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A seat protector can save your car’s interior from hair, wet feet, and the general mess that can sometimes come with taking your pup for a ride.
There are protectors that just cover the seat and others that work like a hammock, also shielding the backs of the front seats. Some just cover half the back seat or just a bucket seat. Key features include how waterproof and easy to clean they are.
All good covers have slots for seat belts so you can still use your pet’s car safety restraint to keep everyone safe in the car.
Here are the best dog seat covers.
Best Overall: 4Knines Dog Seat Cover with Hammock
Comes in two sizes and three colors
Non-slip backing and colorfast materials
No door protection
Some users report that it’s not completely waterproof
This popular car seat cover is rugged with several layers, including a non-stick waterproof backing. It’s made of colorfast materials so the dye doesn’t bleed into your seat. The hammock-style cover installs with anchors that slip between the seats and straps that clip around the headrest. It’s also padded and comes in two sizes and three colors.
The materials contain no heavy metals or AZO dyes (a type of synthetic chemicals) and the cover can be wiped down or thrown in the washing machine. The hammock is advertised as waterproof, but some owners report they’ve had trouble with liquids leaking through the fabric or the slots for seatbelts.
Best Waterproof: PetSafe Happy Ride Quilted Bench Car Seat Cover
Waterproof material and zippers
Hammock, bench, and bucket styles
Attractive leather and brass accents
Pricier than many others
This handsome quilted seat cover looks good and performs well. Unlike most, which allow liquids and hair to slip through the slots for seat belts, this cover has waterproof zippers where the seat belt openings are. When the zippers are closed, it prevents spills from seeping through. The cover is made from heavy cotton trill and is trimmed with leather and brass. It comes in three colors and is available in bench, hammock, or bucket designs.
It stays in place with elastic straps over the headrests, seat anchors, and non-slip backing. There are also elasticized panels on the sides to keep it from shifting when your dog moves around. The whole thing is machine washable and reviewers are happy that it is truly waterproof.
Best Budget: Outward Hound PupShield Backseat Car Hammock
Less expensive than most
Feels like canvas
Doesn’t protect sides of seat
Only one size and color
This budget-priced hammock is a basic cover that protects the seat and seatback. It installs with anchors in between the seat creases and adjustable straps around the headrests. It’s a polyester water-resistant blend but feels like canvas, which helps keep it from sliding around. It’s machine washable (but don’t put it in the dryer), but for best results, just spot clean or use a vacuum.
The cover comes only in black and just one size, that can be adjusted to fit most cars, vans, and SUVs. Some owners say they’ve also used it in non-hammock configuration, just letting the hammock part cover the bottoms of the back seat.
Best Splurge: Orvis Grip-Tight Windowed Hammock Seat Protector
Quilted, heavy cover
Three colors and five sizes
Mesh panel for ventilation and to see what’s going on
More expensive than others
This hammock seat protector is significantly more expensive than others, but it is substantial and soft and seems like it would withstand a lot of muddy paws and scratchy nails. It has a mesh panel between the front seats so your pup doesn’t miss out on what’s happening around him. The mesh also provides better ventilation between the front and the back. The protector has a heavy, quilted water-resistant microfiber cover with a non-skid backing. Available in three colors, it comes in three sizes for cars/SUVs and two more for trucks.
The cover has slits for seat belts and installs with anchors that slip in between the seats and straps around the headrests. If you think your dog might paw at the mesh, it’s also available without the window pane.
Best for the Whole Back Seat: Ruffwear Dirtbag Seat Cover
Can cover just the seat or work like a hammock
Seat belt slots close when not in use
Only one size and color
Outdoorsy dog owners love the Ruffwear brand. The company’s gear is rugged and durable and typically looks good. This seat cover converts hammock-style or as a traditional seat bench cover. In the non-hammock configuration, the extra fabric lays down to cover the bottom of the seat plus there are flaps to cover the seat sides.
The waterproof fabric has a gripper backing to stay in place. It attaches with loops that wrap around the headrests and anchors that stuff between the seats. The machine washable cover has slots for seat belts that close up when not in use. There’s also a small zippered pocket to store items like leashes and treats. It only comes in one size and color (gray).
Best for Partial Back Seat: Kurgo Dog Hammock
Covers only half the back seat
Two storage pockets
Zippered seat belt slots
Only available in one color
Not machine washable
This half-seat hammock is a smart option when your dog isn’t the only passenger in your back seat. That way your dog gets part of the seat and your passenger doesn’t have to sit on a cover. The hammock keeps your dog (and dog hair) from going into the front seat. There are zippered slots for seat belts and a flap to protect the side of the seat.
The protector is water- and stain-resistant and must be hand washed or spot-cleaned. There are two pockets on the inside with your dog where you can store small items.
Best for Small Dogs: Flow.month Pet Front Seat Cover
Added booster seat
Comes in three colors
Less expensive than many
Not machine washable
Not completely waterproof
This seat cover protects your car by covering the seat, back, and sides of a single seat. But it also folds into a booster seat for small dogs with a tether to keep them from easily squirming free. The cover wraps around a car seat with flaps to protect the sides of the seat. It works in the front or the back and attaches with a seat anchor and a buckle strap around the headrest.
You can match your car’s interior (or your pet’s hair) because the cover comes in three colors: beige, black, and silver. Because there are slits for the seat belt to pass through, it isn’t completely waterproof.
Best Looking: Kurgo Loft Hammock
Bright and attractive
Comes in hammock or bench styles
No protection for sides of seats
This bright, quilted seat cover looks like a puffy winter jacket. It’s bright blue on one side and orange on the other, so you can choose the option that complements your car or your dog best. The cover attaches over the headrests and with a paracord tucked in between the seats. It comes in hammock and bench styles.
The cover is made of a sturdy, ripstop fabric that isn’t too slippery for a pet to stay put during rides. There are zippered openings to easily access seat belts and the protector can be tossed in the wash (on gentle cycle) if things get too muddy.
Best Door Cover: Plush Paws Products Car Door Protectors
Five colors and two materials
Tear- and water-resistant fabrics
Can’t open or close windows once installed
Too small for some vehicles
These door protectors are handy if your dog likes to check out what’s going on outside the window. They cover your doors, attaching to the window and door with plastic hooks, suction cups, and Velcro. The protectors have several thick layers, including a tear-resistant top and a slip-resistant bottom. The fabric is waterproof and chemical-free and it’s machine washable.
The cover comes in five colors and either basic materials or a more plush, velvet fabric. Some people say they use these alone, while others combine them with full seat covers that don’t protect doors. Once it’s installed, you can’t open or close the windows.
Best for Front Seat: Active Pets Front Seat Dog Cover
Four layers of fabric
Side and front flaps
Four trim options
Some users say it’s not truly waterproof
It’s rarely a good idea to have your canine BFF riding shotgun. Your pet could be injured by an airbag if you’re in an accident and should always be safely restrained, ideally in the back seat. But if you’re in a truck or other vehicle without a back seat, this cover protects a front bucket seat with additional side and front flaps.
The cover comes in all black or with an orange, pink, or blue trim. It has seat anchors and two sets of buckles around the headrest and seat. It’s made of four layers of fabric, including three waterproof layers and a soft top material.
What to Look for in a Dog Seat Cover
Hammock or Bench
Some covers just cover the back seat and maybe the sides, while others work as kind of a hammock, also protecting the backs of the front seats. Some covers convert and can be used either way. If you're worried about mud and fur flying, a hammock might be a better choice. Just note that it can depend on your dog.
If your dog is really active and really wants to be with you, that hammock may just be a challenge to leap over. That’s why it’s always important to use a safety restraint in the car for your pup.
While most covers say they are waterproof or water-resistant, they don’t always perform so great when liquids are involved. It could be because the materials don’t work to repel water as well as they could.
But another reason is because most covers have slits for seat belts. And liquid will seep through those spots. Some covers offer better protection with flaps or zippers that cover the seat belt slits when they aren’t being used.
Easy to Clean
Check the washing instructions for seat covers. Some can be tossed in the washer and dryer, while others can only be washed on a gentle cycle (and air dried), and others can only be wiped down by hand. Sometimes the waterproof, non-slip layers can crack or peel if they’re machine washed or dried when they’re not supposed to be cleaned that way.
What is the best way to get dog hair off of seat covers?
Some dogs leave behind tumbleweeds of fur, while others shed tiny little bristly hairs. You can clean both off a seat cover with a vacuum or a lint roller. A damp sponge can also wipe away dog hair. If the cover is extremely dirty and it’s machine washable, it’s still a good idea to try to wipe, vacuum, or roll away as much hair as possible before putting it in the washer.
How often should dog seat covers be cleaned?
That depends on your dog and the dirt and hair.
"Depending on your dog’s activity, you could be washing the seat cover every two weeks or pushing the wash out to a month,” says Olivia Crum, PetSafe category product manager for travel and access. “The wash cycle is related to what you and your pet are doing when out and about. The parent of a playful, muddy dog will need to wash the seat cover more than the parent of a more casual dog who doesn’t like to get dirty."
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
For this story, we consulted with many dog owners, fosters, and rescue workers to see what’s important to them when choosing a car seat cover. We also tested several before making any recommendations.
Mary Jo DiLonardo has been writing about pets and animals for several decades. She has a rescue dog and has fostered more than three dozen dogs and puppies. She’s transported lots of them in her vehicle, which means a lot of dog hair and other messes. Pet health and safety are very important to Mary Jo and she’s always researching the latest products to keep the dogs in her care healthy and safe.