From visits to the veterinarian to playdates at the park, it’s hard to love anything more than you do your pet, even if they do ruin your car every time they enter it. If you wonder how to maintain a clean car while driving with pets, check this blog out to find some helpful tips.
The best offense is a good defense, right? Before your pet ever gets in the car, there are some preventive measures you can take to make the pet’s impact on the vehicle as minimal as possible. You should get your pet regularly groomed, especially for big dogs. Grooming will help take care of a lot of the fur that they would shed.
Many people think of grooming as a luxury, but it’s necessary to keep the fur lengths from affecting the comfort in the heat for some dogs. Shaggy dogs are even more prone to shedding and overheating in the summer, so regular grooming is a must.
Have a Designated Pet Car
Your pets will leave a mess, or at least fur, wherever they go. Over time, between veterinarian visits and other pet travel, your car will take some wear and tear, so mitigating any damage is vital. To prevent your pets from ruining multiple vehicles, have one designed pet car.
Keep the Pet to One Side of the Car
When a pet is roaming from the front seat to the middle seats, then onto the back, they leave fur behind them everywhere they go. It is fun to let your pet explore your car, but all you are letting them do is create a bigger mess for you to clean up later.
That’s why people typically suggest keeping your pet contained to one side of the car. You don’t need to buckle them in, but holding them to one spot will retain any messes to one area. It’s hard to convince your pet to stay put, so you will help motivate them to stay there if you put down the window or put their pet bed on the seat.
Use Seat Covers
If a cat scratches through a seat, or if your pet goes to the bathroom, you might have to remove and replace all the upholstery to fix it—that is why you should consider getting seat covers for your cars. A seat cover will act as a protective shield between your pet and the seat so that your car won’t have to absorb the worst of the damage a pet can cause. The best part of seat covers is that you can easily remove and hand clean them. That way, you can give it a proper deep clean rather than just vacuuming it.
Seat covers are not only practical, but you can use this as an opportunity to improve the aesthetic of your car with a cover with an eye-catching design. Universal seat covers will work for some vehicles, but for larger ones, there are custom seat covers for SUVs all the way up to 18 wheelers.
Bring a Clean-up Kit
You never know when an accident can happen; all you can do is prepare for it. Here is a list of few things to keep in your car whenever your pet is traveling with you: an old towel or two, a brush, lint roller, pet wipes, paper towels, and a multipurpose car cleaner.
Traveling will expose your pet to new environments, which might make them nervous. When pets get scared, they are much more likely to accidentally go the bathroom, throw up, or cause a fit where their increased activity will make them shed more.
Even if they love car trips, increased endorphins can make their decisions more erratic and unpredictable. Since you aren’t home, you’ll need to keep a to-go bag with all your cleaning needs inside.
Plastic or Rubber Floor Mats
Carpet floor mats absorb any dirt and debris that might get on them, which is even more problematic for wet messes. Carpet mats might look nice, but they aren’t practical if you have a pet. Plastic or rubber mats are easy to clean up and are very durable. Your pet might not find the floor as comfortable, but it is a great cheat code to keeping a clean vehicle.
Deal With the Odor
Pets can leave their presence in a space long after vacating it. Even if you clean up all of their fur, they still might leave behind a smell. A simple pet air freshener spray might get the job done, but more labor-intensive methods might suit you better.
The most common way to remove pet odor is by spreading baking soda over the surface, then vacuuming it up. You can also spray the car with a mixture that is half white vinegar and half water. These methods are most effective if done recently after the trip. The longer the odor lingers, the more time the smell has to seep into upholstery in the car.
Clean Up Right Away
To ensure the steps you take are effective, promptly clean up right after the ride. After every pet car ride, you should vacuum and clean out any mess left behind the pets. To stay on top of the pet hair, you’ll need to stay attentive. Otherwise, the air and car A/C will slowly spread the hair throughout the car. Then, all the work you did to keep your pet contained is for naught.
If you are having trouble getting up the hair, try the rubber glove method. Put on a rubber glove, like those for doing dishes, and moisten it. Then rub your hand, with the glove on, in one direction over the hair. The hair should stick to the glove, making for an easy clean-up.
Gone are the days of worrying about having your pet in your vehicle. Now that you understand how to maintain a clean car when driving with pets, you can keep your ride looking as lovely as the day you bought it.