If you’re reading this post, chances are you know the struggles of travelling with a fur baby on board. The moment all four paws hit your car’s interior, well-intentioned doggies will inevitably leave a trail of dog hair and dirt in their wake. Doggies also love to scratch about and chew, so your lovely leather or plush car interior will be vulnerable to rips, tears, and teeth marks. And much as you’re adoring your gnawing, scratching, fur- and dirt-dropping doofus, you also love your car.
It’s not that you don’t want to bring your dog along for rides anymore. You’re just mindful that cars are not cheap investments. Some people even call their car their baby. So who wins in the contest between car baby and fur baby? The answer can actually be both, and the solution is as simple as investing in a dog car seat cover. This is great news, but which one should you choose? Read on to learn how to choose the right car seat cover for your dog.
Straight off the bat: go with a hammock-style cover
This may seem a bit forward, but we’re going to cut to the chase and dismiss all other car seat cover designs early. For starters, if your dog is a backseat traveler, you won’t be interested in front seat covers or boot liners. And bench seat covers, whilst thorough, won’t stop your dog from going walkabout in the car—or falling into the footwell. Hammock-style car covers not only protect the seats but also block off the footwell by default due to their hammock shape. Incidentally, this also creates a boundary between the front seat and the back seat. Your dog will not be able to overcome this barricade, which is safer for all hounds and humans involved.
If you’ve never seen a hammock-style car cover before, this may be difficult to envision. Essentially, hammock-style covers are so-called because of their shape and setup. They have handles that go over the front and backseat headrests. Once the car seat cover is set up, it will ‘hang’—or, to put it more accurately, rest atop the passenger seats with lightness. To remove the cover, all you need to do is free the handles from the headrests and the whole thing will lift out. Hammock-style car covers are by far the easiest to set up.
Make sure the materials are right
If you’re buying a dog car seat cover, you should choose something high-quality and durable—that’s a given. Your choice of material will be largely influenced by your dog’s relationship with water. If your doggo loves to swim, walk in the rain, or take a doggy paddle through a puddle or two, then you should absolutely choose a cover made from canvas. This is waterproof and will bear the brunt of your dog’s wet fur, muddy paws, and ‘wet dog smell’. Choose quilted material and all of the above may well seep through. However, if your dog prefers to keep dry, a quilted material may be better. Quilt covers are still easy to clean and they are a lot more comfortable than canvas.
A canvas car cover that’s waterproof and padded for comfort. Image: Stylish Hound
This isn’t to say that canvas covers can’t be comfortable. If you’re lucky, they’ll be padded, providing at least a baseline level of comfort. By all means, feel free to buy both and switch them up. Perhaps you could use the quilted cover for longer trips and the canvas cover for daily wear and tear.
Get the size right
Finally, we reach the boring part: taking measurements into account. This task is not as fun as choosing covers in your favorite colors or patterns, but it is necessary. The last thing we’d want is to buy a dog car seat cover, only to find it doesn’t fit the car. So, consider this your reminder to plan.
As a general rule of thumb, dog car seat covers are 140cm long. Please don’t de deterred if you drive something larger, as there are 145cm variants available. You just might need to keep your eyes peeled for covers made with trucks or larger SUVs in mind. To help you size up the situation, measure the longest part of your passenger compartment before handing over your cash. This will help you find what you’re looking for and save you the headache of chasing your tail for a return or refund.
So, there you have it
These are all the major factors you should consider when choosing a car seat cover for your dog. Ideally, you’ll want your cover to last a fair while—and the more you fork out for it, the more durable it will be. Whilst cost-effectiveness can be an important factor, we would recommend spending the extra money if you can. This way you’ll know you’ll be buying a high-quality product.
Of course, choosing your favorite pattern and color is important, too, but we do think this should be a lower priority than choosing the right design, material, and size. Nail down these three things and you’ll be set. Aesthetics are a nice bonus, however, and if you find yourself spoilt for choice between covers that fit your requirements, then more power to you!
Finally, consider pairing your dog car seat cover with extra car accessories, such as a doggy car seat or a doggy seat belt. A secure dog is a safe dog, and a comfortable dog will be more settled. Check out these nifty travel accessories for your dog so they can ride in comfort and style.