4 April 2014

Road trip essentials: How to pet- proof your car

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Dog, Pet, Travel, Car,

Road trips are a great way of getting out and about and seeing more of the country. But what if you have pets? Dogs of course can come along for the ride, but there are a few measures you might want to take before allowing your best friend into the car for several days. The best cars for young drivers often aren’t designed specifically for pets, so bear in mind the following tips. 

A blanket is one of the first things you should invest in, if you haven’t already. Better yet, a couple of blankets that are only used for your pet. It’s generally recommended that dogs travel in on the back seat, or the rear carrying area, as airbags can cause injury in the case of accidents. Felt blankets are a good option – keep it the same way up so hairs don’t make their way over the car seats and give it a good shake out each day. Keep a lint roller to hand to pick up any stray hairs from the seats and floor. 

There are some other steps you can take to minimising the risk of damage to your seats. Waterproof seat covers or a waterproofing fabric guard treatment will help prevent damage to seats caused by an accident. Seat covers typically go over the head rest and seat, but make sure it is a secure design that will stay in place. You may also want to replace any fabric floor mats with rubber mats which won’t collect hair in the same way and can be cleaned far more easily. 

Some dogs also have a habit of slobbering over windows. A layer of plastic wrap can come in handy here – put in on the inside of windows while your dog is in the car and simply peel it off when it needs replacing, leaving clear windows that don’t need thorough cleaning. Take along a few sheets for a road trip as they may need replacing regularly! 

Safety is, of course, a paramount consideration when it comes to travelling with pets. If your pooch isn’t always calm and well-behaved in the car, consider investing in a seat belt or harness. Dog seat belts work in a similar way to human seat belts and can be used with those already in the car. Some designs allow a little more movement, to allow the dog to move over the back seat. 

Pet barriers are another option. These often come specific to particular vehicles, but they are also sold by pet supply manufacturers. Designs include mesh screens and sturdier metal barriers. Consider your dog’s excitement levels, size and strength when deciding upon an appropriate barrier.
You can install a barrier between the back seats and rear carrying area or between the front and back seats. 

Finally, take along a few products to keep your car spruced up. You’ll be in the car, after all, for some time, so you want it to stay looking, smelling and feeling as fresh as possible. As well as lint rollers, take along some upholstery cleaner and air freshener. Choose an upholstery cleaner designed for pets and look out for one that mentions stain removing. Treating any stains straightway is far more effective than leaving them until you get home. When it comes to air fresheners, simple odour removers are often preferable to those with a strong or cloying scent. And if you don’t use window wraps, take along some window cleaner to clean up those wet nose trails.


  1. Any tips for a car sick dog? I don't mind the slobber but being covered in puke is no fun!

  2. Love the top picture! Always take a water bowl and water bottle.

  3. awww that chi is just like our dog :-)