Last updated: 04/14/2020

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Do you love taking road trips with your dog? Whether your car is 20 years old or brand new, your pup’s dirty or playful paws can be a big problem if you want to spend time together and travel from one place to another. This is why car seat covers have become so popular among pet owners.

This simple-yet-essential accessory will help keep your car clean, scratch-free, and will allow you and your pet to travel the world together. In addition, the materials used in their manufacture make them very easy to clean. If you want to learn more about what you can do with these covers, keep reading our guide!

Key Facts

  • Car seat covers are trendy products among those of us who live with dogs. They help keep our cars free of dirt from paws, clean of hairs, and protect seats from potential scratches from our playful pets.
  • Checking the local legislation regarding travel with dogs is fundamental to avoid exposing yourself to fines. The vast majority of models on the market are designed to allow passengers to use the compulsory seat belt.
  • You will have to take several factors into account when buying your dog car seat cover. These include the resistance of the manufacturing materials, as well as the compatibility with your vehicle, for instance.

Our Selection: The Best Dog Car Seat Covers on the U.S. Market

To start this article on the right foot, we have selected some of the best models currently available out there. In the list below, you can get a better feel for the different dog car seat covers on the American market to identify those that are most suitable for you. If you’re ready to hit the road with your best furry friend, we’re ready to bet you will be interested in the following products:

Best Dog Car Seat Cover: Amazon’s Choice

Available in three different colors, this dog seat cover has received hundreds of high ratings and positive reviews from past buyers, leading it to become Amazon’s Choice in the category. Blending affordability, practicality, and safety, it is a fantastic model to protect your vehicle’s rear seats. The side flaps cover your doors, while the dog seat belt included adds security. In addition, you can fully unfold it if you have a large trunk.

Best Budget-Friendly Dog Car Seat Cover

It doesn’t get much cheaper than this model by Gorilla Grips. If you want a resistant and waterproof seat cover while investing as little as possible, this is an excellent option. The underside is slip-resistant for better protection of your seats, and you will find a large pocket to store all your canine products. This model comes with a free collapsible bowl and a 10-year warranty – just in case you had doubts about its quality.

Best Car Cover for Front Seats

If you have a smaller dog and like to have it ride with you in the front seat, this is the car cover you need. Made from heavy-duty polyester for enhanced protection and PU layers so your pup travels comfortably, it has a universal fit. With a seat anchor and two buckles to attach it to the headrest and the backrest, it will stay in place during all your travels. You can easily clean this waterproof cover with a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner.

Most Versatile Dog Car Seat Cover

Last but not least, here is a model that will satisfy everyone. It is particularly useful for families that use different vehicles to travel with their dogs. You can set it up as a hammock, a standard seat cover, or a semi hammock if you have another passenger in the rear seat. You can naturally unfold it for trunk use. The brand offers a dog seat belt for greater security, and two headrest protectors in case your pup likes to peek out the front!

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Dog Car Seat Covers

Living with a dog requires some getting used to. With their love and companionship come changes in our daily routines as well. Dog car seat covers were designed to help you take your pet everywhere with you. Many of us have to use our vehicles every day and like to pamper them. In the section below, we have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding dog car covers.

girl and her dog

Take into account the size of your dog and vehicle to choose the right cover.
(Source: Soloway: 65053813/ 123rf.com)

What is a dog car seat cover exactly?

This large piece of fabric is designed to be placed over your car seat(s) to protect them. This accessory is incredibly handy if you have a dog in your life, as it helps safeguard your seats from your pet’s paws: either from the dirt they can bring in or from the hairs they lose. In addition, a seat cover can protect your car from scratches and bites.

Where can I place my new seat cover?

You don’t need to have a pet to benefit from these products. However, they are a must-have if there’s a dog in your life. You can either place the cover on a single seat or all rear seats of your vehicle. In addition, you can find some models that will protect the whole back part of your car – including the floor – or for the trunk, if you have an SUV or a van.

Should my dog be tied in the car?

Whether you have a seat cover or not, you should always tie your dog correctly, according to the law. This is why the vast majority of models are designed to leave space for seat belts. Your pet should wear a harness that is attached to your vehicle’s seat belt fasteners. In any case, do not attach it by the collar.

You also have the option to put your dog in a spacious and comfortable carrier for greater safety. Use the seat belt to maintain that carrier in place. Another possibility is to have your dog wear a double-hook harness through which you can pass the safety belt. Finally, there are divider grids that offer safety and comply with regulations.

dog inside a car

Positive reinforcement techniques are ideal for training your dog to travel by car. Avoid using treats as a reward to prevent nausea.
(Source: Kosimder: 93025252/ 123rf.com)

What practices are prohibited when I travel with my dog?

There are stringent rules regarding traveling by car with a dog. Their purpose is to ensure your safety and that of your pet. In fact, you expose yourself to legal sanctions if you do not comply with the legislation in place. Imagine what could happen if your dog jumped between your feet while you were driving! Here is a list of a few things you should or must avoid:

Prohibited practices:

  • Letting your dog peek out the window.
  • Driving with your dog loose or tied by the collar.
  • Having your dog ride in the front seats, unless it is in a carrier tied to the passenger seat.

Non-recommended practices:

  • Overfeeding or giving too much water to your dog. It can make it nauseous and sick.
  • Taking long trips without stopping. For the well-being of both humans and animals, it is advised to take breaks every two to three hours.
  • If your dog shows signs of anxiety while traveling, have drugs to give it. Some will prevent pets from moving and, therefore, keep their stress in check. Consult your veterinarian to find the best anti-anxiety medication for your dog.

How can I help my dog travel by car?

Experts recommend that you do not force your pet into the car. The best way is to get it used to this routine from an early age. Remember that positive reinforcement is always a better way to educate your dog than punishment. That being said, using snacks as a reward may not be the best idea before getting into a vehicle.

If your pup gets dizzy and eats a treat before your trip, it may get an unsettled stomach and could even throw up. Love and stroking are, therefore, the recommended reward. Besides, you should start by taking short car trips in the beginning. You can then start increasing the length of your rides as your animal gets used to it.

man seated with his dog

A car cover is a large piece of fabric is designed to be placed over your car seat(s) to protect them.
(Source: Soloway: 114529745/ 123rf.com)

Buyer’s Guide

There are various factors to take into account when the time comes to purchase your own dog car seat cover. These include the size and breed of your pet, your personal needs, as well as your local legislation. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of this accessory is to protect your car from dirt, hair, and scratches while ensuring that you and your dog travel safely. Here are the main shopping criteria:

Materials

Since this accessory is designed to protect your seats from the dirt and scratches of your furry friend, the car cover you purchase should be made from strong and resistant materials. We also encourage you to opt for a waterproof model. That way, you can easily clean it while caring for your seats if your pet has muddy paws or vomits.

A large number of these products are made of Oxford fabric, which is cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. In addition, you can find many car seat covers manufactured from PVC and polyester. Their primary purpose is to resist scratching without breaking or tearing. Besides, you can easily clean them, and your seats and floor will be protected if any liquid is spilled.

dog

You have the option to put your dog in a spacious and comfortable carrier for greater safety.
(Source: Lakota: TrlHGvVLtbA/ Unsplash.com)

Size

In order to pick the appropriate size for your seat cover, you will have to take into account how big your dog and your vehicle are. Don’t forget that different models will protect various parts of your car. If you have a smaller pet and often have people traveling in the back seats, you should purchase a product that will protect one seat only to leave space for other passengers.

If your dog is big and you have a van with a large trunk, you will probably want to get a big cover that protects the whole back area of your vehicle. Besides, some models only cover the three rear seats, while larger ones will also protect your floor and doors. You can attach the latter to the front headrests.

Shape

As we have discussed throughout our article, dog car seat covers come in various shapes and sizes. The size of your dog and how much you want to keep your vehicle clean will influence the shape you opt for. Small drawer-shaped covers are specifically designed for little dogs. Others adopt the shape of the seats or the trunk of a van, for example.

Car covers that look like giant hammocks will protect the whole rear part of your vehicle. In fact, some of these models even integrate a fence to keep your dog from bothering you while you drive. If your dog likes to check out what’s happening outside, opt for a product that covers your doors to prevent paws from getting them dirty or scratching them.

Legislation

It is fundamental that the dog seat cover you purchase meets the standards intended to ensure road safety. In that regard, the accessory should feature a hole through which you can pass the seat belt to attach to the corresponding anchor ring. While this isn’t compulsory per se, we recommend that you have a fence that divides the front and rear parts of your vehicle to prevent your pet from getting its head near yours.

Accessories

Several complements can come in very handy as they improve the functionality of your car cover or contribute to complying with regulations in place regarding driving with a pet in the vehicle. We have listed the most common accessories for you below with a description of how you can use them:

  • Safety belt: Some models integrate a specific safety belt that you can attach to your dog’s harness. If this accessory isn’t available with the cover, you will have to buy it separately.
  • Pocket: Many products also include a large pocket where you can put all your canine items – from treats to clothes.
  • Safety harness: You can find covers that include the regulatory harness for traveling with a dog.
  • Fence: Some products come with a fence to divide the back from the front of the car. That way, your dog cannot stick its head by the front seats to lick your face while you’re driving.
  • Comb: If your pet loses a lot of hair and you’re afraid it will get too dirty, a comb can help you collect that hair.

Summary

Your first road trips with your best furry friend can be a bit of a challenge. However, there are great ways to make this process more comfortable for you and your pet. Besides, there are so many seat covers on the American market that you won’t have any trouble protecting your vehicle from the dirty paws, scratches, and possible vomiting of your dog.

These accessories have been gaining popularity for years now. Made with easy-to-clean materials, they will keep dirt, hair, and scratches out of your seats. If you already own a dog, you know that this leads to changes in our daily routines. In fact, protecting furniture and objects is essential with most animals.

Did you find our shopping guide on dog car seat covers helpful and informative? If that’s the case, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article on your social media so that your friends and family also make the most of this essential item!

(Source of featured image: Patryk Kośmider: 104597537/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Alexandra Williams Dog Expert and Trainer
Alexandra works as a dog trainer and is the owner of a dog school. She rescued three stray dogs from her local animal shelter and basically knows everything there is to know about dog training and dog food. She enjoys writing all about these loyal animals.