Staff, courtesy of PetSafe
One thing that almost any dog owner can attest to is the difficulty in keeping the interior of their vehicle clean after traveling with the dog. Car upholstery is apparently a magnet for dog hair, and it will require constant vacuuming to keep it clean. A day at the park or lake can also lead to grass, mud, dirty water, or unwanted bugs getting on your seats. The alternative is to install a protective seat cover designed for pet owners. These products add an extra layer of tissue to catch contaminants and keep the underlying material intact. The covers can then be easily removed, washed and reapplied for continued use.
What to consider
Seat covers are primarily designed for bucket seats, which are commonly found in the front of vehicles, or bench seats in the back. You will want to choose the blanket design depending on where your dog will be going. Also check the product’s length and width measurements and make sure it won’t be too small or too large for your particular seat. Most covers are made from synthetic fabrics like polyester (for added durability) and come in a variety of patterns and colors.
How we selected
Popular mechanics chose these products based on a combination of personal animal ownership experience and reviews from sites such as Daily paws, Dog journal, and Best Dog Tips. Price and design diversity is also taken into account to provide a wider range of products to meet many needs and budgets.
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PetSafe Happy Ride Bench Cover
This single sheet of polyester comes in a dull gray-brown and attaches to bench seats with four straps.
Two wrap around the lower seat cushions, while the other two hang from the headrest posts. The blanket comes in two sizes: 45 inches long by 56 inches wide, and a slightly larger version of 47 by 60 inches.
This fabric itself is sewn a few layers thick and offers water resistance while being machine washable.
- Easy installation
For large vehicles
Gorilla Grip anti-slip protector
This Gorilla Grip is a “hammock” style that covers the rear of the vehicle’s front seats, as well as the rear seat surface. The black polyester measures 63 x 56 inches and is waterproof.
Hair and dirt are easily sucked out of the cover, while large messes can be dealt with in the washing machine. The product attaches with a few straps, as well as plastic anchors that are pushed between the seat cushions.
A non-slip rubber sheet on the underside also prevents it from slipping off the seat. As an added bonus, you get a built-in pocket for pet supplies, as well as a self-contained polyester food bag.
- Wide coverage
- Additional storage
- Slip resistance
- Maybe too big for small cars
For bucket seats
BarksBar front seat cover
If your dog is riding in the front, this product is ideal. It is made of black quilted pattern polyester, with three layers for additional water resistance and a rubber backing to prevent slipping. The cover is attached with a few anchors and straps, the cushion part measuring approximately 20 x 20 inches. It can also be machine washed.
PetEvo Car Door Protector
In addition to a seat cover, these simple door cards can protect interior plastic pieces from falling and scratching from claws. Two come in the pack and they are installed using a combination of plastic hooks and Velcro pads with an adhesive backing.
The rigid polyester pads measure 22 x 27 inches and will fit under most side windows. Like most covers, they are water resistant and machine washable.
- Unique design
- Universal fit
- High price for size
- Adhesive may leave residue
For small dogs
ELS Pet Crate Cover
Perfect for small breeds and puppies, this versatile crate design can be attached to the front or rear seats. Mesh sides provide a soft yet sturdy method of keeping your dog safe, plus a dog-specific seat belt included. The rigid structure offers protection against scratches, but the mesh underneath can allow hair, dirt and liquids to pass through.
You also get an extra seat pocket included. The manufacturer claims this cover is machine washable, but the odd shape may not quite fit some washing machines.
- Unique and secure design
- Seat belt included
- Mesh provides limited coverage
Plush Paws Premium Rear Seat Cover
This black diamond pattern seat hammock stretches 55 inches by 58 inches, with straps for the rear and front headrests. There are a series of small holes positioned to allow full use of the seat belts with the cover installed. The thick, tear-resistant polyester is waterproof with a non-slip silicone backing. It also includes padded layers on the inside for your dog to roll around comfortably.
Colors include black, gray and beige, all machine washable. The only apparent downside to this packaging is that some reviewers complain that the straps are too tight for a quick and easy installation.
- Padded fabric
- Three colors available
The greatest coverage
Protective cover F-Color
For those with multiple dogs, or especially large breeds, this product can be fitted in the back of an SUV or wagon with the rear seats folded down. The fabric covers a large area, at 55 by 91 inches, with multiple layers of water resistance and a grippy rubber backing.
Also included are side shutters that protect the walls of the vehicle and can be attached to the windows using suction cups. The rear piece of fabric can be raised to cover the inside of the tailgate or lower to protect the bumper of the car when the tailgate is open. Unlike most models of covers, the manufacturer claims that it is not machine washable.
- Excellent coverage
- Wall protection
- Will not fit in small cars or sedans
- Not machine washable
Kurgo dog hammock
This unique hammock layout only covers about half of the back seat, leaving the other side for a human passenger.
The sides of the cover surround your dog and keep it secure, which can be cramped for larger breeds. The charcoal gray polyester with blue accents has a slightly more upscale look and feel than other seat covers and measures a tiny 29 by 30 inches. A few bonus pockets are also included.
Despite the three high walls in this design, the fourth side facing the door is left completely open to possible claw and slime attacks. The rigid PVC skeleton that holds the product in place also means it cannot be machine washed.
- Unique appearance and design
- Dog cradles
- Leave room for passengers
- One side left unprotected
- Not machine washable
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