At some point, you're going to have to take your dog for a car ride. Whether you're taking them to the vet, the local dog park, or for a cross-country road trip, your vehicle is going to be exposed to your canine companion and all that comes with them.
To protect your ride, it's a good idea to invest in a seat cover for your dog. It will keep your seats free of grime.
Not only that, but you can avoid having to deal with a mess of hair and lingering odors.
These seat covers are specifically designed to keep your pup cozy during the drive. With the wide array of options on the market, it can be tough finding one that's right for you and furry friend. Here are great options to get you started on your search and some information that you need to know.
7 of the Best Dog Car Seat Covers
Back Seat Covers
1. 4Knines Dog Seat Cover with Hammock for Cars, Trucks, and SUVs
The 4Knines dog seat cover is a durable option that can last for many years. It's made of a heavy-duty material that's completely waterproof.
The top of the cover features a quilted pattern for comfort while the bottom has a non-slip material that can keep the cover stable. This is a hammock-style cover, so it features two sets of headrest straps.
The straps are reinforced for added protection. Installing the cover is a breeze thanks to the quick-release straps. There's also a velcro opening that lets you access the seatbelts or child safety anchors.
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2. URPOWER Dog Seat Cover Hammock 600D Scratch Proof Nonslip for Cars Trucks and SUVs
If you want a cover that you can keep in your car at all times, consider this product from URPOWER. This hammock-style cover is incredibly versatile. Not only does it have door covers for 360-degree protection, but it also has a zipper down the middle.
This allows you to fold half of the hammock portion side down so that a rear passenger can sit with your dog. It's made of strong Oxford fabric that's waterproof and resistant to damage.
On the bottom, a layer of slip-proof PVC is added. There's also a velcro opening for seatbelts and adjustable straps.
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3. Plush Paws Ultra-Luxury Advanced Waterproof Backing for Cars Trucks & SUV
This seat cover from Plush Paws has many great features for added security. The straps are reinforced to prevent tearing. Stress points throughout the cover also have extra stitching.
To prevent sliding, the bottom is covered in silicone. Finally, there are three anchors that can be tucked through the seat crevice.
The hammock cover is made of Oxford fabric that's covered with a PU coating. This makes it waterproof and resistant to UV damage. For easy cleaning, the cover can be hosed off, vacuumed, or thrown into a washing machine.
Budget Back Seat Covers
1. BarksBar Luxury Pet Car Seat Cover, Waterproof with Seat Anchors
From Barksbar is this budget-friendly back seat cover. It's made of triple-layer polyurethane fabric. The material has a quilted pattern that's both comfortable and stylish. It's also waterproof and very easy to wipe down.
The cover can be used as a hammock or as a traditional seat cover. All four headrest straps feature quick-release buckles. They can also be adjusted to get the perfect fit.
To keep your pup's accessories organized, the cover also has two storage pockets.
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2. Lantoo Large Back Seat Cover with Nonslip Backing & Side Flaps
Despite its affordable price tag, this dog seat cover from Lantoo provides plenty of protection. It's made of three separate layers of waterproof fabric.
The material is very comfortable and can keep your seats protected from scratches and accidents. It's also machine washable. Four reinforced headrest straps are included to create a hammock design.
Additionally, tall door covers are included. They feature adjustable straps that can be hung on the ceiling handle. Velcro seat belt slots, seat anchors, and two accessory pockets round off this cover's great features.
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Front Seat Dog Car Covers/Protectors
1. BarksBar Pet Front Seat Cover for Cars Waterproof & Nonslip Backing
Another great option from Barksbar, this cover allows your pooch to sit up front with you.
It's made of three polyurethane layers. Overall, the cover is waterproof, comfortable, and resistant to abrasive damage.
An adjustable strap with a quick-release buckle is used to secure the cover to the headrest. The back of the cover features a non-skid coating. For even more security, the included seat anchor can be slid between the seat crevice.
To keep the bottom of your seat protected, the cover has a long skirt.
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2. URPOWER Front Seat Cover for Pets with Nonslip Rubber Backing & Anchors
This waterproof front seat cover from URPOWER provides ample protection. It's made of thick polyester that's easy to clean.
On the back of the cover, you'll find a rubber coating that prevents slipping. Installing this cover couldn't be easier. It has a seat anchor that goes between the seat sections and an adjustable headrest strap.
There's also an additional strap that goes behind the seat. A durable skirt is sewn on so that the entire seat is covered.
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Types of Dog Car Seat Covers
There are a number of different types of covers to choose from. With all the different vehicles out there, the "One Size Fits All" product model doesn't always apply. Before you purchase a cover, it's important to figure out what type of design will work best for your particular situation.
Back Seat Covers
Perhaps one of the most common types of covers you'll find, back seat models are designed to cover the entire rear bench seat of your car. They're relatively simple in design and give your pooch plenty of room to get comfortable.
Some covers can be contoured to match the shape of the sheet. Others look like mere blankets. Either way, they can offer a lot of must-have protection.
These car seat covers are very similar in design to the previous option. The differentiating feature is that they also attach to the front seat. This design offers a couple of great benefits. One, the back of your seats are protected from fur, smells, and accidental scratches.
Second, it creates a secure cocoon for your pet. You won't have to worry about your dog falling off your seat and getting hurt during a sudden stop.
Front Seat Covers
If you have a small, well-behaved dog, you may want to go with a front seat cover. They offer ample protection for a single seat and let your pup enjoy the view from the front of the car. Many of these covers have more elastic straps or buckles to keep things secure.
Cargo Area Covers
Do you have an SUV or hatchback? If so, cargo covers are a great option for you. They offer the most space out of all the designs. Typically, these covers also provide the most protection.
They're specifically built to match the contours of the cargo area. As a result, the floor and walls are protected from your dog's curiosity.
Dog Door Covers
As the name implies, these covers only offer protection to the doors of your vehicle. They're a great complementary product to a traditional cover. However, if you have a well-behaved dog that doesn't drool or shed, this may be all that you need.
The fabric covers the door handle, buttons, and panel to keep things protected. Many high-quality back seat covers also feature attached door covers.
Before you go out and buy the first car seat cover that you see, there are a few things you need to consider. You want your investment to provide as much protection as possible, so it's important to take the following things into consideration.
Vehicle Design and Size
The cover you get for a large SUV is going to be different than the one you purchase for a small compact car. You need to take a look at your vehicle and plan accordingly. Figure out where your pet will sit during your drives and take some measurements to get a better idea of how large your cover needs to be.
If there are any unique interior features, such as a non-adjustable headrest on the back seats, you'll want to make note of those as well. They could affect how you attach the covers.
Do you plan on using your seat cover frequently or only for special occasions? If car rides are a regular event for your pooch, you need to consider how often you're going to clean the cover and whether or not you want to keep it in your vehicle at all times.
Some covers have great features that make regular use more convenient. If it's only going to be used on rare occasions, you may want a cover that's quick and easy to install. Either way, planning ahead can help to ensure that you're getting a cover that's perfect for your needs.
Your Dog's Behavior
Finally, you'll want to take your dog's behavior into account. It's important to remember that dogs often act completely different during a car ride than they do at home. The motions of the vehicle, the new environment, and new sights to see can make your dog very excited.
Alternatively, some pups don't like the experience at all and suffer from extreme anxiety during the drive.
Use your past experiences to better gauge how your dog will act in the car. If they tend to have problems, you're going to want to look for features that will provide extra protection. If your dog is generally laid-back, you won't need to go with a cover that has all the bells and whistles.
Things to Look For
Now that you have a better understanding of the type of car seat cover you'll need, you can get down to the specifics. Covers come with a wide variety of features. Here are some good characteristics to look out for.
Like your dog's bed, you're going to want to get a cover that's built to last. Even small dogs can destroy thin materials in a matter of minutes. Quality covers utilize thick materials that can hold up to a lot of wear and tear.
Materials like Oxford fabric or polyester are great options. If you want to pamper your pet, you can also find products that are covered in plush padding.
Another thing you'll want to pay attention to is maintenance. The cover is going to need to be cleaned at some point. Some covers can be tossed in the washer and dryer while others require more gentle cleaning methods.
Your cover is going to be exposed to drool. If your dog is prone to accidents, you may also have to worry about urine. Needless to say, some type of waterproofing is recommended.
Some covers utilize a water-resistant material like nylon. Others have a waterproof coating that doesn't soak up liquids. Both of these types of covers are very easy to clean.
There are also covers available that feature multiple layers. The upper layer is what your dog sits on. They usually have a lower layer or liner that's made of waterproof material. While your dog's mess may soak through the upper layer, that added protection on the bottom saves your seats.
One thing that most dog owners don't think of is slipping. If the cover isn't secured on all sides, it can slide around each time your dog changes positions. Luckily, many covers have a non-skid bottom.
With that being said, you'll also want to take your seat material into consideration. Some non-slip materials work better on leather and vinyl than standard fabric.
Simple covers can be draped over your seats. While this is great for calm dogs, you may end up with a mess of fabric for livelier canines. It's best to go with a cover that can be secured to other parts of the vehicle. Most feature straps that can be wrapped around headrests. They're easy to use and provide a good fit.
If you want the most customization possible, go with adjustable straps. They let you get the perfect fit without unnecessary sagging. Anchors are another thing to look out for. They slip between the seat bottom and seat back to keep the fold secure.
Here you can find more tips on how to install car seat covers
Seat Belt Access
Seat belt access slots are great if you plan on leaving the cover in your car at all times. They can also be used with special dog harnesses that prevent your dog from moving around during a drive. If you choose to get a cover with seat belt access, look for a model that provides you with versatility.
It's good to go with a cover that allows you to keep the buckles tucked away when they're not in use. Typically, they use velcro flaps to keep the slots closed.
Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Car
How to Make Your Dog Car Seat Cover Last
Maintenance is key if you want your cover to last. Dogs can be filthy creatures. A lack of regular cleaning can make the cover hold on to some awful odors that linger.
Cleaning methods will vary based on the particular material and design of the cover. However, there are a few general cleaning tasks you can do to keep things fresh and clean.
First, you should always wipe the cover down or give it a good shake every time your dog uses it. No matter how clean your pup is, there's going to be leftover dust and hair. If you don't get rid of this mess each time your dog gets in, you run the risk of having it fall to the ground or sticking to other parts of the car.
If you have a smooth cover that's waterproof, you can wipe it down with a damp cloth. If you have a loose cover that has plush material, take it out of the car and shake it over a trash bin.
Thorough Cleaning Methods
On those days that your dog is particularly messy, don't wait to give your cover a good cleaning. Check with the manufacturer's recommended cleaning methods. Most can be washed with warm water and a bit of laundry detergent. You may even be able to toss it in the washing machine.
If the mess is dry, you can also use a vacuum to get rid of loose dirt and hair. It's important that you don't leave the mess for another day. Smells and bacteria will quickly get into the fibers of your seat upholstery, especially on hot days.
When you're not using the cover, it's recommended that you store it in a safe spot instead of just throwing it in the trunk. Take the time to fold it up. If you just toss it in the trunk, you run the risk of damaging the fabric and straps. If you take care of your cover, it's capable of lasting for many years.
Over to You
With the right cover, you can take your dog anywhere. A high-quality car seat cover will prevent your dog from causing damage to your vehicle while keeping them cozy for the fun ride ahead.