Traveling with Fido – Pup-Proof Your Car

Traveling with Fido – Pup-Proof Your Car

It’s time for a ride in the C-A-R. Cue the excited barking and tail wagging. Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip or just a quick spin around the block, we have some paw-some tips to turn your car into the ultimate canine-friendly cruiser!

Floor Mats

Face it. Our fur babies can be messy. Dogs can track mud, sand, and debris onto your car’s floor. Protect it with rubber floor mats that are waterproof and easy to clean. They cover your car’s carpet and shield it from dirt. You can get floor mats that are custom fit to your car, ones you can trim to fit, or universal mats. Avoid mats made with harsh chemicals such as lead, cadmium, latex, and PVC, as they will have unpleasant odors.

Seat Covers

As any dog owner knows, fur floats everywhere. It can easily get into crevices and stick to seats. Plus, if car rides stress your dog, he will shed even more. Seat covers will help keep your seats fur-free and mess-free. Cover the seats where your dog will be. Choose tightly knit fabrics that also will be scratch proof. Some covers are padded for shock absorption; some have nonslip designs with a rubber base. Still others have pockets for storage. Look for ones that are washable so you can periodically clean them.

Pro-Tip: A felt blanket is a simple alternative to a seat cover. It attracts fur and it’s easy to remove and wash. Just make sure to tuck it in the crevices of your seat.

Cargo Liners & Hammocks

If you put your back seats down for your dog, consider a cargo liner or hammock that extends from the back of the front seats. These are larger than traditional seat covers, and they give your dog a chance to spread out and lay comfortably. Look for one that is non-porous, water resistant, tear resistant, and easy to clean. Make sure it is comfortable for your fur baby.

Window Protection

Nose prints on windows are just a fact of life, right? They don’t have to be. Try a magnetic window shade, which also protects against UV rays. Alternatively, you can buy shatter resistant window film to add another layer of protection to your glass. In a pinch, clear plastic wrap works too.

Scratch Protection

Paint and surfaces can be easily scratched. You can help to prevent scratches with some paint protection film on doors and trunk sills where your dog usually enters your vehicle. If your dog will wear them, nail caps can work too.


While our dogs may want to ride in the front seat, it’s not a good idea. In the event of an accident, your front seat airbag could deploy. Safety is important, and you want to keep them from jumping into your lap when you’re driving. That’s where barriers come in. They keep your fur baby safely in the back. Barriers come in various materials, from breathable mesh to heavy duty fabric to plastic or metal.

Safety Belts

Just as we wear seat belts, it’s a good idea to secure your dog. Some safety belts hook right into your car seat belts. Others attached to your seats. Choose a harness that goes around your fur baby’s body. Never secure them by their collar as the leash can pull unnecessarily on their necks.


You can also travel with your fur baby in a crate or pet carrier. They come in a range of styles. Some are soft mesh and others are hard. Some come with wheels for easy transport. Make sure the crate is large enough so that your dog can stand, turn around, and lie down in it.

Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Follow these additional tips for traveling with your pet.

  • Start with short trips to get your dog used to the car before driving long distances.
  • Feed your dog 3 hours before you leave.
  • If you need to feed your dog on the road, stop the car to do it.
  • Stop regularly along the way so dogs can stretch their legs and go to the bathroom.
  • Give your dog access to clean water. Riding in the car can be stressful for dogs and if they pant, they can lose water.
  • Don’t let your dog hang their head out the window.
  • Never leave your dog alone in the car. Hot cars are dangerous, but even in cool weather, a well-meaning passerby may try to release your dog.
  • Pack an emergency kit for messes. Include gloves and cleaning supplies. (A moistened rubber glove is great for picking up pet fur.)
  • Don’t forget your dog’s favorite treats.

Finally, protect your fur baby with pet insurance. You can easily add coverage from Pet’s Best to your California Casualty auto or home policy.  Find out more about what pet insurance can cover by talking with a California Casualty customer service representative today.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

Road Trip Preparation

Road Trip Preparation

May 24 is National Road Trip Day!

As May comes to a close, classes are ending, the days are getting longer, and temperatures are slowly beginning to rise. You know what else that means? Vacation. Summer is calling and many American families are planning to spend their free time on the road relaxing and enjoying the sun.

Traveling, in all forms, is at its peak in the summer months.  Road tripping and RV-ing are currently on the rise, so much so that Fox News reports that 73% of Americans would rather road trip than fly. Aside from all of the scenic views that are available when traveling by vehicle, travelers feel a sense of freedom by land, with the knowledge that they can stop or change their destination at any point in time instead of following a strict schedule like you would in an airport.

Whether your destination is the beach, the mountains, or just the open road, it is critical that your vehicle is ready to make the journey with you. So before you jam all of your luggage in the trunk, be sure to check the following in preparation for your summer road trip adventure:

  • Periodically check and test batteries for proper charging. Summer heat drains batteries faster than the cold of winter.

  • Check the air conditioning system for leaks and proper coolant.

  • Check the tires for tread and proper inflation.

  • Be sure your cooling system has the proper anti-freeze/coolant and all belts, hoses and the water pump are properly working. Never open a hot radiator cap; the liquid inside is a scalding 200 degrees or hotter.

  • Verify the viscosity of your motor oil will stand up to hot weather days, 10W-30 or 10W-40.

  • Make sure the spare tire is inflated and there is a jack and tire changing tool.

  • Test your windshield wipers and change them if they are streaking.

Consumer Reports advises that, as well as checking your vehicle before leaving for your destination, you should also travel with a basic safety kit that consists of:

  • Cell phone and spare battery
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning light or reflective triangles
  • Tire gauge
  • Jumper cables
  • Foam sealant for flat tires

We don’t like to think that things could go wrong on vacation, but you never know what you will run into on the open road and that is why it is important to be prepared. Here at California Casualty we proudly support our customers and want you all to have a fun and safe summer full of road trip adventures, so before you hit the road, make sure that you and your vehicle are adequately protected for the unexpected you may encounter far from home.

Current customers call a California Casualty advisor for an auto policy review at 1.800.800.9410 or visit If you are not a customer please contact us 1.866.704.8614 or visit to request a FREE Auto Insurance quote.

Where do you plan on traveling this summer? Or do you have a dream road trip destination? Comment below and give us ideas for our summer travels! And if you are wanting to hit the road, but need a little help as to where check out Fox New’s Top 15 things to do on America’s travel bucket list.


Happy Travels!

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