Cutting-edge essentials for the pup on the go
Your thinking: Pookie, being a dog after all, doesn’t really need a fancy-pants padded bed to sleep under the stars, or especially in the tent. His thinking: Neither do you and the kids! Keep the mutt warm–and out of your own bag–with Caddis Pet Products‘s Camp Mat ($32.50; 30″ x 40″). Beneath its cushy faux-fleece top sits a floor of water-resistant nylon packcloth. And for those midnight strolls around camp, outfit him with a snazzy new 3M Scotchlite Reflective Collar ($12) from Bison
Just your luck. The new maxivan comes with an LCD DVD player and at least 17 cupholders–but no room for that big, trusty plastic dog crate, essential for preventing summer road trips from turning into outright mutt-astrophes. Solve the problem
with a Doggone Good portable Cabana Crate. In the time it takes the hound to do his/her/its business after escaping the car, it converts from a compact storage bag into an aluminum-framed kennel crate. The mesh walls provide great ventilation, and you can choose from a range of Cordura accent colors in such
pleasing shades as teal, hunter, and burgundy. Available in mini ($98) to XL ($192).
Do your driving-challenged spouse’s knee-jerk stops make you cringe? Try riding one out unbelted, with your head out the window and your tongue flapping in the breeze. Anyone who’s attempted to secure a dog in the back with a leash
appreciates the futility–and hazard–of having a seat belt tethered only around his neck. Solve the problem with the Ruff Rider Roadie series of car safety harnesses ($37–$91), which attach into existing seat belts.
The people who invented the high-clearance SUV clearly failed to communicate with the folks who designed the low-clearance dog. Getting doddering Clarence into the back of that new sport ute can be hard on the back (yours) and bad for the hips
(his). Enter the PetSTEP ($150), a foldable plastic ramp that reduces your old pal’s ascent to the rear of the Durango from a harrowing summit pitch to a leisurely stroll. The nonslip ramp is made of plastic and claims to support porker pooches up to–ahem–500 pounds. —Ron C. Judd
Photography by Douglas Merriam