Do by all means take along your dog when you set off on your motoring holiday. Most dogs like riding in cars. But just like for the other passengers, it is important that your pet travels safely. Volvo Cars has specially designed equipment that meets the needs of dogs and owners alike. In the USA, the Volvo XC90 and XC70 were even chosen as the market's dog-friendliest cars.
That's something that readers of Animal Fair Magazine and the magazine's website know, because last year they voted on and gave the winning spots in the "Cesar® Five Dog Bone Awards" to the two Volvo models. There were two weighty arguments behind the award: the cars have generous space that easily accommodates dog and luggage, irrespective of whether you are on your way to the beach or your cottage out in the country. Both are easy for dogs - large and small - to jump into. All told, the competition encompassed seven categories: the most animal-friendly airline, car manufacturer, destination, hotel, product, resort and shelter.
Alongside their highly appreciated space and ease of access, the Volvo V50, XC60, V70, XC70 and XC90 offer a range of accessories that make life easier for dog and dog owner like when they enjoy a trip together out on the open road.
* A practical protective grille between the passenger area and luggage compartment that prevents the dog from being thrown forward during heavy braking or in a collision. A dog rides most safely in the luggage compartment of an estate car provided the car is fitted with a protective grille.
* A longitudinal cargo space divider that splits the luggage compartment into left and right sections. The dog can sit in one section while the luggage can be placed in the other section. Practical if for instance you are transporting the weekly shopping or other luggage that you do not want your pet to get at. In order to be able to fit the cargo space divider, it is necessary to also fit a protective grille.
* A luggage compartment mat made of durable and dirt-resistant vinyl. The mat covers the floor, side panels and rear seat backrests, thus protecting the car's interior even when your pet is wet or dirty, for instance after a long day at the beach.
* A practical cargo box made of injection-moulded plastic that also protects the car's interior from dirty paws. Easy to wipe clean. (It is available for all the above models apart from the Volvo XC90)
* Sun-blinds for the luggage compartment to cover the tailgate window and rear side windows. The blinds provide maximum protection and shield the family pet from heat and irritating sunlight. (This still does not mean that your dog may be left in the car in the summer since the car's interior can get dangerously hot faster than many people believe possible.)
Volvo Cars has also developed a series of dog accessories designed to make every trip comfortable for the family's four-legged members. There are dog towels, dog blankets, dog scarves and water-bowls in a cohesive, tasteful design. They have attracted considerable attention and sold very well.
"Ahead of the launch of the Volvo V70 and XC70 we wanted to create merchandise that was in sync with the cars and their target group. We know that the target group has an active family lifestyle. It thus felt perfectly natural to design a dog collection in a suitably playful tone. Dog accessories are an entirely new area in the automotive world, which is why we received such a positive response," says Yvonne Hall Tobiasson, head of merchandise at Volvo Cars.
With the right equipment in place in the car, the dog owner secures the comfort of his or her family pet. And most dogs like riding in cars, they want to be with their family. However, there are a number of important things to take into consideration, apart from the obvious; such as stopping and taking the dog for a walk at regular intervals and giving the dog food and water.
What many people perhaps do not always think about is to ensure that the tailgate really is properly shut. This is important so your dog and luggage can travel in safety without any risk of the tailgate opening up while on the move.
It is a good idea to teach the dog never to jump out of the car except on your explicit command.
Some dogs may get car-sick. Given sufficient time it is possible to train most dogs out of their car-sickness. One tip while travelling is to give your four-legged friend a bone to chew on. Another is that your vet has medication for treating dogs prone to car-sickness.
Footnote: All the dog products are available at your Volvo dealer. In most countries, the towel, blanket, scarf and water-bowl can also be ordered from the Volvo Cars on-line shop at http://www.merchandise.volvocars.com/StartPage/Startpage1.aspx
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