More than 80% of dog owners take their dog out in the car with them, according to an American Automobile Association survey. It’s great to get out and about with your rescue pooch and explore the wider community by car. However, the downside is that car journeys with dogs can make your vehicle look and smell unpleasant. So how do you keep your set of wheels in top condition?
Groom your dog regularly
As a general rule, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends grooming your dog once per month. But if you own a heavy shedder such as a Border Collie, Husky, Labrador Retriever or Rottweiler, then this level of grooming isn’t enough to protect your car. To do this, you should brush your dog’s coat just before your car journey, as this will reduce the amount of fur that will fall out during your trip. It’s also worth clipping your dog’s coat down before you travel, as this will limit the amount of hair that’s shed too. This is especially the case if you or someone who uses the car with you is asthmatic. Dog hairs are one of many irritants which can trigger asthma attacks; especially in a confined space like a car.
Keep on top of cleaning
Ideally, you should clean the interior of your car once a month to keep it in top condition, but if your dog is regularly in the back seat of your car you should clean it more often. This is especially the case if you or someone who rides regularly in the vehicle is allergic to dog hairs and dust mites. For optimum cleanliness, it’s best to clean your car interior after every trip with your dog, as this will stop dirt accumulating on your car seats and dog hair sticking to your upholstery. You should start by thoroughly vacuuming your seats, making sure to get into all the crevices. From there, you can clean the leather or fabric with a specialist cleaner before drying with a microfiber towel or wet-dry vacuum.
Crate your pooch
As many as one in six dogs experience travel sickness, according to Dog Listener. The problem with a dog that gets sick while traveling is that you can never be sure when it’s going to occur, and of course, it makes a lot of mess. For this reason, consider crating your pooch while he’s traveling in the car with you. This will stop any mess getting onto your car seats, and you can line the bottom of the crate and your seats with a washable blanket or a disposable puppy pad for extra protection.
Have a stash of supplies
Experts recommend stopping every two hours to allow a dog to relieve himself and stretch his legs. But even if you follow these guidelines, anything and everything can happen when your dog is riding in the car with you. This is why you should carry a stash of supplies to protect your car during a doggy road trip. Your kit should include a bottle of water for washing muddy paws, a towel to dry your dog off with, a cloth and some disinfectant to clean up any accidents, paper towels for mishaps, and some plastic bags to store dirty items in until you get back home.
As a devoted dog owner, you’re sure to want to take your beloved pooch on as many road trips as possible. But there’s no need to let the cleanliness of your car decline as a result, as these tips will ensure it stays in top condition no matter what.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner.