Claws, drool, dirt and mystery scum. Dogs take a toll on car seats.
My (dog) van needs seat covers.
But with all the options out there … what style and fabric and features did we need? I had no idea. Before I plunked down much money, I needed some ideas.
So I started off just using what was handy to see what happened.
I first tried the dog blanket from our couch.
It was wide enough to tuck between the seat and the sidewalls, catching Zoe droolings when she leans against the sidewalls. Plus it was soft enough to not scratch the leather.
Unfortunately, it kept slipping off the top of the seat and the dogs’ paws hooked on the edge when they jumped up so ended up like this …
Then I tried a packing blanket.
It was thick and a good barrier for mud and water (from a towel-dried dog), easy to wash and big enough to stay in place (for the most part).
I also really liked how it covered the top of the seat back because the dogs rest their heads on the top when they look out the back window … and slobber.
But I was considering using dog seat belts, so I needed something with holes to make belt clips accessible. Of course, I could just cut and trim holes in the blanket, but … I’m lazy.
Pet Car Seat Cover Requirements
Well, it looked like simple blankets weren’t going to work. However, experimenting was not a wasted effort because I was now able to list features I needed in a ‘real’ pet car seat cover, making the search for the perfect one easier:
- Long enough to hang (or tuck) well over the front of the seat (so paws wouldn’t catch on the edge) and over the top of the seat back (to protect from back-viewing dogs’ slobber)
- Wide enough to tuck into the sides (to catch sidewall drools)
- Easily installed (I’m lazy … don’t want to wrestle with it every time it needs a wash)
- Made from material that is:
- not slippery (Zoe does not anchor well on car seats)
- soft enough to not scratch leather
- water repellent (completely water proof not necessary since the dogs don’t get in sopping wet)
- Seatbelt clip accessible
I spent a lot of time on-line reading reviews and looking for the perfect pet seat covers. I admit to being a little obsessive about it.
I finally found the right one at a local discount store. I’ve seen the same one in auto supply stores.
I passed it by multiple times because the ‘horse blanket’ material seemed too rough and not water repellent enough for the leather. And it wasn’t marketed for pets specifically.
Then I looked closer and discovered a soft foam-like material on the underside, so it wasn’t going to scratch my seats. Plus, the upperside was so not slippery at all, perfect for my slip-and-slide little Zoe girl!
I also almost didn’t buy it because the instructions looked too … ugh, annoying. It turns out that I didn’t even have to follow the instructions. I ignore all the hooks and elastics and whatnot and it still stays right in place. It has gathers along the edge, so I simply put it on like a fitted sheet over a mattress and BAM it’s on!
I never have to adjust it. This is the most out of place that it gets:
Washed, Dried and Tested
I’ve been using this cover for a couple months now, including a week-long road trip. The dogs jump up and off it energetically and it stays in place
When I first washed it I was apprehensive for the foam-like material, but it did not disintegrate (gentle cycle on both wash and dry).
It’s the perfect seat cover for us. Even if the foam-like material does eventually fall apart from washings, it’s still a good deal because it’s relatively cheap.
Do you have a favorite pet car seat cover? Are your dogs as high maintenance as mine? :->