Do you have furry friends that ride along with you in your car? When you’re leaving your house, do you need your pup pal with you? If it’s your routine to have your dog along for the ride, then read on to get our top eight tips for pet proofing your car.
At the end of the day, you’ve got to protect your car’s interior and keep your pup safe as you travel around town or across country. You can achieve both by following our eight quick tips on how to pet proof your car. Ready to get started?
8 Tips for Pet Proofing Your Car
Tip #1: Protect Your Seats with Covers
One easy way to protect the seats in your car is to use pet seat covers or cargo covers. Keep in mind that if you have leather seats, you may want to use nail caps as well. All of these nifty items give your seats just the right amount of protection while still maintaining comfort. Without them, you’ll find your seats can get damaged or will become covered in dog hair.
If you’re on a budget, consider plastic seat covers or inexpensive felt blanket. Both of these products are easy to remove and clean.
Tip #2: Protect Your Carpeting with Heavy-Duty Floor Mats
Your car is probably equipped with protective mats, but if it isn’t, buying an inexpensive pair is a super easy way to protect your car flooring from stains and dog hair. If you have a little extra in your budget, then consider the non-slip rubber mats, which are made from heavy-duty materials made to repel liquids and catch debris.
Tip #3: Spray Your Fabrics with Coating
You also have the option of spraying down your car with a stain and water-resistant fabric guard. There are professional services that will do this for you – but you’ll need to keep in mind that you will be spraying a contained space with a heavy chemical that could affect your health. Do your research before going this route. If you do, you can expect any liquid to bounce off your seats.
Tip #4: Cover Your Windows with Plastic Wrap
If you’re looking for a quick and easy hack to protect your car windows, then stretch inexpensive plastic wrap across a partially open window. When your pup sticks his head out the window to catch that breeze, your window and the inside casing of your car will be protected from slobber that inevitably will find its way on your car’s interior. Once the car trip is over, simply rip off the plastic off and throw it away. Another option: Talk to your local car shop about getting specialized glass coatings for your windows.
Tip #5: Clean Up – And Quickly!
If your pet has an accident in your car, then stop the car and clean it up immediately. The bottom line is that the longer you wait to clean up an accident – like urine on your carpet or seat – the worse the smell and possible stain over time. Keep a spray bottle filled with upholstery cleaner in cargo area of your car along with some clean rags and sponges.
If your dog has had an accident that involves urine, other pet discharges or vomit, do not clean it up with soap and water and a sponge. You need suction to remove all the moisture you apply to your interior or there’s a chance mold and bacteria will grow and spread. To that end, invest in an economical mini wet vac to keep in the back for this very reason.
Tip #6: Click It for Your Pet
You need to transport your dog in the safest way possible, so consider crating your pet or putting her in a dog seat belt. Don’t let your dog roam free in your car. The pet can be unpredictable, and may distract you – or may get hurt if you get into an accident while out on the road. Also, make sure your car is well-maintained, safe and ready to hit the road.
Tip #7: Pack It Up
Plan ahead for all of your pet’s needs while you are traveling. In the cargo area of your car, back extra food, water, medications, treats, toys and bowls for easy feeding. Most importantly, never leave your dog in a car alone. Use those stops as an opportunity to give your dog some fresh air and exercise.
Tip #8: Be Ready for an Emergency
Finally, pack a pet care kit for emergencies and the little extras you’ll need to make your trip enjoyable for all your passengers. For example, pack your favorite cleaning product, air freshener or essential oil for those times when your car is stinky. Pack a lint roller to get rid of unwanted pet air and a large towel and gallon of water to give your furry friend a quick shower before heading back into the car.
In conclusion, if you’re ready for an adventure with your favorite pooch, then plan ahead with these top eight tips for staying safe, comfortable and happy while you hit the road together!
David Moss is a Detroit based automotive and road trip freelance writer. When he is not covering anything on four wheels, he spends his free time hiking. You can follow him via Twitter @davidcmoss