If you find that you’re often using your car to transport your dog from one place to another, then you might also find that the interior of the vehicle is noticeably worse for wear after the fact. Dogs leave stray hair and dirt everywhere they go – and if they’ve just been for a walk through a particularly muddy field or woodland, this will be all the more so.
Fortunately, there exist a few simple measures and methods through which we can limit the damage to our vehicles – and ensure that both our dogs and the other occupants of the car are safe during the trip.
If your dog is small enough, then by far the best way to transport them is in a carry basket – of the sort ordinarily the preserve of cats. These will fit snugly into a footwell, and thereby ensure that the dog is prevented from moving around, and that they rest of the car will be protected.
Unfortunately, only the very smallest breeds of dog, like the Chihuahua or the Pug, will be able to fit into such a small space. Other dogs will have to make use of larger crates, which can slot either onto a spare seat (with the help of a seat belt) or into the boot.
If you’re unable (or unwilling) to cage your dog for the trip, then you might consider making other changes to your vehicle. In order to provide your dog with a fresh breeze, you might consider opening a window – but if your dog is likely to try and escape the car, this might end in disaster. Consequently, consider placing a grille in an open window – these will allow air to enter the car, but prevent a dog from making a bid for freedom. You can even buy cages which fit on the top of a window, and gradually close as the window closes.
If you want to keep your dog in the boot, then you might consider placing a grille across the back of the car, allowing your dog to see what’s going on in the front, and enjoy the flow of air around the compartment.
If you’re going to be taking your dog on long walks through the country, then you run the risk of them trampling mud into your car. Unless you want to have to go to the effort of cleaning your car on a regular basis, or hiring someone else to do it for you, then you’ll need to invest in a car boot protector.
A boot liner will fit snugly into your boot, protecting it against mud and dirt. The cheaper ones will provide only a very loose fit, and wear out after just a few washes. The superior ones, on the other hand, are specially made to fit a given model of car – and they’ll last long into the future, offering excellent protection. You’ll find Mercedes, Audi and BMW boot liners are all available – along with those designed to fit a host of other manufacturers.
If you don’t have access to a proper boot liner, then you might use a blanket to try and achieve the same ends. A blanket will also provide your dog with comfort, and so it’s worth throwing one into your boot even if you’re using a boot liner as well.
If you struggle to get your dog into your boot – and it’s too heavy (or old) to jump or be lifted in, then you might consider a ramp. While in the long run, it’s almost certainly better to train your dog to jump into the boot on command, a ramp can make the ordeal a great deal easier.
While we might make every effort to ensure that stray hairs don’t find their way into our cars, it’s impossible to be totally sure that it won’t happen. Fortunately, we’ve a way of easily removing those hairs – and many of us already have it sitting in our utility cupboards. When it comes to cleaning the interior of a car, a vacuum cleaner of a different sort is required – be sure that you’ve got one with attachments that can reach all of those nooks and crannies. Or, better yet, invest in a hand-held cleaner.
We can also minimise stray hairs by ensuring that our dogs are properly groomed. This consideration might be especially important if your dog is an especially furry breed, like the Samoyed. Some breeds of dog demand regular grooming, while others can go without – but a dog that’s been brushed will leave far fewer stray hairs inside your car.