Who's a Good Boy? The Best Dog Car Seat Covers for 2024, Tested

best pet car seat covers tested
Tested: Best Dog Car Seat CoversGannon Burgett - Car and Driver

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As any pet owner knows, dog rides are the best car rides. Along with that, every pet owner knows how hard it is to get paw prints and slobber off the back seat. And the door panel. And the windows. And the headliner (how did those paw prints get up there?).

A dog car seat cover is the answer. Made specifically to protect your car's interior while being durable, liquid-repellent, and easy to clean, seat covers are a game changer. We set out to find the best car seat covers on the market with this test with real pets from the animal-loving Car and Driver office crew. Here's what you need to know.


Looking for more pet and dog car stories? See our tests of the Best Dog Car Seats, Crates, Carriers, and Restraints and Best Car Vacuums!

Things to Consider Before You Buy a Car Seat Cover

Dog car seat covers are different than typical automotive seat covers. Before you spend way too much—or far too little—on a car seat cover so you can take your buddy to the beach or dog park, take some time to think about these factors.


Pet car seat covers generally fall into two categories: bench seat covers and hammock-type covers. The bench seat type wraps and covers the backrest and bench seat, much like a typical car seat cover. Hammocks create a suspended "bed" that connects the front seat headrests to the rear headrests, containing your pet and all the stuff they bring into the car with them, from balls and toys to the messes they leave behind. Any quality set cover will have holes or other access points to your seat belts.

If you're looking for the best front dog seat cover, experts don't recommend having your pet ride in the passenger seat. Much like a child, pets are much safer riding in the back seat or cargo area of any vehicle.


While many covers claim to be universal, we recommend double-checking your rear seat's measurements against the manufacturer's information. Even then, curb your expectations of a "perfect" fit, especially for backseat coverage; a perfect fit and finish is just not going to happen. If you can, look for an anti-slip backing that will help keep your dog seat cover in place. A door protector will also help keep your vehicle's interior clean(er).

Ease of Installation

If you plan on switching cars regularly, we'd recommend a hammock-style rear seat protector, since they're much easier to install and remove. If you always take your doggo out for rides in the same vehicle, then a wraparound bench seat cover may be worth the extra time it takes to install, since you won't be removing it so regularly.


Choosing a durable and easy-to-clean material is your best bet for longevity against course dog hair, muddy paws, and sharp claws. Materials include Oxford cloth, polyester, Cordura, or canvas. Water-repellent is fantastic; waterproof material is even better. During our testing, we scrubbed each cover with a wire brush to assess durability, and they all held up pretty well.


Most dog seat covers will be machine washable or, at least, hand washable. However, if you have a dog that really likes to get wet and muddy, we recommend a fully waterproof cover for easier spot cleaning.

How We Chose the Best Dog Car Seat Covers

We called in members of the Car and Driver staff's furry families for true paws-on testing. We installed each dog car seat cover properly (some took more work than others), and only convinced the pets to hop on if they were 100 percent willing—a few treats worked wonders.

Note: Because the Center for Pet Safety doesn't recommend dogs riding in the front seat, we haven't included any front seat covers here. We also didn't include any car seats for dogs for the same reason; unless your pet is secured while you're driving, the experts at CPS don't recommend taking your good boy for a ride. Sorry!

Of course, we also got our hands on these seat protectors to evaluate stain and scratch resistance with various liquids, a wire brush, and a wash cycle. Here are the parameters we looked for:

  • Installation

  • Fit and Workmanship

  • Water Resistance

  • Stain Resistance

  • Scratch Resistance

The Best Dog Car Seat Covers, Tested

Ruff Liners Seat Cover

If you're going to protect your back seat from pet paws, you might as well protect as much of your interior as possible. That's where the Ruff Liners Seat Cover comes in. This hammock-style cover has integrated door-panel covers for full seat and car door protection, a feature most other car seat covers for dogs don't provide.

Conveniently, Ruff Liners offers two main designs: a hammock-style for upright back seats and a crew-cab style that lays on the truck's floor while the seats are folded up. For the best fit possible, it's available in a large truck/SUV size as well as a car/mid-size SUV size.

Our test cover featured great water beading and good stain resistance. Additionally, we only saw minor wear with our wire brush test. For an excellent dog car seat cover that offers ultimate seat protection, this is the one to get.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Ruff Liners Seat Cover</p><p></p><p>$109.99</p><span class="copyright">Gannon Burgett</span>

Kurgo Wander Hammock

Kurgo is a renowned name in outdoor pet accessories, offering everything from rugged car seat covers to leashes, life jackets, and water bowls. The company's Wander Hammock was a staff favorite of all the dog car seats we tested, with all of us lauding its quality material and ease of installation. The inclusion of plastic hooks as hoops instead of buckles makes it much simpler to install on and remove from the rear bench seat. It's available in 55- and 63-inch widths for various vehicles.

A handy zipper in the hammock acts as a vent for your pet or back-seat human with a messy eating habit. If you plan on taking your seat cover in and out, this is our pick for the dog car seat cover that's easiest to install.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Kurgo Wander Hammock</p><p></p><p>$69.95</p><span class="copyright">Gannon Burgett</span>

Molly Mutt 3-in-1

For the pet owner who enjoys a bit more flair, the Molly Mutt 3-in-1 offers a plethora of colors and print options. (The constellation print shown is called "Rocketman.") But it's not just great for looks; these covers are also comfortable, versatile, and well made.

Marketed as a hammock, seat cover for dogs, and cargo-area cover, the Molly Mutt proved to be effective in our testing. One thing to note is that its fabric is softer than most other covers we tested, so it's probably best for small to medium dogs. This proved true in our wire brush test, in which the Molly Mutt suffered the most damage.

While it's billed as universal, at 56 by 56 inches there's bound to be some fit discrepancy if you drive a Mini as opposed to a QX80. Still, Molly Mutt makes a soft, comfortable car seat cover that's pleasant in both look and feel. If you're looking for more than just a utilitarian seat cover for dogs, you can't go wrong here.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Molly Mutt 3-in-1</p><p></p><p>$67.62</p><span class="copyright">Gannon Burgett</span>

Kurgo Wander Bench Seat Cover

Sometimes, a simple car seat cover is all you need. This one from Kurgo lacks hammock features, so it's perfect for small pups or pets who prefer to lie down and nap in the car. Even at only 55 inches wide, we appreciated the extended sides that cover the entire seats, the material felt like quality, and the construction was top-notch. (An extended-width, 63-inch version is also available for $59 at Amazon).

It took a bit more work to install, but the fit was excellent. The Kurgo also performed well in our water-resistance test, beading off all of our liquids. For an affordable car seat cover for dogs, we really liked this one that's priced to suit every budget.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Kurgo Wander Bench Seat Cover</p><p></p><p>$53.95</p><span class="copyright">Gannon Burgett</span>

Carhartt Universal Bench Seat Cover

With a name like Carhartt, we were expecting a rugged, well-constructed car seat cover made of the classic Carhartt material found on the company's clothing products. Judging by the images that accompany the listing on the Carhartt store at Amazon, that's exactly what we were ordering. However, in a classic case of "buyer beware," when the seat cover arrived its material felt much lighter and thinner than we expected, more like a raincoat than Carhartt workwear. You can see in the accompanying photo that it's far more thin and pliable than the rugged, heavy-duty duck canvas Carhartt is renowned for.

Interestingly, acting like a raincoat is exactly what the Carhartt seat cover did best—the water beading from the Cordura Rain Defender–treated material during our stain test was unmatched. Unfortunately, we struggled to get the fitment right (as seen in the photo) and the quality felt too thin (ditto) to handle more than a few months' worth of claws. While the waterproofing is a step above the rest, that's about where the advantages of owning this brand-name seat cover end.

We went back and forth, but in the end, we wished we'd instead tested Carhartt's Pet Hammock ($120 at Amazon), which actually costs less than this ill-fitting seat cover. It's made of the same material and comes in the same colors, but if you're looking for a car seat cover for your pup, it's probably the smarter purchase because it also covers the seatbacks and the door panels.

Shop Now

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Carhartt Universal Bench Seat Cover</p><p></p><p>$141.26</p><span class="copyright">Gannon Burgett</span>

How We Tested Dog Car Seat Covers

To test these car seat covers for pet-friendliness, we turned to our furry friends from the Car and Driver family. We organized a testing day to bring pets in, and thankfully, many were able to get their camera time.

We installed these covers in both a Toyota Tundra and Hyundai Ioniq 5 and took notes on the installation process and overall fit (the dogs offered tail wags as opinions).

We then took each cover to the garage, added mustard, ketchup, cola, and coffee, and rubbed them in. We then observed how well each cover's water resistance performed.

Next, we scrubbed the seams and fabric panels with a wire brush to evaluate scratch resistance.

Finally, we threw each cover into a washing machine and, once dry, observed stain resistance.

[A couple of notes on stain resistance: The mustard stained every one of our seat covers, which we believe to be more of a reflection of yellow #5 food coloring rather than a failure of these car seat covers to repel stains. The other stain-tested items failed to yield any noticeable results, which is a good thing. Attempts to get a dog to pee into a cup were unsuccessful.]

a person's legs and feet
Gannon Burgett - Car and Driver


Do pet car seat covers stay in place?

Many car seat covers include seat anchors, headrest loops, and adjustable straps to keep the cover in place. However, in our experience, those aren't always enough to keep the cover firmly in place, especially with a dog in your back seat, so manage expectations accordingly.

Can I use a pet car cover underneath my child safety seat?

While most covers provide access to seat anchors and seatbelt points, we recommend checking with the car seat manufacturer to ensure compatibility.

Are dog car seat car covers durable?

Yes, dog seat covers are typically made from durable materials like Oxford cloth, Cordura, polyester, or canvas to withstand regular use and provide long-lasting seat protection.

Are dog car seat covers easy to clean?

Most dog seat covers are designed to be easy to clean and are either machine washable or wipeable. Specific cleaning instructions can vary, so checking the directions is best.

Are pet car seat covers universal?

Covers come in different shapes and fits, so measure before ordering. If you're unsure of the measurements, we recommend a hammock style or loose cover hanging over the bench instead of a bench seat cover.

Are dog seat covers waterproof?

Many covers are indeed waterproof. We can't speak for all car seat covers, but all the covers we tested had water-resistant properties. When we poured coffee and soda on their surfaces we observed beading off the surface.

a dog sitting on a car
Gannon Burgett - Car and Driver

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Hearst Autos combines the talent, resources, and expertise of three of the largest, most influential automotive publications in the world. The Gear Team has tested a wide variety of automotive products, parts, accessories, and gear, such as leather cleaners and interior cleaners. We get our hands on each and every product we test. Most are purchased; some are supplied by manufacturers.

The Gear Team doesn't need to game algorithms for traffic or promote lousy products for clicks. We're more concerned with our reputation and the trust that our readers have in Autoweek, Car and Driver, and Road & Track to deliver honest opinions and expert evaluations.

Read more about our product testing and evaluation process here.

best pet car seat covers tested
Gannon Burgett - Car and Driver