Most dogs enjoy going on car trips: being in a moving vehicle heightens their senses and allows them to get more information about their surroundings. Whether it’s a few minutes’ drive around NYC’s busy streets or a road trip to the Hamptons, nothing is more fun or rewarding for New York dogs than to be in a car with their favorite humans. However, pet owners know that constantly having their dogs along for drives can result in a messy or slightly odorous car. To pet-proof your vehicle, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to ensure that your car’s interior smells fresh and stays neat and clean. Here’s a guide to dog-proofing your car.
Place covers on your car seats
Your dog may be well-trained, but accidents can happen when you least expect it. Driving around in a car that smells like dog urine isn’t ideal, and this is why you’ll need to protect your upholstery with car seat covers. If your dog accidentally pees in the car while en route to your destination, you can simply remove the covers, then store them in a plastic bag before placing the whole thing inside the trunk. Make sure that you have extra seat covers, especially if you’re going on a long road trip. Upon reaching your destination, immediately wash the soiled seat covers with soap and water, and add about two tablespoons of bleach to the wash to disinfect the material.
Give your car interior a thorough clean
If your upholstery starts looking and smelling less than fresh, then it’s time to thoroughly clean and disinfect your car interior. Start by taking out the floor mats and wash them clean with a mixture of soap, water and bleach, then let them dry in the sun. Next, remove car seats, pillows, toys, and other loose objects; then dry vacuum the upholstery and all other surfaces to get rid of dog hair, debris and dust. After vacuuming, use a lint roller to get rid of any lingering pet hair. Next, use a mild cleanser or an all-purpose vinegar cleaning solution to clean leather seats and non-porous surfaces, making sure to use a soft microfiber cloth for wiping down. To clean fabric seats, you can use a mild detergent and a soft scrubbing brush to loosen dirt, but take care not to scrub too hard to avoid ruining the fabric.
Pet proof on a regular basis
If you don’t have time to do a major car clean up job every week or so, then you’ll need to pet-proof on a regular basis so your vehicle stays clean for a longer time. Before leaving the house, groom your dog or take a few minutes to brush their coat to lessen the amount of pet hair in your car. If it isn’t too hot outside, consider letting your dog wear an old t-shirt while riding inside the car – the shirt will catch most of your pet’s hair, so you’ll only need to use a lint brush to get rid of stragglers later on. Keep paper towels, plastic bags, a brush, a big bottle of water, and a bottle of dog deodorizing spray in the trunk. Having these things on hand allows you to clean up a dirty or muddy dog so they don’t end up soiling your car interior.
A little elbow grease and a bit of dog-proofing can go a long way towards keeping your car clean. Try these tips to keep your car looking and smelling fresh while traveling with your fur baby, and enjoy the ride with your pet.