We all love to bring our pets along for a ride around the block. Not only do they fill our lives with joy and offer companionship, but we can sense the excitement on their face when we ask, “Do you want to go for a ride?” Taking your pet in the car is fun for both parties, but afterwards your car is filled with fur, odors, and a lot of mess.
Is it possible to keep your car clean when you have pets? The answer is yes, if you take the time to prepare and clean up right away. Here are a few tips to keeping your car clean for yourself and any other passengers, four-legged and otherwise.
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Cleaning is one of the most important steps, both before and after your trusty companion jumps into your ride. It is crucial to give your car’s interior a thorough cleaning to remove all the dirt and fur, along with the nose art that is currently smeared across your windows.
However, it is just as important to clean up when you have returned home. If you have cloth seats, invest in a wet vacuum that will remove any moisture from the fabric. This will prevent the growth of mold and mildew. While we have only discussed cleaning your car before and after the journey, your pet may also need to be cleaned up.
2. Protect the Seats
Now that everything is clean, you can start looking for ways to protect your interior against pet fur, dander, and dirt. There are two primary ways to protect your seats and floors. You can use a seat cover and all-weather floor mats. You could also apply a water and stain-resistant fabric guard to your interior.
It does not matter if you buy an official seat cover from a pet store or make your own out of towels and blankets. If you do not put something over your seats, pet hair will get into every crack and crevice. If you are looking at seat covers to purchase, plastic ones are easier to remove and clean.
Beyond pet hair, there is also the challenge of smell. If you take your pet out for a day at the lake, you will likely bring back a dirty, wet Fido. Most odors can be eliminated by cleaning the interior immediately. Simply vacuuming the seats, cleaning the seat cover, and vacuuming the floor mats might do the trick. If the smell still lingers, then other measures might need to be taken.
Use an upholstery cleaner specifically designed to remove pet odors. There are also many do-it-yourself (DIY) options, available. Use baking soda to remove odors from the vehicle. Place baking soda in a bowl in the car, and allow it to sit for some time. Another option is to create a spray bottle solution of equal parts of water and white vinegar.
4. Keep Your Pet in One Area
The easiest way to keep clean up to a minimum is to confine your pet to one area of the car using a crate, restraint, or barrier. Not only will it make your job much easier when it comes time to clean, but it will also serve to limit distractions. If your pet is constantly jumping between the front and back seats, then this can be a safety issue for both you and your pet.
You can use a crate or kennel to transport your pet. This will help control the mess to one area of the car. There are also seat belts that attach to your pet’s harness. Before purchasing a pet seat belt, ensure that the product fits your pet properly and will do its job. Another option is to use a back seat barrier. These partitions are meant to be fastened between the front and passenger seat to keep your pet in the back seat.
5. Assemble a Kit
When traveling with pets, it is best to be overly prepared. Assemble a pet cleanup kit to keep in your car at all times. You can use these tools when you are traveling to help keep your dog and your car clean. You never know when you might need them. Here are a few suggestions:
- Paper towels
- Pet wipes
- Old blanket
- Lint roller
- Plastic bags
These tips will help to reduce the mess that your furry friend creates in your car. While you can take all the preventative measures to keep your car clean, there is no true way to dog-proof your car. It may seem like an uphill battle of pet fur, odor, and dirt. However, that is just one part of being a pet owner. Let’s not forget about the slobbery kisses and unconditional love.
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