Complete Dog Car Seat Cover Guide

Complete Dog Car Seat Cover Guide

Posted by Brooke Spater on 16th Apr 2019

What do trips to the beach, mud puddle romps at the dog park, and rainy-day runs on your favorite trail have in common? They are all fabulous outings you can enjoy with your dog, but it can be difficult to contain the post-adventure mess when you get back to the car. Don’t be fooled into thinking an old bath towel or worn out blanket will do the trick when it comes to the dirt, hair, and slobber that your well-intended furry friend inevitably will bring into the back seat. Having the proper seat protection in place is critical to keeping your seats clean and your dirty dog properly contained. The good news is that depending on your preference, there are a wide variety of car seat cover options to choose from. Beware, however, that all covers are not created equal. Look for brands that use high quality materials and waterproof fabrics. Read the labels and be sure you can return your cover on the off chance it breaks, or you aren’t satisfied for some reason. Don’t discount the economics of protecting your seats either. A recent study showed that using seat covers can increase your car’s trade-in value by $2400 on average.*

At Kurgo, we are the dog adventure experts and our innovative and durable car seat cover designs will stand the tests of time and grime. We’ve put together a comprehensive dog car seat guide to help you find exactly what you need. Let us help you keep your car looking like it just left the showroom so you can focus on your next adventure with your tail-wagging best friend. 

Bench Seat Covers

Bench seat covers are the most common kind of vehicle protection. Many dog owners like the more tailored look a bench seat cover offers. A good bench seat cover will provide protection from filthy messes brought about from water, hair, or muddy paws. Measuring your backseat and comparing it to the measurement for the products you are considering is critical to ensure the best fit. Most standard bench seat covers are 55" wide. If your bench seat is wider than that, you may want to look for an extended bench seat cover which comes with added width, typically up to 63" wide. 

What to watch for: With bench seat covers, it’s all about coverage and durability. They’re going to be up against your dirty dogs, so make sure they are built for the challenge. Look for a cover that has waterproof fabric, strong seams, piping to catch mud and water, and at least 4 points of attachment so that your dog can’t move it and uncover your nice clean seat. Consider a non-slip bench seat cover that will stay firmly in place. Also, be sure it has openings to pass the seat belts through, so your car can still be used by human passengers and you can still use your dog seat belt harness. Openings also allow you to use child car seats.

Dog Hammocks

For the most comprehensive protection, pet parents often choose hammocks. Hammocks are useful covers that hang between the back of the front seat and the front of the back seat, creating a literal hammock in the back of your car. They can be a good option for more active dogs because they can keep them the most contained. These do triple duty as they protect the bench seat and back of the front seats, keep your dog from falling in the foot well, and help prevent your dog from jumping into the front seat. Most hammocks will also let you zip them down the middle so your dogs can share the seat with human passengers. Hammocks come in a standard 55” width. If your bench seat is wider than that, you may want to look for an extended hammock which comes with added width, typically up to 63" wide.

For ultimate protection, consider a full coverage hammock that includes floor protection and side flaps to protect the sides of your car seats. You might want to also consider a half hammock which will keep half of your backseat free for passengers or groceries. Some people opt for a quilted hammock for an added layer of padded comfort or a patterned hammock for a pop of color in the backseat.

What to watch for: With Hammocks, durability should be at the top of your list. Hammocks aren’t designed to support your dog’s full weight (they rest on the seat), but they’ll still be covering a lot of area and you need to be sure they’ll hold up. Signs of strength include waterproof materials, double stitched seams, and piping to direct dirt and water. A good full-size hammock will also have a zipper down the middle so you can split it, allowing your dog to sit on one side of the seat and a person to sit on the other.

Cargo Covers

Cargo covers are great for dogs that ride in the rear area of your car, such as the back of an SUV, minivan, or station wagon. These covers lay flat in your storage area and are split so that you can put seats up and down without having to move them. They also come with rubber bumper guards that fold down to make loading and unloading a breeze. Cargo covers protect from muddy paws while also having added benefits like protecting your car from dirty chores like trips to the dump or your local garden center.

What to watch for: With cargo covers, you want to be sure to go with one made from heavy-duty materials that will fully cover the area. Well-made cargo covers will fold out to protect the bumper so your dog can climb in and out with ease. It's also best to get one with a zipper that will allow you to fold down one of your seats.

Bucket Seat Covers

Bucket seat covers work with bucket seats in cars, SUVs and trucks. They can be used anywhere in the car where you have a bucket seat. These usually cover the entire seat, bottom and back, fitting tightly like a glove so you’re completely protected.

What to watch for: With bucket seat covers, you want to be sure that they are extra durable. Look for double stitched seams, piping on the edges, and a company that offers a lifetime warranty. Cars with cup holders or strange armrests may require you get one of the irregular options listed below.

Irregular Car Seat Cover Options

When it comes to bench and bucket seat covers, no cover will be completely universal due to the broad array of vehicles on the market. When you have a seat that has strange armrests, an extra-wide bench, or other extruding features, you might consider the a shorty bench seat cover or shorty bucket seat cover which only cover the bottom part of the seat.

Car Door Guards

Scratched or damaged car doors can be prevented by using a car door guard which will extend the protection from your seat to your doors and windows. Dogs like to put their paws up (especially when the window is rolled down) and they can easily scratch your door or at least leave behind their slobber or dirty paw prints. Car door guards fit in between your window and door panel, and hang down as a tough, waterproof barrier to complete the protection of your car’s interior.

What to watch for: With car door guards, you want to make sure you’re getting something that’s going to fit your car. Quality car door guards will be nearly universal, and they’ll slide between the window and the door. Make sure they’re rugged and waterproof to withstand paws and slobber and be sure to look for a brand that can be machine-washed.

At Kurgo, we pride ourselves in quality and our collection of seat protection is built to last. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, we offer a lifetime warranty on all of these items. 

If you have specific questions about your vehicle or which item is best for you, please reach out! 

Call us at (877) 847-3868 to speak live with someone from our customer service team or email us:

*Study was based on a Toyota Camry with 60,000 miles on it.