Man’s best friend. Dogs equal great walks in the countryside. And they can travel in the back of the car. Of course, if you’re a long time follower of our blog, you’ll know we love our animals and have given you advice in the past about protecting both you and your hound in transit. But with muddy feet, smelly dogs and even water finding their way into your car, after a good romp out down a National trust park or at the beach – how can you better protect the other essential best friend in your life – your vehicle?
Pet hair gets all around the car and all over everyone’s clothes, if they’re not cleared up properly. Especially when Rover is on the moult. Fitted seat covers are a sound investment, as they can be independently cleaned after catching a ton of hairs. Cheap blankets are a good alternative, and if you have leather or vinyl seats that need protecting, plastic wrap can be used to form a strong, effective barrier.
Little accidents – fast attention
A spray bottle of high quality leather cleaner or upholstery spray in the glove box or the back of the car, allows you to take immediate action to remove spots. Shop around before you buy, and check the manufacturer’s instructions as the wrong type of cleaner could make any problem worse.
Clean up odour
Essential oils, such as orange or lavender, are not simply fresh and fruity or floral, they can be a life saver when it comes to doggy smells. They do more than cover up the bad odours, microbial agents within the oil can actually eliminate the source of the pong. How’s that for good?
Harness the Hound
Containing your dog is a good way to limit the spread of dirt and hair around the back of the vehicle. Use a harness to keep your dog exactly where you want it – in a pet proofed area. It’s cleaner and safer, protecting the dog in the event of an accident, and is a great way to keep younger, more adventurous and enthusiastic dogs contained when the excitement of going for a walk is rising.
We’re not talking taking your dog on holiday to the Bahamas. Use a car hammock in the back to keep your dog from jumping over the back seat into the vehicle. Hammocks usually attach from the front headrests to the back headrests, forming a barrier net that prevents the dog from accessing the car. Great for restless dogs, and protects the back of the car from drool, hair, claw marks and dirty paw prints.
A cargo cover is a great solution for dog owners with large boots or retractable seats. These durable covers can stretch out over the back of your car covering the rear boot and the back bench seat. Great for larger dogs like Rottweilers or Great Danes that need to stretch out those paws on longer trips in the car.
Smaller dogs and dogs that are getting on in years, can benefit from a dog ramp, which makes the back of your car more accessible. Usually made from a durable, foldable plastic construction, they use high traction surfaces that allow your dog to jump in the car, avoiding damage to the sills, and ensuring that your pet doesn’t strain or injure itself.
Mats and Carpeting
Mats and carpeting are the ideal way to protect any area with which your dog might come into contact. These bad boys will catch all the hairs. They’re easy to clean, as you can simply remove them from the car; give them a quick pressure wash, and they’ll be looking new once again.
For the ultimate protection, you could consider getting your car’s interior coated with a special barrier layer. You’ll have a tough time wiping them away, as they directly bond to different surfaces forming a strong, durable and long lasting veneer that repels dirt and mess and resists scratching.
And there’s nothing to stop you from putting up plastic in the windows, where your dog like to look out of the window, allowing you to pull off a quick strip, when slobber and drool starts running down the window and you come to a stop.
Remove worries about scratch and paw marks in the vehicle’s interior with nail caps. Ask your local grooming shop, as they should be able to provide you with this service. Small durable caps can be applied with a modicum of adhesive to your dog’s nails, stopping them from scratching the interior and staying in place for around 4-6 weeks.
Comfort equals happiness
A relaxed, comfortable dog is less likely to bound around the back of the car or get excited. Train your dog to keep calm, and keep your own energy levels subdued, as your dog will follow suit. Make you give your dog a little water before the trip, especially in the Summer. But not too much food and drink as it may get car sick.
Not all cars are equal when it comes to comes to carrying around your dog. Ideally you’ll want a model with a large boot, with low sill and easy access together with hard wearing upholstery and enough power to get you out of the mud, if you get stuck down a park during the rainy seasons.