NO Dogs ALLOWED in the car

From: Dr Andrew Jones
Author: Veterinary Secrets Revealed

Re: She WON’T let ‘the dog’ in the car..


Hello faithful subscribers, and a happy Wednesday to you all.

As you all may know, I am currently visiting my In-Laws in Nova Scotia.

They are wonderful people, and pretty easy to live with.

But they have one NEW issue which is driving me a little crazy, and I am wondering what some of you may think of it.


They recently bought a NEW car.


Good on Gas

It smells NEW

and NO Dog Hair.

The NEW rule

My Mother-In-Law has decided that she doesn’t want the dog to EVER be in the car.

LIKE no dog ever.

It sucks for their dog Mackie.

And for her husband. He used to take Mackie for big walks at various parks.

What the %%%#########***@@@####?

SO my opinion is that this is a CRAZY ‘rule’ – This is one thing that I would NEVER agree to, and I am not one to get into In-Law marital therapy.

In fact my blood boils a little, and I don’t come over sounding too sane.

I would love to hear your ideas on How to get Mackie back in the car.

Post to your hearts content (click the comments link below)…


P.S. I just DON’T get some stuff and how that would EVER seem reasonable. That really isn’t a great quality of life for any dog, if all you do is hang around the house eating and sleeping.

Kind of like jail.

Any ideas to break Mackie out of jail?

Share them here – click the Comments link at the end of this article!

It’s Your Pet…Heal Them At Home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

117 thoughts on “NO Dogs ALLOWED in the car”

  1. My husband says the same thing about his truck, no dogs. Well, my SUV is a dog mobile, they are always with me. As far as I am concerned, and I told him, no husbands in my SUV. End of discussion.

  2. I think that your father in law should speak seriously with his wife and convince her !!
    if she stuck to her opinion he should threaten her by selling the new car !!!
    we dont breed pets only for our comfort ..
    their rights and comfort should take its place too..

  3. no offence meant, but some people are lucky they have nothing else to worry about, than making petty rules. im sure the lady in question is very nice but…if she only had 6 months to live…i think her way of looking at this, would be very different.

  4. There are a LOT of products on the market for car protection – car seats for small dogs, seat covers and things of that nature for larger dogs. Of course I think it’s not reasonable to say no dogs in the car as I regularly take all four of mine in my new car on a regular basis. They each have a car seat to ride in – good protection for them and me as well as keeping the car neat and clean.
    I say that rule is not a solution to keeping that New Car Smell alive!

  5. Well whose car is it? Who paid for it? If father-in-law did then he rules the roost and Mackie can be taken wherever. Perhaps Mom-in-law should be left at home for a couple of weeks, never taken out and about and see how she enjoys it…..
    Alternatively, there are blankets, rugs, plastic seat liners which can be used to protect the car from dog hair etc.
    Hope she changes her mind!!

  6. Never say never… I would let the newness wear off and I would purchase a pet porter to trasport Mackie in and maybe put a Dixie kennel cover on the porta-kennel. Mud River makes a great product that keeps the dog(hair) in the kennel. Otherwise a backseat hammock or canine cover would also protect the investment(car) from Dog hair and dog while still allowing Mackie his freedom.

  7. Trade in the wife for another car to take the dog to the dog parks and let him walk.

    Love Me, Love My Dog.

  8. Can’t believe this. I bought my van just for the dogs. Anyway, put a slip cover over the seat for the dog – should take care of any hairs. Come on now – animals are family, at least in my house they are. Tell father-in-law to put his foot down.

  9. Why doesn’t she get a doggie car seat. Depending on Mackie’s breed and size they can be found all over the internet in diffrent styles. They could make up the rule that if Mackie is a sheader, that sweet hubby usesbrush before the ride and a sticky roller on the seats after Mackie has been in the car.

  10. Hello Andrew I have 4 dogs every time I go out in the car at least 1 dog comes with me why? apart from the company, they are more of a deterent than any electronic car alarm (people usually ignore them anyway )car thieves opportunity thieves (smash window to grab purse/camera/whatever left on the seats )a dog in the car will put these people off.

    A new car! its metal,rubber and upholstery after a few months it is just another immaterial possession your dog who loves you unconditionally deserves to be treated as such.

    Best Wishes Andrew Frank in the U.K.

  11. Put Mackie in the car and go…. Why would you be ruled by someone…. Mackie apparently rode in the old car…so Mackie should ride in the new car….

  12. Once the newness wears off, Mackie will be back in the car….however, I don’t see why she can’t put a blanket on the seat….I think the husband should put his foot down…let her know that if he can’t take Mackie to the park anymore, then it now becomes her responsibility to take him for walks otherwise how will he get rid of all that pent up energy? (running around the house maybe)….OR the husband should tell her he’s going to buy a vehicle just for him and the dog…that’ll get her going!!!…who wears the pants in this house anyway?….

  13. Your father-in-law should offer to get Mackie groomed each week or offer to bathe and groom him each week. There are load of doggie products available that cover car seats. He could also offer to launder the cover each week and also be willing to clean and vacuum the vehicle after each car ride if necessary. If Mackie is secured with a car harness and seat belt specifically made for dogs, he would not “roam” the car and spread fur (and maybe slobber) anywhere but his area, so clean up would be pretty easy. Then he needs to follow through so his wife knows he is serious with taking care of Mackie’s happiness and hers as well. Perhaps he could also offer to take over doing a chore that she normally does, but hates? Nothing says love like “here, let me do that for you, I don’t mind at all.”

  14. Hello,

    I think this is outrageous and selfish….that’s why we clean out our cars. Dog hair on the seat and dog slobber stains on the window are not permanent. And there are nifty seat protectors you can buy for very little money, really. They are contoured blankets/covers that fit in the back seat and protect the upholstery, I’m sure you’ve seen them if you don’t already use them for your dog. Is this such a big deal? Maybe if you purchase one for your Mother-in-Law she will agree to letting the dog in the car. Drs. Foster and Smith have a great line of them — and if she doesn’t agree to it, well…it’s just plain selfish. I do hope your poor Father-in-Law gets the right to drive his dog in the car that is half-his. Then again, maybe he needs to get a used car for the dog and him. It’s terrible to put it in those terms, but when people are inflexible it leads to the “hers and his” line of thinking. It also explains where your wife got her ideas about dogs….it really does run in families. Good luck with this issue — it would boil my blood to have to deal with it.

  15. You (or maybe someone else!!)could point out to your mother-in-law that her hubby’s going to be under her feet a lot more often,if he doesn’t get to take Mackie out to the parks like he used to!
    And good seat covers for the car!!!

  16. I recently bought a terrific back seat cover for my SUV that is waterproof and slick enough NOT to accumulate hair……which if used along with a doggie seat belt would keep Mackie right where they want him……. that and a little Oust, should do the trick.

  17. I read a lot of stuff these days that they are tightening laws on dogs in cars and some states are going to require some kind of restraint. I don’t do this personally (yet) but some experts are recommending you crate your dogs in the backseat (as the front seat if the airbag deploys could be dangerous.) Could that be an option? I don’t see how having the crate in the car would cause that much mess.

    I do agree it’s crazy though. That poor dog. In the end is the new car more valuable than an animal that loves you unconditionally?

  18. I, too, bought a new car and don’t want my dogs in it. BUT, I kept my old car so they could still go bye-bye. It is all I use it for.

    As far as your mother-in-law, I am sure as time goes on and the new car breaks in, Mackie will be allowed to ride in it. He just needs to be patient. First with a blanket on the seat…

  19. I have a 8 years black lab and a brand new camry,the dog loves car rides and going to the lake—let him ride in the car—no question, the answer is YES! I have an old blanket, cover the back seat and off we go, if the seat gets dirt from the dog, wipe it off, clean off the dog hair, Let the dog enjoy the car with the rest of the family, the car will get old regardless.

  20. Hi Andrew,
    I fully agree with you! I am not sure how big her new car is but over here in Sweden we tend to use dog crates – in the boot or back of the estate cars – as this is the safest way for a dog or pet to travel. It also means that however dirty, wet or smelly the dog gets while out on his walk, it stays within the dog crate and does not go anywhere in else in the car. It has also been proven that it saves the pets lives shoild they be involved in a crash, so it really does make a big difference to travelling with animals.
    Hope this helps.
    Vips – owner of two german sheppards, 3 persian cat ladies and two lion rabbits:)

  21. You are to darn funny!!!
    Maybe “Mom-in-law” would agree for Mackie to be transported in a vari kennel or a fold up nylon kennel. That way the hair and dirt etc would stay contained. Mackie SHOULD be in a kennel anyway, for her safety.

    LOVE your newsletters. They always make me smile in the morning!


  22. I have four small dogs and am quite fussy about my car too BUT I have a ‘pet car rug’ which attaches to the back seat and back of back seat. GREAT!!! NO HAIR!!!!

  23. Oh, man. Is there anything that a few towels and/or waterproof materials (such as tarpaulin) can’t handle?

    For 13 wonderful years, I had a 101-lb (no, he was not overweight) Golden Retriever who got car-sick every single time he was in a car. No kidding. Yes, I asked several vets what to do, but none of the techniques worked. He genuinely suffered from motion sickness. There was nothing emotional about it. In any case, I had just started seeing the man in my life and he had just gotten a new car. Now, this man (whom I’ll call H)is obsessive about his cars. The way some people groom their pets, that’s the way H grooms his cars. I’m not exaggerating. H also had a place in the country which was about an hour away from his house and an extra half-hour from mine. H wanted to spend every weekend there. You see where I’m headed. That was way too long for Bailey to be in a car. Even with gravol, which I hated to give him, but had to do, sometimes. Now, H may love his cars, but he also loves animals, so the compromise was this: we covered the back seat of the car and the floor with plastic tarpaulin — the stuff you use for painting. Then we covered the tarpaulin with towels, so Bailey would be comfortable. We did stop along the way and let Bailey recover but, sometimes, there was just no way to prevent him from getting sick. But, the towels and the tarpaulin (and lots of bags and paper towels, etc.) did the trick. Believe it or not, we got used to all of this. H used to call Bailey “Goobs” because he drooled so much. So, we referred to all the equipment necessary to transport Bailey as “Goobware.” The Goobware (and, yes, a lot of vacuuming) made it possible. And, I’m pretty convinced that H went to all that trouble because he knew that I wouldn’t spend those weekends with him without Bailey. Now, I’m not suggesting threatening, per se, but your father-in-law should assert his right to have his companion with him (while agreeing to do the cleaning). After all, dirt can be removed, hair can be vacuumed, but shiny and new cannot replace love and companionship. Cars depreciate but companions never do!

  24. I see both sides of the fence here. It’s a new car, and I can understand wanting to preserve as much as the new-ness as one can. That being said, Mackie is a MEMBER OF THE FAMILY!!!! Would she not allow FAMILY to ride in the car?!?!

    There are plenty of things you can do to protect/prepare the inside of your vehicle when your pet needs to ride with you.

    Travel Taxi’s (travel kennels) are wonderful! There are also special harnesses that mimick a carseat which also means your family pet is buckled up for safety, depending on his size! You can also place a towel/blanket on the seats of the car to prevent the dogs nails from puncturing the seats, as well as a lot of dog hair from going everywhere…Also, if the dog smells, that’s a pretty good indication that he needs a bath. Until that happens, never underestimate the power of Ozium!

    I have leather seats in my car, and I also have an English Mastiff and a 4 1/2 year old little boy. We had a Neo/Bull Mastiff that was 135 lbs before him! I prefer for our Mastiffs to ride in the truck whenever possible, but when it doesn’t work out that way I have to do the best I can to protect my car AND still be Mommy to my babies! –That’s just part of having a family, IMO.

    Honestly, she needs to keep in mind that she is a dog owner (whether “the dog” is “hers” or not), and as a responsible dog owner, she needs to accept that sometimes “the dog” needs transportation, end of story.

  25. Sounds very familiar. Iโ€™ve been a Realtor in NC for almost 25 years. The car I take people to look at houses in has never had a dog or car in it. From pet allergies to cleaning time beweeen, this is our choice. Sometimes my customers bring their animals along so this becomes an issue then. However most times when I must take children, car seats, etc I would rather have pets. We have four dogs, two cats and foster animals. I recommend people take focus time and leave the pets and children with sitters or home. Weโ€™ve had as many as 11 at one time in our pack. However we solved this delima with having a second vehicle. At present it is a used SUV with crates. We slso shuttle other neighbors animals to the vet when needed, especially for the elderly and disabled. The second vehicle can be an old clunker as long as it is reliable enough not to leave you and your pets stranded. If possible walk the dogs locally or invest in a โ€œdog mobileโ€. Everyone will live happily ever after.

  26. At age 65, I have my very first, brand new car. It’s a hybrid and small compared to the van I traded-in. Yesterday, I had to take our 6 yr old, 6 pound yorkie in to be rechecked, after the Vet found enlarged lymph nodes when he extracted 3 infected teeth. He was put on an antibiotic for 10 days before I took him back yesterday. The nodes were as lg as before. A needle biopsy revealed 75% large cells/cancer and 25% normal appearing cells. Simba rode to and from the Clinic with his seatbelt on in the back seat (an airbag deployment would kill him in the front). If I had to chose between my Simba and my first-ever new car…………there’s no question. Simba is way better than any THING. Perhaps your in-laws need to get their priorities in order. I wonder how they’d feel if they’d just gotten this type of news?

  27. No Dogs Allowed??? Sounds like my sister-in-law, Cathy. My brother had a beautiful little Eskimo Spitz who he loved very much when he married Cathy. She tolerated the dog for a very short time, but I noticed that every time my brother would pet the dog, she would become insanely jealous and call him away to attend to something for her. Suddenly she developed a deathly “allergy” to the dog and my brother had to get rid of it. My mother, who lived with us, took the dog. We hd 2 of our own at the time, so we ended up with 3 dogs. (Funny, Cathy seems to manage just fine when she visits her daughter who has always had a dog.)

    Here’s a couple of ideas.
    1. What if one of your kids were to “accidentally” spill, say a milkshake or an ice-cream sundae with caramel topping, all over the NEW CAR! Quite a mess…….could ruin that ‘new’ feeling, eh? Maybe a dog wouldn’t be so bad.
    2. Tell her that having a dog in the car is better protection for her, since it would discourage criminals.

    I don’t understand why some people are more concerned about making a show of their possessions than about making their ‘loved ones’ happy. Sounds a bit selfish to me.

    Take care, and have a good day!


  28. It’s hard comprehend this. There will be many more cars but only pet. If the pet is clean enough to come in the house it is clean enough to get in the car, so just throw a blanket or some sort of cover on the seats…It isn’t going to live in the car. (Our Yorkie has a water bowl, and food dish on the seat beside her heated bed. So, you have see my point of view. Best of luck in taking care of the problem..

  29. Sorry if this comes off a bit sexist, but unless your mother-in-law purchased the car with funds she had outside the marriage, it would seem that at least half that new car belongs to your father-in-law and therefore, he has a much right to decide who/what rides in it as she does. Assuming that Mackie is bathed regularly and doesn’t harbor a “dirty dog” smell, he shouldn’t be penalized either. There are numerous types of blankets made to cover automobile seats that can be purchased to make sure Mackie isn’t in direct contact with the new upholstery. It’s only a car for Pete’s sake; Mackie is a member of the family.

  30. I agree with Dr Andrew that not allowing your dog in your car is like keeping them a prisoner at home. You should not do this to a family member. I consider my dogs as part of the family and I do not keep any family member out of my car no matter how new it is. If your mother in law must do something then cover the seat the dog will be on with a blanket that can then be taken out of the car and washed for the next use.

  31. While I understand not wanting dog hair all over the new car, there are lots of ways to have the best of both worlds. Pack a lint brush, some Febreeze and grab a blanket, spread it over the back seat and let Mackie hang out and be a part of the family. She needs to be out and about and not cooped up in the house sleeping all the time. I hope the rest of your vacation goes smooth. It sounds like everyday is a new challenge! Keep up the great work!!!

  32. Get rid of the Mother-in-law – keep the dog – that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of – NOT allowing the dog in the car! I have 4 dogs and I take them “bye-byes” every day .. they RUN to the car and jump in whenever I tell them we’re going. Your Father-in-law needs to stand up to the Mother-in-law and tell her the the dog IS going in the car and if she doesn’t like it – she can walk! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. hi Andrew i feel so sorry for Mackie tell your in law to put a sheet over the sit at the back and that is not a problem no hairs on seat and tell this in law to come down to earth. its only a car its just 4 wheels my dog gem goes in both our cars and she is a jack Russell lots of hair i just clean the cars out and i am 74 no problem because my dog is my family pat

  34. Tell you father-in-law that all he needs to do is spill something in the new car that is worse than “dog hair”. That will take the “NEW” out of the car and the mother-in-law won’t be so picky about the dog riding in the car. This will work, as my husband did it to me….

  35. This would definitely be a ‘love me, love my dog’ time to lay down the law if I were your father-in-law! haha Of course there are compromises like does he have another vehicle he could take the dog to the park in and if not he could cover the back seat and promise to keep the car vacuumed out. But to me she should not expect to change the rules everyone has lived with until now! That’s not fair in any aspect of marriage!

  36. Gift certificate to a full service car wash? A second car for dad and dogs? My wife needs her car for business but isn’t against having our dogs in it. She and the carwash people are on a first name basis. When I show up with my Jeep the word is passed quickly, “The furmobile is here”. They try to hide. Good luck, and remember, women sometimes change their minds.

  37. I think they should have 2 cars. If Mrs.wants her way with THEIR car, then Mr. should have a car to put the family dog in to go places they love. I always buy my new cars with leather interior so there are no worries. I still keep a blanket in back for them to sit on.


    Their wires are shorting out…

    seems like their material world is more important than the live world around them…
    guess they did not find out yet that cars, homes etc do not give to a person ..they only take ..
    It is Nice to have a new car a new house..but hese are just things they can be cleaned modified and what have u…u can even buy fragrance **NEW CAR **smell..
    Time for a priority check for these people…


  39. I use a seat cover or blanket in my van. Your father-in-law could also suggest he’ll vacuum his wife’s vehicle if that will help. Or better yet, use his own vehicle to keep the peace. I don’t agree with his wife, but he has to live with her!

  40. How can anyone love an object more than a loving pet? This woman should seriously give her head a shake. If she is this irrational and won’t let a “family” member – and that’s what Mackie is – in the car, I suggest dad get a small used car and let a “selfish” mom have her precious new car. She is being very childish and inconsiderate. Besides, the car already depreciated by several thousand $$ when they drove it off the lot!

  41. What happens when Mackie needs a trip to the vet?
    Has she thought about that, or does the vet make house calls?

  42. My husband used to be like that – nothing in the car – but he grew to love the “girlies” and realized that they enjoyed going for rides – especially when we would go to the Mountains when it snowed. We would always take my car, but now my husband doesn’t have a problems using his car! My reasoning has always been that people shed hair and other unmentionable stuff and that is part of life, otherwise, life would be pretty boring! Pray that she open her heart!

  43. he needs to stop being pussy whipped.
    the car is half his, isn’t it? get her to buy him out of his half and use the money to get another car he can take the dog in. also,build the woman a new dog house outside, and tell her to stay in it and be excluded from the family and see how she likes it.
    or get a divorce and remarry someone else who is FUN.

  44. First of all, I can’t IMAGINE a feeling person choosing car over the health and happiness of their beloved dog. But then, maybe the dog was more “his” idea. My hubby is a professional keyboardist and keeps the heavy instruments in his van. Dog hair not a good component. So I have my “beach dog car” generally full of sand and dog hair, perhaps a bit smelly ( though I do have a mesh bag of volcanic rock that seems to absorb most of the odor.)It often looks rather “real” with sand, toys,doggie coats, blankies, and water bowl, but I think it is a great break-in deterrent when I parked in remote areasand out playing with the dogs. One look and the bad guy says “No way.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    We are happy and my sweetheart doesn’t grumble about the fur… in the house either! He’s a keeper.

    Maybe a second, “doggie” car is the answer for your folks?

  45. Sorry- I would NEVER be with someone like this! What if the dog has to go to the vet? What if they move? will they just leave the dog in the back yard to die? I just can’t imagine this kind of attitude. I sure hope they have another car.

    as has been noted- there are a lot of products to protect cars!

    Since there is already a dog there- this suggestion is not as useful but for future dog selections I would tell them to consider one of the non-shedding breeds like a Poodle- but they would have to realize all the non-shedders also need a lot of grooming.

    Personally I think people like this should marry other people like this. one of my requirements when I was dating was that he like dogs and pets in general. He is not as into pets as I am but he does love them and even is fine with them in our bed! I consider myself lucky (or rather SMART because I would never have considered a relationship with someone that didn’t want to LIVE with our pets.

  46. The car will eventually get “christined” one way or the other. She should get over it, allow her husband and the dog to enjoy the same quality of life they used to have, and stop being so materialistic, as well as selfish. Love her husband and dog more than an inanimate object.

  47. Dr. Dr. Jones,

    I just recently began reading your articles and I am ‘thrilled’ to hear you use “natural” remedies.

    I also read this mornings message about Mackie not being able to ride in your mother-in-laws car. My mother-in-law too, had an issue with ‘any’ dog in her Crown Vic.

    Well, one day, our dog Odie (Jack Russell) who just LOVES to ride, jumped in her car without her noticing when she had opened her drivers side door and was ‘standing’ talking.

    By the time she was finished talking, she climbed in Odie poked his head between the arm rest as if to say, “Okay, I’m ready, lets go!”

    She screamed and didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t get him out of the car. She had to drive him to her house in order for him to get out. Hahahaha. Well, needless to say, Odie had a very special place in her heart and she never hesitated giving him a ride again.

    I also want to make a suggestion to you if I may. As a professional person dealing with the public, I do not find the word “suck” or %#$% (in place of cuss words), necessary to get one’s point across. I don’t believe your lack of words in our vocabulary the case.


    Dorene, farmer

  48. My son has a chocolate lab who I like to take in my car occasionally. Lately I’ve brought him down to the ocean where he can go in the water to cool off. Needless to say, it stirs up some dirt. No big deal – I have a folded flannel sheet that I fold up and place in the back seat for Riley to sit on. He’s happy and I’m happy. The sheet gets washed as needed and the car stays relatively clean.

  49. This is ridiculour, has she ever heard of brushes, blankets,kennels?? Last week, it was her daughter, your wife!. I guess it runs in the family.


  51. You know they have those Coverletts now for the seats in the car, they even make them so that they cover a whole back seat section, it’s made to attract the dog hair to keep it from flying all over the car and is easily removable and can be washed… this should solve the dog issue. this way the dog doesn’t lay 1 paw onto the new surface of the vehicle. ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Years ago my then husband bought me a car for my birthday. He said the same thing- no dogs in the car, ever. Well, he gave the car to me, so that rule lasted exactly until the next time Opus and/or Wouffie was going with me – maybe a couple of days. The thing is, are we living with our pets or are they an accessory we use when it is convenient? They have feelings and wants, too, and in my house all members of the household have a right to an opinion and having it considered. And I have a vaccuum cleaner that does an adequate job of cleaning up dog hair in the car and elsewhere in my world. Generally my dogs ride in the back seat and we ride in the front, so there is a sheet (color co-ordinated with the car) on the back seat which can be shaken out and washed as often as needed. Come on, lady – get outside yourself for a minute and see how much dogs contribute to your life and health every minute, then give something back!

  53. How about doggie boots so Mackie cannot scratch anything and as a double precaution, a seat cover/throw.

    How will they get the dog to the vet if you are not around and there is an emergency?

    Good luck.

  54. My husband felt the same way but even worse. He didn’t want a dog in the house, let alone the car. After years of arguing I finally just came home with a puppy one day. Now she’s part of the family, travels in the car and he loves her too. He just washes his hands every time he touches her.

    Sometimes you just have to do the right thing and in a marriage, compromises need to be made. For one person to suddenly change “the rules” is not right. Cars are just a necessary piece of metal, cloth and plastic to get us from point A to point B. A dog on the other hand has feelings (and the husband too) and is vastly more important.

    Another point though that no one brought up: I would not want to take a dog into a new car since they are full of toxic fumes. Did you know you’re supposed to drive with the windows open for 6 months to not inhale all the toxins that are off-gassing? I’d definitely be using a blanket to avoid the new car toxins from being absorbed through the paws and inhaled through the lungs.

    One more thing to hasten the process is to use Air Sponge in the car (put it in your new house too!). It will absorb the toxic gases and get rid of that obnoxious new car smell and beyond that it will also absorb any dog odors. Great for painting and smelly food and stuff like that too. You can get it in most hardware stores or in Walmart (in the air freshener toxic aisle–hold your breath if you venture there!).

    You said the inlaws are great people normally so I’m assuming this isn’t related to some kind of power struggle between them, and really is an issue about the clean car. Sometimes people use silly things to create big arguments and it’s not even the real issue. My husband has real issues with cleanliness and is rather OCD thanks to his upbringing but it doesn’t sound like this is the case here. Hope they work it out!

  55. As a four-legged canine myself, I fully realize the huge problem shedding represents. I HATE shedding myself and finding my hair all over the place.

    Having said that, I think your mother-in-law is not thinking this through very clearly.

    You see, Mackie is not the only one who sheds: so do your father- and mother-in-law, their children, grandchildren, etc.

    So in order to keep this new car in pristine condition, which seems to be the point of the exercise, NO ONE should be allowed in the car.

    Furthermore, I recommend keeping the new car in the garage which should also be sealed to prevent access to dust, mites, etc.

    Only then will she have the problem licked!

  56. I would just get one of those plastic couch covers & put it on the back set for the dog to sit on. Also, they make dog seat belts for car rides now. He’d have to stay in one place because of being belted in, but its safer, & he can’t go all over the car. Alot of pet stores sell them, its a good investment if he wants to take his dog for rides. also, he can put a special blankent or something under him where he is seat belted in. Maybe this will work for them.

  57. Why not purchase an inexpensive vehicle just for Mackie? When we purchased our new vehicles, we kept an older minivan just for our four Great Pyrenees. It was paid for and the insurance only costs $300 a year. OR, put blankets in the car and wash them after taking Mackie for an outing.

  58. I certainly got a chuckle reading all of these. It makes me feel good to know I am not the only one who puts my dogs first. The new-car will wear off eventually, I suspect they have a second auto. If not, a used car would be the thing and then just use it to go anywhere with Mackie. I especially liked the one comment about leaving the Mrs at home and not allowing her in the new car either…..her perfume might stink it I can’t imagine being that stuck on a vehicle that my pups couldn’t go with me. By the way I have 4 rescue pups…2 Goldens and 2 Pomeranians….I also have white furniture….Dog hair is a part of life. I recently lost a Golden to a heart tumor….I would give anything to be picking up his dog hair again….Bless you. I enjoy your daily newsletters.

  59. Hey Mackie,

    Go roll in the mud, get yourself all dirty, then jump right into the car. That way, the car is no longer clean and there’s no reason to keep you out!

    Good luck!

  60. how does your mother outlaw feel about transporting mackie to the vet,when necessary? is the sick dog supposed to walk to the dr.?we are a 2 car family,one is newish,good on gas and the boyz(our 3 dogs)don’t ride in it much,we don’t have a “rule” about it,it’s just easier to take them in their own vehicle.not kidding,they have their own’s an old beater,with a canopy on the back,cheap to run and insure and the boyz are very comfortable on their outings.i think that if you are going to have a dog,you have a responsibility to give them the best life you possibly can.this does not include condemming them to sped their entire lifespan at home…needless to say,her rule peeves me off royally.
    i have been reading your newsletter for quite a while now and find it to be informative and sometimes very moving…this is the first time,however that i have been moved to heart goes out to mackie who,if this woman has her way,will never get to carsurf again.

  61. They could examine the psychology of the marriage, and/or get a 2nd junker car. I got my car for $100 and it ran for a year without issue before I had to do any maintenance or repair work on it. A junker car may be cheaper than a marriage counselor or a shrink.

  62. Dear Dr Andrew,
    How sad, I really HATE seeing pets come up as second-best in their own household. It’s obvious your MIL is a shallow person who cares more for THINGS than she does her own poor dog which is supposed to be a loved family member! There’s absolutely NO reason at all that a washable throw or comforter cannot be placed over her car’s interior so that no doggie parts ‘contaminate or soil’ her precious upholstery!
    Grrrrrr….people like that don’t deserve to even have a pet IMHO! Let her try getting unconditional love from her car!!!

  63. While I can understand your mother-in-law’s point of view (it sucks to get in the car win good clothes and get dog hair all over them when going out someplace really nice), I think she’s going too far. There are things that can be done so that everyone, including the dog can enjoy the car. (1) The dog could be crated in the car. This would not only keep dog hair off the seats, it would be safest for the dog. (2) They could buy some type seat protector or throw (LL Bean, PetEdge, etc. sell several different ones. (3) and if the dog isn’t crated she should be wearing a harness that attaches to the seatbelt (or be strapped in a doggy carseat) for his/her safety anyway. So there’s yet another way to keep dog hair off the seats. And, finally, (4). your father-in-law could agree to vacuum out the car after each outting.

  64. That new car smell is not good for the dog or for you
    so once the novelty has worn off & the smell… the first ding etc the dog will be allowed … perhaps use his kennel or cover the seat with plastic etc… maybe a blessing in disguise since the off gasing is toxic.

  65. Hmmmm…few comments..
    1) To all those macho types…well, when people are married (unless there is an agreement otherwise) his money IS THEIR money just as her money is THEIR money…it doesn’t matter who paid for the car. The idea is for ALL of God’s creatures to live together in harmony, that includes humans and animals….
    2) Nice to see another “Annette” on the forum.
    Also cute name for her dog, Simba. I had a cat named Kimba years and years ago. Felt as she does…life always is the most important choice..esp. when we are talking about the life of one of our dearest friends. Interesting similarities in our attitudes and pets names.
    3) The NEWNESS will wear off. People OFTEN say when they get a new car…NO ONE will EVER eat/drink/wear muddy shoes/wet bathing suit,etc
    in THIS car….1 ding in the shopping center and
    all bets are off. That doesn’t mean they don’t love their children or other family members…it
    just means they are being temporarily nearsighted.
    4) Dr.Andy….this sounds like a perfect opportunity for you to have some long discussions
    with this woman’s daughter (your wife). It’s a way to discuss and air differences without it being quite so personal as it is when discussing your OWN home/property. You’ll hear each other better.
    5) I would not let your MIL care for that animal’s walks and welfare…now that would be JAILtime for the poor pup. But it would not hurt
    to have her husband ask her what she is willing to give UP so they can buy a cargo tow or whatever they are called…or a very good cage-which is safer for the animal anyway. Let her take
    responsiblity for compromising to get her way and she will be happier with the solution. When she thinks she can have her way without consequences… well, you end up with a tyrant.

    They make grates that keep the animals in the back
    of the car, as well as great cages,etc which are
    quite safe.

    Again, Dr. Andy, you need to recognize your wife was raised with these values and they have had an impact on her. NOW is the time to explore them and come to an understanding. If she always sees her mom setting rules exclusively without considering ALL family members, she will think this is what should be. Trust me, for HER to come up with a solution will be best for all…
    ultimately YOU (and Lewis and the kids) will benefit…she’s in a perfect postion for mediation as she understands both sides.

    IF it were me, I’d just buy them the cage or whatever works best as a gift and then train the dog to become comfortable with it….will make for an easier transition.
    Of course, I might end up using that very same cage I bought THEM to transport that dog HOME —-to MY OWN home that is.

  66. Oh for god sake get a blanket and when the dog leaves the car spray air freshener if there’s a strong dog odor. There’s an item I believe it called a doggie hammock. You strap one end of it around the front head rest and the other around the back head rest, the dog’s body doesn’t even touch the car seat.
    All I have to do is pick up my keys and my dog thnks she’s going in the car. I can’t imagine her never being allowed to go in the car because it’s new. Dogs are members of our families, all family members should be allowed in the family car.
    Your father in law can vacuum the car out every time he brings Mackie back from a drive that might make his wife a little happy.

  67. Now I can see where your wife gets her values. Issues concerning the non human member of the family should be discussed before the marriage.Tt sounds as if there is a problem going on in the marriage and she is using the dog to hurt her husband. Personally, this and probably the way she treats Mackie if she does not love him, would be grounds for divorce.
    I hope your father-in-law stands up for his canine friend. I suggest your father-in-law get his own car.

  68. AH! DER!!! no brainer, if mackie is small, put a blanket on the seat or floor board and put him in a kennel on said blanket. volia, no hair. and good ole dad inlaw can run the car through a car wash and get the inside cleaned for that fresh smell again if mum is so anel.

  69. They make car covers for this very issue. I’m finding it hard to understand why this option hasn’t been reviewed with her. I understand the hair and mud issues but these prevent or at least keep the amt down (when used properly) significantly. I have car seat covers on the front seats and a hammock type cover on the back seat where Winston is. Makes it easy to take out when he’s not w/ me and the seats are clean for human use. It’s also very easy to clean. As for drool on the window it takes 2 seconds w/ Windex and a paper towel to fix that! If this doesn’t get her to change her tune – well your FIL should tell fine but given your new rule we’ve just become a 2 car family again. That ought to make her stop and think.

  70. Have a friend like this and it drives me crazy.

    Have Father-In-Law either keep their old car or by a little used car for he and Mackie. If that upsets wife that is to bad, her thinking is way out of line. Now the whole picture comes out, why you have been told no animals in new house, like Mother like Daughter.

    Feel sorry for you when you can see the future that is coming your way.

    Our animals are the same as our children, when we have them we take on the responsibility of caring for them through their full life.

  71. I keep a sheet in the trunk for when Luka, my GSD, rides in the brand new Honda. She even had folliculitis (lost lots of hair) and I was still able to let her ride in the back.

  72. I WILL BUY MY OWN CAR, BECAUSE ME AND MACKIE NEED OUR EXCERCIZE! That’s what your father in law should do! NO BUT’S OR IF’S and he can ask her what a car is for? to show off or a convenient transportation for the “whole” family?

  73. Sounds like she would like to punish her husband as well as the dog! How selfish can on be?! She is depriving both the dog and her husband the companionship they have grown to love. Get the seat covered and let the poor dog live his life as he is accustomed. The car will NOT stay new forever. One minor scratch and it’s not new any more. Why deprive the poor dog and the POORER husband of the relationship they have developed and love? SELFISH WOMAN! People and animals are much more important than things! She should get over herself!!

  74. Buy another car and designate it as the “dog car” or “ENTIRE family car.” People need to relax and not get so uptight. Life’s way too short……

  75. I just bought a new car, leather interior, all the bells and whistles. NO WAY I’m leaving my dog Chloe behind, she goes were I go and beign a Spanish Water Dog she needs her swimming, how else is she going to get there. I throw a blanket in the back and off we go. She loves to travel.
    Dogs are more important than cars, they are family.

  76. Mackie will need to go to the vet some time … perhaps once the new car has been ‘baptized’, its ‘specialness’ will wear off.

  77. Many of the above reasonable ideas are good ones. I have 6 dogs. All small, medium and large of them (short to long hair). Four shed very little and the other 2 shed profusely. I use 2 large beach towels for the back seat and a nice double sided 100% cotton bath mat for the front. Some of the my dogs will just sit and lie on the seat, where 2 would rather look out the window. I have a box in the trunk that I keep a bottle of windex, paper towels(or large old rag, formerly an old towel cut in half). Fortunately, none of my dogs get motion sickness. I don’t use the roller lint thing because I comb and brush my dogs every night (our bonding time) and that usually takes care of most of the hair. However, some hair do show up on the beach towels and it is easier to take the towels out to wash them. The 2 dogs “who” like the door side windows, I use the windex and towels to wipe up residue from wet noses and spittle. We all drive/ride in a 1996 vehicle so the new car spell is long gone. If Mother-in-law is adamant about the new car smell, then Wal-Mart, Auto-Zone, other car stores and car wash places have spray mist bottles of car air fresher. Guess what? the “New Car” freshner is one of them! I have an acute sense of smell, so I bathe my dogs probably more freguently than most people. When they ride with me there is some odor from their panting, but it does not linger in the car after they get out.
    Hope this helps.
    from Texas

  78. First – your Father-in-law – and you, your wife and whoever else is around – needs to play the “health” card. Walking is proven to be some of the best exercise, and walking a dog is a proven stress reliever. Your FIL gets valuable health benefits from the regular trips to the park. Blood-pressure, weight, circulation, cholesterol – the list of things favorably improved by regular trips goes on.
    Next –
    The dog is safest riding either in a crate or seat-belted in (there are harnesses are specially made for this). Limiting where the dog can go in the vehicle will make it easy to protect that area – put a blanket under the crate or a cover on the seat. There are also sling type blankets specially made to hook over the back of the front seat and the headrest of the back seats, protecting the floor and the back of the front seats. The items made specially for travel with a dog in the car are nearly endless – so figuring out the perfect solution shouldn’t be difficult. Personally, I like old movers blankets as they are heavy and machine washable – and if you are trying to protect the car with out spending much you can certainly make something. Just look around at what is out there for ideas.
    Finally – the dog, with a little planning, is far, far less likely to stain or mess the car than say – human grandchildren….

  79. Hmmm – this reminds me of another story recedntly out about a vet who bought a new house?? Okay, questions – if it’s a two car family, no bigfgie, transport Mackie in the other car. If it’s a one car family, then yeah, a compromise will have to be reached. I agree with all the others that suggest blankets, car seats etc.

    Good luck!

  80. How does she expect the dog to get to the vet,walk?It’s a car,a thing,it’s going to get dinged etc.Put a blanket down and lighten up for God’s sake!

  81. What about Mackie’s quality of life!
    Purchase a couple of cheap blankets that are easy to throw in the wash and have Mackie sit on the blankets. Give Mackie a bath every 4-6 weeks (not any oftener though or his skin will become too dry) and groom/brush him frequently. And, if Mackie is given a good diet (real food, not the crap the pet food industry tries to shove down their throats and our pocket books) along with good oils, he won’t shed much at all. Flaxseed oil is the best. My dogs are bathed about every six weeks and they do not smell bad and they do not shed.

  82. Andrew
    Here in New Zealand some of our working farm dogs travel either in a specially built dog trailer if there are a few, or one only with a kennel type cage bolted to a tow bar,but that no doubt is a lot of fuss ,so if they have a hatch back wagon then maybe cage the back section off (from the mother inlaw ) ,and if they have a boot (trunk) maybe stuff the mother inlaw in it and give the dog the front seat.
    Q. You know what they say the difference between the inlaws and the outlaws are —-A.outlaws are wanted.

  83. Oh hell no! How far would some people go to put their toys over their family?!?

    We have three dogs and one cat. Besides the occasional trip to the vet and more often doggy daycare, our Jetta (leather seats and all) IS a dog-mobile. So what if they shed or muddy up the seats? Kids do that all the time but would the parent forbid the kids from entering the vehicle (“EVER”) because of that?
    Oh yeah, our youngest, Levi, used to have a bad motion sickness and would throw up repeatedly for the duration of the trip (he no longer has this problem). This is also common in kids and even some adults yet we don’t punish them by leaving them behind at home now, do we?

    There are protective blankies, vacuums, deodorizers and a whole battery of gadgets to keep things clean. C’mon now, that “new car smell” is nothing but the stink of chemicals in plastics, carpets and such. Besides, “you can’t take it with you”, if you know what I mean, but you sure can leave a great memory of yourself as a tolerant and loving person!

    Well, doctor Jones, I don’t know your dad or your “mother superior” to comment on how they should interract but, if that rediculous behavior happened in my family, the mother in law would be the one left out of the car.


  84. Your mother-in-law needs to be made to understand that she is putting an inanimate piece of metal and fabric ahead of a warm, loving member of the family. How will she feel when the car is old and the dog has passed away? The car won’t stay new forever, nor will the dog live forever. She mustn’t be that old yet (I will be 70 next month) or she would have a better sense of values. Tell her she will live to regret it. A clean car isn’t worth it.

  85. If a dog is a part of a family, how can anyone expect to keep him away from the things that family members do? Who decided this, Mom, or Dad or both? Would they keep their kids out of a new car?
    I’m sorry, these are like so many people who treat their companion animals as if they are possessions and without feelings.

    I could NEVER imagine even thinking about DISALLOWING my fur child from riding in the car or
    anywhere else, for that matter.

    So, get some nice sheets or throws, cover the seats and go to the car wash on a weekly basis! ๐Ÿ™‚

  86. Hi

    I love my dog too.. My dog is more impt than my car.. Knowing its new I wld use seat cover on the one side that I know he will be sitting at and get a dog car harness so he/she doesnt move around the car and only that seat. To me that wld suffice and the rest of the car will remain clean.

  87. sound like your wife was def. cut from the same cloth cause now new house no dog in it either, so i say get rid of your wife then the inlaws will be gone too……….well sorry but you asked.

  88. Poor dog, but then some people feel this way because they don’t want anything to ruin their perfect little world. I am a 24-hour pet sitting service in my home and have many dogs in my home, yard, vehicle, even on my bed. I am also a particular Virgo, but I love dogs and I feel as you do that we have domesticated them, which is wonderful, but we are also forbidding them to enjoy some of their life the way it was meant to be. Most of my clients don’t care if their dog children get dirty, play in the water, or have a human snack or not, they just want them to be happy. Others are still under the mindset that most of the dry dog food on the market is just fine and don’t want their little darlings to get the slightest bit dirty. I have watched dogs play over and over and enjoy each others company tremendously. They give so much love to us, its time we give it back to them by letting them ride in the car and participate in family activities, take them to dog parks, stay in open environment pet sitters homes instead of metal cages in a kennel when we have to go away and start feeding them some real food.

  89. He should go out and buy a super ugly but dependable truck for him and the dog. When she wants to go somewhere he should follow her in the “pretty car” with the “ugly truck”. My guess is that she will be quite embarassed and mad for a while but her ego should eventually cause her to give in and allow the dog back in the car.
    Poor pup.

  90. Why doesn’t she wrap the car in gift wrap and never moves it? What will she do, if she gets some dirt from the outside on the car?
    Maybe it is just me, but for me a car is a tool to get from A to B and not a ‘clean room’.
    Sorry that I do not have a proper advise. I think the question is not “how do I get the dog back into the car?”, the question is “how do I get my mother in law to change her mind and accept that a dog is a living being, a part of the family?”. How about her children, are they allowed in the car?


  91. If Mackie is used to being able to go in the car and all of a sudden he can’t he will think he is being punished for something he had nothing to do with. Tell her to put down a blanket, get some cleaner for the seats Put on her big girl pants and get over it. Would she say she wouldn’t want her grandchildren to ride in the car in case they would get it dirty? I think not!!! Let Mackie Ride

  92. Get a “dog rug” or seat cover (or even an old, comfortable blanket) to cover the car so Mackie can ride in the car. OR insist that they get another car that Mackie CAN ride in – it is completely UNFAIR to deprive Mackie of his usual way of life just because of a new car. When family owns a dog, they are responsible to keep the dog in the lifestyle to which it is accustomed (just like husbands and wives). A car is just a car, but a dog is a family member!!

  93. Trade in you mother-in-law for the old car. Let her ride alone in the new car and your father-in-law can drive in his old comfortable doggy smelling car along with his best friend Mackie. Mackie does not deserve to be put through this punishment. With car seat blankets, cages and all other equipment being sold let me tell you that she is just being hard headed. She’s mean. I don’t blame her for wanting to keep the car clean but this is going overboard.

  94. Boy! People are getting really ridiculous about their “new” stuff! I don’t get it. I enjoy getting something new, just as much as anyone else, but, for crying out loud, it’s just an inanimate object! In a couple of years, that car will be a worthless piece of junk. But the dogs will still be priceless! What good is getting something new, if you cannot enjoy it? I have walked into people’s houses who actually have all their furniture covered in that obnoxious plastic. What the heck are these people thinking??? Get real! Life is short! Enjoy the comfort of your furniture right now, with the dog and the cat right up there on the couch, too!! Cruise down the road, with the radio blasting some music that you really like and your dog riding co-pilot with his head out the window, feeling the wind in his ears and a huge grin on his face! Get over it!!!

  95. I agree that mom-in-law is wrong to think she can change the rules just because they changed cars. If she wants to preserve the car’s newness, the impetus is on her to suggest solutions that are fair and equitable. (Crate, blanket, whatever.)

    I also think that if dad-in-law doesn’t have the cojones to stick up for his own dog, then the impetus is on *him* to get another car that can be used to provide the dog with freedom of movement and adventure beyond the borders of the immediate neighborhood.

    And it seems your whole in-law family, wife included, needs a little lesson on the fact that animals have just as much right to happiness as we do–and as pet owners, we are obligated to make sure that right is upheld (rather than being the ones who are curtailing it)!

  96. Actually, I had another idea, combining some of the things people have suggested…what if a section of the car was hermetically sealed off from the rest, and the mother-in-law could ride only in that part? You could pipe air into her section that was specially scented with that new car smell. That would probably be her best way to make sure she never gives up that pristine wonderfulness. And everyone else, including Mackie, could enjoy the other 3/4 of the car as usual.

  97. I agree 100% with Cathy Shores comment! You have certainly married into one doozy of a family, and thats the truth! Tell your father in law to grow some balls, and tell the witch he married to get back into her box. The car will depreciate in value, and Mackie will APPRECIATE in value, why can’t this silly woman realise that? ITS ONLY A CAR for goodness sake, a means of getting from A to B and back again. By the way, that “new car smell” is not great for everyone, or every creature. I can travel 10 minutes max with that smell before throwing up, and one of my dogs is the same. Makes you wonder what toxic chemicals are still floating around the inside of a new car doesn’t it? Give me good old fashioned “doggy smell” any day, and I bet it is healthier!

  98. I think that your father in law should go out and buy a beater car that is to be used just for doggy joy rides to the park. That should keep everyone happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  99. I think that it is their car and they should make the decisions for it and you should respect it and as for your father in law it is his fight not yours so give up I love dogs too but I do respect others who dont want my dogs in their car.

  100. I agree totally. If Mackie is used to getting to go in the car she (mother-in-law) should purchase a cover for the car seat and let Mackie ride in the car to the parks that he loves to take his walks in. How would she like it if she were homebound? I am a nurse and believe me I see a lot of people that are home bound (home health nurse) and it is very frustrating for them the have there freedom and independence taken away from them. Have a heart let him enjoy life while he is still able. Just my opinion.

  101. I wish I could remember the website but don’t. There are these canvas type, waterproof covers, sling type that go over the seat, goes from the back of the seat, can’t get to the floor or the back of the front seat. If not, dad in law should get a car for him and the dog.

  102. I agree with you Dr Andrew, and a new car is just a thing, something to get one from A to B. I guess when the car is old she will allow the dog in the car.
    People do a lot to keep the peace at times, but I think in this case your father-in-law should go ahead and keep doing what he was doing before the new car. It’s something he likes doing with Mackie
    If the dog was a child, it would be allowed in the car. I have always thought there was something wrong with anyone who did not love animals.
    As you have said, and I have the same opinion, our pets are a significant part of the family.
    As I have noted above, there are car seat covers for animals or he can buy a cheap old car.

  103. Rooted in years of Abolitionist Animal Rights research and my transition to a Vegan lifestyle, I have learned much of gross animal cruelty and of it’s causes and effects. I, like thousands of others, have signed many petitions over the years protesting all manner of horrific injustice to animals that continuously fall on deaf ears. As a result, regarding companion animals, I have come to hold these firm beliefs that some day, hopefully:

    1) all breeding should be banned,

    2) spay/neutering should be mandatory,

    3) the “property” status of (all) animals should be eliminated,

    and (for your Mother-in-Law),

    4) Guardians of existing companion animals should be made to pass a standardized means test that reflects the lifetime OPTIMUM care requirements of the animal with regular mandatory Government funded follow up investigations after adoption… so that this kind of cruel behaviour just would not happen.

  104. Old sheets can protect the seats and be easily washed. A little vinilla can freshen the interior. Or air spray if your so inclined. Your Father law needs to remind her that it is his car too. Take his dog buddy out and have a good time.


  105. P.S. Your mother in law should consider the good exercise her husband is getting by taking the dog out to the parks even if she isn’t thinking of the little dog. Walking is great for them both.

  106. Dear Dr. AJ
    I feel sad that both your wife and her mother are so anti-dog for the sake of what they percieve as a clean house or car.
    Who is going to judge what type of person they are by the cleanliness of their abode or transport, who do they want to impress?
    It could also go against them for having pets that are restricted to special spots where they can actually act like animals.
    Why would you want a pet if they were not considered part of the family, I think that neither your wife or her mother are pet people.
    It’s a shame your father-in-law and his dog have had to live with the same issues that you are experiencing now.
    Being an animal person, we have had all sorts of animals from domestic cats and dogs, to red/grey/flying squirrels,brought up baby great horned owls on the shower rod in the bathroom while they were still in down feathers, a French Alpine goat who started in my dad’s lap in the house like a puppy until she was too big to stay in the house all the time (she was still OK visiting). She walked everyday with my dad and dogs to the beach. My dad took the seat out of the VW bug he had at the time so that she could go to NH to ski and hike the Appalchian trail with him

  107. Dear Dr. AJ
    !/2 my email disappeared before my hints were typed on it-who knows where ity is now.
    I feel sad that both your wife and her mother are so anti-dog for the sake of what they percieve as a clean house or car.
    Who is going to judge what type of person they are by the cleanliness of their abode or transport, who do they want to impress?
    It could also go against them for having pets that are restricted to special spots where they can only act like animals. If I was visiting I wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing the dogs restricted to a boot room.
    My dogs usually sleep on the couch while I lie on the floor with my bad back while we all watch TV together with the cats lying on top of and draped across the dogs.
    Why would you want a pet if they were not considered part of the family?
    I think that neither your wife or her mother are pet people.
    It’s a shame your father-in-law and his dog have had to live with the same issues that you are experiencing now.
    Being an animal person, we have had all sorts of animals from domestic cats and dogs; to red/grey/flying squirrels who used to hide their nuts in the springs of the couch or the potted plants; a baby racoon whgo shared the litter box with the cats and would race up the hallway in rapid pursuit; we brought up baby great horned owls on the shower rod in the bathroom while they were still in down feathers in the dead chill of January; a French Alpine goat who started in my dad’s lap in the house like a puppy until she was too big to stay in the house all the time (she was still OK visiting). She walked everyday with my dad and dogs to the beach. My dad took the seat out of the VW bug he had at the time so that she could go to NH to ski, snowshoe and hike the Appalchian trail with him and we could go on and on.
    The last 2 examples show the other side of the coin where humans are willing to accomodate their pets so that the pets could also enjoy whatever their humans were doing.
    At this point in time I have 2 dogs who go everywhere with me, they expect to go and always have.
    I can’t guarantee an odorless car if the dogs are in it and wet, because wet dog smell does seep into the blankets or what you let the dogs sit on (however those can be washed).
    What I do first is think of the dogs’ comfort and in the back of my estate (station wagon) car, I have a dog guard plus 4 couch cushions so that their elbows and hips don’t get banged on bumpy roads.
    I am not car-proud, but in case I want to sell it in 10 years time, I figure it could look clean so I have first put plastic over the seats, then seat covers, (they do make super clear vinyl seat covers to order for your make and model car which ensures water resistance) and in the back seat and in the back of the estate I have the hammock bench seat covers that attach to your head rests and collect sand and grass seeds etc.
    Of course the dogs like to be comfy so they have a polyester duvet, old sleeping bag or the equivalent so they can make a nest if napping during a long ride or a wait in the car.
    They also have their toys and perhaps a chew or bone.
    I suppose neither your wife or mother in law would ride in such a car, but I was well chuffed the other day when I opened the back of the car and an unknown dog walker stuck their head inside and said what a proper dog car it was.
    ‘Proper’ here in England is a good word meaning suits to a ‘T’ so the dogs and I were pleased.

  108. Maybe a clever compromise could be made…..A gift to his wife and Mackie free car wash passes with interior detailing. You can also purchase a very cool back seat cover from Walgreens for about $10.00. Good luck Mackie

  109. I have two suggestions. One is to purchase a Furminator to get the loose hair off of the dog. This product is great! I got one for my Siamese/Tabby mix cat and my Golden Retriever mix dog. I can actually pet both of them without hair flying all over and the floors are staying clean! I have hardly any more “Hair Bunnies!” And they both love being combed with it! Check it out at Be prepared to have a bucket nearby to dispose of all of the hair! After one day, you will notice the difference! The second suggestion is one of those car seat covers by Guardian Gear. It hooks onto the head rest of the front seats and over the back of the rear seat, creating an area that will contain the dog hair. Of course a pet carrier would work, too. I also agree with the answers that Elaine (#65) gave. It is good advice! Good luck to your father-in-law!

  110. Well i think most people can be a little protective with the new fresh clean smelling car it does wear off some, most will say no eating in my new car wipe your feet before you enter no dogs allowed. How would the dog get to the vet if he needed one?. Perhaps he could offer to vacume it out on a regular basis for her and put in a new air cleaner from time to time, I think she could give in after some the newness wears off.

  111. Hello
    As a big German shepherd with just as big a son if not bigger, my Mammy has a lovely dog trailer which we travel in, we go for long walks in the forest and lots of trips and you know something we would even settle for a drive in the trailer without getting out its so comfy and no problems with staying quiet or anything we can move around freely and we can see out as the door has a nice griddy part where we can see through. We love our trailer and would never want to travel in the car so my suggestion is for this man to get a nice little trailer for Mackie and all will be happy and he will have this trailer for any more doggy friends he may meet in the future.
    Love Mandy & Eccle.

  112. My husband surprised me with a new car (small SUV) as our large SUV has almost 200k miles, holds 45 gallons and only gets about 9 miles per gallon. The final “decision maker” on the new car (small suv) is that the rear seats fold down so that the dogs can have the entire back area. I went to Home Depot and purchased a piece of carpet and velcroed it to the back area to help protect it from sand/mud (although they would still be allowed in even if I didn’t have this). I have two dogs (shepherd mix and a lab mix) and I will take my dogs everywhere that is possible. These dogs are more than pets to me and I would not let anyone else tell me that I couldn’t take them. I feel very strongly on this issue, as do lots of others here. Take care & good luck to Mackie! He deserves to be with his family!!!!

  113. Having been a dog groomer for over 42 years I can make a couple of reccomendations. First of all WHY does your mother-in-law not want Mackie in the car? Because the dog’s is dirty? Doesn’t smell good? Sheds? If the dog were groomed at reasonable intervals at a reputable grooming shop and smelled and looked clean and beautiful I doubt there would be an objection. Why not take the dog in and have her spiffed up and then show her to your mother-in-law? She may not be able to refuse such a clean smelling dog. For myself, I would never put a car or any material object above the happiness of my animals. That’s why my car is covered in blankets and I have no room to sleep on my bed.

  114. Like Mother…Like Daughter ! You really can’t be that surprised !! If you haven’t done it over the past 10 years… you’re not going to change either of these womens’ “hearts” … now. Like I said before… you either have a compassionate and loving heart..or you don’t ! How did a Vet end up in such a family ? Too Bad !

  115. Poor Mackie. He can come live with me. My dogs (2
    10 month old Shi Tzu puppies, Annabelle & Bailey) and Molli(my 18 yr. old) & Spueaks(cat) live with me,go with me, we all keep each other company. I don’t expect all people to love them like I do but they are my “children” and I love being with them.Why do people have dogs and/or cats if they don’t want to be with them? I bring mine to work quite often. Guess I’m lucky. People miss out on alot when they don’t consider their animals family. Ilove getting your emails. I may soon be able to afford your books. Thank You for sharing.
    ………………..Sharon Mullins

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