This post is sponsored by one of my favorite adventure dog gear brands, Kurgo. I’ve used their gear for years and would never recommend anything that I wouldn’t use myself! My opinions remain my own.
Regular adventures means that my car is almost always dirty. If it’s not mud, it’s dog fur. If it’s not sand, it’s spilled water. Over the years, I’ve acquired several products that help protect my car from my dog and keep it relatively clean in between full cleanings.
While I still have to clean my car of mud and dog fur regularly, cleanup is much easier with a few key items that protect the seats, reduce dog hair collection on the floor, and prevent scratches on surfaces, like the door or center console.
To put it into perspective about how dirty I get my car: I trail run five times per week and camp at least twice per month during the summer, often sleeping in my car.
My usual method of travel is road trips and I live in the Pacific Northwest, where it’s very muddy!
I use all of the items listed below to keep my car clean(ish) and to protect it from claws. Having them in place makes vacuuming and getting out dog hair a much more doable process.
Coast to Coast Hammock
The hammock drapes across the floor to fit the area in between the seats perfectly and then connects to the back of the front seat to provide a wall that prevents your dog from jumping into the front.
A zipper allows you to convert the hammock to a basic seat cover and Velcro and hook and loop fasteners enable easy access for rear passengers and seat belts.
The material is waterproof and stain resistant. When I clean mine, I simply fold it in half like a taco to remove from my car, then shake it out and watch all the hair fly! To clean, I wipe it down with a damp cloth. That’s it!
Car Door Guard and Shade
To protect your doors from sharp dog nails, a door guard is the answer. The Car Door Guard and Shade goes one step farther with an ingenious mesh shade cover that goes over the door frame and allows you to roll down the window entirely.
On warmer days, it means you can give your pooch some extra air without worrying about them leaping from the car. The shades are very dark, so it also keeps lookie loos from peering in.
A HUGE bonus for someone like me who often sleeps in their car on camping trips is that the shade is the perfect mosquito net! I used to finagle with magnets and DIY screens, but this simple product is a true game changer.
Other fun features include three pockets on each side to store gear like a dog bowl and leash. The shade can be rolled down and tucked away when not in use.
Splash Free Wander Dog Water Bowl
I always, always, always keep water in the car for post-adventure thirst quenching. The Splash Free Wander bowl lets me leave any amount Sitka doesn’t finish and I don’t have to worry about it spilling everywhere.
The sides of the bowl are high and bend inward, so spillage is minimal, if at all. I also love that it means that I keep the bowl in my car all the time and have one any time I need it.
I try to always get Sitka to poop in the parking lot before we start a trail run or head out for our hike, and while I could toss it onto my windshield, I’m not the biggest fan of coming back to baked dog shit. Plus, I often forget it’s there and have to stop the car and remove it.
The Kurgo Tailgate Dumpster is a clever device that secures to the back or side of your car with magnets and holds your dog’s poo in a safe and stink-free spot until you return and keeps your car from filling up with that dog poop tree air freshener smell. No one wants that.
On more than one occasion (ok, ok, on several occasions), I’ve forgotten to remove my Tailgate Dumpster from my car and drove home to find it still stuck in place to my car. This includes driving over bumpy dirt roads.
Mud Dog Travel Shower
Another little genius device from Kurgo is this handy dandy shower adapter that connects to any soda or water bottle.
Just keep a full bottle of water in the car and before your dog hops back in to christen the car with muddy paws, rinse them off with the Mud Dog Travel Shower.
For camping, the more deluxe Go Shower is an absolute necessity. I use it for myself! If you fill it up, then leave the bladder in the sun, then you have warm water when you return from your hike or trail run.
The 6-liter capacity shower includes a hook to hang from your car or a tree branch, and a valve that closes to reduce water waste. The ability to hang the shower means that you can use both hands to wash your dog when necessary.
This seemingly insignificant tool is one of the most important pieces of dog gear that I own to help keep my car clean. No matter how many times I vacumm over certain spots and scrape with the tip of the hose, there are just some dog hairs that refuse to come out.
Enter the Shed Sweeper.
This handy device scrapes up the hair that get stuck on seats and in the carpet into a tidy little pile that you can suck up with the vacuum.
I always keep a couple towels in the car to clean off muddy paws or entire dog bodies if I forgot to fill my water bottle for the Travel Shower. This way, when I have to bring one in to toss in the wash, I still have the second one as a backup, just don’t forget to replace the dirty one before the second towel gets dirty!
I love Goodwill for buying dog towels. They’re usually $1, so I can purchase several to have on hand in different locations. During the winter months, I can go through one per day, depending on how wet it is!