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How to Keep Your Car Clean on a Dog Beach Trip!

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One of our favorite things to do with our dogs in the summer is to take a beach trip with them. We all know, though, that sandy paws (not to mention fur) means a lot of sand in the car. After a lot of trial and error, we’ve come up with easy ways to keep our car clean at the beach–and make plenty of fun memories with our dogs at the same time!

How to keep your car clean on dog
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Keep the car interior covered.

Through the years, we’ve used two great cargo covers:

Kurgo Cargo Cape

  • Kurgo Cargo Cape covers the back cargo section where our dogs sit. The waterproof  liner is also textured; we really appreciated that fact on this trip since we’re very careful to make sure that Irie walks on non-slip surfaces as she continues to recover from her surgery. The liner has a flap that folds down so we just swept out the sand at the end of each day! If your dog sits in the back seat, Kurgo also makes several kinds of seat covers (which also keep the floor clean!)

Plush Paws Waterproof Cargo Liner

Plush Paws Waterproof Cargo Liner
  • Plush Paws Waterproof Cargo Liner is great for cars like ours where dogs jump up into the back section. This quilted design–that’s machine washable–features a bumper flap and is covered by a DuraLifetime Warranty. Its silicone backing keeps the liner firmly in place when your dog hops into the car or moves around during your trip. Along with the Plush Paws Waterproof Cargo Liner, the company also makes the Plush Paws Pet Seat Cover for protecting your back seat from fur, muddy paw prints and drool.

Trim your dog’s paw fur.

Although it’s not an issue with Irie, Tiki has a LOT of fur between her paw pads, places that can grab and hold a tremendous amount of sand.

We trimmed the fur between her pads before our beach trip, which helped with cleanup.

Let your dog dry before returning to the car.

Let you dog dry BEFORE jumping back in the car; much of the sand will come out of the fur on its own.

Carry an old towel.

Before the dogs entered the car each trip, we toweled them off to remove any remaining dry sand.

Watch for tar balls.

Tar balls, created by seepage from the ocean floor, wash ashore on the Texas coastline now and then; they weren’t a problem on this trip.

Baby oil can be used to remove any tar from your dog’s paw if he should step in a tar ball.

Our Experience Keeping Our Car Clean at the Beach

This week, we’ve been traveling with Irie and Tiki to Port Aransas, Texas. We’d planned to take our trip right after Labor Day (prices make a big drop right after the holiday) but, due to Irie’s ACL surgery, we rescheduled our trip for this week. With all the worry concerning Irie’s surgery and rehabilitation these past 10 weeks, it was extra special to watch her enjoying the beach which, for Irie, involves a LOT of rolling in the sand…


…and playing in the surf…


…until she’s a VERY dirty dog…


Beach getaways can be great fun with your dog–and they don’t have to be a disaster for your car!

Paris Permenter
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