If we've learned nothing during the last two weeks, it's that Americans love to bring their pets with them no matter where they go. We've also learned that those who take their pets in the care are probably more than a little concerned about comfort, safety, and protecting the interior of your vehicle. We talked about the best cars for pets and the top safety devices for keeping your pets from being injured in an accident, but what about those products that will protect your car? After all, most of us eventually want to sell our cars one day, and that dog smell sure can linger. But rather than leaving your furry family members at home all day, here are some products that can help you keep you and your pets safe and your car in good shape so you can take Fido and Fluffy just about anywhere you go.
It’s safer for you and your pets to keep them out of the passenger seat. However, pet restraints also double as a protector for your car's interior because they confine your pet to one area of the car, leaving everywhere else fur and slobber free. Some pet owners go with either fabric or aluminum barriers between your space and the pet space. Aluminum barriers either clamp onto the headrest rails and have bars that go up to the roof, or they use pressurized limbs that go from the floor of the car to the roof, like this one. For dogs with even less of a desire to help you drive, fabric or netting-based barriers like this one are often enough of a deterrent to keep them in the rear of the vehicle. You can find both types online or at pet supply retailers in your area.
Crates, cages, and carriers offer your pet the ultimate protection in the event of an accident, keep them out of the driver’s space, and give them a sense of security while you’re en route. However, carriers are also the ultimate in car protection as they keep all animal leavings securely within the carrier, and all you have to do is remove the carrier to remove any smells, hair, or indication of your pet from your car.
Car Seat Protectors
Some pet owners are especially concerned about dirt, hair, and debris on the upholstery of their cars (hello, dog parents). There are several types of protectors on the market, but some of the easiest to use are the “hammock” style protector for the rear seats or the cargo area pet cover. These are much easier to put up and take down as you need them than getting custom rear seat covers. Plus, they’re easier to wash! Owners of small dogs might also look into the pet booster seat, which offers both a protector and a restraining device while still allowing your pup to look out the window - truly everything in one. Bigger dogs riding in the cargo space can enjoy special dog beds made to fit the back of cars - dog gets a comfy bed to ride out the trip in, driver gets distracted free driving, and pet hair stays in one place!
Pet Cleaning Products
Collapsible, easy-clean pet food and water bowls make it easy to keep your pet fed and hydrated on the road, and are more flexible to keep spills from happening. And while pet stores and automotive shops are stocked with wipes, solutions, and other cleaning products formulated specifically for pet soil in the car, there's an easy and natural solution that won't require keeping specialized products on hand or spending loads of money in the cleaning aisle: vinegar. Vinegar mixed with baking soda or lemon and water is the perfect solution to leather or vinyl car interiors. For fabric, mix water with vinegar and regular detergent and lightly scrub out any stains. This is a great smelling, inexpensive, and pet-friendly solution that will keep any car interior at its best.
There have never been more products that make it easier, safer, and cleaner to travel with your pets. Whether you’re headed to the vet, the dog beach, or on a long road trip, there’s something out there to help keep your animals safe and comfortable in the car.