How to keep your car clean with dogs

Don?t be afraid to let the dogs in the car with these simple tricks!

Don?t be afraid to let the dogs in the car with these simple tricks!

Maybe you have a new car? or a new dog, and you know you?ll be taking your canine friend with you everywhere you can! But how on earth will you keep your car?s upholstery and floors in good shape and not smelling like, well, like dog? 
Here are a few tips and tricks to protect your daily ride from an early canine demise.

Keep It Under Wraps

This next tip focuses on the vehicle itself. The very best protection for your vehicle?s interior is to cover surfaces with an easy to clean, durable material. Good floor mats will protect the floorboards, but don?t buy just any old seat covers. Make sure the covers you get not only offer full coverage for your car?s seats (so pay attention to whether you?re covering a bench seat or buckets or what have you), but are also waterproof and strong enough to stand up to a chewing, scratching, exploring puppy. 
With the right covers, you can remove them when your furbaby isn?t with you and still have a nice, intact automobile you wouldn?t be embarrassed to drive guests around in. 


Don?t Skip the Groomer?s

Aside from a full on tromp in the mud, the primary obstacles you will face in dog-proofing your vehicle are fur and claws. Keeping your furry friend bathed and groomed with go a long way toward thwarting these two enemies. If they haven?t been into anything particularly nasty, most dogs should be bathed once a week, and brushed daily to remove excess fur (especially in the spring and summer when many breeds tend to shed). 
Most dogs love the extra attention and feel of being brushed, so this shouldn?t been too much of a challenge. Plus, especially for long or curly haired breeds, this keeps the fur from forming mats, something your groomer will surely appreciate. How often to actually groom your dog?s fur and clip their nails depends entirely on the breed. But well trimmed nails will be far less likely to tear up your car?s upholstery, not to mention your own skin when they want to jump and play.

Pack a Cleaning Kit

Let?s face it, accidents happen, dogs will be dogs, and you?d better be prepared. First of all, to combat dog-smell (and yes, some breeds are more odiferous than others, regardless of their bathing regimen, and we love them anyway), buy your favorite car air freshener and use it. Replace as needed. 

Vacuum regularly, and maybe even look into a good pet-friendly upholstery deodorizer (read the label to make sure there?s nothing toxic to your pet in whatever product you choose) to spray when things get really funky. But, beyond just regular odor maintenance, it is important to keep a few handy cleaning supplies to take care of messes on the go. 

A well stocked cleaning kit will include: a good enzyme carpet/upholstery cleaner designed for pet urine and feces, window wipes (for cleaning paw prints and puppy saliva), paper towels, an extra towel or two in case of bigger accidents, and some extra trash bags or grocery sacks for disposing of said messes. 

Stick to these guidelines and you should have a car that?s enjoyable for people and canines for years to come!