Must Have Dog Car Essentials & Accessories

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When packing up your car, don’t forget the essentials for your furriest family member! Whether you are going on a long road trip or just to the dog park, here are the must have dog car accessories you should pack! I’ve broken these down into 5 categories: Safety, Cleanliness, Food, Comfort, & Toys. Friendly reminder NOT to leave your dog unattended in the car!

For more ideas of what to pack in your car check out my Car Safety Essentials, Amazon Car Gadgets, and Mom Car Essentials!

1. Dog Car Safety

Keep your pup safe in the car and make sure you’re not distracted while driving. Plus a few essentials for safety when you get to where you’re going!
  • Net or Cage– Especially for bigger dogs it’s important to keep them in their own area. Whether they are in the back seat or in the trunk space, this divider will keep them away from the driver or the kids. I recommend a cage for bigger stronger dogs, and a net for small to medium dogs.
  • Window Mesh– I know the image of a dog riding with it’s head out the window is adorable. However to keep your dog as safe as possible while driving, try this mesh window screen. Allow them to still get the breeze without the risk!
  • Car Stairs/Ramp– This is genius for little dogs who can’t jump high, older dogs, or dogs with an injury. Makes it easier and safer for them to get in and out of the vehicle.
  • First Aid Kit– A dog’s first aid kit should include things like
    • Vaseline and Polysporin for cracked paws
    • Tweezers and nail clippers
    • Dog safe Gravol & canned pumpkin (pumpkin is great for helping their upset tummies and has lots of water to keep them hydrated!)
    • Tape/tensor bandage
    • Instant ice pack
    • Brush and scissors
Leashes & Collars
  • Hands free leash– If you have kids, you know that you never have enough hands! This leash wraps around your waist to keep you balanced while leaving your hands free. Great for pushing a stroller, or holding your phone and your coffee.
  • Car Harness– I always recommend a chest harness over a neck collar, but in a car with the potential for sudden stops it’s even more important to spread the weight of impact out evenly. Keep you dog tethered while driving and it makes getting them out of the car a lot easier when they can’t just sprint and make a break for it! Make sure you get the right size for your dog.
  • Ground Stake – I really like this idea if you need to anchor the leash to something while in a park or at the beach and there are no trees or poles nearby.
  • Pet GPS– Attach it to their collar and track them through the app. A little bit more peace of mind in case your dog runs away or gets off leash at the dog park.
  • Insect and Tick Repellent Collar– I like the botanical collars for tick and insect repellant. But in case they get through, I’ve also linked tick remover tools. Pair with a tick treatment like K9 Advantage for total protection
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2. Dog Car Cleanliness

Keeping your car clean is a constant struggle, especially with pets! These gadgets and products definitely help avoid messes from hair, mud, and accidents.
  • Seat Protector– Better than just putting blankets in your car because they are secured and easily washable!
  • Lint Roller & Dog Hair Brush– Keep the dog hair off of you and off of your seats!
  • Pee Pads– great for new puppies that are still potty training, older dogs that have trouble holding it, or longer road trips just in case!
  • Lysol Wipes, Paper Towels, Stain & Odor Remover Spray- Because messes will happen, so it’s better to be prepared to clean it up!
  • Car Vacuum with Pet Hair Attachment- This kind of goes without saying
  • Air Purifier– We spend a lot of time in our vehicles and breathing in the dander, hair, and pollution really sets of my allergies. Breathe easier knowing that your air clean!
  • Paw Scrubber– this is a genius invention!! Simply fill with some soap and water, and put your dog’s paws in the cup one by one. Gently scrub up and down a few times and the bristles will clean the dirt and mud off of their paws!
  • Puppy Shammy & Towel- I like to keep both, the shammy for when they’re really wet, and the towel to finish the job. Don’t forget the wet bag or garbage bag for after you use the towel!
  • Portable Shower & Dog Shampoo- If you know you’re going to a really muddy place (like a dog park in Spring) or camping, I recommend just being prepared with this portable doggy shower and your favorite doggy shampoo. It hooks up to a water bottle and helps scrub your pup!
  • Poop Bags– Keep them attached to the leash, keep them in the car, keep them in your purse- you never want to be without one!
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3. Dog Food

I always like to have some extra food and treats on hand in the car. I also pack a water bottle for each person and one just for the pup. Plus some handy travel bowls.
  • Air Tight Container– you don’t want dog food smell wafting around the car, and your pup doesn’t want stale food! I keep one for food and one for treats
  • Travel bowls and Travel water bottle– I like the pop up bowls for food and the doggy water bottle for water
  • Peanut butter & lick matt– Keep your dog distracted by putting some peanut butter on this lick matt. Great for in the car while driving/waiting or on the outside of the car while you wash them.
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4. Dog Comfort

  • Puppy shoes – whether it’s too hot or too cold make sure to protect your pups paws! If you can’t keep the back of your hand on the sidewalk for more than 5 seconds then your pup’s paws are not comfortable.
  • Puppy sweater or anxiety shirt– Small dogs need an extra layer of warmth in winter. Many dogs also get nervous or anxious when driving and need a layer of security. You know your dog best on whether this would be beneficial for them
  • Seat extender– If your dog gets to ride in the back seat, they might be a bit more comfortable with this seat extender that provides them more room to spread out
  • Dog Bed– Give them a comfy place to lie down during the drive
  • Dog Heating pad and Cooling pad– depending on the season you may like to add these to your car to keep your precious pup comfortable with the weather.
  • Cooling Collar- Even when you’re at the park or the beach there is a significant risk for overheating your dog if they run around in warm weather. Make sure to help cool them off with this cooling collar.
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5. Dog Toys!

The most fun category!
  • Frisbee– A classic
  • Ball & Ball Thrower- really get your dog running!
  • Chew Toy– Keep your dog busy in the car without ruining your upholstery. Kongs are great and hold up to most dogs
  • Digger Toy– Some dogs prefer to dig and you don’t want them digging in your car
  • Tug Toy – Suction this to your car floor or the car wall and your dog can tug for hours without breaking it
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Comment below: What do you keep in your car for your dog?

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