Vehicle owners who happen to love bringing their pooches on their travels can benefit a lot from sturdy, reliable, waterproof, scratchproof, and premium quality dog car seat covers. These contraptions may not look like anything spectacular but they do a good job of protecting your precious vehicle upholstery. Just imagine if it’s not well protected and you’ll easily end up with hundreds of dollars of stain removal and upholstery repairs or worse replacing the entire upholstery. Leaving your pooch at home is out of the question either. So, these car accessories for dogs can sure come in handy. The question now is how do you choose the best dog car seat cover to keep your car clean and pristinely elegant? Well, as a start, you may want to check out or list of the 10 best dog car seat covers. Then, we’ll explore some of the questions that are pertinent to making a buying decision.
Dog Car Seat Cover Buying Guide
Buying a car seat cover can be surprisingly difficult if one doesn’t know where to look and what to search for. As such, we’ve created a buyer’s guide to help you in your journey towards identifying the most appropriate product for you, your car, and your canine friend.
Things to Consider Before Picking Out a Car Seat Cover
Picking out a car seat cover is like choosing a protective layer for your most precious piece of furniture, only this time it’s located inside your car. We know how challenging it can be to choose the right one especially if you’re presented with a dizzying array of options. Not to worry though as we’re here to help you. Listed below are some considerations that you have to think over when picking out a particular product for your pooch and car.
- Type of dog car seat cover
Depending on the type of car seat that you have as well as the seat that you want protected, you have plenty of options when it comes to the type of seat cover for your dog. These can include those for the backseat, the front passenger seat, your vehicle’s door, and even your vehicle’s cargo trunk. We will have a separate section for this topic.
- Material used in the construction
There are plenty of options when it comes to the material used in the construction or fabrication of the dog car seat cover. The important thing to remember is that it should have the following qualities:
It is quite challenging to get a good balance of these qualities since comfort is often equated with softness that is, in turn, perceived to be less durable and sturdy. So, if you can strike a balance without sacrificing one over the other, then it should be a wonderful choice.
Many of today’s car seat covers for dogs are made of a blend of polyester and cotton. This material provides exceptional comfort because of its smoother finish. The downside is that, since it is smooth, your pooch might not have a good grip on its surface. It’s not a really good water resistant material, too. If it’s waterproofing that you want, neoprene materials provide better coverage. These are more expensive, though. For the budget-conscious, ordinary cloths are the go-to. These are washable, too.
Each of these, obviously, has its strengths and weaknesses. That is why manufacturers have found a way to address the deficiencies of one particular material by adding the unique attributes of another. So, if you have a material that is exceptional in comfort yet mediocre in water resistance, then adding a material that has amazing waterproof properties should to the trick.
- Weight capacities
This is one aspect that many dog- and car- owners simply fail to consider when they are buying a dog car seat cover. Effort must be exercised to ascertain the weight capacities of the product that you’re entertaining on buying. However, you should also take into consideration the maximum adult weight of your canine breed. For instance, if you have a German shepherd, know that it can actually grow up to 70 pounds and 88 pounds for females and males, respectively. So, if your pooch is currently 40 pounds because it is still in the juvenile stage, you should not get a product with a weight limit of 40 pounds. Instead, you need a maximum weight limit of at least 90 pounds.
- Foam protection
One issue that makes some people quite apprehensive about the use of a dog car seat cover is your canine’s safety. Accidents do occur anytime. Unfortunately, you cannot strap or secure your pooch with your car’s seatbelt system. As such, in case of an accident, dogs do suffer injuries because they are inadvertently thrown off the seat. Some manufacturers of seat protectors for dogs design their products with cocoon-like foam protection. This innovation aims to absorb impact forces so that it doesn’t reverberate through your canine friend’s body. While these may be more expensive than conventional covers, they do provide ample protection for your doggie in the event of a crash. Your best bet is to get a cover that has at least 2 inches of foam protection thickness.
- Method of attachment and security
Almost all of the products available in the market include a variety of secure attachments such as straps, seat harnesses, and the like. There are also those that come with especially designed insertion points where your car’s seatbelts can be threaded through. This is important since a product, no matter how ‘good’ its non-slip backing is, can still move from its place in a sudden stop.
- Cleaning options
What you would like to get is a product that you can easily throw in your washing machine. Of course there will be certain guidelines as gentle drying or even air drying your dog car seat cover. The point is that these should be easily cleaned. That being said, if it only requires a few wipes with moistened cloth, then that would even be better. Unfortunately, this is not often the case especially if your pooch happened to have an ‘accident’ inside your car. In such cases, thorough washing is mandatory.
- Availability of replacement parts
You might not think about it now but this is crucial since nothing really lasts forever. The product that you want to buy should come with replaceable parts, particularly replacement covers. More importantly, however, is the availability and accessibility of these parts. If they are available yet will require you to fill out a lot of forms as well as wait substantial length of time before they arrive, then you might want to reconsider your choice. This also applies to so-called heavy duty and durable materials as wear and tear is a natural occurrence in products.
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What Type of Dog Car Cover to Use
We mentioned in the preceding section that one of the most important considerations you need to give a thought or two is the type of cover you need to buy; more specifically, where you want to put this contraption in. As such, here are the 4 types of dog car covers you can use depending on where you want your canine friend to stay in your car.
- Back seat covers
As the name implies, this type of car seat cover is to be placed over your car’s backseat. It is ideal for those who prefer to have their pooches riding at the back rather than at the front. This contraption typically comes in a variety of models such as a bench seat cover, shorty models, extended models, and even hammocks.
Bench seat covers are still very popular although hammocks are gaining ground as the preferred dog seat cover. Bench seat covers protect the entire surface of the backseat including the backrest. It is critical to choose a highly durable material for this one since your pooch will definitely have all the space to itself. Furthermore, insertion holes must be present to secure the contraption with your backseat restraint system.
Hammocks, on the other hand, are gaining popularity since they provide an even greater surface area for your canine friend to rest and enjoy the ride. Whereas there will still be some portions of your vehicle that are exposed if you use a bench seat cover, hammocks effectively eliminate any exposed vehicle surface since the entire back passenger compartment is covered with the contraption. The leading edge of the hammock is secured to the headrests of the front seats. They form a ‘hammock’ between the front and back seats. Technically, you protect the entire area underneath it.
Shorty models are those that are used on backseats that have special features like cup holders and armrests. Extended models, on the other hand, are generally intended for the larger surface area of SUVs and trucks.
- Front seat covers
If your doggie doesn’t take too well being at the back of your vehicle, then you might want to let it stay in front on the passenger side. This is where front seat covers come in. It is ideal for small to medium sized breeds as getting a large breed up front can obstruct your view of your side mirror.
- Car door covers
If you have a doggie that loves standing on your door, then you will need a car door cover to help protect your car door sidings. Rambunctious pooches and those that are quite tenacious chewers will often find the door sidings to be exceptionally wonderful. Sooner or later, you’ll see scratch marks and even bite or chew marks on your door. Protecting these with an appropriate cover will be necessary.
This can work on either the backseat or the front seat. The good thing is that there are certain hammock types of backseat covers that have side flaps that can be used as door protectants. Some come with zipper closure so they stay connected with the rest of the hammock’s panels.
- Cargo covers
For some of us who simply don’t want our pooches to stay in the passenger compartment of our vehicles, we can use the trunk space instead. However, protection is still needed in such cases to help collect dirt, dust, hair, and even ‘accidents’ for easier cleaning.
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Benefits of Using a Seat Cover
By now you already have an idea what dog car seat cover to choose. However, in case you’re still having second doubts whether it is wise to get one for your car, here are some of the benefits you’ll get if you do decide to install such a contraption into your vehicle.
- Prevents nasty stains and awful odors
No matter how well we train our pet dogs there will always be instances of ‘accidents’. If there is no protective waterproof lining between your dog and your car’s upholstery, then there’s a great chance that this ‘accident’ will lead to a lingering stain and a really nasty odor inside your vehicle. Waterproof covers collect the liquid and semi-solids from your pooch so that these don’t get into your upholstery or even into your carpet.
- Ensures greater safety while traveling
We mentioned foam protection as well as non-slip backing in many of today’s dog car seat covers. These are designed to help protect your dog and increase their safety in cases of accidents or even sudden stops and accelerations. If the cover is not secured properly – no non-slip backing – it will be moving around over the surface of the seat. This can throw your pooch off-balance even when you are driving safely.
- Prevents costly damage to your car
Damaged upholstery can easily run into the hundreds of dollars to get fixed. If the damage is extensive enough, you’re looking at even greater costs. The same is true with unmanaged ‘accidents’ since the urine can get into the carpet fabric leading to water damage, corrosion, and reduction in the structural integrity of the car. We haven’t even mentioned the door panels and sidings that may need to be replaced because of scratch marks or even bites. So, without a liner protecting these surfaces from your dog, you’re looking at a costly proposition. Of course, you can always leave behind your dogs at home.
- Reduces dirt, hair, and allergens in your car upholstery
Dirt, dust, hair, pollen, and other particles that our dogs bring with them from the outside and into your car can get trapped in between the fibers of your carpet or even car upholstery. Removing these will be quite difficult since they would have already been ingrained deep into material. Dog car seat covers collect these particles so all you need to do is to remove the cover and clean it immediately upon returning home. And if you have a passenger who is asthmatic, you’re definitely doing him or her great service.
- Provides better riding comfort for your pooch
Compared to riding inside a crate, lying on a car seat protector provides better comfort for your pooch since it has greater freedom of movement. At least, it can find a nice little corner in the backseat to make the ride more enjoyable for it. Inside a crate there really isn’t any space to move about.
The best dog seat cover helps keep the integrity of our car interior particularly the upholstery, door sidings, and carpet as well as other important features. It is crucial to consider the type of cover, the materials used, weight capacities, methods of attachment, cleaning options, and even the availability and accessibility of replacement parts. These should help you arrive at the most appropriate car seat protector. And in case you’re not sure where to start our list of the 10 best dog car seat covers will be an excellent resource.