Riding around with a fur baby on board is a ton of fun, but it’s a bitch to clean up. Between the stray fur and the muddy pawprints and the wet dog smell, your car may be a little worse for wear if your pooch sets paw in it after such exposure to the elements. With a dilemma like this, there are two options. Option 1: let your lovely plush or leather seats sustain the stains and damage. Option 2: invest in a dog car seat cover. By opting for the latter, cleanup time is minimal, if not altogether eliminated. Plus, they can be a great aesthetic addition to your car.
Image: Stylish Hound
If you read the above rhetorical dilemma and opted for option 1…that’s weird. Please skip this post. For everyone who liked the sound of option 2, this post is for you. Here are our top tips for choosing the right dog car seat cover. It’s really not that hard, and the monetary cost will pale against the gain and peace of mind a car seat cover can bring. Plus, this small investment will preserve the resale value of your car. At this stage, why wouldn’t you opt for option 2?
Getting the material right
If you’re investing in a dog car seat cover, you need to get the material right. You’re not looking for some cheap Band-Aid fix that you’ll likely need to replace after X amount of uses. Fast fashion ain’t what we’re about. You’re looking for something durable that can stand the test of time—that’s ideally water-resistant or waterproof.
This canvas dog hammock ‘looks’ waterproof (if that makes sense). Image: Stylish Hound
Why is water resistance or waterproofness so important? Well, if your dog is gonna be shedding and dirtying this thing up, you’ll want something that’s easy to wash. It’ll be doubly convenient if your doggo likes to take a dip in the lake or at the beach. If you want to protect your passenger seats 100 per cent, we would recommend a waterproof material, which will not absorb any liquid. Water-resistant material, which is tightly woven, will not absorb water immediately, but liquid will seep through if you don’t clean it up in a timely manner.
Stylish Hound’s car seat covers are made out of waterproof canvas. Not only that, but they can sustain a gentle machine wash, as well as a spot clean with a damp cloth. This is a car seat cover that fits the bill.
Ease of setup
This solution is going to be long-term, so you want to ensure it will be convenient. Don’t get something that’s fiddly to install. Get something that has a simple setup—or, even better, that lifts right out. Here’s some good news: dog hammocks will do just that!
See how it hangs from the headrests and forms a hammock shape? Image: Stylish Hound
When setting up dog hammocks, all you really need to do is unfold them and sling a few handles over a few car headrests. Dog hammocks are so-called because they are shaped like hammocks, which need only two points from which to hang. These bad boys don’t hang in the air, but rather rest lightly atop the backseat passenger compartment. When the time comes to remove it, simply remove the handles and, well, lift it right out.
Stylish Hound has canvas dog hammocks available in four different designs. Some of these designs blend in so well with the car, you may not even notice they’re an ‘add-on’.
Dog car seat covers are there to protect your seats, but they can assist with canine car safety, as well. When set up in full, dog hammocks will block off the passenger footwell by default. This means that your dog will neither fall from their seat nor jump into the front seat compartment.
Beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see? Image: Stylish Hound
We all know dogs love to go walkabout, which is why dog restraint is strongly encouraged throughout Australia. In some states, it’s enforceable by law. It won’t restrain your dog the same way a doggy seat belt will, but a dog hammock will certainly block off your doggo’s ‘no-go’ zones. This will make for a safer drive all-round.
If you’re buying a dog car seat cover, you’ll want to get the sizing dimensions correct or else it won’t be compatible with your car. Luckily, most dog car seat covers are 140cm long, which is almost a one-size-fits-all solution. There is little margin of error here unless you drive a larger vehicle—but, even in that case, a 145cm variant should do the trick. If you drive a larger vehicle, look out for dog car covers made specifically for trucks or larger SUVs.
Stylish Hound provides sizing dimensions on their online store. Image: Stylish Hound
The easiest way to size up your vehicle is to measure the longest part of your passenger compartment. Even if you think your car fits the 140cm average, conduct the measurement anyway. It’s best to know 100 per cent that you’re purchasing the right product. Refunds and returns are the worst.
Choosing the right design
Last and least, you may want to choose something aesthetically pleasing, or that matches the theme of your car’s interior. This consideration has nothing to do with functionality, and if you’re going to compromise on any feature, it should be this one. That being said, if you do find yourself spoilt for design choices, by all means, choose the one that looks best. Just ensure you’re not compromising on any of the important features: materials, durability, safety, and sizing.
The Gumball design sure does bring the funky. Image: Stylish Hound
As well as the seats themselves, Stylish Hound’s car seat cover designs cover monochrome, floral, and funky. Which of the four tickles your fancy? Whichever you choose, you will be travelling in comfort and style. That much we can guarantee.