, and we had left the van door open- oops, I didn't know my little dog could be such a violent thing, but she thought her kid was in danger, bless her heart). Despite the damage :P , I really like it. It has a seatbelt loop on the back of it, and a hook and strap to clip to her harness on the inside. When she's behaving, I can leave the top open and she can sit up and look around and out the windows, but if she's in a "but I MUST be with YOU!!!" mood, I can zip the top and keep her safe (and she usually flops down and falls asleep at that point ;) ). It also unzips and lays flat. These days she's usually in a dog bed with her car harness, but for long trips, the crate will come out. It's also pretty inexpensive. I do put Rose in the front when it's just the 2 of us, BUT my van has an airbag sensor, so the airbag is off for 50 lbs or less, AND I move the seat as far back as it goes. It seems to satisfy her, and I don't miss with as many treats when I toss them, lol. Good luck with your trip!

Desrae
3rd April 2012, 08:33 PM
having a dog loose in a car scares me, because my Mom got into a car accident because her puppy jumped on her arm and she swerved into a guardrail. She was announced dead on arrival and then revived. She is alive, but suffers from severe health problems because of the accident... just thought I would share....

Nicki
3rd April 2012, 09:45 PM
Oh my goodness Desrae that's just awful :( :( I'm so sorry that was horrid.

It does bring home the importance of safely securing your dog in the car so thank you for sharing.


Karlin posted some time back about crates with mesh sides as there have been incidences of the mesh tearing away from the side of the crate in the event of an accident due to the force with which the dog is thrown against the side. At the time I was using a travel crate with mesh sides but obviously stopped after that.

Oh and having them in the house, some of my Cavaliers have managed to force their way out by forcing the zip open, or ripping the sides with their claws EEK Even if they are crate trained if they are determined to get out, they will manage it.

Lani
4th April 2012, 01:23 AM
Desrae, the same thing happened to my little sister's friend. Her dog distracted her in some way and she hit a bus and they both died. I cringe when I see people driving with dogs loose in the car.

Depending on the nature of our outings, I either buckle mine in with harnesses and seat belt restraints or put them in wire crates in the back.

Thanks for sharing your story so others can learn from it and be safe

Calandra
4th April 2012, 04:04 AM
Yes, I believe so because the seat is attached to both the headrest and then there's another belt that goes around the back of the seat. There is also a short leash inside of the booster seat and I attach it to Chloe's harness. So I do think it is safe.


Hi Calandra, and the devise keeps her safe? That is what I always worry about...

This is a good thread, because I just use a crate strapped into the seatbelt now, but just never know what would be best.

Calandra
4th April 2012, 04:10 AM
Desrae and Lani - your experiences are enough for anyone not let their babies ride loose in the car. I would do it with Chloe just around town so she could hang her head out of the window, but I won't do it anymore. In her own seat belted in. :)

Nicki - why is the puppia harness not adequate protection? (It is attached to a belt inside the box seat.)

JessieAndMe
4th April 2012, 04:51 AM
I too use Jessie's Puppia rite fit harness for the car. It's far firmer than the fancier ones and is snugly fit.
It's attached to a doggy seat belt that I bought from the UK (as I couldn't find one in Australia)

http://i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m587/jessieandme1/DSCN2764-1.jpg http://i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m587/jessieandme1/DSCN2767-1.jpg

Furrfoot
4th April 2012, 08:44 PM
Oh my goodness Desrae that's just awful :( :( I'm so sorry that was horrid.

It does bring home the importance of safely securing your dog in the car so thank you for sharing.


Karlin posted some time back about crates with mesh sides as there have been incidences of the mesh tearing away from the side of the crate in the event of an accident due to the force with which the dog is thrown against the side. At the time I was using a travel crate with mesh sides but obviously stopped after that.

Oh and having them in the house, some of my Cavaliers have managed to force their way out by forcing the zip open, or ripping the sides with their claws EEK Even if they are crate trained if they are determined to get out, they will manage it.

That's why I got one with the harness hook in it, and she is ALWAYS hooked and is wearing her harness and her leash, whether in the crate or sitting in her seat with her "seatbelt" on ;) . Even if your dog is uninjured in a crash, just about any crate can break (go to the youtube crash tests of crates/pet restraints, even hard sided crates- gah), so you need to be prepared to have a chance of getting ahold of your dog should they escape at the site of a wreck. And no, I could never even dream of leaving Rose in a mesh sided crate in the house, haha. We don't normally leave her in the car by herself for more than 5 minutes, so she's not really interested in getting out as long as we're with her.

One other thing to consider (which is admittedly what got my attention in the first place, I'm afraid) is that a dog becomes a projectile in a crash, so it's not just your dog who is in danger if they are unrestrained, it's also you, your children and any other passengers.

Nicki
4th April 2012, 09:46 PM
Calandra, they are not designed for use as a restraint in the car, with the forces exerted during a crash, the mesh and fabric would easily rip - I think about how we restrain ourselves and children in the car - we wouldn't use a mesh seatbelt.

Nicki
4th April 2012, 09:47 PM
Desrae, the same thing happened to my little sister's friend.

Lani, this is just tragic - I'm so sorry. These stories do serve as a warning to others, hopefully that is some comfort to those involved.