Travel with Dog

How to Choose the Best Car Seat Cover for Dogs?

Among thousands of car seat covers for dogs on the market, it’s a tough challenge to find the best one. As the owner of two golden retrievers with two years of road travel experience, in this article, I review all the key features to help you choose the right one for yourself, your pet, and your car.

car seat cover for dogs
Car seat cover for dogs

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My experience of searching for the best dog car hammock

When my puppies were two months old, I started taking them in the car with me. After a few trips together, I realized that I needed a dog seat cover to protect my car seats prevent the destruction of my backseat in the nearest future. That’s when my journey experience began with the search for the best dog seat cover…

I was looking for the best option and bought the popular dog car hammock by Orvis. It looked nice, and I was pleased. It was the most popular car seat cover for dogs in the market. However, after only a month of using it, the mesh window in the middle of the Orvis dog seat cover began to tear. I started noticing scratches on the car doors (the Orvis hammock doesn’t have side protection). And in another month, plastic carabiners on one headrest broke under the weight of my growing puppies. And they were only four months old at the time! 

As a replacement for our family car, I decided to try the team K9 car seat cover, as it had protective side flaps. It seemed more durable than the Orvis one, and I was glad the car doors were finally protected, but these side flaps turned out to be extremely inconvenient… 

They are fastened with straps to the grab handles. Poorly fixed, they stick out in the middle of your car windows, and the side flaps under them quickly sag. Especially if your dogs, like mine, loves looking out the windows. 

And yes – the mesh window on the K9 seat cover was torn again. True, this time after two months. But still bad.

Then my friends advised me to check out chewy car seat covers, weathertech dog hammocks, or 4knines seat covers… But I didn’t even give them a chance as they didn’t have side flaps, which meant again no door protection.

So, after all these failed attempts, I finally realized what to take into account when searching for the best dog seat protector. And I share this with you.

What characteristics are decisive when choosing a dog seat cover for Car?

Mesh window

Even though dog car hammocks with mesh windows are usually considered great, these mesh windows are the first part of your seat protector to get torn. The mesh material used for such windows is a thin cloth that stretches and tears quickly, so very soon, you’ll have to buy a new car seat cover for your dog.

Believe me; your dog knows you’re here in front of him (or her) and doesn’t need to “watch the road” as we do. Thus, when choosing the best dog seat hammock, get one without a mesh window. It’ll last you much longer than those windowed hammocks. 

Dog safety belt

Safety first, so make sure a dog cover you’re interested in allows using a dog car seat belt. If there are no openings for seatbelts, using such a car hammock is simply dangerous for your pet’s car safety. 

Fabrics & structure

The most commonly used dog hammock material is 420D or 600D Oxford cloth. When choosing the best car seat covers for your dog, pay attention to the “D” – density. The denser the Oxford cloth, the better water- and damage-resistance it has.

As for the structure, pay attention to the seams and layers. Best dog hammocks have straight seams and are made of at least four layers, including soft padding, waterproof lining, and anti-slip bottom layer.

Fasteners

The fasteners of your car dog cover must be strong enough to withstand the weight and movements of your pet, as well as extra loads such as sudden brakings. 

So when choosing the best car seat hammock for big and medium-sized dogs (and especially for two dogs), pick those with metal fasteners, not plastic ones. Cheap plastic breaks down quickly, and you will soon throw such a dog seat protector away.

Water-resistance

Not all dogs love and know how to travel by car. Your pet can become anxious and, as a result, relieve itself or vomit right on the car seat. Or your dog could roll in a muddy puddle before jumping in the car. Well, dogs are dogs!

To make sure no dirt or liquid stains your upholstery, keep in mind that the best dog seat protectors must have a layer of waterproof lining.

Side flaps

Good dog hammocks have side flaps. Best dog hammocks have side flaps thickened with solid inserts. They don’t only protect your car doors against dog nails and teeth but also keep your dog safely inside the car in case a door accidentally opens. 

Usability

There are back seat covers, front seat covers, trunk cargo liners, and versatile car protectors that combine it all and are certainly the best.

Versatile dog hammocks can be used in the back seat, in the trunk, or on one side of the back seat, which is perfect for small dogs and puppies or if you need someone to sit there! 

Storage pockets

Best car hammocks are those with pockets as they allow you to store toys, leashes, collars, and other dog care accessories in one place for car space-saving and your personal convenience while on the go.

Cleaning type

There are car dog hammocks for machine wash or hand wash. But best of all are those that can be quickly and easily cleaned with a damp cloth or wet wipe right in the car! They will save you tons of time – no need to remove the seat cover, carry it home, and then back in the car. Bliss!

So is there anything I can recommend?

I found only one dog car hammock that meets all the characteristics described above. And this is the Owleys Travel Buddy Dog Seat Cover. Check for yourself:

→ It doesn’t have a mesh window to get torn in a few months.

→ It has openings for car safety belts and includes a dog seat belt AS A GIFT!

→ Made from 6-layer 600D Oxford build, it has soft padding, waterproof lining, and anti-slip bottom. 

→ It’s super easy to clean with a damp cloth.

→ It has sturdy plastic-thickened side flaps that attach with zippers and Velcro straps. All zippers and fasteners are metal.

→ The design is versatile to fit your back seat, trunk compartment, or one side of the back seat.

→ It has two storage pockets to keep your pet’s essentials. 

I’m glad I finally found the best dog seat cover for my dogs and me, and I hope my experience will help you. I wish you nice and safe trips with your furry friends!

Richard Hayes

Hey there! Meet Richard Hayes, the big boss and marketing guru behind Pet Dog Planet. He's been a total doggo fanatic since forever and loves all kinds of pups, from tiny teacup Chihuahuas to big burly Bulldogs. His absolute favorite pastime? Snuggling with adorable puppies - he can't get enough of those cute little faces! Plus, he's totally into iced coffee, chilling in hammocks, and, of course, more puppy-cuddling!

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One Comment

  1. We decided to fly to Portland with a little planning and forethought to make our vacation trip go smoothly and even enjoy the trip. That’s why we booked a hotel that friends advised us and rented a car at the airport with such parameters as to conveniently secure a dog seat.

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