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Driving with Fido

Tips for traveling with your four-legged friend

August 5, 2014


Fiat Brand Manager, Nicole Longhini is the proud owner of Chloe and Shamus pictured here in a 2014 Fiat 500L

The height of summer is filled with camping, long weekends and road trips. Bringing your furry four-legged friends along can make these summer getaways even more fun. However, a lengthy drive can cause stress and anxiety for both you and your pet. Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to make car rides seamless and safe this summer, or anytime of the year.

Whether it’s your dog’s first time going on a long car ride or he has a fear of riding in vehicles, The American Kennel Club suggests a few steps you can take to prepare your pooch for the ride:

Lily, a FCA US LLC employee's pet maltese poses in the front seat of a 2014 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon.

Lily, a FCA US LLC employee’s pet maltese poses in the front seat of a 2014 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon.

  •  Make sure your pet is healthy enough for travel; take your dog to the vet for a checkup before the trip.
  • Get your dog used to the vehicle space by taking him or her on short rides, (if that’s too much, you can start small and sit in your car with your dog for few minutes each day).
  • To avoid car sickness, it’s best for dogs to travel on an empty stomach. Try not to feed your dog immediately before the ride. Note: It’s still important to have a generous supply of dog food and fresh drinking water available in the car.

During the trip
According to  The Humane Society of the United States , there numerous steps you can take to ensure you, your dog and any other passenger(s) have a safe and enjoyable ride:

  • Keep the vehicle well-ventilated throughout the trip
  • To avoid distractions to the driver and to protect your dog from being injured in a crash, keep your dog in a designated area within the vehicle.  The safest way to do this is to keep the dog in a crate (anchored within the vehicle) or using dog restraints and seatbelts.
  •  Never allow your dog to ride in an open truck bed
  • Stop at rest areas along the way to allow for frequent bathroom breaks and exercise
  • Consider bringing another person along for the ride so you can take turns to watch the dog if you need to stop along the trip for food, gas, etc.,
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle especially during a hot day; if the temperature outside is 85 degrees the temperature inside a vehicle (even with windows slightly open) can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes

For tips on traveling with your dog through other means of transportation i.e., bus, train, or airplane; be sure to check out the following organizations and their sites:

The Humane Society of the United States:  http://www.humanesociety.org/
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: http://www.aspca.org/
The American Kennel Club: http://www.akc.org/

Living large in a Fiat 500L
Imagine taking a ride in the car through a dog’s eyes. Your dog-eye view includes looking at squirrels, fire hydrants and trees and you love the feeling of fresh air flapping against your ears.

Now, imagine it with big windows that practically wrap around the entire car and a sunroof that retracts, revealing the sun and the sky. Your view is so wonderful you can hardly contain your excitement! If only your human would drive such a car, a car like the Fiat 500L.

The Fiat 500L is the big brother of the iconic Fiat 500, providing the same Italian style but doing so with 42% more interior space.

While the ‘L’ in the Fiat 500L stands for many things, including “large,” ‘L’ might also stand for “lower.” The Fiat 500 L’s liftgate features one of the segment’s lowest cargo-lift heights of approximately 26 inches from the ground, which makes it easier for your pets to jump in and out of the cargo area. This is particularly useful for older and some smaller dogs. The best-in-class interior volume also gives dogs ample room to maneuver in and out of the backseat.


Some Fiat 500L highlights:

  • Fold and tumble seat capabilities.
  •  60/40-split rear seat can fit a large dog crate.
  •  Back seats slide forward to create more cargo space.
  •  The second-row seat is two inches higher. The elevated second-row seats and an available dual-glass panel sunroof provide nearly 360-degree panoramic views your four-legged friends will enjoy.
  •  Conversation mirror for watching what your dogs are doing in the backseat. Mirror not included in vehicles equipped with sunroof.
  •  Door locks are located in the center of the instrument panel, making it difficult for unruly paws to lock and unlock the car – especially when you’re not in it.

So get out and take your best friend on four legs for a ride; it is sure to be the best treat they get all week.

2014 Fiat 500L

2014 Fiat 500L