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Protecting Your Fluffy Co-Pilots - How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Your Drives

Protecting Your Fluffy Co-Pilots - How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Your Drives

Leaving your pet for work, errands, or vacation is sad and tough for fur mums and dads out there – I’m sure many can relate! Our pets can get awfully lonely if left alone at home, so bringing them along for the ride is often the right call.

However, there are inevitable instances where we must leave them in the vehicle, like when going to a restaurant or department store. Still, there are thankfully plenty of ways to keep a watchful eye on your pets even while you are away, making sure that you’re always in-the-know and worry-free while out and about.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through how to set up a dash cam to track their activities and even protect them 24/7, along with plenty of tips and tricks to keep them safe. Let’s make sure no co-pilot is left behind!

Protecting Your Pets in the Vehicle with Dash Cams

One common concern is the need to have a witness in your vehicles, particularly in the interiors where passengers and cargo should be watched over – including your fluffy co-pilots!

Of course, to watch over them, we’ll need a camera facing the interior, rather than watching outside, as is standard. No worries though, as there are already plenty of systems out there for ride-sharing vehicles like Uber, Lyft, Taxis and Fleets, that will record videos not just of the scenery of the road ahead, but also inside. We recently encountered the same concern with Katy, a new van lifer who has been looking for a solution to record her drives, while also watching over her dog Silas, when she needs to leave the RV for a while. Here are our recommendations.

1. Invest in an IR Dash Camera

While front-only dash cams are more useful than having none, IR dash cams allow you to enjoy capturing the entertaining antics of your pet, while also serving as a valuable tool for monitoring their well-being. IR dash cameras are designed to be installed facing the vehicle's interiors to capture the driver, the passenger, and whatever’s transported inside. Having them in the back row – which is the safest, and non-distracting choice? An IR camera can capture it all!!

Additionally, consider how often the cabin of your vehicle is dark, a standard interior-facing model just won’t do, with most details not being shown in the dark. IR cameras use built-in infrared LEDs, and light sensors to record video in extremely low-light environments. So, whereas typical dash cameras would see very little in these settings, an Infrared Camera can provide clear footage (although black and white) even in pitch-black environments. Read more about how IR cameras work here.

Here, we can recommend three-channel dash cams like the BlackVue DR770X Box, the VIOFO A229 Pro 3-channel dash cam, or the Thinkware F200 Pro with the Multiplexer Box to transform it into a five-channel dash cam.

2. Have a Constant Witness with Parking Mode

Leaving your pet in the car, even briefly, can be stressful. Admittedly, just the thought of leaving my dog alone in the car while I run quick errands makes me anxious. What if he gets hungry? What if he makes a mess? What if he thinks that I’ll forever be away? What if something bad happens to him?

Thankfully dash cams are there to give you that peace of mind with Parking Mode. With this, you never have to worry about being unable to monitor your car, and your pet, even when the car engine is turned off, as long as it’s connected to a constant power source.

So, how does this feature work? This will depend on the camera, but parking mode typically activates when the camera detects motion or collision, guaranteeing that all occurrences around your vehicle – including the interiors – are captured. This is especially useful when your pet becomes distressed, when someone approaches the vehicle, or when you simply have to leave them for a second. The footage collected through parking mode not only gives a precise record of incidents, but it can also be used as evidence in the event of an accident or attempted theft. Learn more about Parking Mode here.

3. Stay always in-the-know with Cloud services

Sure, having an IR dash camera with parking mode can record what’s happening inside your vehicle even when you’re away, but you won’t know about the incident until you return to the vehicle! For even more peace of mind at all times, it’s valuable to be notified immediately, in real-time. Thankfully dash cams with The Cloud are the solution to this.

Our top recommendation is the BlackVue Cloud. Equipped with innovative connected capabilities, the BlackVue Cloud enables you to link your dash cam to your mobile app, sending you Push Notifications as soon as an incident occurs, such as an impact. Moreover, the Remote Live View lets you connect to your BlackVue dash cam from any location, checking in on your pet! You can also play recorded videos remotely and save crucial ones to the Cloud or your phone, while also being able to talk to your pet real-time inside through Two-Way Communication! Yes, you can give them the assurance that you’ll be back in the vehicle with this!

To access the Cloud, all you need is a BlackVue Dash Cam and a mobile internet connection, such as the optional BlackVue CM100 LTE 4G connectivity module and data SIM. For us, the best dash cam you can get that encompasses all the three features we are looking for is the BlackVue DR970X Plus IR, or the BlackVue DR970X Plus Box IR dash cams. These dash cams record 4K UHD via Sony STARVIS 2, with a secondary IR camera to capture your interiors in full HD. The Box is our choice if you want your setup to be more secure. Now, if you prefer having less accessories but having the LTE connectivity built-in, there’s the BlackVue DR970X Plus 2-CH LTE variant too!

More Tips on How to Protect Your Fluffy Co-Pilots

Now that you know the features that you should look for in a dash cam to protect your pets, let us give you more general advice on how to keep their journeys safe.

Know where to put them

Of course, just as you need to ensure the safety of human passengers, you also have to ensure that your pet is safely seated in your vehicle as well. You might be wondering – where exactly? Pets, like children, should not be transported in the car’s front seat, even with a crate or harness. For us, the back seat is the safest area for your dog because crumple zones absorb impact in both the front and rear seats.

If you happen to drive a pick-up truck, it's advisable not to let your pet stay in the truck bed. Also, avoid letting your dog travel with their head sticking out of an open window – while we understand how much dogs love this, we do not recommend this for safety. Just like we wouldn't allow a child to do it, it's a good practice to keep the windows up when your pets are riding with you, ensuring a secure and enjoyable journey for both you and your beloved companions.

Get the right equipment

We also recommend restraining your pets by putting them in pet carriers and crates. They should be spacious enough to let your dog or cat stand, turn, and lie down comfortably. Ideally, you should put them as close to the car's centre. If they are positioned on the back passenger seat, they should be secured using the car's seat belt or another restraint device. If in the cargo area, the crate should be fastened down or otherwise secured. Crates are the best option for larger dogs. Smaller dogs and cats will be safer if they are transported within a carrier rather than on your lap or loose in the backseat.

Now, if your dog is well-behaved just like my Loki, putting a harness on is an excellent option. You may fit the harness around the dog's chest, securing them in one position with the strap connecting to the seat belt.

Don’t let them get too hot

Another thing to consider is the temperature inside your vehicle. Cars can become extremely hot for pets, so you should keep the air conditioner turned on. For pets, heat stroke can prove fatal or cause permanent harm in animals in as little as 15 minutes, even if the windows are rolled down. Cars heat up rapidly, so be cautious leaving your pet in the car, even for a quick errand.

Give them breaks

Lastly, make sure to feed your pet about four hours before you go on a long vehicle trip. Taking this time allows them to digest and relieve themselves, so they will not be looking for their next food right away. On longer trips, take breaks every several hours to allow pets to eat and relieve themselves.

Protect Your Pets with a Dash Cam!

As any pet parent understands, your pet is more than just a pet; they are a member of your family. You may care for them at home, but bringing them with you wherever you go to ensure they are watched and guarded involves a different degree of safety and TLC!

Give them the protection they deserve, and just like a trusty dash cam, allow them to be your trips’ and your life adventure’s ever-reliable companion!

From our pets and families to yours, stay safe out there!

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