Dear Sip and Melissa:
My wee-little puggle got carsick on our way to the dog park yesterday. I tried to clean it up with paper towels and some water, but it’s starting to stink. Is there something I can use to stop the smell from getting worse?
Alice from San Francisco
Sip: You’re lucky your dog is on the smaller side! Think of how much “upcycled chow” a Great Dane could unload in the back of your car…
Melissa: We’re assuming it got on the upholstery. For the future, you can get a waterproof car seat cover, with slits for your dog car seat or kennel restraints, so that any . . . spillage can be hosed right off.
Sip: It’s also easier to clean up after a dog that’s safely secured in a crate or seatbelt-- better to have them blow kibble from one set of coordinates.
I have a liner for the back of my car that is a stiff rubber mat with lips around the edges to prevent leakage. I can remove it, vacuum or hose it down, and pop it back down for the next round. There are companies that make liners for every model of car, too. Here’s one.
Melissa: Anything that can prevent oozing into the nooks and crannies of your CR-V is a good idea.
Sip: Unfortunately, in your case it sounds like it’s too late -- so let’s talk products.
Melissa: FEBREEZE (™), four rolls of paper towels and hope you have a sinus infection.
Sip: Aside from a LOT of paper towels, you can order a product called AOE by Thornell products. Their Dog Odor Off is labeled for, among other things, cleaning dog vomit. Nature’s Miracle is a good standby as well. Regardless, start by removing as much of the glorious former stomach contents as you can.
Melissa: In a pinch, good ol’ fashioned Dawn dish soap and a bucket can do a lot. Actually, two buckets. One for cleaning, and one in case you have a weak stomach cleaning up your dog's weak stomach. The standby air freshener of your choice combined with windows down for a day can help too.
Sip: You didn’t mention how old your dog is, but don’t panic if she’s still a puppy. Most puppies get carsick, but eventually get over their car troubles. I’m more concerned about the brachycephalic (squishy-faced) nature of your pup, Alice. Short-nosed friends, like English bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, and similar foreshortened hounds, like your puggle, risk accidentally inhaling what’s coming up, and that’s dangerous. You might want to hit this issue hard-and-fast with your veterinarian and trainer to avoid medical problems instead of just clean-up duty.
Melissa: So, now that you guys had your lunch break ruined, um...join us next time? Sorry! We’ll end on this note: