Cars are a pain to keep clean. For pet parents, this nightmare is compounded by the muddy paws, hair, dirt, and drool, distributed liberally by their dogs all over the interior. Even for relatively neat owners, taking the dog out on a drive means having to clean the car after every trip, so the seats don’t stain and the grime doesn’t become part of the carpeting. This gets old fast and adds a level of stress that shouldn’t be part of any decision that means more time with your dog.
Keeping your car clean, while enjoying your dog’s company on car rides, is all about being prepared. These tips will not only help reduce the effort needed to maintain a dirt-free car but also prevent some inevitable wear and tear.
1. Begin with a clean car. Do a thorough scrub and vacuum cleaning. Make sure you get all the paw marks, dust, debris, and slobber off your seat upholstery, windows, and mats. Once everything is as clean as possible, consider the following options.
2. Use seat covers. Your car upholstery may reflect your tastes, but to keep them clean and protect them from your dog’s nails, it’s advisable to use covers of a thick, washable material, which can be disposed of in a year without regret. If you are particularly fond of your car’s seat design and loathe to cover it up, you can also go for the next method.
3. Pair plastic wraps with rubber mats. New cars often come with a thin film of plastic covering the seats. You can purchase these from an auto-shop and keep the grime off the original material. To keep the plastic untorn under your dog’s paws, use rubber mats on your seats. This will also keep the dog’s fur from getting into the nooks and crannies of your car seats.
Taking the dog out on a drive means having to clean the car after every trip sounds familiar? Try some of our tips and you will see it will be much easier.
4.Fold the back seats. Although many pet parents find this intuitive, many more think it’s simpler to let the dog sit on the back seat. There are several advantages that make folding the seat a better option for dog travel. It gives your pet a stable surface to sit on and reduces the risk of them falling into the gap between the front and back seats. It also protects your upholstery.
5. Use a quilt or bedding. If you want to make your dog’s ride comfortable, pad the rear area with a washable quilt to cushion their seating. This keeps the hair, mud, and grass from getting into the carpeting as well as creates a nice nest for your dog to lie in during longer rides. Of course, it adds to your cleaning duties, which brings us to the penultimate tip.
6. Protect the back with a cargo liner. These come in waterproof, scratch-resistant materials and take the strain off you by letting your dog be as messy as she pleases, while keeping your interiors clean. You can connect the straps around the head rest of the front seats and drape the rest across the back area. The rest of the ties will keep the material in place, no matter how much your dog moves around. Products like the MADY Cargo Liner can also be used to protect the back seat, if you don’t want to fold it down. The material covers the gap between the seats and keeps your dog from falling into it.
7. Keep cleaning products handy. Even after you get the car prepared for trips with your dog, there are situations where sitting in a vehicle with a suspiciously smelly canine can be intolerable. Carry some wet wipes, paper towels, and a brush in the car. Always give your dog’s fur a quick but thorough combing before letting them back in, after they’ve romped through grass or dirt. Most of the dust and miscellany fall out with a good brushing. Clean your dog’s paws with the wet wipes, and use the paper towels to rub off any water on her coat.
With these precautions in place, your car will suffer fewer attacks on its hygiene, and you’ll have to spend a lot less time scrubbing stains and vacuuming dirt out of seats and carpets. Not only you will enjoy a clean car but your dog will thank you too.