You would be really surprised how dirty a 10 lb Doxie can get. After 12 years of hiking and walking in the rain with a Doxie, I am still surprised. I swear it’s their paddle feet that flip mud and dirt on their bellies when they walk.
I didn’t care so much about my old car getting dirty but I bought a brand new car two years ago and started caring.
If you look at my car windows, it’s obvious I am a dog owner but I didn’t want the whole car to go to the dogs. I didn’t want it trashed.
The new car I bought has leather seats. I was really set against them but that’s all that was on the lot and that I could get a good deal on. Now I am so thankful that the seats don’t soak up water like my old cloth seats did. I have a new problem now though. I have to be careful to not get mud on the seats that can grind into the leather and ruin it.
Over the years I have perfected a routine to clean the dogs off before I put them in the car. I dry them off once with a towel, use a dog grooming wipe to “wash” stubborn dirt off, and then dry them off again with the towel. I cover the back seat with blankets and/or towels to catch any extra dampness or dirt and then wash them when I get home.
I carry a kit in the car that has these things in it but it also has some bonus items to help protect my car from muddy paws.
My kit includes:
1) Cotton Towel — I’ve tried microfiber towels to dry my dogs off, and knock off some of the dirt, but they just don’t work as well as an old, ratty cotton towel. If your dog didn’t wear boots, a towel is good for getting dirt out from between their foot pads too.
2) Dog Grooming Wipes — You can use grooming wipes made specifically for a dog’s skin, or use all-natural baby wipes, as sort of a mobile bath. They are handy for “washing” extra sticky dirt and mud from bellies and feet. If you have a short hair dog, the wipes may clean them enough that they don’t need a bath when you get home.
3) Seat Cover – To keep what dirt is left from sticking to cloth seats, or acting like sandpaper on leather seats, cover them with a blanket or a seat cover. It will catch the remaining dirt and water and can easily be removed or washed when it gets dirty.
4) Whisk Broom — A small whisk broom is great for knocking dried mud off the seats and sweeping mud and dirt off of the floors.
5) Window Cleaner — A small bottle of all-natural window cleaner can be used to clean any grime from the windows left behind when your dirty dog sticks its head out of the window. The cleaner can also be used to clean mud and dirt off of the inside of the doors.