At last, the pet travel industry has discovered that a back seat cover doesn't protect your dog from falling off the seat or smashing into the front seat when you make a sudden stop or a sharp turn. At their worst, back seat covers simply protect your back seat from scratches, drools, and shedding fur; at their best, they may also be comfortable for your dog.
Maybe the pet travel industry joined up with the pet safety industry and came up with these luxurious safety products that offer protection as well as comfort to your pet.
In addition to a harness and seat belt, (see number 6, below) which should be used with your dog at all times in the car, there are two types of pet protection that effectively keep your dog from falling on the floor; back seat dog hammocks and back seat extenders. Staying off the floor of the back seat is extremely important for your pet, especially when the car stops or turns.
Lady Bee's Top 3 Picks For Back Seat Dog Hammocks
A rendition of a back seat cover for your dog is the hammock, which extends the cover from the edge of the back seat to the front seat, leaving a 'hammock' effect over the foot-well. The hammock part of the seat cover is a safety feature intended to keep your pet from falling in the foot-well and smashing into the front seats or through the console space.
The back seat dog 'hammock' ideally covers the entire back seat. It generally has four adjustable loops that go over the back and front seat headrests. The back seat loops hold up a fitted, hopefully comfy, back seat cover that becomes a hammock over the back foot-well to the headrests of the front seats. This extension is not intended to stand or lie on; it acts only as protection from a fall or a thrust forward. The thicker the material between the front and back seat the more support it will give your dog, provided the front loops are anchored to the front seats fairly tightly, as in the video of the Companion Dog Car Hammock below.
Be mindful that the heavier your dog, the more substantial the hammock material must be. Make sure the hammock is made of sturdy material and has reliable clip closures at all four loops. With that in mind, these are my top picks in the dog hammock category:
1. HuggleFleece Hammock
HuggleFleece Hammock Pet Car Protector
The HuggleFleece is any dog's delight and it would probably be any human's delight. A snuggly bear of a car seat cover, the faux sheepskin HuggleFleece Hammock Pet Car Protector is thick and cushion-y and should help minimize harm to a medium to large size dog that takes a fall.
The HuggleFleece is thick polyester with a microsuede underside. A waterproof barrier lies between the two layers. It comes in light beige (seen above) and gray.
2. Animals Matter Companion Dog Car Hammock
Animals Matter Companion Dog Car Hammock
This beauty's top surface is "padded rhino suede cushioned with polyfill." Don't worry: No Animals Were Even Touched To Make This Product! Rhino suede is a 100 percent polyester material that features a smooth as a rhino top layer. The Companion Dog Car Hammock is cushy as can be and provides support if your medium to large dog should fall or step off the seat. Mostly what it will do is encourage her to get back on the seat!
3. DuraGear Pet Travel Hammock
DuraGear Pet Travel Hammock
Not as thick and, therefore, not quite as supportive as my top two choices, the DuraGear Pet Travel Hammock has holes for the seat belts to slip through, and you should be using seat belts. The microsuede cover is padded and machine washable and dry-able on gentle. It would probably offer resistance to a small to medium size dog in a sudden stop.
One major drawback of most car hammocks is that they cover the heat and air conditioning units for the back seat that are located on the middle console. But an innovative solution in the DuraGear Hammock is a mesh panel between the front seats that allows the forced air to flow through to the back! I am of two minds about this feature as it creates security for your dog in being able to see you, but it does not add to her safety, as she can still be thrown through the front seats if your car makes a short stop. BUT, you can decide to use this feature or not by just keeping the hammock zipped up in the middle.
Lady Bee's Top 2 Picks For Back Seat Extenders
Both types of pet protection effectively keep your dog from falling on the floor; that is extremely important! In a sudden fall your dog could break a leg or sustain internal injuries.
I prefer the seat extender to the hammock because I have a safety harness and belt for my dog that allows him to move from side to side of the back seat, but not to far to the front, so he is prevented (I certainly hope!) from being thrown to the front. But he has landed on the floor when I short-stopped, so the seat extender is perfect for us.
The seat extenders have to be solid enough to hold your dog if he should decide to stand on them. Although, I recommend use of seat belts for all dogs, regardless of which additional protection you use, with with a back seat extender your dog needs to be wearing a seat-belt so he will not be thrown into the front seat!
Notice that the Tuffet Luxx Seat Extender and the Safety Back Seat Extender, below, are both shown in a car that has an arm rest that can be lifted to prevent a dog from being tossed between the seats.
4. Tuffet Luxx Seat Extender
The Tuffet Luxx Seat Extender is impeccably designed with a zippered, fitted, washable cover over a solid piece of firm foam. It is shown above with a beautiful Golden resting his front paws on it.
Tuffet Luxx Seat Extender
Each Seat Extender is 25" long x 12" high. Its width is 12" on top and 9" on the bottom, so you can invert this extender if you want to put the front seat back.
But note, one Tuffet Luxx Seat Extender only sits on one side of the car, so if you want both right and left sides of the floor covered, you will have to buy two.
The Tuffet Luxe comes in black, marine, and tan. The cover is made of ripstop nylon, so you know it's strong, and it's machine washable.
5. Safety Seat Back Seat Extender For Dogs
Safety Seat Back Seat Extender For Dogs
The Safety Seat Back Seat Extender For Dogs is almost exactly like the Tuffet Luxx, above, except that the covers are microvelvet (upholstery grade) and the bottom width is quoted as 8" compared to the Tuffet Luxx's 9" bottom width. The covers are a bit snazzier, I will say that. The gray print is shown above; other colors are charcoal gray, tan, and brown print. Here again, you will need to order two Back Seat Extenders to cover the entire space between the front and back seats.
Lady Bee's Top Pick For Seat Belts
6. Kurgo Dog Seat Belt With Carabiner
All of the dog models in the above images are shown without seat belts. Regardless of the added security of the hammocks and seat extenders, in case of an accident, your dogs, regardless of size, need the protection of a harness and seat belt, such as the Kurgo Dog Seat Belt With Carabiner.
Kurgo Dog Seat Belt With Carabiner
The Kurgo Dog Seat Belt With Carabiner will work with all of the above hammocks and seat extenders to give your dog a comfortable and safe ride! If you prefer, you can purchase a tether to hook your dog's harness up to the car's back seat belts here.
That's the buzz for today!
Also read my best solution for carrying a cat in your car: SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed Is In A Class By Itself!