Keep Fido Safe on Your Next Road Trip with These Simple Tips

In just a few short weeks, people will start planning their summer road trips. Or maybe you’re ahead of the game, and already have your trip planned. Either way, one thing is evitable: you WILL be taking a road trip this summer.

But before you hop in your car and take off, give Fido some consideration. Instead of leaving your pooch at home or dropping him off at doggie day camp, think about taking him with you! And here at Jim Shorkey, we can help! Check out some tips below on how to protect your dog (and car) on road trips.

Buy a Ramp. It can be difficult for dogs to leap into SUVs and trucks. Consider investing in a ramp that extends from the ground to the vehicle’s load floor. This easy stroll into and out of your car can prevent unexpected injuries and expensive vet bills that may keep you in park for longer than intended. Bonus: Most ramps currently on the market fold up for easy storage.

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New Threads. Consider a tight-fitting, Velcro-closing shirt specifically designed to calm anxious canines by making them feel hugged and comfy. Therefore, if they start to panic on the road, you can calm them down without any major catastrophe.

Harness your Hound. You (hopefully) wouldn’t let a child ride in the backseat without a seatbelt, and your pooch is no exception. Keep your dog safe with a harness—most include some sort of padded vest with dog-to-car anchor points that distribute crash forces evenly over a dog’s body. They also offer several options for securing your dog in place, 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.

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Ahhh, That’s the Life. If your dog is traveling on vacation with you, chances are he is already living the dream. Why not make his time in the car even better with a hammock! If you can believe it, there are various hammocks for dogs available on the market that provide a comfy, waterproof berth for your dog while keeping the backseat clean.

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Keep your Distance. As all dog owners know, dogs are very excitable, especially when out of their element. To keep them from treating your car like their playground, you may want to confine them to the backseat with a partition. Most partitions currently on the market are model specific, but offer adjustable feet and sliding crossbars that allow you to customize the partition to your liking.

 

Tips for Driving on Black Ice

The winter season is here, and for as pretty as the snow is when it covers the trees and roads, it brings many dangers for motorists, with one of the most threatening being slippery and hard-to-spot black ice.

Black ice forms when the air is at 32 degrees or below at the surface and rain is falling. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating the ice.

Due to complexion, black ice is very hard to spot, but using a car thermometer as an initial gauge can be helpful in determining the road conditions. A car thermometer is made to find the air’s ambient temperature. So if a vehicle’s thermometer is close to freezing, the car driver should be cautious on the roads.

BLACK ICE

However, dude to the restrictions of a car’s thermometer, the best way to know if the roads are icy before heading out is to be aware of how, where, and when black ice forms. The prime time for ice to develop are around dawn and in the late evening, when temperatures are typically the lowest. During the day, the best thing to do before getting in a vehicle is to take a look at the pavement. If the pavement is dry but you see spots of pavement that look dark and glossy, there is a great chance that it is black ice. The most common locations for black ice to appear are shaded or tree-covered parts of driveways and roadways due to the lack of sunlight and bridges and overpasses because of their ability to freeze quickly.

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While driving on black ice is similar to snow, the big difference between the two is the amount of traction the vehicle retains. Due to lack of traction a car has on ice, the basic rule for driving is to stay calm and let the vehicle pass over it.

Other tips for driving on black ice:

1. Do not hit the brakes, instead keep the steering wheel steady

2. Lift your foot off the accelerator.

3. Do not overcorrect your steering if you feel your car sliding

4. Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses

5. Never use cruise control

6. Avoid unnecessarily changing lanes

7. Drive, turn, and break slowly

8. If you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump the pedal

9. Use your low-beam headlights

10. Remember, four-wheel drive doesn’t help you stop any faster.

Our service departments are here to get your winter ready