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Doggie Day Care: Five Ways to Protect Your Pooch on the Road

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 6/9/2015

Doggie Day Care: Five Ways to Protect Your Pooch on the Road

© Car and Driver

Sorry dogs, but man has two best friends—one walks on four legs and the other rides on four wheels. The tricky part is combining the two without either one doing damage to the other. These canine car accessories should help, and to make this test legit, we had a real, live retriever mix named Jack try all of them. Full disclosure: A dog’s tummy was rubbed during our testing.

Solvit UltraLite Bi-Fold Pet Ramp

© Solvit Products

What It Is: An easily deployed, lightweight (10 pounds!) high-grip walkway into and out of tall vehicles for stubborn, injured, or small dogs.

How It Works: Simply unfold the ramp and place it between the ground and your car’s load floor.

Jack’s Take: The Solvit ramp wasn’t long enough to reach our SUV’s cargo hold at a comfortable angle, leaving our test canine to do some good old-fashioned leaping. To be fair, he seemed to enjoy this.

What It Costs: $100 at

Sleepypod Clickit Utility Dog Harness

© LaunchLab, Inc.

What It Is: The Center for Pet Safety’s 2013 highest-rated safety restraint.

How It Works: Essentially a padded vest with a trio of possible dog-to-car anchor points, the Clickit distributes crash forces evenly over a dog’s body. There are multiple options for securing Fido, from a single lockdown for riding in a cargo area to two LATCH child-seat anchors with a human three-point seatbelt looped through the harness.

Jack’s Take: Our test dog’s mild confusion with his strappy new duds gave way to outright annoyance once he was fully buckled into the car. Jack might have felt constricted—when asked his opinion, he just licked our faces—but he certainly seemed safer than the Romneys’ Irish setter.

What It Costs: $90 at

ThunderWorks ThunderShirt


What It Is: A tight-fitting, Velcro-closing shirt that calms anxious canines by making them feel hugged and comfy.

Jack’s Take: Besides looking natty and landing Jack a slimmer figure, the ThunderShirt didn’t do much for our already super-chill tester. We’ve tried the shirt on more-rambunctious companions to better effect.

What It Costs: $40 at

WeatherTech Pet Barrier

© MacNeil Automotive Products Limited

What It Is: A partition between your dog and your back seat.

How It Works: The barrier is wagon- and SUV-model-specific, but its threaded, adjustable feet and sliding crossbars allow owners to customize it to their liking.

Jack’s Take: Depending on the size of your wagon’s or SUV’s cargo area, your furry friend will have plenty of stretch-out room—and zero access to other parts of your car.

What It Costs: $70 at

Kurgo Wander Hammock

© Kurgo Products

What It Is: A comfy, waterproof berth for your dog, and it keeps the back seat clean.

Jack’s Take: Jack barely waited for us to drape the Wander Hammock across the back seat and clip its anchor points to the front- and rear-seat headrest posts before plopping down and giving us his tummy-rub-now stare.

What It Costs: $60 at


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