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May 2021 / Issue 2

D E I F I T R E C G N r I o f y a w D t s I e f a s R The avel in cars dogs to tr

Ms. Bowie Rides Certified Ms. Bowie's dad shares practical tips you can use to get your dog buckled up and stay safe.

p. 27

Planning a Vacay with Your Dog Traveling with your dog this summer? Be sure you've got these details covered.

p. 32

Walk for Dog Seatbelt Safety Piper's mom shares the details of the car crash and how you can save lives at Piper's Walk 2021.

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Throughout the pages, look for the logo!Click for more info.

"Certified dog seatbelt" means any dog car safety restraint, including harnesses, crates, carriers or car seats, which have passed Center for Pet Safety's crash testing.

The Large Lucky Kennel for dogs up to 110 lbs is now certified!

Where are you and your dog headed this summer?


Ms. Bowie Rides Certified

p. 32

Planning a Vacay with Your Dog

p. 47

Walk for Dog Seatbelt Safety


Gotcha Day Begins in the Car

p. 14

F.A.Q. - What About Brand ___?

p. 15

Why the Seatbelt is 100% Worth It

p. 18

The ONLY Certified Carriers

p. 19

The Rules of Riding Certified


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ADJUSTING THE SLEEPYPOD HARNESS Are you adjusting the Sleepypod harness correctly? Watch the video to find out! p. 21

MAY 2021

On the Road Again -



Quick Tip for Anxious Car Riders

p. 23

Buckling Up Your Wiggle Worm

p. 25

Don't Put a Tether on a Certified Product

p. 26

Helping Your Dog Move Around in the Car

p. 27

Ms. Bowie Rides Certified


Free Webinar! Hosted by Your Dog's Friend Saturday May 8, 2021 2PM

p. 46

p. 31

Riding Certified Tour Heads to Asheville, NC

p. 32

Planning a Vacay with Your Dog

p. 36

It's Getting Hot in Here . . .

p. 41

An Air Conditioned Outing Idea

p. 42

Special Considerations When it's Just the 2 of You


Walk for Dog Seatbelt Safety

p. 52

The Riding Certified Dog Car

p. 56

Join Piper's Pack

Safety Conference


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MAY 2021

HEY DOG MOMS & DADS, A Note from the Dog Seatbelt Lady What does adventure look like for you and your dog? Summer’s just around the corner, which is one of the very best times to get out and Ride Certified! The outdoors have always called to me, particularly North Carolina. Piper and I had the best time together there. She was just 2 years old when we hopped into our grey Honda Civic and headed for the shore. The first stop was in Rodanthe, right on the Outer Banks where the peaceful shoreline stretched for miles. We spent countless hours playing fetch, galloping through the sand and splashing in the gentle waves. Then we'd head into town to explore the sights. Duck drew us in. I vividly remember strolling through the town, finding that the stores were so dog friendly that we were actually invited inside, rather than me asking for permission to bring Piper along. We left the Outer Banks for beautiful Morehead City. Our days consisted of leisurely walks along the dock, and in the evening, searching for a new restaurant to enjoy. Piper knew the routine - I’d roll out her towel to lay on, fill up her water bowl and give her dinner as I had mine. Maybe linger with a book and glass of wine while the warm summer breeze glided through.


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Repeat in Swansboro, Wilmington, Southport, and anywhere in between. We met a bunch of people who gushed over how good Piper was, and I was so proud of my dog. The puppy version of her had been a handful to say the least. This trip - just me, my best friend, and the open road . . . is still hands down, the very best days of my life.

If Piper had been buckled up in a certified seatbelt, we would've had the Riding Certified life. A life of adventure with your dog. It's that thrill of hopping into the back of the car, buckling up, rolling those windows down, turning the radio up, and driving to yet another dog-friendly destination. Do you have to take a long road trip together? No, but a day out to a new park, hike, city, etc.? That’s the fun you don’t want to miss out on. Piper and I took that road trip in June 2012. She died from car crash injuries in June 2017. We never made it back down to North Carolina, although that was the plan all along. It was always “next year.” Don’t wait until next year to take your dog on a Riding Certified journey, whether it’s 10 minutes down the road or a week out of state. If you don’t know where to start, just let these pages guide you through! And of course, buckle up your dog in a certified seatbelt along the way. Love,

-P. Suanpan Dog Seatbelt Lady & Founder of Dogs Ride Certified

P&P iper - Jun e 20 12 Caro lina B each , NC RIDING CERTIFIED

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MAY 2021


Read while jamming out to good tunes


GOTCHA DAY Begins in the Car What's on your new dog checklist? Dog proof the house? Check. Got food, treats and toys? Oh yeah, loaded up. Check. Leash, tags, and collar? Check, check and check. All things you need when bringing home a new dog. But have you thought about how your dog will travel home? Will you hold your new little one in your lap? Sit in the backseat with your pup while your spouse is driving? Or maybe you got a crate? A carrier? If you think about it, your dog's first few experiences with you starts here, before you even get home to eat, play, or go for a walk. So why isn't a seatbelt at the very top of the list?


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MAY 2021

Buckling up your pup in a certified seatbelt ensures that your dog actually makes it to his new forever home with you. It doesn't matter if your house is just down the street or a few hours away. Car crashes can happen anywhere, at anytime. More frequently, coming to a sudden stop propels your dog forward . . . would you be able to catch him? And would you want an experience like that to be one of the first few memories he has with you? Dogs jump out of car windows. They prance from seat to seat, causing a

YOU NEED A CERTIFIED SEATBELT Specifically, one that has passed crash testing by Center for Pet Safety. There are many brands of dog car safety restraints on the market these days, but only 5 brands are certified! If you've got a little dog under 17lbs, check out the Sleepypod Carriers, Away Pet Carrier, or the ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack for a car seat option. Many pet parents choose the Sleepypod Clickit Sport or Sleepypod Clickit Terrain harness for its versatility and comfort. The Sport is certified for dogs up to 90 lbs, and the Terrain goes up even higher for dogs up to 110 lbs.

distraction. Little ones play Nascar driver and try to help you drive. Even if you've got a calm rider, you're adding a new member to your family. You've got to protect this new love of your life. So how do you do that? What seatbelt is best?

If you prefer a kennel or crate for the car, skip the metal crates. These are dangerous and can crush in a crash. It will merely contain your dog for the ride, but not protect in a collision. A Gunner Kennel can protect your dog from puppy up to 70lbs, while a Lucky Kennel is made only for medium to large dogs up to 110lbs.

Only ride CPS -



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MAY 2021

And you know what? That's it. That's the WHOLE list. Be careful of packaging that claims to be "crash tested." Crash tested does not mean that it actually PASSED Center for Pet Safety (CPS)'s crash testing! If you want the safest product for your dog, it's got to be CPS certified. Do you have one of these on your new dog checklist? Because if not, it needs to go straight to the top so you guys can start your union off just right. Set up the first car ride for success by: Getting someone else to drive, Easing into it, and Keeping it fun. You're going to be jittery-excited for your pick up. If you're driving, chances are you're going to look back to check on your dog every 2 seconds, or put your dog in the front seat which isn't safe. It's really best to just get someone else to drive. That way, you can sit in the back with your new dog. Let your dog sniff around the car and get to know his new environment before buckling up and going anywhere. This will give you both time to settle in. Then when he's calm, buckle up, praise often, and begin the journey home. You'll want to talk to your pup, periodically feed little training treats, give a toy, or a yummy bone to help make the experience grand. You're not only keeping your dog safe on the ride home, but setting an expectation from the get go. "Hey friend, I love you already and you've got to be safe in the car. This is how we roll." No chance of creating a habit of wandering from spot to spot, or trying to help drive the car.



So that new dog checklist of yours? Here's the first 3 items to get you started: 1) CPS certified seatbelt. 2) Get someone else to drive. 3) Car treats and toys. And the list goes on . . . But now, the item that revolves around your dog's very FIRST experience with you, a certified seatbelt - that's at the top of the list where it belongs.

MAY 2021

F.A.Q. Q: Hey! Isn't brand ___ certified too? It says "crash tested" and seems sturdy enough. A: If the brand you're looking for isn't on CPS' list, it isn't certified no matter what the packaging says! All crash tests are not equal.



How much is your dog worth? Can you really think of a monetary value? Of course not. You love your dog, and love is priceless. The average American citizen spends $1,380 annually on basic dog expenses, and more than half of millennial pet parents buy their dog a gift once a month (is that you)? So when it comes to buckling up your dog in a certified seatbelt, let's not beat around the bush here. It's another expense, way less fun than a new toy, and not cheap. As you look for a certified car safety restraint (because why would you get anything that isn't certified?), a harness can cost around $100 if not more, carriers range between $115-$225, and kennels can take a hefty $400-$700 out of your wallet. Why does it cost so much? Well, because it works. You can see and feel the quality in the materials used. You're getting an honest product you can trust. A product which has passed crash testing by Center for Pet Safety. And for a company to put out a product with this high of a standard, more money is needed to make it.



MAY 2021

Are you thinking about buckling up your dog in a certified seatbelt but are just a little hesitant because of the cost? Here's a few things to keep in mind:

1) IT'LL LAST FOREVER These certified seatbelts are made to withstand the impact of a car crash, so they're made to last. This investment will keep your dog safe in the car for a lifetime. If you're ever in a car crash, Sleepypod will even replace your product free of charge! Read about their Crash Replacement Program here.

Whoopie, a terrier mix, has been buckled up in a Sleepypod Sport harness from the day his parents brought him home. His dad says:

"Whoopie is a member of the family. We buckle up to go to the vet and so should Whoopie. Also a Sleepypod is very durable, so after you purchase it, it’s yours forever."

2) YOU'LL HAVE PEACE OF MIND Now that you know about certified dog seatbelts, it's there in the back of your mind. If you're not currently securing your dog in the car, you'll have a little voice telling you "don't get in a crash." And if you're currently using a non-certified product, you're going to wonder "if there's a crash, will my dog be safe?" A local dog mom isn't wondering about that question anymore. She had her dog secured in the car with a tether, but when her dog went to stand up, the clasp broke! They weren't even in a crash or a sudden stop . . . CPS certified truly matters. RIDING CERTIFIED

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On the other hand, Zumi is an Akita puppy whose parents went the Gunner Kennel route. When Zumi outgrew his first kennel, not only did they buy the next size up, but they had the back of their car completely adjusted to make the kennel fit! When asked what made them go through all of that work for the Gunner Kennel, it was simple:

"We could not put a price on the peace of mind we feel during the safe transport of our furry family member!" .

MAY 2021

3) YOU'LL SAVE TIME AND MONEY IN THE LONG RUN If your dog is ever in a car crash and survives, there'll be a road to recovery. If you think the emergency vet is expensive as is, imagine the cost for injuries from a car crash. There's also the emotional toll it takes on you both, and time it takes to care for an injured pup. Do you really want to go through all that? It can be prevented!

BUT THE ONLY REASON YOU'LL EVER NEED . . . Can't be put into words. It's unconditional love! Your dog is your furbaby. The bond between the 2 of you inseparable. You can't put a price on that. Is your dog worth a few hundred dollars to get him a certified seatbelt? Absolutely. And if you never get into a crash and never need the seatbelt to do its thing, then you've got the best case scenario. It's an investment you WANT to make, because the other side of the "what if" would be unbearable. So what are you waiting for? Go get your seatbelt today! It's worth it. Your dog is worth it.



MAY 2021

Sleepypod and Away are the ONLY 2 companies with certified carriers for your little one.


The Rules of Riding Certified 1) Embody the SEATBELT philosophy 2) ASk for help if needed 3) Only choose CPS Certified



MAY 2021

Riding Certified is all about traveling safely with your dog in the car. Buckling up in a certified seatbelt and going on adventures together - it's a total way of life! The SEATBELT philosophy is the foundation of it all: S = Set your intention (to buckle up every single time, and in a certified product). E = Expect safety first. You and your dog can totally do this. A = Always do it, no exceptions. T = Tell a friend, so their dog can be safe too. B = Buckle up your pup, no matter how young or old or where your destination may lead. L = Live fully, because tomorrow is never guaranteed. T = Travel lots. Experience the world together. When you embrace the SEATBELT philosophy, you're naturally committed to the idea of using a certified seatbelt to buckle up. So if you run into any trouble, you're going to ask for help.



Maybe you're having trouble figuring out how to actually buckle your dog in, how to adjust the straps, or how to get your dog to go into the certified carrier. You're not going to give up and let your dog ride unrestrained, or go buy a different product. You're going to ask for help, and help is easy to get when you reach out to Dogs Ride Certified. Dogs Ride Certified only advocates for certified seatbelts, and will do whatever it takes to make those products work for you, so your dog can be safe. After your seatbelt dilemma is solved and you know what you're doing, you ONLY use your certified product to buckle up your dog . . . never non-certified, ever again. There's no going back to the way it was before. This is a part of every day life now. So just like that, bam! The rules of Riding Certified have been met. See how easy that was? Go put it into action today!

MAY 2021


Are you adjusting the Sleepypod harness straps correctly?

Watch the video to find out! RIDING CERTIFIED


MAY 2021



-For anxious car riders

To help relieve car anxiety, give your dog a treat in the car (while you keep busy reading Riding Certified Magazine)!

You want to be far enough for your dog to be comfortable, yet he needs to still be aware that the car is there.

Don't go anywhere - just hang out together at your parked spot.

Gradually get closer to the car with each session (over a period of days, not minutes), until your dog can approach and hop in on his own, with ease.

This helps your dog build a positive association with the car before having to go anywhere. However, if your dog is too nervous to get into the car, let alone take a treat, set up a picnic away from the car. RIDING CERTIFIED


Then start giving treats inside of the car, building up to longer "picnics," until the car is just another cool space to be!

MAY 2021

Buckle Up Your


If you've got a rowdy dog, whether young or old, getting the car's shoulder belt to go through the certified harness is a challenge. Next to impossible. And frustrating. Every treat thrown down just gets gobbled up and then your dog is on to the next thing. If only you could get him to be still, just for 5 seconds!



MAY 2021

You can. Your dog can. With a combination of

When your dog approaches the mat, remind

a little fun training and the right tools, you

him what to do if needed. When he sits, click

can absolutely slow your pup down.

and treat.

First, the training.

Hop out of the car and reset. Take a dance break! You want your dog to practice getting

Play "Doggie Musical Chairs!" Use your

in the car and going straight to the mat, so it's

imagination to adapt the game. Here's what

important to get out of the car after each sit.

you can do: With practice, pretty soon your pup will know Turn up the radio, pull into the driveway or

exactly where his seat is in the car. To get

empty parking lot, and groove! If you have a

your dog to stay still, wait a few moments

2nd person to tag along, you can go all out

before you click and treat. The longer you

with the "musical chairs" theme and pause

wait to click, the longer the hold.

the music when it's time to sit. But if not, it's okay!

Just remember to take baby steps and build up to longer periods of time in one spot. Set your pup up for success. And have fun! Next, supplement the training by giving your dog something to do. Once you've got your dog jumping into the car and sitting on the mat consistently, give him a frozen lickimat, bully stick, bone, snufflemat filled with treats, or other long lasting food dispensing toy.

Take a mat, carpet square, or towel you want your dog to go to, and put it on the ground

If your dog is busy working on the treat, he

outside the car. Have your dog sit on the mat,

can't be wiggling away at the same time.

click and treat.

Take the moment to buckle up your pup - no wrestling needed.

Pick up the mat and move it to another spot. Take your dog for a groovy walk around the

That's all there is to it! Play the game often -

car. When you get back around to the mat,

the more you practice, the better your dog

have your dog sit on it, click and treat. Repeat

will get at this. You're taking his boundless

until this becomes automatic and your dog

energy and channeling it into both

knows that when he sees the mat, he should

movement and mental stimulation. That's the

run over to it and sit.

best way to learn.

Once that's set, move the game to the car.

Pretty soon your wiggle worm will be Riding

Place the mat on the seat where you want

Certified, and you won't be able to call him a

your dog to sit, then have him get in the car.

wiggle worm anymore!



MAY 2021

Using a tether with the Sleepypod harness isn't safe! Click here to see why


Helping Your Dog

MOVE AROUND IN THE CAR Moving around is important, and if your dog can't move in his certified harness, there's ways to troubleshoot this. Whatever you do, resist the urge to add a tether attachment! There's a reason your dog needs to be secure. First, be sure the car's seatbelt isn't locked up. Meaning, when you pull out the seatbelt, don't engage the seatbelt lock and retractor, or your dog won't be able to move. An S-Clip prevents this problem from occurring. If you don't have an S-Clip, and you have a medium to large dog, you need this essential item. If you've already got the S-Clip in place and the seatbelt is loose when you tug on it, then your dog just needs a little help to learn that he CAN move around while buckled up!

Take a treat and lure your dog into different positions. Sit, down, stand. Ask for a high five. Have your pup turn to one direction, stand up, and turn to face the other direction. Your dog should be able to move in any direction except for a full circle. If you can't get your dog into all the different positions right away, no worries. Just encourage any small movement to start, then give a treat. You want your dog to learn that being buckled up is not a big deal, and that movement is allowed! If you have a large dog and you're still having trouble, try buckling up from the middle seatbelt. Although the safest spot is diagonal from the driver, it doesn't do your dog any good if he's too big to turn around in that space. Buckling up from the middle seat gives your dog space to get up and turn his big body to the other direction and vice versa. Go give those things a try and you'll have your dog moving confidently in the car in no time!



MAY 2021

Ms. Bowie Rides Certified


Named after the music icon David Bowie, this very special dog lives a Riding Certified life with her dad. She even shares her adventures on Instagram! But it almost didn't happen. Ms. Bowie had motion sickness as a pup and got sick on every car ride. It wasn't that she was nervous - her belly just couldn't handle the car. Luckily it resolved when Bowie was a little over a year old, and now she hops into the car for a new outing several times a week! Bowie didn't always ride in her safe and stylish Sleepypod though. She used to ride with just her harness and tether, until her dad learned about the danger that tethers pose. He actually had the Sleepypod Clickit Sport, but hadn't been using it. Embracing the rules of Riding Certified, her dad didn't give up. He started learning about how to use the certified harness and slowly got Bowie comfortable with wearing it. They took their time with this. Her dad shares: RIDING CERTIFIED

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"I started by just letting Bowie get familiar with it along with some of her favorite treats. I then let her wear it for short periods just in the house. Once she was comfortable, we moved outside for short walks and then finally into the car. We practiced in the car just in the driveway and then short trips. When she started to lie down, I knew we were ready to take it on the road." Her dad's dedication paid off. Bowie now walks right over to the Sleepypod harness to put it on, and has become a role model to her doggie friends. Bowie and her dad like to explain why she's wearing the Sleepypod harness while they're out and about! MAY 2021

e l k c u b You up. So this

does ! p u p

Bowie and her dad have committed to spreading awareness for dog seatbelt safety, and have pretty awesome training ideas too. After all, they're set to complete their Professional Dog Trainer course this month! After graduating from Karen Pryor Academy, their plan is to advocate for positive reinforcement training and help get dogs riding safely in the car. Bowie's dad is a fan of peanut butter packets.

p u g n i l Buck is a SNAP!

While teaching Bowie to become comfortable with the actual buckling up process, he'd give her an open packet of peanut butter to work on. (Know your dog don't do this if your dog will just eat the packet rather than lick at it.) This helped Ms. Bowie to not only remain still and in one place in the car, but also to develop a positive association with the whole experience as her dad played around with how to buckle her in. It takes time to get it just right, observing your dog's seating preferences and practicing how to slide the car seatbelt through the Sleepypod harness. For team Bowie, they learned to enter the car from the opposite side of where Bowie sits, which allows her to get her body positioned properly. Bowie likes to sit facing forward (like a human would sit) in the car. Her dad also confessed:

"To be honest, I really couldn’t figure out how to attach it (the harness) to the seatbelt. The tricky part for me was getting the seatbelt through the loops and properly adjusted. Watching the Dogs Ride Certified videos and the SNAP method helped me get it right." Thankfully they did get it just right, because Ms. Bowie is a busy dog with places to go!


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S = Slide the seatbelt through N = Not under the legs A= Adjust the seatbelt P = Push it in MAY 2021

Bowie likes to go out for a meal at one of the many dog-friendly restaurants in her area. Although for something low key, a delicious Pup Burger at the local drive thru works too. The yummy meals don't even compare to her favorite destination: the beach! This lucky gal not only stays safe in the car, but changes into a life jacket while hanging at the ocean. Lifeguards report swimming out to save dogs from the ocean tide, and sadly many don't have a happy ending. If you're headed to the beach this summer, don't forget to grab a life jacket for your pup too! Bowie also wears a GPS tracker. Smart, in case she were to ever get lost. Dogs are typically microchipped which is effective in identifying them, but not for tracking their location. RIDING CERTIFIED

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"The GPS tells me exactly where Bowie is when she has it on. It also tracks her activity and rest. Bowie sticks pretty close to me but it gives me peace of mind." When you're out in new places, surrounded by different sights, sounds, and smells, your pup is full of excited (or nervous) energy. Pulling on the leash and running off to explore is normal dog behavior. Don't risk losing your dog. Always be prepared, just in case. Ms. Bowie and her dad make an amazing team. Their strong bond is evident in her dad's passion for keeping Bowie safe in all areas of her life. It all starts with getting buckled up for their adventures though! And practice makes perfect, because for Team Bowie, using their certified Sleepypod harness is now

"just our normal car routine without a second thought." Bowie's dad has it all figured out - when you have all the safety precautions in place, you've got the freedom and peace of mind to really go and live that Riding Certified life. MAY 2021

The Riding Certified Tour is headed to Asheville, NC! Click to learn more



Whether you've traveled with your dog before or this will be the first time, there's always so much to consider and things to do to prepare. Where will you go? What's dog-friendly and what's not? How long can your dog last in the car? What should you bring? What are the rules? Luckily all you really need is a little research, planning and creativity for a successful trip (and a certified seatbelt)! Here's 3 big pieces to consider before hitting the road: the location, the drive, and packing the right stuff.


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MAY 2021

THE LOCATION Learn about your destination and the town. Do some research into the place you're going, and the towns you'll pass along the way in case you want to stop and check them out. Bring Fido is an excellent website where you can find info on dog friendly hotels, restaurants, events, activities and more. Decide on what type of place you'd like to stay at and envision how your dog will do at each one. A hotel has a lot of people, noises, elevators and stairs. Not a great place for a timid pup, but a friendly, laid-back dog will do fine there. An AirBnB or Vrbo are great options for privacy, and dogs who need more space. You can rent out entire homes and if you're lucky, one with a fenced in yard! A perfect place for a shy, reactive, or energetic dog. If you're in tune with nature, don't forget about camping! It's an easy and affordable getaway. However, do think about if your dog can handle the outdoor sounds and sleep in a tent. How will your dog react to the critters running around? If you're determined to be connected to nature but not sure how your pup will do, try a cabin first. You can always bring a tent with you and do a trial run at some point while you're there, so you'll know for the future if it's a feasible thing for you guys. Before you book your lodging though, ask questions about the land. If you're staying at a hotel, is there a place to take your dog out for a quick potty break or trails nearby? Where's the emergency vet? What kind of neighborhood is your Air BnB located in? Are there sidewalks or will you be walking down a busy street? If you're headed to the lake or beach, check on the dog rules. Some places don't allow dogs between specific times (especially in the summer) or even on the boardwalk. Lastly, learn about where the pet stores and emergency vets are located, and see if there are any other cool dog-friendly attractions nearby (like a doggie pool or gym). Basically, know what to expect before you get there, so you can be sure it's right for you and your pup.


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MAY 2021

THE DRIVE Plan for the car ride. Now that you know where you're going, consider the travel time. What time do you need to check in? How far away is it? Now add a couple hours to your time, because your dog will need to take frequent breaks along the way. It's a good idea to stop at every rest area you find, and crucial if you have an anxious car rider. Stopping every 1.5-2 hours is ideal. If possible, pre-pack the car, or at least plan out where everything will go. Make sure you have enough room for your dog! It's easy to underestimate how much you have to bring, and you don't want to spend the morning of the trip playing "Car Tetris." If for some reason you need your dog to sit in a different spot other than where he's used to, practice riding in the new spot ahead of time. The change can cause a whole lot of anxiety for your dog, which will give YOU anxiety throughout the entire drive as you constantly check on your crying pup. Avoid it if you can!


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Of course another detail to remember, if you don't already have one, is to get a certified seatbelt for your dog to travel in! Don't delay. Get your seatbelt early so you can take practice rides. Getting your dog accustomed to wearing the seatbelt harness or riding in the carrier/kennel/car seat before your trip is important for best success. Planning for 2 weeks of practice rides is a great place to start. Finally, you want to give your dog something to do in the car. Some dogs are content to look out the window, and some just sleep. Some dogs get bored. Scatter some toys for your dog to play with and offer long lasting chews. If you use a car hammock, this will prevent the items from falling off the seat. Offer snacks and water along the way, and maybe even play some training games at the rest areas for mental stimulation. Make the car safe, fun and inviting. Fill it with all of your dog's favorite things and transform the back seat into a home away from home! MAY 2021

THE RIGHT STUFF Pack so that you're prepared for any situation. Will your dog be left alone for any period of time during the trip? A light pop-up crate (NOT for car travel) is a good thing to have on hand. If your dog is sensitive to noise, bring a white noise machine with you to drown out some of the sounds you might encounter. You absolutely should bring a pet first aid kit, and that includes a couple gallons of water in case of heat stroke. Keep a visible emergency plan in the car, and be sure shots are up to date. If you feed your dog raw, check to see if you can get the food from a local pet store at your destination, and have a backup meal for dinner on your first night if the food doesn't thaw in time (depends on what brand you feed). Definitely bring good treats, your clicker and a training pouch. Your dog is going to be excited! You want to be able to get your dog's attention, especially if there's a crowd.


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If your dog has special considerations that you need the public to know (e.g. do not pet, in training, needs space, etc.), get a bandana or leash patch to make this clear so you can set your dog up for success. While you're on the road, a cooler full of frozen food-dispensing toys is perfect to help keep your dog occupied and cool. Also bring a towel to dry off your pup in case you end up taking a detour and finding an awesome creek to jump in. Don't forget the doggie bug spray, doggie sunblock, and paw wipes too . . . although if you forget, you can probably find those things at a local pet store.

And most importantly, Wherever you decide to go, have a great time. Enjoy yourself and the special adventure with your dog. That's the point of it all. Happy traveling!

MAY 2021



Did you know that it's more common for dogs to suffer from heat stroke on a nice day rather than a hot day?

You know not to leave your dog alone in a hot car. It's in the back of your mind, particularly in the thick of the summer months. But as Spring comes to an end (and of course throughout summer as well), heat stroke is a very real threat that you must be aware of. Dr. Christine Klippen, an emergency vet at Friendship Animal Hospital in Washington D.C., has seen too many cases and is passionate about sharing information on this important topic in hopes of saving lives.

One of the causes of heat stroke includes leaving your dog alone in the car for too long. In fact, it's illegal in some states. The reality is though, sometimes when it's just you and your dog traveling alone, you have to get out of the car and your dog can't come with you. At rest areas, dogs aren't allowed in the air conditioned buildings and restrooms, unless you have a service dog. So what's the next best thing to do? How do you ensure that your dog is safe? Applied knowledge is everything.

Heat stroke occurs when your dog's core body temperature gets too hot, and he can't cool down. It's a serious condition that can quickly take a turn for the worst. RIDING CERTIFIED

| 37

You need to know the risk, know the symptoms, and if needed, act fast.

MAY 2021

1) Know the Risk First of all, dogs don't sweat. They cool

Before you crack the windows and leave

themselves down by panting. Flat faced dogs

your dog alone for even a few minutes,

like pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs (and

access your environment, observe your

more), have a harder time cooling themselves

dog, and know the risk.

than other breeds. They get hot more easily and need more time to cool down. Panting in all dogs is normal, and necessary. Observe what your dog's everyday panting looks like so you'll know the difference if it takes a turn. If you're on the road and have to run in somewhere, be quick (see the article, Special Considerations When It's Just the 2 of You, for specific strategies to keep your dog cool in this situation). Your dog can start to show signs of heat stroke in as little as 10 minutes! If you've got another adult in the car with you, take turns with the errand and never risk leaving your dog alone. Even if it's nice out, it's not safe. On a 75 degree day, the car temperature can rise to 109 degrees in just 30 minutes, and it doesn't need to be 109 degrees for your dog to be too hot. These days, new cars are being equipped with "dog mode," so the AC is left running with the doors locked. This is NOT a plan. You shouldn't rely on this technology. Dr. Klippen recalls a sad case - A couple brought their dog with them to run errands. They left the car in "dog mode" only to come back to see that it failed. No AC was running in the car. Their dog was overheated, and unfortunately didn't make it.


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MAY 2021

2) Know the Symptoms Dogs are too hot when the panting becomes vigorous. Fast paced, unsettling. Their tongues get longer and wider. There's an excessive amount of drool. This is a crucial moment when your actions will determine which direction your dog's health goes. Without support, your dog's body temperature will continue to increase.

You might see staggering, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, an elevated heart rate, or even collapse. The hotter your dog's core temperature, the harder it will be to cool down. Knowing what normal panting for your dog looks like is super important, so you can detect abnormal right away.

3) Act Fast - cool down your dog. Dr. Christine Klippen DVM, Urgent Care

If you're in the car, empty your water bottle or any cool beverage onto your dog. If you're near a lake or an ocean, or even a see someone watering their lawn, get your dog to that water source right away.

If your dog is in distress and the panting is out of control, get to the vet ASAP.

But don't use ice water. Ice water can constrict the blood vessels and you don't want that!

At most, your dog has about 2 hours for heat stroke to run its course, and a 50% chance of survival. Heat

Be sure to put the water directly on your dog.

stroke causes kidney failure, blood clotting problems,

Don't put a wet towel over him. This impedes

infections, brain swelling, seizures, multi-organ failure

the flow of air around the body and actually

and sepsis.

hinders the cooling process. If your dog does survive a major heat stroke, he may After wetting down your dog, think

have lingering complications, and the risk of getting it

environment. How can you cool down the air

again increases as well. If you think your dog is having

around your dog? Crank the AC in the car.

a heat stroke, act fast.

Bring your dog inside a store. Turn on a fan if you've got one in the car (traveling with a crate

Every second counts.

fan is a good idea).



MAY 2021

_Protect Your Pup

As serious as heat stroke is, don't let the

The best you can do for your dog is to be

summer sun prevent you from traveling

prepared. Accidents can happen, and it's

with your dog. Just do it with awareness,

the knowing what to do that can save your

and you'll both be just fine.

dog's life. For more information on what to do in an You need to know what normal panting

emergency, particularly in the summer,

looks like for your dog and do your best to

check out this webinar, presented by Dr.

manage the environment so your dog

Klippen herself!

doesn't get too hot. You won't want to miss it. You need to know that if your dog does get too hot, you've got to wet down your dog and get him to a space with air conditioning. If your dog can't settle, you need to know

Click here for webinar info

where the nearest vet is and get there ASAP.


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MAY 2021

An air-conditioned outing idea! Located in 7 states - are you traveling near one?



Special considerations!

Your dog plays many roles in your life. If you're a single dog mom or dad, you get it. Your dog is not only your kid, but your best friend, family member, and true love. So it'd only be natural to embark on a trip together, just you and your dog. Taking a trip "alone" has its perks. You can go anywhere, eat anything you want, make your own schedule. No negotiations, no taking turns. It's you, the open road, and your heart's desires. But with that comes some serious things to consider, because you don't have anyone else to help take care of your furry BFF. As dog-friendly as the world is, you still can't take your dog into the grocery store, restrooms, inside a restaurant, and into most stores, unless you've got a service dog. This means you've got to be able to leave your dog alone. You know that your dog shouldn't be left unsupervised. Shouldn't be left in a hot car. So what do you do? Don't worry, there's creative ways to navigate around this!


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MAY 2021

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS You gotta do your thing, and your dog has got to do his. When pulling into a rest area or wherever you find yourselves, plan ahead. Roll up the windows and crank the AC for a good 5-10 minutes before arriving at the pit stop. You want as much cool air flowing through your car as possible. Find the parking spot with the most shade and park there. While the car's AC is still running, put a cooling vest on your dog. Crate fans are also an excellent tool. If you have a couple, turn those on. Roll down your windows slightly for ventilation, but not enough for your dog to get out of!

THE THING ABOUT FOOD Ya'll need to eat. Getting your dog's food is no problem. But food for you? If you plan on eating out or grabbing curbside for every meal, then you're good. But if you want groceries? It's never fast and it's too risky leaving your dog alone to shop for that long. Think creatively. Can you order groceries online for pick up? RIDING CERTIFIED

| 43

Only after you're set, turn off the engine and take yourself to the restroom first. This is important because this is when the car is at its coolest temperature. It'll only rise, and rise quickly, the moment you take the keys out of the ignition and leave. Be as fast as possible. Remember that the car acts like an oven, so every minute - heck, every second the car is off, temps are rising. Hurry back, then take your dog out to do his thing.

Could you use Instacart and get it delivered? Will the place you're staying at accept packages? If so, can you pre-plan to get something like Hungryroot or Imperfect Foods sent to you? Maybe you can find a dog-friendly farmer's market nearby. The other option is to bring groceries from home. You won't have to worry about figuring out how to get what you need while on the road! But it's bulky, so pack accordingly to make sure you've got enough room. MAY 2021

A BUSY DOG IS A GOOD DOG Unloading the car, packing the car, and showering are essential, and your dog can't participate in these activities with you.

If you want to give your dog a bully stick or something similar, try putting it in a Quizl to prevent him from getting down to the nub and swallowing it whole.

Be sure that your dog won't bark like a maniac if left unsupervised. The last thing you need is a complaint, or worse, to be kicked out!

Give your dog more than enough things to do in the amount of time he'll be left alone. That way he can't get bored and start barking!

A busy dog is a good dog. Give your dog something to do while you get things done.

If your dog has separation anxiety, you'll need to work on this before setting out on your trip.

A frozen Kong, or food puzzle are good options.

Just email info@dogsridecertified.com for training support.

BE PREPARED IN CASE OF EMERGENCY In case your dog gets injured and can't walk, can you carry him on your own? Do you know what to do? Do you have an emergency plan in place? A pet first aid kit in the car? There are so many things to consider in an emergency. You are the primary lifesaver. Keep an emergency plan in the car for your dog. Get vet records, emergency contact info and keep it in a visible location. This nifty emergency tube (pictured to the right) fits nicely on the Gunner Kennel. But you can put it anywhere you'd like. When you're on an outing, simply stick the emergency tube into your backpack wherever you go. It's easy, light weight, and very transportable.


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MAY 2021

If you and your dog go on long hikes, the FidoPro Airlift is something to consider. If your dog is injured along the trail, this emergency dog rescue sling allows you to carry your dog on your back and easily head back down the mountain trail. This is useful if you tend to hike through areas where help won't be readily available. If you've got a little dog, the ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack is nice because it not only works as your dog's car seat, but as a carrying backpack as well. Lastly, if you haven't taken a pet first aid class yet or need a refresher, mark your calendars for September 25 and 26, 2021. Yes, it's happening after summer traveling is over, but accidents happen year round. Come learn how to save your best friend's life!

ENJOY THE RIDE Life on the road with your 4 legged BFF may require you to think through some details, but it's one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. It's not just the freedom gained, but the deepening bond between the 2 of you. You think you love your dog now? After a trip together, you'll be even more inseparable. It'll be the best memories of your lives. Go travel. Have a blast, and Ride Certified.

Have you taken a trip with your dog? Share your fave pics and your experience! #ridingcertified


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MAY 2021

On the road again...

Free webinar hosted by Your Dog's Friend! Sat. May 8 at 2PM Want to learn even more about traveling with your pup this summer? Get info and sign up here!

k l a W for Dog t l e b t a e S ! y t e f a S



PIPER'S WALK 2021 g o d r o f k l a w Come ! y t e f a s t l e b t a e s One beautiful sunny evening, an excited chocolate Labrador named Piper and her mom were cruising on Route 108, headed towards Centennial Park in Elkridge, MD. The 2 lane road was an easy drive. Piper was in the back seat, soaking in the view behind the driver's side where her mom was. Piper's mom glanced over at the clock - 6:40PM. Soon they would be out of the car and walking around the lake. But just moments later, a speeding car appeared out of nowhere, on the wrong side of the road, right in front of their car. As her mom slammed on the brakes, she knew it wouldn't be enough, and the cars crashed into each other. A passerby checked in on them and must've called 911. Help seemed to take an eternity to arrive. Piper's mom was trapped, pinned in tightly by her seatbelt, feeling the pain throb throughout her entire body. She was terrified to move and not fully aware of what exactly just happened. But one sound was perfectly clear: Piper was crying behind her, RIDING CERTIFIED

| 48

MAY 2021

When help finally arrived, Piper was taken

To say that the news was devastating would

out of the car first. She was covered with a

be an understatement. It led Piper's mom

blanket, and people were saying "watch the

through a series of panic attacks; the

teeth." What did that mean? Piper didn't

thought of life without Piper was unreal.

have a mean bone in her body.

When they were finally reunited in the middle of the night, there was only 1 thing to

Next, her mom was cut out of the driver's


seat, still only vaguely aware of the gravity of the situation. She was still in shock from the

Piper's mom sang their song, "I Love You a

entire experience. Only after she was in the

Bushel and a Peck," as Piper drifted away

ambulance and headed to the ER, did clarity

from the euthanasia flowing through her

and sheer panic set in.

veins. Her mom drowned in a lake of grief.

They were just in major car crash. Where was

It wasn't long until Piper's mom started

Piper? Was she okay? Who's with her?

researching about seatbelts for dogs, learning about Center for Pet Safety, the

Piper's mom was reassured that her dog was

crash testing process, and the very few

in good hands, and she eventually

number of certified car safety restraints.

surrendered to the idea that Piper would be just fine. Everything would be fine.

How could products be sold in stores if they hadn't passed the crash test? Why hadn't she

Little did she know, that everything was

heard of the certified brands before? If Piper

actually far from okay.

had been buckled up, would it had made a difference if she didn't have one of the

Piper had to wait an hour for animal control

certified seatbelts?

to arrive and take her to the emergency vet. She had been found in the footwell of the

It was right there, in the middle of the

car, behind her mom's seat. Piper had been

research, that she decided other dog moms

growling at the rescuers because she was so

and dads needed to know. They deserved to

frightened. She couldn't move her body.

know, so their dogs could travel safely in the car. And so dog moms and dads would never

Piper had never been buckled up in the car,

have to go through the loss she was going

and wasn't buckled up that evening either.

through. It wasn't much later that Piper's

The impact threw Piper so forcefully into the

Walk was created!

back of the driver's seat that it broke her spine, and she was instantly paralyzed. Paralyzed, but not pain free by any means. The vet had to give her an extra dose of medicine because she was in so much pain. Piper was just hanging on, waiting for her mom to get to her so they could say goodbye. There was nothing the vet could do to help Piper, except keep her pain at bay.


| 49

MAY 2021

Piper's Walk is a dog festival with a mission to raise awareness for dog seatbelt safety. On June 26, 2021, put on your Piper's Walk t-shirt, grab a bunch of friends and family, buckle up your pup, and head out to a local park to spread the message! Let's go save lives. Walk your dog in his Sleepypod harness. Invite people to check out your Lucky or Gunner Kennel as they pass by your car. Put your dog on your back in the ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack. Sling that Sleepypod or Away carrier right over your shoulder. Be the spark to get the conversation about certified dog seatbelts started! You can save a life. You may never directly know if your words and actions made a difference, but what if they did? What if the person you met ended up buying a certified seatbelt for their dog? What if they started Riding Certified, and a few months later, they were in a crash? The certified seatbelt would keep the dog safe. What if you could save a life? Because you can.

One person alone can't change the world, but together, the possibilities are endless. Imagine... Dog moms and dads who care about the well being and safety of their pets, all joining forces in different spots around town - in different states even, spreading their knowledge with other dog parents who love their dog more than life itself. Imagine the ripple effect of your new friend telling a friend, and so on. Pretty soon, certified seatbelts will be a norm, and they will be in high demand. RIDING CERTIFIED

| 50

Pet parents - YOU - are the secret sauce to changing the way dogs travel in cars. YOU are the reason more certified brands will pop up, because you expect safety first and won't settle for anything less. It's a big change to make, but hey, once upon a time, humans didn't even have seatbelts. And now it's a habit to buckle up. Your dog is counting on you. Dogs you don't even know yet will be grateful for you.

Are you in??? MAY 2021

Here's how it works: 1) Invite your friends and family to walk with you on Saturday, June 26, 2021! Decide where you'd like to walk together. 2) Sign up for Piper's Walk. It's only $25 and comes with a specially designed event t-shirt, mailed straight to your doorstep. Sign up by May 22, 2021 in order to guarantee delivery of your t-shirt. If you sign up later, your t-shirt might not come until after the event.


| 51

3) On the walk day, put on your t-shirt, then buckle up your pup. Meet your friends and family for a socially distant walk and strike a conversation with other dog families passing by! Tell them all about dog seatbelt safety. You'll help get dogs buckled up, and make new friends too.

Will you help keep dogs safe in cars? Let's get out there and save lives!

MAY 2021


Mark Y o ur Calenda rs for.. .


Start the summer with Piper's Walk, and end it

You'll also hear from an excellent first aid

with the Riding Certified Dog Car Safety

instructor, who'll share with you steps to take


in case your dog is ever hurt in a car crash. Would you know what to do? A wealth of

Put it in your calendar for Saturday, August 21,

hands on knowledge is coming your way. It's


info that could save your dog's life.

Dogs are lost, injured, and killed in car crashes.

More details are coming this summer - you'll

More brands of dog seatbelts that aren't

just have to stay tuned!

designed to protect your dog exist than those that do. To add to that, dogs suffocate in chip

Doesn't matter where you live or if you'll be

bags left in the cars and die from heat strokes.

out of town. No dog sitter needed or travel

How's a dog parent to navigate it all?

expenses to cover. The conference is virtual, so you can attend from anywhere!

The conversation is just beginning. Come learn about what's happening in the dog safety world,

If you're passionate about dog safety, believe

and what you can do to:

that dogs deserve to be protected in the car, and want to help make a change, then this

1) Protect your dog on the road,

conference is for you.

2) Spread the word to other dog parents, 3) Be a part of the work needed to make dog car

This conference is for advocates. For people

safety a priority in the community.

who love to learn. For dog parents.

For a little sneak peak - Learn directly from

If that's you, click here to get updates and

Lindsey Wolko, founder of Center for Pet Safety,

share what you'd like to see at the

about her work and how one accident with her


little dog Maggie inspired her to develop the safety standards which are certifying brands

Until then, keep Riding Certified!



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MAY 2021


Dog Car Safety Conference '21



Join Piper's Pack! Do you support dog seatbelt safety? Do you believe dogs should be buckled up in a certified seatbelt? Or in other words, a car harness, crate/kennel, carrier or car seat that has passed crash testing by Center for Pet Safety? Are you interested in playing a role in changing the way dogs travel in the car? If so, you're invited to join Piper's Pack, a community of dog people who believe in all of the above! At Piper's Pack, you're a part of a team working together to spread awareness for dog seatbelt safety. Maybe you tell a neighbor about dog seatbelts, stop someone from buying a non-certified product at the store, or share important social media posts. Basically, you're committed, passionate, and are an advocate! RIDING CERTIFIED

| 55

MAY 2021

When you join Piper's Pack, you're the

Joining Piper's Pack is free, but when you

first to know about any new information

become a VIP pack member with a

and updates, and are invited to group

donation to Dogs Ride Certified, you'll

dog walks held a few times a year so you

create an even bigger impact.

can actually meet the pack members in your area.

Funds are needed to make educational materials available and accessible, and

You'll also get a Dogs Ride Certified

put the community events together.

bumper sticker, so you can spread awareness just by going to the grocery

Just $25 teaches 89 families about


seatbelt safety. $50 reaches 178 families, and $100 could help 357 families protect

Oh, and it doesn't cost a thing. Piper's

their dogs in the car.

Pack is a place for dog parents, turned seatbelt safety advocates, to come

And when those families end up buckling


up their dog in a certified seatbelt, well you just helped save a life!

While you're busy saving the dogs in your neighborhood, Dogs Ride Certified is

Your donation keeps the mission to get

setting up events around the community.

dogs buckled up in certified seatbelts, so they can be safe in case of a car crash,

Creating partnerships with veterinary

moving each day.

practices, doggie daycares, dog walkers, and pet stores. Setting up seatbelt demos

Let's join together and save dog lives. Let's

and seatbelt clinics. Getting brochures

change the way dogs travel in cars and

out into the public, meeting 1-1 to help

keep them safe.

families easily navigate the buckling up process, and much more.

Are you ready to make a difference?

join o t e er h k! c k a Clic er's P Pip


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MAY 2021

STAY IN TOUCH! Are you in the loop?

Share your adventures!

#ridingcertified @dogsridecertified


Don't forget...



Visit www.dogsridecertified.com. Call/text 301-337-1039 or email info@dogsridecertified.com.

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