We love taking our dogs on car rides. With proper car seats and restraints, why not? Whether hitting the road for a family vacation or jaunting around town, our dogs enjoy car trips. Then we get home, unpack the car, and – disaster. Dog hair everywhere. Muddy footprints all over the seats. We love our dogs dearly, but the mess that comes with them? Not so much. Luckily, there are dog car seat covers that solve the problem.
Why Use Seat Covers?
Dog car seat covers serve a couple of functions. First and foremost, they collect all of that shed hair. Even short-haired dogs shed (I know, big newsflash, right?). Trying to get all of that hair out of the car upholstery is impossible. If you have a dog car seat cover, the hair never reaches the seat fabric.
We take our dogs on adventures. That means trekking into the mountains. Or it could mean splashing in a lake or river. While you can anticipate a mess and bring towels along, towels don’t stay in place on the seat. Which means you could end up with dirt, mud, or worse ground into the seats. Scrubbing out the car? Yeah, not so easy (or fun). Dog car seat covers, on the other hand, pop into the wash with ease.
Finally, accidents happen. Whether the trip ran longer than anticipated or your dog is prone to car sickness, dog car seat covers protect the car. Again, cleaning the cover is MUCH easier than trying to wash your car’s interior.
Choosing a Dog Car Seat Cover
You have a lot of options when it comes time to select a dog car seat cover. If your dog joins you in the car routinely, it’s a good idea to invest in a cover. You’ll provide your dog with added comfort, and you’ll keep your car looking (and smelling) cleaner. Just keep the following in mind when you start shopping.
- Your Vehicle: Surprise! Every car’s different. This means you’ll need to figure out your vehicle’s measurements. Typically, you need the hip space and shoulder space. You can find websites that let you enter your car’s make, model, and year to find out these measurements, or you can break out a tape measure.
- Hip Space: This is where everyone sits. It stretches from door to door.
- Shoulder Space: The top part of the seat. You measure from one end of the seat to the other.
- Additional Measurements: You’ll also want to measure the width of the seat, the distance from the bottom of the seat to the top, and the edge of the bottom to the top (yes, that forms a triangle).
- Your Dog Breed: If you have a small breed dog, maybe a dog car seat is preferable to a dog car seat cover. On the other hand, if you have a large breed dog, odds are they won’t be sitting in the front seat.
- Use: How often does your dog ride in the car? If you only take occasional trips with the family canine, make sure the dog car seat cover is easy to remove and store. On the flip side, if your dog’s a constant companion, that cover needs to remain secure with frequent use.
Dog Car Seat Cover Styles
Dog car seat covers come in five primary styles. Your dog’s size, how many dogs you travel with, and how often your dog travels all help dictate the style that will work best for you.
- Bench Seat Cover: This cover goes over the back seat. It provides a second skin, staying in place even through long travels.
- Bucket Seat Cover: These covers work on front seats or trucks with bucket-style back seats.
- Cargo Seat Cover: Technically, the cargo area isn’t a seat. However, the cover turns the cargo area into a comfortable space for extra-large or giant breed dogs.
- Hammock Seat Cover: Hammock covers work on bench seats, but they’re more protective than bench covers. They form a barrier to the front seat, and they also trap any hair or debris from entering the footwell.
- Versatile Seat Cover: These covers convert between bench and hammock styles. They provide you with the flexibility to choose which style you want, switching back and forth, depending on the length of your trip.
Proper Cover Care
Do you plan to keep your dog car seat cover in frequent use? There’s nothing wrong with that (your car will thank you). Just make sure you take proper care of the cover. The better care your seat cover receives, the longer it’ll last. Follow these simple rules, and your dog’s cover should keep up with all of their adventures.
- After every use, wipe the dog car seat cover down with a damp cloth. You’ll remove loose hair, dirt, and grime.
- As soon as any messes hit the cover, put the cover through the wash. This means mud or accidents. Frequent washing will wear out the fabric, but you don’t want possible sources of infection baking in the sun.
- If you’re not going to use the dog car seat cover, store it properly. (Tossed in the trunk is NOT proper storage) You’ll prevent buckles from breaking and seams from tearing.
Best Dog Car Seat Covers
If your dog only makes occasional trips, you might opt for an old blanket in the car. (Admittedly, that’s how it works in our house) However, when your dog is a frequent travel companion, you want to provide the best. Dog car seat covers offer comfortable protection for your car while still letting your dog wear their travel harness or sit in their car seat. And you won’t have to throw away quarters trying to vacuum up all of that dog hair at the end of the trip!
Best Bench-Style Dog Car Seat Covers
Calm, easy-going dogs that like to lounge on the back seat do well with bench-style dog car seat covers. The cover stays in place throughout the trip. You’ll still have access to the seatbelts through the cover, so safety remains a priority. When your dog sees you got a cover just for them, they’ll feel just like royalty.
VIEWPETS provides your car with quality protection. The full-coverage design covers not just the seat, but the sides and front, as well. Handy zippered slits allow easy access to the seatbelts, whether you’re securing your dog or need the seat for guests. The entire cover is waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about accidents or the fact your dog just went for a swim. Even better, the sturdy material is scratch and tear-resistant.
Downside? The cover only comes in a single, “universal” size. While it should fit most vehicles, there’s no guarantee, and it might slide around.
Do you want a simple dog car seat cover? AmazonBasics to the rescue! The affordable bench cover slides in and out for ease of use. The bottom is weighted to prevent slipping on the seat during trips. The top resists scratching and tearing, with a waterproof claim.
The downsides? Again, this cover only comes in a single “universal” size. You also only have the choice of one color (black), so if matching your car’s décor is important, that might be a downside. Also, while it claims to be waterproof, many people found the claim false.
Epica offers another dog car seat cover at an affordable price. People found the cover easy to install and remove – an excellent option for people who don’t want to leave their covers in place. The high-quality materials are durable and look fantastic. You get the same water, tear, and scratch-resistance of other covers.
So what’s the downside? The fit on this cover is a little off. You’ll have to adjust it each time your dog jumps in, as well as after driving.
Best Bucket-Style Dog Car Seat Covers
Do you have a smaller dog that rides shotgun? Or do you have a truck with bucket-style back seats? Then these are the dog car seat covers for you. You get the same excellent protection in a smaller profile. Your dog gets to look chic with their stylish car seat cover. It’s a total win-win!
BarksBar made sure your dog would look stylish with their dog car seat cover. The polyester fabric has triple-layer stitching to provide waterproofing and protection from scratching nails. Rubber non-slip backing and seat anchors keep the cover in place no matter how the driving goes (please drive safe).
Downsides? Some people found the cover’s fit a little small for their vehicles. Also, you’re limited to one color choice (up to you whether you feel that’s a downside or not).
URPOWER wanted to make sure the entire bucket seat saw protection. Non-slip PVC backing keeps the cover in place on the seat, while skirting covers the sides and bottom. Heavy-duty polyester prevents scratching, while four layers of polyurethane provide plenty of waterproofing. Want easy removal? A single strap secures the cover around the headrest. Best of all, you get a 180-day warranty!
The downsides? There is only one size available, and people found it didn’t work well in a lot of larger SUVs and trucks. And (you guessed it) just one color option. Also, some people questioned that waterproofing claim. (May want to test the theory before your warranty runs out)
Best Hammock-Style Dog Car Seat Covers
Does your dog try to join you in the front seat? Do you find yourself picking hairs out of the footwell? Are you tired of trying to scrub off mud and debris from the back of the front seats? Then you want a hammock-style dog car seat cover. Not only do you get a cover for the bench seat, but you get an extra wing of protection that extends to the front seats.
Winner Outfitters had dogs in mind when they designed their dog car seat cover. Not only do you get your hammock, but you also get side flap features to protect the doors! Rubber non-slip backing keeps the entire cover in place no matter how much your dog moves during the trip. The hammock connects to the front seats, forming an effective barrier. The durable fabric is anti-scratch and waterproof.
Downsides? There’s only one “standard” size available, so measure your vehicle carefully. Also, people complained that the waterproofing claim wasn’t accurate. Oh, yeah, and there’s only one color option (again – seems to be a theme).
Do you want a little extra cushioning for your dog? Plush Paws provides the answer. The heavy-duty quilted polyester gives your dog plenty of comfort while also protecting your car from messes. The cover attaches with elastic straps while silicon grips keep it in place. Even better, you get a set of seatbelts and harnesses, designed to work with dogs between 15-60 and 60-100 pounds!
The downsides? This cover IS expensive. People also had a little trouble installing the cover, so read the instructions carefully. Oh, and the usual – you only have one choice for color. (Why is that such a complaint?)
Tired of only having one size to choose from? 4Knines provides two sizes for their dog car seat covers: regular and extra-large. The durable fabric has a quality waterproof rating you can trust, while also resisting tears and scratches. People find the installation and removal a breeze. Are you worried about cleaning? The cover holds up against vacuums, hoses, and washing machines. Best of all, 4Knines donates $1 from every purchase to the ASPCA!
So what are the downsides? Fabulous features are expensive. People also found the extra-large a little on the narrow side for their vehicles.
Do you drive an SUV or truck? Pet Union designed a dog car seat cover for you. You won’t get many bells and whistles, but the four-layered cover checks off waterproofing and durability. Straps fit over the headrests, and non-slip backing keeps the cover from sliding around. Zippered openings allow easy access to the seatbelts to secure harnesses or let human passengers sit on the bench.
Downsides? We’re back to a single size option. Also, you CANNOT wash this cover. It’s okay to run a damp cloth over it, but machine washing is out. (Which kind of sucks)
Best Versatile-Style Dog Car Seat Covers
Maybe you don’t feel like getting locked into a single style of dog car seat cover. The bench cover works fine for short trips around town, but you need a hammock for family vacations. Why buy two covers when one can covert between styles? Versatile-style dog car seat covers provide the perfect solution.
Are you tired of only having one color option to choose from? Deluxe Quilted has the answer! You have THREE color options! Even better, with the adjustable straps and Velcro attachments, this dog car seat cover converts between bucket seats, bench, hammock, AND cargo area! Flaps protect the sides of the bucket and bench seats. Seatbelt holes ensure everyone has access to secure safety. You won’t find better versatility.
Downsides? While you get different conversion options, the fit’s “universal” and doesn’t work for every vehicle. Also, the cover doesn’t have a non-slip backing, so it slides all over the seat.
BarksBar offers a second option on this list. This dog car seat cover converts between a bench- and hammock-style. Velcroed openings let you reach the seatbelts when using the cover on the bench. The fabric forgoes dyes, so you don’t need to worry about the color bleeding into your car’s seat. Even better, you get two handy storage pockets to keep your dog’s leash and toys nearby.
The downsides? Yeah, we’re back to a single color option. Also, some people complained the cover wasn’t very durable, tearing within months. When exposed to daily direct sunlight, the straps frayed (consider storing the cover to protect the straps).
URPOWER is another repeater for the list. They offer a bench and hammock dog car seat cover. Luxurious Oxford fabric, padded out to three layers, keeps your dog cushy on their seat. Non-slip PVC and sturdy anchors that slide into the seat crevices hold the cover snug to the seat. Want to drop the hammock? Just fold the extra flap under the seat portion. You also get those nifty storage pockets (and who doesn’t love pockets?).
So what are the downsides? Yup, just one color (sorry). You also only have one size, so measure your car carefully. Also, the cover isn’t machine washable. Just a damp cloth for cleaning, I’m afraid.
Cruising in Style
We love hitting the road with our dogs. We don’t love cleaning the mess afterward. Dog car seat covers fix that problem. Just pop the cover over the seat, and you’re good to go. Your dog stays comfortable, while their hair and dirt stay AWAY from your car.
You never have to worry about muddy seats ever again! It’s the perfect solution.