Dog car seat covers are a great way to protect your car’s interior from damage and messes that can result from transporting your dog in your car. Taking your dog on adventures is so much fun and sometimes we have to transport our dog places, like to the vet. Unfortunately, between mud, claws, hair, and bathroom accidents, our canine friends can be rough on the inside of our cars. Car seat covers are made from heavy-duty, easy-to-clean materials that protect your car from damage.
Our vet advisor, Dr. Danielle Morosco, looked over dozens of dog car seat covers and narrowed the options down to only the best of the best, which we’ve listed here. Dr. Morosco’s top pick is the Meadowlark Dog Seat Cover. Standout features include the seat cover’s complete protection of the backseat, including headrests and door protection, and the fact that the seat cover is machine washable. Read how she chose the top 5.
Having waterproof, easy-to-clean gear is great for all aspects of your dog’s life, both at home and away. And don’t forget that you’ll need a good harness to go with these seat covers to make sure that your dog, as well as your interior, stays safe during car rides.
Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Car Seat Covers
|Editor’s Picks||Model||Rating||Waterproof||Machine Washable||Non-Slip||Fit|
|Best Overall||Meadowlark Dog Seat Covers||Universal|
|Best Budget Buy||URPOWER 4-in-1 Convertible Dog Car Seat Cover||Universal|
|Best Dog Car Hammock||Plush Paws Pet Car Seat Protector||Bench Seat|
|Best for Leather Seats||iBuddy Dog Car Seat Covers||Bench Seat|
|Best for Front Seats||Active Pets Front Seat Dog Cover||Front Seat|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy a Dog Car Seat Cover
- Owners who love to take their dog on adventures – Taking dogs places where they can get wet or messy, like to the beach or on trails is a lot of fun, but it gets dirty. A dog car seat cover is a great way to protect your car from dirt and water, especially if you opt for a waterproof option. The dog seat cover gets messy instead of your car, but it can be cleaned with a vacuum and damp cloth, or even by just throwing it in the washer.
- Owners of dogs that shed a lot – All dogs can shed quite a bit, but if you have a long-haired or double-coated breed, you know that they shed on a whole different level.1 You also know the frustration associated with trying to make sure that everything you own isn’t covered in dog hair. A dog seat cover can help with that, at least on the inside of your car. Let the inevitable hair cover the seat cover instead, then wipe or vacuum it clean.
- Owners of dogs that like to scratch at the seat – Dog nails can be rough on car upholstery, especially if your dog likes to scratch to get comfortable.2 A soft, comfortable dog car seat cover may prevent scratching in the first place. Even if it doesn’t, though, seat covers are made from heavy-duty fabric that can stand up to your dog’s claws.
Who Should Not Buy a Dog Car Seat Cover
- Owners who crate their dogs in the car – If your dog is in a crate or carrier when he or she is in the car anyway, then there’s really no point in having a seat cover.
- Owners of dogs who use booster seats in the car – If your dog uses a booster seat in the car, that limits the spread of mess and keeps them off the seat, so you probably don’t need a seat cover.
Research Tips from a Veterinarian
As a veterinarian, I’m frequently asked about how to choose a high-quality car seat cover for dogs. I always recommend that people check out the reviews and ask friends and family about the best dog car seat covers. Beyond that, however, there are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Measure your seats – Although most covers advertise a universal fit, be sure to measure your seats before purchasing dog car seat covers.
- Consider ease of cleaning – Look for covers that are waterproof and washable to ensure easy clean-up. Ideally, you should be able to throw your dog seat cover in the washing machine (though don’t anticipate being able to machine dry). At a minimum, though, you should be able to clean off any messes by vacuuming the seat cover or wiping it down with a damp cloth.
- Remember safety features – Choose a cover with a nonslip backing to keep your dog safe during transport. Also, make sure you choose a dog seat cover that allows you to clip into the seat belt so that you can use a car harness for your dog. Many dog car seat covers even come with tethers that attach to your dog’s harness and clip into the seat belt, so you don’t have to buy a separate tether.
- Select the right material – Choose a cover with a synthetic material as these are going to be the most durable fabric type. It will stand up to liquid messes, doggy nails, and more.
- Remember your pup’s nose – Avoid covers where reviewers mention a strong chemical smell. If it seems strong to people, it will be positively overwhelming for your poor dog, thanks to dogs’ powerful noses.
How Much Do They Cost?
Between $20 and $70
Generally, you can expect to pay between about $20 and $70 for a quality dog car seat cover. The main factor that affects the price is size. For example, single-seat covers are less expensive than covers designed to protect bench seats. For a bench seat cover, I would expect to pay $35 at the absolute minimum for a quality seat cover. If you have an especially large vehicle, you should expect to pay $60 to $70 for a quality seat cover that will go over your entire bench seat.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily
As a veterinarian, I see a lot of different car setups for my patients, including a wide variety of seat covers. The products I’ve recommended here were chosen based on not just my experience as a veterinarian and the conversations I’ve had with my patients, but also on my own experience as a dog owner. To choose my recommendations, I considered waterproofness, ease of cleaning, scratch resistance, and more. All of the dog car seat covers listed here should be able to stand up to all kinds of damage to keep your car seats safe, clean, and dry. – Dr. Danielle Morosco, DVM
The Best Dog Car Seat Covers: Full Reviews
The Meadowlark Dog Seat Cover is an excellent all-in-one dog seat cover that provides complete protection for your backseat. It even has side panels that protect your car doors and comes with slipcovers to protect your headrests. The design is also multi-functional, so you can use it in different configurations as needed. You can use it hammock style or let the front panels down so the cover hugs the shape of the seat. You can even put just one panel down, which allows a passenger to sit on the seat while leaving the other side hammock style for your pup. Finally, you can hook the dog seat cover over the rear of the seat and use the seat cover to protect your trunk/cargo space.
Whichever configuration you go with, the non-slip bottom, seat anchors, and adjustable straps keep the seat cover in place. It comes in X-Large and Standard sizes to fit a variety of car sizes and Black and Beige colors to match your car’s upholstery.
The Meadowlark Dog Seat Cover is waterproof and machine washable, so it contains messes well and is easy to clean when dirty. It has four layers and double stitching for maximum durability. It’s padded for your dog’s comfort and comes with a seat belt for your dog’s safety.
- Multiple configurations
- Headrests and door protection
- Waterproof and nonslip
- Machine washable
- Unrestrained dogs may be able to step over door protectors
- Can be more complicated to set up than others
Like the Meadowlark Dog Seat Cover, the URPOWER 4-in-1 Convertible Dog Car Seat Cover features a convertible design, though the possible configurations look a little different. Similar to the top pick, it can be used in hammock and cargo liner configurations. However, it can also be used as a front seat cover or, by detaching the entire front panel, in a bench-style configuration. (That last configuration is also great if you have kids that like to put their dirty shoes on the back of your car seats.)
Also like the Meadowlark Dog Seat Cover, this dog car seat cover features door protection, though it doesn’t come with headrest covers. It does have a couple of neat features that the Meadowlark does not though. For one, there’s a mesh panel that lines up between your car’s front two seats for ventilation and so you and your dog can see each other during your rides. Second, there are a couple of built-in storage pockets where you can keep small items that you might need for your dog, like their leash, clean-up bags, or a water bottle and collapsible bowl.
The URPOWER 4-in-1 Convertible Dog Car Seat Cover comes in X-Large and Standard sizes to suit cars, trucks, and SUVs. It also comes in four different colors, so there’s sure to be one to suit your tastes. The 600D Oxford fabric is 100% waterproof, though the cover is not machine washable. Seat anchors, adjustable straps, and the non-slip backing keep the cover in place. Padding keeps your dog comfortable.
- 100% waterproof
- Converts to front seat cover or trunk cover
- Good for trucks and SUVs
- Comes with a seatbelt
- Not machine washable
- May not stand up to chewers and large, rambunctious dogs
The Plush Paws Pet Car Seat Protector doesn’t have a bunch of different configurations like our last two recommendations, but if you only want and need a hammock-style seat cover, that’s just fine. It still has all the essential features that you need, like padding, non-slip backing, and seat anchors. This car seat protector doesn’t offer any kind of door protection, but it does have adjustable side flaps that protect the sides of your seats. It’s also waterproof and machine washable, and it’s even chemical-free.
The Plush Paws Pet Car Seat Protector comes in Small, Regular, and Extra Large sizes, as well as Black, Grey, and Tan color options. It comes with two car harnesses to keep your dog safe while you travel. Plush Paws even provides a lifetime warranty.
- Tear-resistant and waterproof
- Machine washable
- Includes 2 harnesses for added safety and support
- Not as versatile as other options
- No door protection
To protect your leather seats, you need a full-coverage dog car seat cover like the iBuddy Dog Car Seat Cover. The hammock-style design allows for full coverage to protect your leather seats and door panels. You can also leave the side panels down for the hammock configuration to protect your seats while also giving easy access to the sides of the seat cover. To further help prevent messes, this seat cover is waterproof and made by hot pressing instead of sewing to prevent seepage of liquids through needle holes.
Other handy features include the front mesh window that allows you to see your dog and your dog to see you. This can be great for dogs with car anxiety, as they can look to you for reassurance. The mesh window unzips on one side to allow you to reach back to your dog without having to reach over the seat cover. Another great feature is the two pockets which can be used to store small items that your dog needs. Seat anchors, headrest straps, and non-slip backing ensure that the cover stays in place without damaging your leather seats. It has no chemical smell and stands up to claws, even at the mesh window.
The seat cover is available in Standard and Truck sizes to work with whatever size car you have. It comes in Gray, Brown, and Blue color options.
- Mesh window for ventilation and pockets for storage
- Waterproof and machine washable
- Superior protection for leather seats
- Window is a weak point in the construction
- Headrest straps may be too long for smaller vehicles
Finally, if you have a two-seater or just prefer having your dog in the passenger seat, you need the Active Pets Front Seat Dog Cover. While all the other seat covers we’ve recommended here are for bench seats (though the URPOWER 4-in-1 Convertible Dog Car Seat Cover has a front seat configuration), the Active Pets Front Seat Dog Cover is specifically designed for front seats. It has a top strap that wraps around the headrest and a second strap that wraps around the back of the seat to secure the cover in place. The cover also extends down the sides and front of the seat for extra protection. It’s designed to fit seats in any car, truck, or SUV.
This seat cover is not machine washable, but it is waterproof and easy to clean. Simply wipe or vacuum up any messes that occur. In fact, this seat cover has a four-layer design. Those layers include a nonslip rubber backing, cotton padding, and not one, but two waterproof barriers. As far as appearance, the main color is black, but you can choose between Orange, Pink, Black, and Blue trim options.
- Nonslip rubber backing, cotton padding & 2 waterproof barriers
- Easy to wipe clean or vacuum
- Covers extend down the sides of front seats
- No door protection
- Only covers the front seat
- Not machine washable
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dog car seat covers work?
Dog car seat covers are an effective way for keeping hair off your car. To prevent damage, however, you need to make sure you’re buying a dog car seat cover made from the right material. Waterproof options, like the ones we’ve recommended here, are great for preventing stains from mud, drool, urine, and more. Car seat covers made from thick, heavy-duty fabric will protect from damage from claws or even teeth.
Are car hammocks safe for dogs?
Car hammocks are no more dangerous for dogs than the seat alone. In fact, between blocking the floor gap and non-slip materials, car hammocks can help prevent your dog from falls that can hurt them. However, a car hammock alone is not sufficient protection for your dog when riding in the car. To do that, you’ll need a way to keep your dog tethered in the car, like a seatbelt car harness.3 Fortunately, most car hammocks have slots in them that allow you to access the seatbelt for safe harnessing. Many even come with a tether to attach your dog’s car harness to the seatbelt.
How do I keep my car dog hair free?
A seat cover is the best way to keep dog hair off of your car. Instead of all over your seats, the hair ends up on the cover, which can then be wiped off or, in some cases, machine washed. To cut down on the amount of hair on the cover, give your dog a thorough brushing before you put them in the car. If any hair manages to find its way on your seats or car floor anyway, you can use a vacuum to remove loose hairs. For any stubborn hairs that still cling, you can use a lint roller or a special rubber brush designed for hair removal.
How can I protect my car from my dog?
A waterproof, scratch-proof seat cover is the single best way to protect your car from your dog. It creates a barrier between your dog and your car so the cover takes the messes rather than your seats. It also limits the spread of drool or urine that might otherwise spill or drip off the seat, as well as pet hair by blocking its ability to be blown around the car by your AC. For the most protection, make sure you choose a dog seat cover that also protects your car’s doors.
Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Allen M. 8 Dogs That Shed the Most. Petcarerx.com. Published November 7, 2021. Accessed January 6, 2022.
- Llera R, Buzhardt L. Why Dogs Turn Around Before Lying Down. Vcahospitals.com. Accessed January 6, 2022.
- Mayersohn M. Dogs in Cars, Getting There Safely. Nytimes.com. Published December 17, 2019. Accessed January 6, 2022.