So for those of you who read our blogs regularly, or even follow us on social media, you will know that wherever I go, my little partner in crime is rarely far behind! Pops is always by my side, and we can often be spotted driving around the Wiltshire countryside in our little Dottymobile – Thelma and Louise style!
So when we were recently approached by Travall UK [who incidentally have recently joined our Dotty pack] and asked if we wanted to road test one of their custom made Dog Guards, we obviously jumped at the chance.
Now I will be honest, and I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise, that princess Poppy rarely travels in the boot space of my car. In fact whenever I get my car cleaned you can see them wondering if their industrial vacuum cleaner will withstand the amount of dog hair! However, life’s for living and it really doesn’t bother Pops and I, it’s all about having fun and enjoying muddy adventures together.
As most of the time, journeys just involve the two of us, my little Mini Countryman is perfect for bombing round the lanes, and being as it’s quite compact inside, there’s no need for Pops to travel in the boot. However with some of the cars I’ve had in the past a dog guard would have been just the job to stop Poppy from jumping through to the front seats and decorating everywhere with her muddy paw prints.
It’s the law to have your dog restrained
It is actually illegal in the UK to travel with your dog loose in the car, and it could invalidate your car insurance if you were to be involved in accident. Whether you choose to restrain your dog with a doggy seatbelt, or by using a dog guard their safety is paramount – I know I couldn’t live with myself if something were to happen to Pops.
Universal dog guards versus Travall
Many boot or dog guards are universal, and are designed to fit all cars regardless of shape and size. As such they are often fixed in place using adjustable legs, which can be fiddly to fit, and are likely to work loose over time through vibration. Also, the fixing points can often leave permanent unsightly indents in the lining of your car interior – not ideal when and if you ever want to sell it.
Not only that, but depending on the make of your car, some cheaper guards can actually prevent the curtain air bags in the rear of the vehicle from working properly which is a major safety hazard if you were unlucky enough to be involved in an accident.
As far as security goes, there are often issues with universal guards as, once in place, you are unable to refit the parcel shelf, meaning that any possessions left in your boot are on display to passers by. Let’s face it, the last thing you want when you return to your vehicle after a dog walk is to discover someone’s broken into your car.
What makes Travall Dog Guards so much better?
Well, unlike other products designed for the same purpose, the Travall Dog Guard is vehicle specific, and is designed to fit the make and model of your car. The guard does not cover any vital safety components such as the rear airbag, and you are still able to operate the rear seats – both in the upright and folded position – as you would normally. Once the guard is secured in place, you can pop the parcel shelf back in position and there is no annoying rattling and no unwanted gaps around the edges for little noses (or bodies!) to squeeze through.
How easy is it to fit the Travall Dog Guard?
It’s at this point I’d love to say I’m a modern, independent woman and I fitted the guard all by myself …….however, I might have enlisted a bit of assistance! Well, when Mr T arrived home from work at just the right time, who was I to refuse an extra pair of hands?!
The guard is supplied with a clear set of diagrams and labelled parts, and there is even a very helpful video explaining how to fit it – naturally I discovered this about two days after the guard had been installed, but I’ve included the link in case you don’t have your own Mr T to hand!!
Once someone competent was in charge of the installation, it was good to go in about ten minutes. No drilling of the interior is required, so if you ever want to remove the guard, you won’t be left with any unsightly holes. The guard is supplied with two tightening bars which attach to the tie down clips in the boot of your car. Once the bar has been secured in place using the accessories provided, the guard is going absolutely no where, it’s as sturdy as anything.
Are Travall Dog Guards worth the investment?
The cost of the guard varies depending on the make and model of your car, but they start at around £100. Made from a mild steel and finished with a scratch resistant, attractive grey coating, they are a quality peace of kit and I’d highly recommend them to anyone looking for a dog guard.
A huge thank you to Travall UK, Pops and I absolutely love your products. Head over to Travall’s listing to find out more about their full range of travel accessories for dogs.
Thanks for reading
Kate and Pops