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If you travel frequently with your dogs, you know that the inevitable result is that your car is covered in dog hair and drool, or your backseat is covered in puncture marks — or all of the above.
Having a seat cover or protector helps cut down on the problem. They’re removable, which makes cleanup easier, and in many cases they do wonders to protect your seats.
“Car seat covers help keep vehicle upholstery fur-free. They come in every possible cover and pattern,” says Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, in his book Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual. “Look for one that’s machine washable, and buy at least two so you’ll always have one available.”
Wide Range of Prices
The price of a new car seat cover can range from $10 to nearly $200. Factors that determine the cost include:
- Whether or not the cover is waterproof
- Type of vehicle
Although you certainly don’t have to spend a hundred dollars to get the perfect cover, remember that you get what you pay for.
Don’t Miss: Car Travel Tips for People With Dogs
Be Careful When It Comes to Sizing
If you get a seat cover that’s too small, it won’t cover the whole seat. One that’s too big either can be shoved aside by your dog or he could even trip on it while he’s moving around.
Some attachments may not work with your headrests or the layout of your vehicle. Many covers are designed to hook onto the driver’s and passenger’s side headrests. So if your chosen cover doesn’t hook on snugly, your dog can tunnel under it or even shove it aside.
In many cases, the benefits of a cover outweigh the costs of cleaning or repairing damaged leather or upholstery in your car, and the ASPCA recommends buying one for trips with your dog.
The video below shows a woman installing a hammock version with straps for the headrests:
3 Possible Options
Here are a few popular car seat covers for people with dogs:
This is one of the pricier options, coming in at around $189. However, it has the benefit of being both water-resistant and washable, and the design allows it to catch loose dirt and other debris and keep it from your seats.
Customer reviews, although few, are glowing about the ease of installation and the effectiveness of this cover (which is similar to the one in the video above). “It takes less than 5 minutes to install and about 2 minutes to take down when I have company,” says reviewer Ryan O. “I have tried other back seat covers, and none of them worked like this one.”
Less expensive (under $100) but still favorably reviewed, this car seat cover offers fluffy soft comfort, a velvety streamlined look and an anti-skid backing to help keep things firmly in place. Many buyers are happy with the product’s durability, and some even used it for their children instead of their pets! Negative reviews were commonly about the seat cover not fitting a particular vehicle. (Remember to measure your seats!)
This model doesn’t protect the entire seat, but it does have decent coverage over the main part of the back seat area. If your pet is a calm and easy rider, the DuraGear may be a good choice. Chief complaints from reviewers are that the cover is not as waterproof as advertised and that it doesn’t stay in place as well as it should.
Or Go Plain-Jane?
For an environmentally friendly (and wallet-friendly) option, an old bed sheet may just do the trick. After all, covering a seat isn’t rocket science.
The book Green Dog, Good Dog says an old blanket or sheet “may not tuck in as nicely as something that’s supposed to be custom-fitted, but … what a great way to recycle linens!”
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