How to Recondition a K-9 Police Vehicle

A K-9 companion in a police vehicle introduces additional areas of concern to overall vehicle cleanliness and resale.

August 2010, Government Fleet - WebXclusive

by Mike Scott - Also by this author

As K-9 handlers know, taking care of their dog officer is a rewarding experience. Yet doing so can also be time-consuming.

While these handlers are responsible for keeping their dog groomed and cleaned, the presence of a dog inside K-9 police vehicles can adversely impact the vehicle's interior over time. A plan to clean or recondition the vehicle once taken out of the fleet is crucial, particularly when the vehicle is offered to private parties for sale.

Preventing a Mess

Methods are available to prevent staining by canines. On the market, for example, are seat covers designed to fit all vans, trucks, SUVs, and mid-size sedans with bench or fold-down rear seats. This high-quality fabric has a soft, suede-like feel dogs enjoy, while elastic side straps and metal hooks ensure secure fit.

The seat covers, which generally run $60-$90, help protect a vehicle's upholstery from dog hair, stains, odors, and toenail snags. The covers can be easily machine-washed and dried on a cool setting.

One effective way to remove dog hairs is to use a thin wire brush to work up the fabric flattened by the dog, then vacuum the area. Following that, officers can use a wet rag and run it against the grain of the fabric on the seats. If hair remains, wrap packaging or duct tape around the hand  to wipe against the grain of the fabric and pick up excess hair.

Another way to pick up pet hair or dandruff is to wipe the seat with a lint brush at least once a week. This step will keep hair from piling up and odors from accumulating. If a smell does emerge, handlers can use a fabric freshener to neutralize pet odors.

To keep mud and dirt from getting into the seats and floors, wipe off the dog's paws with a hand towel or baby wipes before placing the animal in the car.

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