How to Keep a Clean Car After Driving With Your Dog

If you’re anything like the team here at HPT, you jump at any occasion where your dog is welcome. After all, there’s nothing better than heading out the door and getting to take your pup along with you for the ride. That is, until you plan to head off to an important meeting the next morning, only to be engulfed in dog hair from the moment you sit down in the driver’s seat (definitely not a good look for the office!).

As much as we love getting to take our dogs for a joyride, the post-trip car cleanup is not one of our favorite chores (especially if you live around a popular pond or beach for pups!). If you have a canine and can’t seem to keep your car clean, we’re here for you. Read on as we share our favorite, tried-and-true tips to keeping a fur-free, clean car after driving with your dog. 


Vacuum Your Vehicle 

As simple as it sounds, a quick vacuum of the floor and seats after a ride with your dog can remove pet fur and clean up your car in a cinch! For harder to reach areas, like between the seats and center console, consider investing in a small, hand-held vacuum cleaner designed just for that.

Pro tip: If you frequent the beach or just can’t seem to shake that “wet dog” smell, sprinkle some baking soda on your car’s seats and floor mats and let it sit for up to two hours. Vacuum it up for a fresher-smelling vehicle. 

Confine Your Dog to One Area

Keeping your dog to one designated area in your car not only helps reduce how much of your car you’ll need to clean regularly, but is also a safer option for your dog. It should go without saying that keeping your dog on your lap while driving isn’t safe, but neither is the front passenger seat. Letting your dog wander the car puts them at risk of being injured by an airbag, which is designed to protect adult humans, not smaller pups. 

Instead, safely strap your dog in the car, either in their crate or with a dog safety belt or restrainer. They’ll stay safe in one area of your car, and keep any dirt, sand, or fur confined to a smaller area of your car. 

Cover Your Seats

Removable pet set covers are a secret, stress-free way for clean-minded pet owners to maintain some sanity when driving with their dogs.

Invest in a back seat cover for dogs, or use an old sheet or blanket to cover your car’s seats and/or carpet. After a ride with fido, shake it out, toss it in the wash, and enjoy your still-clean car seats.

Properly Prepare

From a muddy trail walk, to an irresistible swamp that’s just begging to be swum in, some of our dog’s favorite activities are just plain messy. Keep a clean-up kit of essentials in your car, including items like paper towels, wet wipes, stain spray, plastic bags, a towel, and water. You never know when they’ll come in handy, and your car’s interior will thank you!

And Remember, Stop Stressing

Regardless of how the mess in the car was made – jumping up to stick their head out the window and feel the rush of breeze on their face; shaking around and spraying sand after a trip to the beach – these messy memories you made with your dog can’t be replaced. You’ll always have time to vacuum.

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