How to make your car pet-friendly

Kimberley Ng
chihuahua in driver's seat

We show you how to have a fuss-free, easy motoring experience in Singapore with your furry companions

Be it taking your pet out for a drive or making a trip to the vet, you’ll want your car to be as pet-friendly as possible. Making it safe for human passengers is one thing but making it safe for your furry best friend is another.

Pet-proofing your car is important to making sure your car is as safe and comfortable as possible for your animal companion. So we’ve put together a little guide on the best way to do it.

A good rule of thumb to begin with is to try not to let your pet wander freely in the car while you’re driving. And much less drive with your pet in your lap too. Not only are you endangering your pet’s life, but if the air bag goes off that’s your furry little companion going right through your chest. Nobody wants that. If you wouldn’t drive with your baby in your lap, don’t do it with a pet.

Clean your car

dog sleeping in car

Before anything, make that your car is free from any debris or small items of trash that your pet could mistakenly ingest or inhale. If your pet has any allergies, ensure that no allergens are in your car. 

Also, avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your car to avoid any irritation to your pet’s skin and eyes.

Lock your windows & doors

dog looking out rainy window

If your pet isn’t going to be in a carrier while in the car, you’ll want to make sure your doors are locked and your windows are up. Animals are pretty smart and locking your doors minimises the risk of them escaping onto the road and getting seriously hurt. And sure, you could let them stick their head out the window, but doing it at the high speeds of our highway is a huge risk.

Check and double-check all your windows and doors before you set off to prevent escapes and any other accidents.

Secure your pet

chihuahua out the car window

If you do decide you’re okay with putting the windows down so your pet gets the breeze, you should make sure your pet is securely fastened. You wouldn’t ride without a seatbelt, and neither should your pet. 

Invest in a pet carrier or crate that you can secure in your car or a specialised removable pet seat. If you’re sure that your pet can sit still in a car seat, you can opt for a well-fitted harness and a special loose pet seat belt that keeps your pet secure and comfortable at the same time.

If you’ve got a smaller pet like a hamster or a bird that can sit in a carrier for the length of your journey, be sure to fasten the carrier as well. Skoda also sells a safety belt specially made for dogs.

Protect car seats

bulldog in car

Claw marks, fur, and the occasional toilet accident are all things to anticipate when bringing along your pet on a trip on the road. Prepare in advance and lay down waterproof protective coverings on your seats. Believe me, you don’t want a wet hairball or a pool of dog slobber on your car seats.

Hammock-style waterproof car seat covers work best, and are also easy to clean. And even if you have a small pet, you’ll want to take precaution for any event. Some station wagons and SUVs also offer an additional boot liner, that’s good for dogs too.

Bring supplies

dog being fed ice cream

Always make sure you have supplies for your pet on your drive. From food, water, medication, and absorbent pads, you’ll want to make sure you always have an extra set of everything in your car. Think of it like bringing a newborn out – have a baby bag stocked with everything you need, and then some extra in your car.

Familiarise your pet

dog driving

Car rides can be an anxiety-inducing experience for pets, especially if it’s their first time on the road. The same way you let them get acquainted with your home, let your pet warm up to being inside your car, and being on a drive. Take them on short drives around the neighbourhood then slowly build up to longer distances. This will also avoid any nausea they might face from the stress of a new environment. 

Make sure you have everything set up as well – from the seat coverings to any absorbent pads they might need; they’ll have to be acquainted with those as well. 

Driving is stressful enough as it is, and the last thing you want is for your furry companion to have a difficult time in the car too. Be a responsible pet owner and keep your pet safe and your car looking good as new, and the memories you’ll make together will be endless.


car Cat dog pet-friendly pets Singapore

About the Author

Kimberley Ng

The youngest and shortest of the CarBuyer Singapore bunch, Kimberley is the proud owner of a Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1...diecast from Shuco. She runs the CarBuyer Singapore Tik Tok @carbuyersingapore. For unrelated purposes, her favourite song is Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. Special talents include impressions of famous rapper Lil' Jon. [email protected]/@kimmyk7

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