Taking pets to the park or for a fun drive can be enjoyable as long as your dog or cat is well behaved and under control. You don't want their claws to accidentally shred the upholstery, shed fur on the floor mats, or have a toileting accident in the seat. Here are some things you can do to protect your vehicle when your pet is in the car.
Use Protective Seat Covers
Shop for auto seat covers that are strong enough to protect your interior upholstery from cat or dog bites and scratches. A solid fabric made for this purpose is not only protective but can be washed to keep it clean and free of pet smells. If your pet likes to crawl on your lap while you're driving, get a steering wheel cover as well. You can always remove the covers when you don't have your pets in the car with you if you prefer.
Install Durable Floor Mats
Most used or new cars come with floor mats, but they might be adequate for resisting pet claws and teeth if they like to chew while laying on the car floor. Look for car floor mats that can stand up to pet wear and tear, including damage as well as saliva, vomit, and other types of pet accidents during transit. Secured mats are best so that pets can't pull them away from their designated places on the vehicle floor.
Toilet Your Pet Before the Ride
It's always a good idea to encourage your dog to use its regular toileting area to relieve itself before getting into the vehicle. A cat should also have access to the kitty litter or outdoor area it uses before traveling by car. Sometimes pets get anxious when traveling and may even sense they are going somewhere unusual, and this can lead to unplanned accidents in the car. If you think this could happen, prepare an area of the car where your pet can be restrained to either use that spot or hold its elimination until reaching the destination. Toilet your pet on arrival or before heading home, if possible.
Use a Pet Carrier
Crating your cat or dog in a travel-designed pet carrier is the safest option for protecting your vehicle. Your pet may feel more secure in a crate, especially with a comforting blanket or toy. Weigh the pros and cons of this option before loading your beloved animal into the car while trying to protect your vehicle's interior.
Pet travel can be challenging but is definitely manageable with planning. Make your next car trip with Fido or Fluffy a fun time for all without sacrificing your car.