Keeping the Car Clean After a Muddy Hike

Keeping the Car Clean After a Muddy Hike

Posted by Jen Sotolongo on 12th April 2018

Ah spring, the season we wait so long to
arrive – only to remember that all those beautiful flowers are blooming thanks
to an abundance of rain. Rain, of course, for those of us who get outdoors on a
regular basis, means mud. Lots and lots of mud.

While it’s fun to play in the mud, dogs tend
to gravitate toward the dirtiest spots they can find. Instead of shying away
from dirty situations, embrace the rain and muck and head out prepared! To
reduce the amount of mess that gets in our cars on the way home, follow these
tips and gear recommendations.

A Quick
Paw Wash

Keep that empty water or soda bottle and
recycle it to act as a shower for your pup’s muddy paws using the Mud Dog Travel Shower! This is ingenious and
also works great for a quick human camp shower when necessary, as well. One or
two-liter bottles are best since it can take a bit of water to rinse off sticky
mud.

Tip: Try and leave the bottle in a sunny spot
in the car so that it’s warm when you arrive.

Wipe
off Excess Mud

Keep a clean towel in the car every time you
head out for a hike. You never know when the weather will change or when you’ll
encounter a lake, river, or muddy pond that invites your pup for a dip.

The towel will dry off your dog’s fur after
using the travel shower and also wipe off any additional mud that the shower
couldn’t reach or missed. Highly absorbent towels like the Mud Dog Travel Towel are best because they
soak up a lot of water and dry quickly, making them great for multi-day or
backpacking trips.

Shake
it Off

After rinsing and drying off the mud and
water, walk your dog around for a minute or two (if there is a clean place in
the parking lot) to try and get them to shake off the excess water from their
fur. Otherwise, the inevitable will happen: They’ll do it right after hopping
into the car and spray mud everywhere, creating more clean up work for you.

Protect
the Car Seats and Trunk

It’s likely that some muddy spots will go
missed, getting mud all over the back seat or trunk area, in spite of your best
efforts. The best way to avoid a messy car is to use a waterproof and
stain-resistant car seat cover or cargo cover. These fit a variety
of different-sized vehicles and the numerous straps help keep everything in
place. They minimize dirt and mud sticking to the seat or back, not to mention
warding off all that dog hair that seems to find its way into every crevice.

Bonus: These covers can be tossed into the
washing machine and air dried for easy cleaning.

Mud-Resistant
Gear

When was the last time you washed your dog’s
collar? Never? A year ago? It’s not often something we think about, but collars
get super dirty from the oils in our dogs’ fur and also from all the play they
do in dirty areas. The Muck Collar is not only fashionable, but it
can be easily cleaned with the swipe of a sponge to look shiny and clean again.
Made from waterproof and stink-free materials, none of that mud or dirt will
stick to or become absorbed into this collar.

Rubber
Mats

If your pup is dirty, it’s likely that your
shoes are as well! Consider purchasing rubber floor mats for your car for
easier cleaning from those muddy paws and shoes. A simple shake once the mud
and water has dried and they’re ready for the next muddy adventure.

A little advanced planning and preparation
will help maintain clean car after muddy jaunts on the trail together.

Jen Sotolongo is a writer and photographer and runs Long Haul Trekkers, a blog about independent, responsible travel with a pet. Over the past 1.5 years, she and her partner have taken their dog, Sora on a cycle tour spanning across Europe and South America, proving that adventures can include your dog, no matter where in the world they may be.

Need some inspiration on where to hike with your dog? Check out our Hiking Guides by State.

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