Getting out and about with your dog can be great fun and fantastic exercise for you and your canine friend. Whether you choose to go for a leisurely walk in a forest or for a run on the beach, the ability to take your dog with you as you explore different surroundings can be a big part of the draw of having this type of pet.
However, if you take your pet on car journeys, you might find that they leave strong odours behind in your vehicle. This can put some people off allowing their dogs in their cars. In this blog, we show you how to get rid of this smell quickly and easily so you can enjoy time out with your furry pal without having to worry about unpleasant smells.
How to remove dog smell from cars
In an ideal world, you’d be able to roll down your windows and get rid of dog smell naturally by letting a breeze clear out any nasty odour left behind. This would be worth trying first, as well as attempting to keep the smell away from your car’s seats and accessories by putting down a towel, throw or blanket for your dog, but these are not always entirely effective solutions.
Below, we look at some of the key areas of a car that dog smell may affect and explore some useful methods for cleaning them to remove odours.
How to remove dog smell from car seats
Sections of car upholstery are thick and spongy, and while this makes driving more comfortable for your furry friend, it also allows for dog smell to get stuck deep within the material. However, cleaning these areas is an easy task as long as you use the correct products.
Fortunately, the upright backrest and headrest can be relatively thin in some cars, so these parts could be cleaned by simple solutions such as white vinegar, baking soda or tumble dryer sheets. Larger surfaces of car upholstery, however, requires extra attention and a far more thorough approach.
How to get dog smell out of car upholstery
For your car seats and other thicker upholstery, you should consider using a cleaning product with a bio-enzyme formula. Bio-enzyme cleaning products use natural bugs to digest dirt and eliminate odours, and as soon as all of the mess is gone, the Bacillus bugs that remove the dirt – and the smell that comes with it – die off, leaving only water and carbon dioxide. Another benefit to using a bio-enzyme formula for cleaning up after your dog is that it’s pet-friendly and won’t pose a threat to your dog’s health.
Through using a bio-enzyme solution, the smell is completely dissipated by the Bacillus bugs, removing all trace of it, and it’s easy to use as all you need is a correct ratio of formula to water for it to work.
How to get dog smell out of car vents
Using a bio-enzyme cleaner is effective in removing dog smell by completely destroying the cause of it, but you need a different solution for cleaning out your vents. The air conditioner in your car may temporarily smell if you’re driving in a rural area or near an industrial estate, but if you continue to experience a smell that’s reminiscent of your dog at its worst, you need to take action.
A bad smell coming from your air conditioner could be caused by a fault with your cooling system, a gas leak, mould, bacteria or smells in other areas of your car that are being moved around by your air con. However, more often than not, it’s caused by dirty filters in your vents which will only be worsened if they pick up your dog’s odour from a recent car journey.
You can clean your air conditioner’s filters manually. All you need to do is:
- open your bonnet and look for a rectangular box
- lift away the current air filters. These will often come away easily but check for any screws before attempting to remove them
- tap your filters on a solid object, as this will remove any loose dirt and fluff that’s become attached to them
- you can now either clean or change your filters. If you intend on completely changing them, make sure you find filters that fit the dimensions of your car. If you plan on cleaning them, you can use a cleaning solution such as a bio-enzyme product that will make the filter like new
- before replacing your clean filter, make sure it’s completely dry, as a damp filter could damage your engine
- fit your filters back into the designated area, screwing down any bolts that kept it secured under the bonnet.
If you don’t feel safe or confident replacing or cleaning your air conditioner’s filters, you should request help from an expert. To prevent your vents from smelling in the future, you should regularly check that they’re clean or get an expert to look over them at your annual MOT and during services.