There’s no better road-trip buddy than your dog or cat. While it can be fun to take a trip with your fur babies, you’re going to need to pet proof your car before you hit the open road.
Pet proofing means more than just clearing a space for Rex to sit; you’ll want to consider cleaning and safety tasks before you put him in the car. Here’s a look at some ways to pet proof your car.
Pre-Clean the Interior
Before you load your pet into your car, make sure it’s clean. Giving the interior of your car a good vacuuming will remove any dirt, small objects or even food scraps that your pet could choke on or get sick by eating. Remove everything loose from the area where your pet is going to ride, so they don’t damage anything or hurt themselves while the car is in motion.
Treat the Windows
There’s no more telltale sign of a pet’s presence in your car than nose prints and slobber on the windows. To avoid having your pet muck up the windows, cover them with clear kitchen plastic wrap or a sun shade. That way, your pet can’t touch the window directly, but can still see out of them. Don’t forget to crack a window while driving, so your furry friend gets some fresh air, too.
Cover Up the Seats
You’ll want to protect your seats from your pet’s claws by installing a set of seat covers. This is especially important if you have a leather interior, but still worth doing if not. These simple covers slide over your seats in minutes and can be left in place or removed when your pet isn’t in the car with you. Covers will also help minimize the amount of pet hair that gets stuck in the fabric of your interior, as well.
Just like the old saying, accidents will happen, and with pets in your car, clean-up time is of the essence. Keeping some light cleaning supplies in the trunk will help if there’s an accident or even if your pet just tracks mud into the car. Should there be a mess, the first thing to do is fold up some paper towels and press the soiled fabric firmly to help absorb as much out as you can. Then, using a pet cleaner, spray the area and allow it to set before using the same technique with paper towels again.
A roll of paper towels, a spray bottle of cleaner and perhaps something to wash your hands with afterward should all fit in a small box or pail that you can easily store in a corner of the trunk without taking up too much space.
Transporting your pets can be an enjoyable experience — one that allows you to spend more quality time with them. Being prepared and having your car clean and ready for them can help keep them safe and healthy. Also, with a small amount of preparation, you can protect your vehicle and have the right tools to clean up accidents that could occur while you’re out and about.
Check out all the interior products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on pet proofing your car, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.