How to Keep Your Car Clean When Traveling with Pets

In 2013, AAA projected that more than 9.4 million motorists would travel at least 50 miles from their home during the holiday season. This number is expected to increase in 2014, thanks to lower gas prices in many states. For many travelers, jumping into the car and hitting the road has to be well planned, especially for those who are traveling with pets.

Pets are often considered members of the family, and are treated with care, as they ought to be. Traveling with pets, however, can leave your vehicle quite messy on the inside, if you don’t take the proper precautions.

Here are some tips on how to keep your car clean while traveling with pets:

Get your pet used to car travel.
Before you hit the road for a long trip, take your dog along for short rides in the car, do they become familiar with car travel.

Have a designated area for your pet in the car.
You want your pet to remain safe during travel time, so choose a safe place for them to ride and rest. Whether traveling with a travel crate for a small pet, a pet safety seat, or open space, select a place for your pet for the duration of the ride, instead of allowing them back and forth between the front and the back of the car.

Protect the seats and floor.
Use old blankets or sheets to drape over the seats of your car. You can even purchase specialty car seat covers for pets to lie on while in the car. Covering your seats will protect them from scratches, odor absorption, hair and dander, spills, crumbs, etc. You can use woven area rugs or floor mats to protect your floors, as well.

Bring their pet bed along for the ride.
If your pet is used to sleeping or napping on a pet bed, it’s a good idea to bring it along for the car ride. Your pet will feel more relaxed if they can lie down in a spot that feels familiar to them.

Don’t over-feed, and stop often.
The best way to avoid your pet making a mess in your car, is to stop frequently for breaks. Allow your pet to eat a few hours before you hit the road. Feeding your pet right before you get into the car may cause them to become sick, as many pets experience motion sickness. Stopping once an hour to allow your pet to have a drink, go to the bathroom, and have a bit of a walk is recommended. If you’re on a long car trip, it is recommended that you feed your pet after about four hours max, and allow for a longer walk in a quiet place, if possible.

Keep them comfy.
Keep your pets comfortable, and occupied with some of their favorite treats and toys. Play soft, relaxing music during the drive, and keep the temperature comfortable for your furry travel companion.

Following these simple tips will help you and your pet to enjoy the ride, and will keep your car in pristine condition.

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