The summer months are rolling in, and while many of you may still be waking up from your winter hibernation, your furriest companions are itching to get out of the house. All winter they’re waiting for that spring air to waft in, dreaming of parks, mountain trails, and drinking from foreign water sources. You’re just as eager to get out there as your four legged friend, but pet owners know that with adventure comes muddy paws, drooling, and fur all over the inside of our cars.
Without the right equipment and preparation, your once-clean car can start looking less like home, and more like a kennel. In order to keep that from getting in the way of a good time, we at Leith Honda Aberdeen have compiled five tips to help you keep your car pristine and your pets happy.
1. Lock ‘em up
Ok, that’s a little harsh. We’re not suggesting that you incarcerate your pet, just that you bring their kennel along for the ride. If this is an option, it’s a great way to keep them from climbing around the interior and potentially obstructing your view. For dogs, kennels are naturally calming, so they’ll probably be happier there than anywhere else. Unfortunately, other pets may not submit to these constraints as easily as dogs will.
It’s important to note that some states have laws requiring all animals be restrained while operating a motor vehicle. Familiarize yourself with your state laws and avoid a ticket.
2. Boost their IQ
If you don’t use a kennel, or don’t have room in your car for one, training your pet to sit or lie down when they get in the car is a great alternative. The less your pet moves around the car, the less surface area they contaminate, and the safer everyone will be. This may require the help of a (human) friend to drive while you train, but it’s well worth the effort. Use treats to coax your pet into staying put, and give them positive verbal feedback for their successes. Eventually as they grow accustomed to the rules of the road, you’ll be able to drop the treats and just use verbal reinforcement.
3. Always bring a towel
This is generally good advice for life. Towels are incredibly handy (puns). In this case, the towel is great for cleaning up your furry friend after a messy day, or laying down to protect your car seats. It may take some time for your pet to get used to being toweled off, but be patient and in time they’ll probably grow to love it.
4. Buy a seat cover
The seat cover will keep your pet’s nails from scratching your seats, protect against drool, catch most of the summer shedding, and help contain any possible accidents. This is by far the most useful pet accessory that we can suggest. You can pick up a cover for your backseat on Amazon for cheap.
5. Think for your pets
The most important responsibility of having a pet is keeping them safe. So while putting them in the bed of your truck or on a trailer may seem like a good way to keep the car clean, it can have serious consequences. If you can’t find a good way to transport your pet, then make other arrangements for them to stay wherever will make them happiest and safest.
So take our advice and go on an adventure that your furry pal will probably forget about tomorrow! But com’on, just look at that face.