Driving With Pets: 5 Solutions to Keep Your Car Clean

We all love our cuddly, friendly, active pets—they’re loyal, loving, protective, and some easily earn the title of “best friend.” They get excited when you ask, “Wanna go for a drive?”

Taking your pets on quick rides to the park or long road trips is great for bonding, but the reality is that it can leave a mess in your car. To help make the clean-up routine easier, we’ve compiled a list of five simple solutions to help you protect your car seats from paws, fur, drool, and other pet-related messes.

1. Keep your pet in a designated area of the car (i.e. the backseat). 

Create a designated area for your canine, whether it’s the bench seat or a bucket seat, to help keep the pet hair and messes in a confined space. It may take some coaching to keep your buddy in one area, but hopefully, he or she will learn to love having their own space. For a small pet, consider placing a dog bed in the back as a quiet resting area.

2. Custom seat covers are your friend. 

Blankets tend to slip and slide during car trips, and therefore don’t offer the best interior protection. Custom car seat covers are a great option for fully protecting your seats. Search by the year, make, and model of your vehicle, and you’ll find seat covers that fit the car’s exact seat specifications.

For the ultimate protection for your original seats, look for a seat cover made from heavy-duty canvas-like material that can handle a lot of movement from your pets. Water-resistant seat covers, like faux leather, also help keep moisture from getting trapped in the fabric and could help offset lingering pet odors.

Whether you have a car, truck, or SUV, custom-designed bench seat covers and bucket seat covers will stay in place even when your pet isn’t in the mood to be still.

And even if you don’t have pets, custom seat covers make great presents for pet lovers (remember that next time you’re about to go the gift card route).

3. Utilize pet products like hammocks and removable covers for quick trips. 

Removable covers are a great option if you don’t regularly take your dog for rides in the car. Pet hammocks are designed to strap onto the back of the front seats and go across the back area to strap to the top of the backseat headrests. Hammocks help create a barrier to keep pets out of the front seat, and some include side panels that hook onto the safety handles above car doors. Especially if you have a pet who loves to jump around, hammocks give pet owners peace of mind knowing their pet is safe while also protecting doors from nail scratches.

When purchasing a pet seat cover, make sure to check for proper sizing. One size may not fit all vehicle seat configurations, but the plus side is the Velcro attachments are easily removable if you need a once-in-a-while solution. 

4. Be prepared ahead of time for paws, spills, and other messes. 

In addition to car seat covers, many pet owners opt for protective floor mats rather than using the factory mats that came with the vehicle. All-weather-resistant rubber floor mats are perfect for pets because they provide easy clean-up (either a quick wipe-down or vacuuming will do). Steering wheel covers could help protect the helm of your vehicle, especially if your pet’s designated area is in the front seat. Cargo covers for your trunk space give your pet extra room to move while still keeping the interior clean.

5. Clean up as soon as possible. 

We suggest keeping a clean-up kit in your vehicle door compartment or trunk complete with disinfectant wipes, lint remover, and odor-eliminating spray like Febreeze, and maybe a small handheld vacuum if you have room for it. After traveling on a long trip, it’s best to immediately clean the car, vacuum up pet hair, and give the seats a quick spray with an odor-eliminating product. 

Keep Your Pet (and Car) Happy

From special print car seat covers to paw prints on license plate frames to man’s best friend window decals, there are many ways to show we love our pets as we’re cruising down the highway. Before your best buddy jumps in the car for a ride, make sure that you’re prepared to both prevent and clean up the mess.

Pet Print Light Grey

If you’re shopping for custom seat covers, CalTrend offers a wide range of durable, water-resistant, and protective car seat covers that are sure to keep you, your pet, and your car happy.

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