Travel Michigan Part 2: Testing a New Way to Road Trip with the Dog

solvit-car-cuddler-2Every fall I head to the Rochester Writer’s Conference at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. I have for about six years. (Next year is the 10th Anniversary, so I’m expecting a party).

This year, I brought my terrier Victor – not to the conference, but on this trip because this state, particularly around Rochester, Clinton County, and Sterling Heights, has some interesting dog-friendly places to visit and even shop. While I was at the conference, Victor stayed at the All American Pets Resort, and I’d do it again. (Check out Travel Michigan Part One).

Solvit sponsored this post in exchange for an honest review. 

Rochester, MI is about a four-hour drive from my home including short stops, such as the U.S. border at Sarnia/Port Huron where I need proof of rabies vaccination (though this time the guard didn’t want to see it).

Victor is actually a great car traveler, preferring to hunker down in the backseat, stay put, and not indulge head-out-the-window impulses. I can use my Kurgo harness to hook him into the seat belt, but he still feels unsteady in the seat, easily thrust forward if I have to brake even slightly.

He lies down but rarely sleeps.solvit-car-cuddler

Meet the Solvit Car Cuddler™, here to solve my unsteady dog issue. I met with Solvit at SuperZoo pet industry trade show in Las Vegas last summer and the company sent me a Solvit Car Cuddler to try out. It’s part vehicle seat cover and part dog car seat with three sides of firm soft bolsters and a furry (synthetic) padded seat base. It covers the car seat protecting it from dog hair and dirty paws and uses multiple connection points to hold it firmly in place.

Truth is I love this product, and so did Victor.

The thick bolster – providing the ‘cuddle’ – cradled Victor well so he didn’t feel he was rolling forward with each press of the brake. He slept easily and I could clip him into the seat belt if necessary. Dried mud also brushes off the fabric easily.

The Car Cuddler arrived in a compact box in pieces. I had to assemble the seat by pulling the bolster and seat pad into the cover, which was easy even for one person. Plus, I now know how to disassemble it for washing.

The cover straps around the car seat in three places, and I’m leaving it in the car permanently. (I only wish I had it before dogs destroyed the backseat of the car). It’s also something I can remove and use as a dog bed on the road, if I forget to pack another for use in the hotel room.

car_cuddlerCheck out the Solvit Car Cuddler here.

So what did we do in Michigan the day after the conference? Stay tuned for Travel Michigan Part Three on Friday. Spoiler Alert: It’s not so awesome. Always travel with dog wipes. Thank you Earthbath.

Your pet is like family! Pet-friendly accommodations are available at every Red Roof Inn. Book Now!

Checkout Travelling in Michigan Part I and Part III – brace yourself.

46 comments

  1. […] most dog-friendly states we’ve been to based on the number of dog-friendly adventures we’ve had(check out our first here), doggie daycare available at the All-American Pet Resort, Dog Bowl annual festival in Frankenmuthand […]

  2. […] I do. Victor stays one afternoon at the All American Pet Resort where they give him a kennel for the day, and me access to a video monitor to check on him online […]

  3. […] out Travelling in Michigan Part II and Travelling in Michigan Part III (it gets […]

  4. This definitely looks like such a good product Victor looks so comfy and snug in it

    1. Thanks. I think he’s enjoying car trips more now.

  5. […] Check out Traveling to Michigan Park 1 and Travelling to Michigan Part 2. […]

  6. 4dogsandalittlelady · · Reply

    What a good idea! This is one of those products that make me say “why didn’t I think of that” in my head. Going to have to invest in one of them for our next roadtrip!

    1. This is a very innovative company. They take what’s been done and modify it in a way that no one else seems to have thought of. I was also impressed with their lightweight wheel chair for dogs that can be modified in size, width, length and height.

  7. FiveSibesMom · · Reply

    That sure looks like a comfy way to travel. I really like the bolster and the security it offers from paws sliding around, and that it can become a traveling dog bed. Thanks for the review. Will have to check it out.

    1. Yes, I hadn’t thought of him feeling more secure in the car until he did.

  8. I like the idea of this product. Edie loves car rides and although she is belted in, she likes the feel of something around her that gives her comfort and security. I will have to take a look at the Solvit Car Cuddler.

  9. Lol! We have family in Michigan too. The Cuddler looks cozy for road trips. I like the multi-purposeness of it.

  10. He looks comfortable! It sounds like a great choice, especially for a longer ride.

    1. Longer rides is where is made the most difference. He slept most of the way back.

  11. We have a doggie seat belt but love the looks of this. Safety first and you showcased all the ways this is a viable option for pet parents who travel with their dog, like me!

    1. You can still hook the seat belt in and connect the dog’s harness to the locked belt. I tried and Victor was ok

  12. Awesome! I recently reviewed a seat booster for Bruiser and I love it. I take him for short neighborhood errands. I had no idea how awesome this would be and he loves being able to see out the windows rather than having to get his paws up on the window!

  13. This is a product my mom needs to check out. Her dog loves to travel with them in the car.

  14. Its been forever since I’ve visited that part of MI, thanks for conjuring up some memories! The Solvit products are great – I’m so glad you love them too!

  15. Love the look of this product. I think Kilo would love it. Plus we could use for Backseat Barkers.

  16. These all sound like great travel products for dogs, thanks for sharing. I still haven’t gotten a proper car seat cover, still using a blanket.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv them

  17. Now THAT is ingenious. Someone has taken what pup’s like and made it into the perfect dog travelling seat. I bet you are so happy that Victor is content. I love the pictures of your contented traveller.

    1. He never looks happy. But he’s surprisingly adventurous.

  18. I love that Cuddler. I have a really great pet traveling bag by Solvit that I love. They make great dog products

    1. I was really impressed with their ideas – solved a problem I didn’t know I had.

  19. I had looked at this product… was very impressed. In the end we went with a booster seat because it turns out a certain little Mr. Mr. gets car sick if he can’t see out the window. That was a new one for me!

    1. Me too. Have to look out a window.

  20. I know my pup would love this product. She enjoys sitting in the kids car seats when they aren’t in them. SolvIt has some great stuff!

    1. I haven’t tried it out of the car yet.

  21. What a great car seat, it looks so comfy and as you said its easy to keep clean, I have yet to travel with Layla and hopefully one day will be able to

    1. Surprisingly it’s not too dirty yet.

  22. That looks super comfortable, I love anything that makes travelling with pets safer and easier.

  23. We’re going to be off on a two day car trip with the dogs in a few weeks, and I’ve started thinking about what they’re going to travel in. I think I’ll look into the car cuddler. Thanks!

    1. You can easily take it in and out of the car – and there’s a bigger version.

  24. raisingyourpetsnaturally · · Reply

    Thank you. I will have to check that out. It looks very interesting and certainly cozy. MI is just north of us. I’ll have to check out some of the adventures.

    1. I love shopping at Partridge Creek (dog friendly mall), even if I don’t have Victor with me. Being around a lot of dogs always makes for a better day.

  25. We’re totally going to have to check out the car cuddler! Such a cool thing – we love Solvit and all their unique stuff.

    1. I’m really impress with how innovative this company is.

  26. Definitely going to check this out!

    1. Thanks!

  27. Travel with dogs does require some extra safety and comfort. This looks like a great option.

    1. Of course, it doesn’t guard against really sudden braking, but I found it helped the ‘stop and go’ a lot.

  28. I am definitely going to have to look into the Solvit Car Cuddler. My dog hates riding in the car. And even though we don’t take him on road trips (for that very reason), I think this would still help with short trips like to visit family or the dreaded vet. Btw, I have family all throughout Michigan!

    1. I think everyone has family in Michigan… or at least that’s what people are telling me. Interesting State – I’m discovering new things about it each time I go. This might make a dog more comfortable in the car – I discovered what my dog hates most is rolling or being thrust forward even at the slightest brake. That’s likely why he didn’t sleep, until now. With this car seat, he just rolls a bit into the bumper.

  29. lenoriarose · · Reply

    Oh my goodness I love this! I never get to see cute car stuff for smaller dogs since my girls are soooo big! I could easily see my mother’s yorkie Molly loving this on car trips!

    1. The company has a bigger one that goes across the entire back seat too. They also have one with higher sides, like a box, that I’d put a small dog, like a Yorkie, in.

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