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6 Tips And Tricks For Driving With Dogs



Dog Head Out Of Car

If you are a dog owner, you will eventually need to take your four-legged friend out of the house and into the car for a cruise. Whether it’s taking your usual daily trip to the dog park or traveling long distance to the cottage, you could probably benefit from brushing up on your doggy driving etiquette.

With the help from the professionals at , we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to make driving with your dog safe and stress-free while keeping the inside of your car clean!

Happy Dog In Car

1. First Things First, Prepare Your Vehicle.

Getting your vehicle ready before you start driving with your dog or any other pet is as important as getting your house ready before bringing a pet home for the first time. Just as you would want to have a dish, water and food for your pet in the house, your car should be equipped with those things just in case Bella needs nourishment. It can also be beneficial to have a bed or blanket to help them get comfortable and relaxed.

Similarly, keep a toy or two in the car. If doggy has all of the same things in the car that it does in your home, they will eventually start to see the vehicle as an extension of the home.

Dog and Car

2. Train Your Dog To Like The Car

Yes, this is possible! Just as Pavlov taught his dogs to associate a whistle with food, you can train your dog to associate the car with good things. Instead of only taking your dog in the car when going to stressful places like the vet or groomers, make it a point to drive to places it can associate with food, treats, affection or play. You can start with trips to the dog park or walking trail.

Another idea is to drive to a nearby friend or family member’s home, and have someone waiting with a treat and plenty of belly rubs! Before doing any of this, though, you can start slowly by simply allowing your dog to spend some time in the car while parked in the garage (with the engine off, of course, so as to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning) that way they can get comfortable with the vehicle within the safety of your home and without the added stressor of movement.

Dog In Passenger Seat

3. Make Sure Your Dog Is Secure

Just like you wouldn’t want your family or friends to ride without a seatbelt, to drive with your pet unsecured. There are many different methods for securing your pup depending on the kind of car you have and the size of your pet. Harnesses that attach to you car’s existing seatbelts can be found in a variety of styles and sizes, allowing either the passenger or rear seats to safely accommodate your pet.

If you have a larger dog and drive a hatchback, SUV or minivan, you can opt for a gate that separates the cargo bay from the rest of the vehicle. Your pet will will be safely contained while still being able to see you and move around in the cargo area.

Dog looking carout window

4. Keep Your Windows Rolled Up

Just about everyone is familiar with the cliche image of a happy dog riding in the car, head out of the window and the wind blowing back its tongue and ears. Unfortunately, what a lot of people don’t realize that, in addition to putting them at risk of being hit by something, having their head out can ultimately be bad for their health. The rush of air can have a negative effect on a dog’s respiratory system, even at relatively low speeds.

It’s okay to leave the windows open a crack so that your dog can still enjoy some fresh air and all of the exciting new smells you’ll encounter on the road without being able to stick their head or whole nose out.

Dog in car rear cargo

5. Find Locations To Take Breaks

Long car trips can be a train not just for you or any other human passenger, but also for our canine companions. Short breaks along the way will provide them with a chance to stretch, run and play.

Expert tip: Before you leave, find the nicest forest trails or dog-friendly rest areas where your dog can get out and run, and to offer plenty of water at every break.

Dog in hot car, sun

6. Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car

You don’t need statistics to know that dogs die in hot cars. You wouldn’t leave your child in the car with no water on a 100-degree day, so why treat your do any differently? And the fact that dogs have fur puts them at an even of heatstroke.

In the cold, they will freeze despite their fur, so the best and smartest thing you can do on extremely hot or cold days is to keep your pet at home where it can remain comfortable.

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Your Beginner’s Guide To Off-Roading



Muddy Toyota Rav4 Off-Roading

Having a four-wheel drive car provides peace of mind when navigating winter weather or the back roads, but why stop there? If you own a capable 4WD SUV or truck, there’s a whole world of off-road adventures waiting for you!

Never been off-roading? Not sure how to get started? You’re in luck! We have collaborated with the SUV and truck experts at to bring you a beginner’s guide to off-roading that we hope will help you better experience the full potential of your 4WD vehicle!

New Jeep Wrangler SUV

Step One: Get To Know Your Vehicle’s Off-Road Potential

If you already own a 4WD truck or SUV, it’s probably capable of traveling off-road. Knowing exactly which off-road friendly mechanisms your vehicle has, however, is important before tackling the trails. about your vehicle’s make, model, trim level and model year, and find out if you need to make any modifications before heading out. You may want to invest in off-road tires, underbody protection plates, some additional lighting, or a vehicle lift.

As an added bonus, if you bring your vehicle in for service and modifications, you’ll get access to expertise from a professional who knows about off-road vehicles and their mechanisms. Don’t be afraid to ask your mechanic questions!

SUV Off-roading on Mud Trail

Step Two: Find An Off-Road Community

Do you know any friends, family members or acquaintances who have off-road experience? If so, reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in showing you the ropes! Even if you don’t have any personal relationships with an off-roader, you can always find a online.

There are plenty of forums dedicated to off-roading, some dedicated to specific areas. Finding a community will make off-roading safer and more enjoyable, and is a great way to make new friends with similar interests.

New-2019-Mercedes G-Class-G550-Off-road

Step Three: Learn The Lingo

The world of off-roading has its own set of terms and jargon, and it’s a good idea to read up on them before getting started. Not only will speaking the jargon make it easier for you to communicate with other off-roaders, but it will also give you a good foundation for understanding your vehicle’s mechanisms and capabilities.

Important terms to become familiar with include approach and breakover angle, locking differential, and 4WD high vs 4WD low. Hitting up Google or any other search engine will reveal many “Off-Road Dictionaries” that you can learn from.


Step Four: Go For It!

Ultimately, the best way to learn is by doing. But make sure you’ve done all of your homework and that your vehicle is prepared for the journey before hitting the trails. Bringing along someone with off-road experience is helpful, but if you can’t find anyone, just make sure to bring along a friend to assist with any trouble that may arise. Two hands are better than one, right?

Don’t have a capable 4WD vehicle but still want to start off-roading? Get in touch with professionals like those at Texan Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram to show you their incredible selection of trucks and SUVs and advise you on the best vehicle to with! Once you have one, try to find a private facility with beginner trails or a local area with low difficulty to ease yourself into off-roading before taking on more challenging trails.

No matter what you do, make sure to stay safe and have fun!

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Your Guide To Shopping For A Used Car



used car key

Shopping for a car can be stressful, and not everyone knows what to look for. This gets even more complicated when shopping for a used car, especially when buying “as seen, as is” or from a private seller.

If you’re heading out to kick some tires and check out used vehicles, take a few minutes to go over this list of things you should keep an eye out for. Remember these rules of thumb on the lot, and you can feel confident that you’ll be making a wiser, better-thought-out investment.

Fix deep car scratch

1. Look Out For Body Imperfections

Chances are, unless the vehicle you’re considering is lightly used or has been taken perfect care of, there may be a few scratches, dings, or small dents. This is okay. What you really want to look out for is anything that might such as significant body damage or sections of the body not matching up perfectly, which is likely the result of subpar repairs. Look at body panels from an angle instead of head on, as this will make imperfections more pronounced.

Car Power Doors and Locks

2. Make Sure All Power Accessories Work

If the vehicle you’re looking at has power locks, windows, and/or mirrors, check to make sure they all work. Power mirrors and locks can be moved manually if they don’t work (although this will be inconvenient) but power windows that don’t work can be a huge problem. In many states, windows that can’t be rolled down, particularly the driver’s window, can be grounds for a vehicle to fail inspection.

2011 Ford Shelby GT500

3. Check The Tires For Wear And Tear

Be sure to check out the tires for wear. For starters, it’s good to see whether or not the tires will still pass inspection. If they look like they’re too worn down, and new ones will be needed for the car to be road-worthy, you can use it as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower price.

Another important thing to consider is how even the wear is. If tires have worn down unevenly and seem to be barer in some spots than others, this could indicate that the vehicle is in need of an alignment.

Cracked Windshield car

4. Inspect Windshield For Cracks

Carefully inspect the windshield and windows for cracks and chips. These can be very small, and may not seem like a big deal, but our sources with tell us that they can become bigger over time. Particularly in extreme temperatures, glass may expand or contract, and this can cause a tiny crack to spread across your entire windshield.

Considering that windshields are usually designed to withstands during a rollover accident, it leaves all occupants at risk of harm if weak or compromised in any way, shape or form.

5. Check Oil Quality And Level

Bring along a clean white rag or roll of paper towels, and check the oil. Pay attention not only to the oil level (if it’s low, that could be a sign of a leak) but also the color and smell of the fluid. Dark or dirty looking oil, or oil that has a burnt smell, shows that the vehicle may not have been maintained as well as it should have been, or that it’s been burning the oil.

Used Car Interior

6. Assess Condition Of Interior Materials

Check out the interior for stains, rips or other blemishes. Discolored and even slightly ripped upholstery can always be covered up (if that’s something you want to commit to) but keep a lookout for burn marks on the seats, near the windows, and on the cloth ceiling. If someone has smoked in the car, the smell can be very difficult to remove, and even if it’s been covered up by an air freshener, you may never be able to get a truly clean smell back into the vehicle.

car key on documents

7. When In Doubt, Get The CarFax

If you follow these guidelines, you should have a good shot at getting a vehicle that you can count on. If you’re still unsure, though, if a price seems to be too good to be true, or if you’re investing in a used vehicle that’s still fairly expensive (like a used luxury model), you can always get a . In a private sale, you’ll have to pay for it yourself, but some dealers will cover the cost.

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Accidents Happen: Getting Your Auto Glass Repaired Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful



Cracked Windshield car

A cracked or otherwise damaged windshield is dangerous for several reasons. Not only can it impair the driver’s vision, but it can also endanger all passengers during an accident.

A crack or chip can easily compromise your windshield’s structural integrity and shouldn’t be taken lightly regardless of whether your car is new or old. In fact, in many parts of the world, there are laws that govern the condition of a windshield.

In Ontario, Canada’s largest province, for instance, lawmakers included the following specifically with regard to windshield cracks when they updated the used car inspection standards in 2016:

  • A crack cannot be more than 50 millimeters in any area that the windshield wipers cover
  • The crack cannot obstruct the driver’s view, no matter how big or little it is.

In the latter instance, inspectors may give some leeway for hairline or very small chips or cracks, but don’t count on it.

Many vehicle owners must deal with this aspect of the new inspection law, because the windshield absorbs more wear and tear than almost any other part of the vehicle. Today’s high-tread tires give drivers better control than ever before, and they also toss up more pebbles and other road debris than ever before. This junk remains suspended in midair for several seconds, just waiting for driver like you to plow into it at full speed.

All told, it’s quite remarkable that vehicle windshields last very long at all. When yours suffers damage, what can an service do?

Repair Or Replace?

Tiny chips, hairline cracks, and other such flaws are usually fairly easy to repair for less than $100. Many services offer mobile repair options that can repair your windshield on your lunch hour at work, so there is even less reason to delay such a call.

Typically, if the crack or chip is smaller than a dollar bill, repair is usually in order. But there are some exceptions:

  • Chip or crack directly in the driver’s line of sight,
  • A flaw along the edge of the windshield, or
  • More than three small cracks.

In these instances, the entire windshield probably needs to be replaced. That sounds like a headache, but the longer you put off the problem, the worse it gets and the more painful the fix becomes. Such a fix is pretty much inevitable. As mentioned earlier, cracks must be fixed or else the car will flunk inspection. Moreover, in many jurisdictions, cracked windshields often merit traffic tickets.

Making The Right Choice

If repair is an option, it’s almost always the right choice, for a number of reasons:

  • Cost: As mentioned, the cost is often negligible. Moreover, to encourage their customers to take the less expensive option, many auto insurance companies waive deductibles in windshield repair cases.
  • Convenience: Repairs very rarely take more than an hour.
  • Eco-Friendly: Discarded windshields go into landfills, and as glass is not biodegradable, they will stay there forever.

Usually, the repair technician rinses the windshield clean, injects a specialized resin into the chip or crack, and then polishes the area.

If warranted, it’s very important to proceed with windshield replacement. In addition to visibility, the windshield withstands during a rollover crash. If it’s weak, it cannot protect the way it should, leaving the vehicle occupants at risk. There are precise safety standards for the entire process, and experienced auto glass replacement professionals follow these guidelines to a T.

If your windshield needs attention, don’t make the problem worse by putting it off.

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