The only thing better than hitting the road for fun and adventure is hitting the road for fun and adventure with your best furry friend!
Traveling with a pet means not paying kennel fees, or worrying about him pining, and keeping him safe. It means cool pics together, and a lot of great memories. But, unfortunately, it also means dealing with the mess (and smell) of having a dog in the car.
Luckily there are ways to cut down on the scent, both naturally and with a little help. Take a look at this list for advice and ideas, so you and your dog can enjoy each other’s company the whole trip and your other passengers will too!
Use A Dog Bed
The best way to prevent odours setting into your car is not to let them get there in the first place! Using a pet bed makes getting rid of odours simple. When you’re done with the drive, you can simply toss it in the wash!
Pet beds for the car are available in a variety of styles and sizes, to fit small to large dogs, or even sit two dogs to a bed if yours are particularly friendly.
Look for one with a seatbelt fastening to keep your dog secure, or a strap that will connect to your existing seatbelt. Take a look online for something sturdy, portable, and easy to clean.
The other option is a removable cover, which is often a better solution for larger dogs or if you have several dogs. We particularly like the ones that form a sling to allow your pets more scope to move around and stop them falling into the footwell!
Best Dog Bed For Car
We’ve chosen a pet bed for a small or medium sized dog, but there are options for larger dogs too. This pet bed booster seat elevates your pets, so they’re less likely to jump around, or put paws on windows and doors. It includes a security leash and doggy seatbelt to keep the little guy safe.
It's sturdy enough to secure in the car in either the front or rear seats but portable enough to easily take it out when you’re ready to wash it. Cleaning is easy, whether you choose to shampoo or throw it in the wash.
You can even bring it inside and use it as a regular pet bed, to get Fido used to sitting and sleeping in it. Perfect for dogs up to 40 lbs. According to their website, it can even carry more than one small dog, as long as it meets the weight requirement.
Best Dog Seat Car Cover
For bigger dogs that do not need a booster to see out and need space, a car seat cover may be the better solution.
This one is made from 600D oxford, middle cloth PP cotton, water-resistant polyester & non-slip PVC net backing, so tough as hell and doesn't move around.
It is really easy to fit, you just attach 4 sets of adjustable snap buckles around headrests, then, insert seat anchor to the crevice to fasten the cover. Two Nylon Sticker openings allow for accessing the seatbelt buckles.
It is also really easy to clean either in the car, just wipe it down with a damp cloth, or if you take it out as it is machine washable. Tough, practical and easy to install, you cannot ask for more really!
A dog bed or seat cover will do a great job stopping the odours getting into the fabric of your car, but some will still linger, even once the bed/cover is taken out. To this end, regularly vacuuming your car can drastically cut down on odour.
When you’re looking for a car vacuum, there are a few things to consider.
Cord or Cordless vacuum for the car?
Standard corded vacuums need to be plugged into a power outlet, which means they’re not ideal on the go. Potentially they do tend to have more suction power, but these days most cordless are well up to the task, so we would rule these out.
There are some very good car specific vacuums ones that are powered through the cigarette lighter, so use your car's battery. This gives them more power and makes them lighter as they do not need to carry a battery.
If you want the bee's knees option, you may consider one of these as they offer the best wet-dry capabilities, in case the worst happens with your pets in the car. This will get right down into the fibres and clean pretty much any smell out of your car's upholstery
The big downside of these is that they can only be used in the car due to the power, so are not as flexible as a cordless vacuum. They are also generally more expensive
Cordless vacuums do have a limited battery life before they need a charge, but this is more than enough for pretty much any car job.
So generally we would go with cordless as it gives you more flexibility of movement, and you can stick it in the boot until you’re ready to use it.
You should also think about a vacuum with a HEPA filter since HEPA filters are the most effective at getting rid of small odour particles in the air, as well as other kinds of dust and debris.
The Best Car Vacuum for Pets
If you want a small, powerful vacuum with 30 minutes of use on a charge, then this is pretty darn near perfect!
It weighs about 1kg, so light, yet has enough oomph to get pet hair out of fabric. It comes with a washable HEPA filter and plenty of attachments to help you get into all the nooks and crannies too.
A great little vacuum and surprisingly quiet too
The Best Wet-Dry Car Vacuum for Pets
If you’re looking for a powerful vacuum that's good for both wet and dry grime, get the This Worx TWC car vacuum.
This WORX vacuum is ergonomically designed, and well balanced, with a flexible hose 16-foot hose, and a variety of nozzles. It even works on your ashtray.
It is equipped with a HEPA filter in the vacuum, with an extra in the box. The HEPA air filter also ensures that you get rid of most of the odour particles in the air. It’s simple to use and plugs into the cigarette lighter.
Though the small body does mean you need to empty it more often, it makes it very portable. Handy if you’ve got a dog in the car regularly. Not only will it help you keep pet dander out of the upholstery, but it’ll handle food, and the occasional mess left behind by your pets. (Or kids, or you!)
Baking Soda - The Natural Odour Absorber
Baking soda makes a great natural air conditioner. Because it works as an odour absorber, it’s effective at getting rid of smells, without risking overloading your car with cover-up smells. And because it’s natural, it’s safe around pets, kids, and even people with severe allergies.
You can even make an odour absorbent jar for your car. All you need is a mason jar with a ring lid, baking soda, essential oil of your choice, scrapbook paper, and a needle.
First, fill your mason jar with baking soda. Add in 12 drops or so of your favorite essential oil. Shake to distribute the oil, since concentrated essential oils can be dangerous for both you and your pets.
Next, cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit on top of the jar, using the mason lid. Place the paper on the jar of baking soda and oils, and screw the ring on. Shake it up again, to ensure it’s secure.
Finally, use the needle to poke holes through the paper. Choose a small mason jar that will fit in a cup holder, and you’re good to go!
Air Fresheners are a great way to keep your car odour-free and there are plenty of useful options on the market.
Gels and sprays may not be pet-friendly, but there are other choices than a simple brand-name air freshener to hang in your car. We'd recommend something natural, like a charcoal freshener
For a little extra scent boost, you could even stick a dryer sheet or two in your car. Dryer sheets are designed to be porous and absorb air particles, including those that cause odour.
Best Car Freshener For Dog Odours
The PURRGO is our pick for your car air freshener.
It’s all-natural and made from bamboo charcoal, which is fast growing and much more environmentally friendly than the single use plastic ones.
Bamboo charcoal is a porous substance that works like a sponge. Air passes through, and odour particles are trapped inside.
They’re also longer lasting than typical air fresheners, and since they don’t use gel packs or sprays, they don’t need to be activated or refilled. You just hang it on the back of your car's headrest and let it go to work, and it can save you a lot of money on the refills from other odour trappers.
It's cute, easy to use, so if you’re looking for a non-toxic air freshener that won't use strong scents to cover up a bad smell it is a great choice. Perfect for families with kids, allergies, and asthma.
You’ll still want to vacuum regularly since pet dander and odour can still make its way into the air, but keeping pets contained to one area of the car can really make a difference. Especially when it’s an area you can remove and wash.
Car trips can feel messy and cramped. But keeping everyone in the family comfortable doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re looking forward to road trips with your dog, but not to the smell he leaves behind, try these tricks for getting rid of pet odours, and keep your car fresh and comfy for the whole family.
- 1 Use A Dog Bed
- 2 Car Vacuum
- 3 Baking Soda - The Natural Odour Absorber
- 4 Air Fresheners
- 5 Sooooo