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9 Best Dog Car Hammocks of 2023

Dog happy in a dog car hammock
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Many dogs love car rides, but the car isn’t always the safest place for them. While a car crash is an obvious danger, something as common as a quick stop can injure your pet if they don’t have the proper protection. And even when a drive gets from start to finish without any obstacles, your car seats will take a beating. Everything from muddy paws to motion sickness can turn your backseat into a smelly, stained mess.

There are a few ways to secure your pet in your vehicle, each with varying levels of protection (for your dog and your seats!). One of the most popular methods is using a dog car hammock, which is a convenient, easy option to keep your pup secure and your car clean while they ride. 

Our Top Picks

What is a Dog Car Hammock?

A dog car hammock is a device made of tough fabric that helps contain your pet in the backseat. Typically, it attaches to the headrests of the backseat and front seat, creating a hammock-like shape. These car hammocks  can also feature storage pockets, seat belts for dogs, non-slip grippiness, and waterproof material.

Unlike seat covers, which only protect your car’s seats from your dog, a hammock is designed to protect your dog from the dangers of the car (while, yes, also protecting your car’s seats!). 

While dog car hammocks don’t secure your pet as much as a crate or a dog seatbelt or car seat will, they do create a small barrier between the backseat and front seat. This not only keeps your pet from climbing up front (and becoming a huge distraction), it also keeps them from flying forward during quick stops or falling between seats.

Dog Car Hammocks: Benefits and Considerations

Dog happy in backseat of car

Let’s take a look at a few factors that can be beneficial when it comes to dog car hammocks, as well as some things you may want to take into consideration.

Benefits

Safety. Dog car hammocks keep everyone in your car safer. By helping contain your pet to the backseat, a hammock eliminates the possibility of them climbing around the car and becoming a dangerous distraction. Additionally, it keeps your dog safer by preventing them from hurting themselves during quick stops. “It can also help them from falling forward off a seat if the siding goes all the way around,” says Amanda Steffen, a relief and emergency veterinarian based in Cincinnati. We spoke to her for advice on choosing and using car hammocks.

Seat Protection. Dog car hammocks can protect your car seats from damage and messes like scratches, mud, and potty accidents, especially if you choose a waterproof option. 

Anxiety relief. “If your pet is stressed in the car or in a crate in the car, this may be a good alternative to give them more freedom,” says Steffen.

Considerations

Not a crate replacement. While they do provide a safer space for your pup, dog car hammocks aren’t an alternative to more secure methods, like crates or seat belts.

Better for larger dogs. Dog car hammocks can be beneficial for most dog sizes, but they are especially ideal for large dogs. If you have a very small pet, it may be a good idea to consider other options. “There are better alternatives for smaller pets that could easily be contained to one seat and could be buckled in to prevent slipping/falling,” says Steffen.

How We Chose Our Top Dog Car Hammocks

Dog hammock in the backseat of car

In addition to seeking expert advice, we considered the following when choosing our selection of dog car hammocks:

Safety. We looked at the safety components for each hammock, noting when things like non-slip surfaces and anchors were part of the design.

Usability. From ease of installation to multi-use functionality, we called out features that provided added versatility and/or convenience. 

Ratings and reviews. Understanding what worked for pet parents (or what didn’t) can be a huge help when making a purchase for your pup, so we factored product ratings and reviews into our selections.

Price. To offer a full spectrum of car hammocks, we made sure to include both budget-friendly options, as well as those with a higher price point.

Author’s Note: When making selections, I also considered my own experience with dog hammocks, including using one with my own dog for multiple 10+ hour road trips and daily drives.

9 Best Dog Car Hammocks to Take on the Road

Overall Best Dog Car Hammock

Our Pick: URPOWER Dog Seat Cover

URPOWER Dog Seat Cover Car

The number one factor in how well a dog car hammock works is how safe it is, which is why we chose this URPOWER Dog Seat Cover as the best overall. This hammock comes with two seat belt attachments that clip your pet into your car’s existing seat belt buckles to help further protect your dog. It’s available in two sizes and also has additional safety benefits, like a non-slip backing and seat anchors that help keep it in place. Plus, the side flaps can be zippered up to protect your doors. Bottom line, this dog car hammock has everything you need (and more!) to keep your pet safe on the road – all at a fair price.

Pros

  • Door protectors can be zippered up or down
  • 4-layer design is 100% waterproof
  • Comes with two seat belt buckles and attachments
  • Stays in place with seat anchors and non-slip backing
  • Can also be used as a bench seat cover and cargo liner
  • Good price point

Cons

  • Not machine washable

Best Extra Large Dog Car Hammock

Our Pick: 4Knines Dog Seat Cover with Hammock

4Knines Dog Seat Cover with Hammock for Cars and SUVs

Your dog car hammock will go through a lot while protecting your pup — muddy paws, drooling, lots of fur, and the occasional bathroom accident. And those issues sometimes feel even bigger when you have a large dog. The 4Knines Dog Seat Cover is made with thick, sturdy polyester that’s backed by waterproof, non-slip fabric to keep messes off your car seats. Plus, it has thick straps that can stand up to the weight of big dogs. This backseat dog hammock is quick to install so you can easily remove it for human passengers, and it allows access to the seat belts for added safety.

Pros

  • Durable, long-lasting materials
  • Available in two sizes: regular and XL
  • Waterproof layer prevents your seats from getting wet and dirty
  • Velcro access to seat belts
  • Easy to install and remove

Cons

  • No door protection
  • The seams are not watertight, so big messes may get through if not cleaned up quickly

Best Small Dog Car Hammock

Our Pick: Kurgo Wander Dog Half Hammock

Kurgo Wander Dog Hammock Style Seat Cover

Essentially a dog car hammock half-seat, this selection creates a cozy space for dogs that don’t need as much room. It attaches the same way as a standard dog car hammock but only takes up one side of the backseat, keeping your furry little friend comfortable and contained. The stain- and water-resistant material holds up against messy moments, while storage pockets provide added convenience. Plus, you’ll have half of your seat free for added passengers or on-the-go gear!

Pros

  • Only takes up half of the back seat
  • Stain- and water-resistant material
  • Can still fit larger dogs 
  • Zippered slots for seat belts

Cons

  • Does not include door protection
  • Higher price point

Best Waterproof Dog Car Hammock

Our Pick: iBuddy Dog Car Hammock

iBuddy Dog Car Seat Cover Hammock

Designed to keep your pup comfortable and those leather seats in great condition, this dog car hammock is our favorite waterproof pick. The quilted, durable, environmentally friendly oxford fabric is 100% waterproof to keep wetness from ruining your backseat. Plus, there’s a mesh window for added air circulation and visibility, as well as side flaps to help protect your doors and prevent your pup from moving to the floor.

Pros

  • Durable, environmentally friendly fabric is 100% waterproof 
  • Added features like a mesh window and storage pockets
  • Anchors for security
  • Simple installation/removal
  • Velcro seat belt openings
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Some customers reported issues with the straps breaking, so it may not hold up to all larger dogs

Best Dog Car Hammock With Door Protectors

Our Pick: SEVVIS Car Seat Cover

SEVVIS Car Seat Cover for Dogs - Dog Hammock for Car Backseat

Dogs can be messy, so it may not be just your seat that needs protection from the inevitable mud and drool. This dog car seat hammock not only keeps your doors clean, but also provides added safety benefits by helping to prevent your pup from accidentally hitting the unlock or window button and adding a small cushion for comfort. It’s also waterproof and has storage pockets and a mesh window for added airflow. 

Pros

  • Non-slip, waterproof material
  • Door protectors can be used as needed
  • Easy installation and removal
  • Mesh window allows air circulation
  • Velcro openings for seat belt buckles
  • Can be used as a car hammock, bench seat cover, or cargo liner

Cons

  • Mesh window may be easily ripped by chewers or sharp nails

Best Dog Car Hammock For Your Budget

Our Pick: Premier Pet Car Hammock Seat Cover

Premier Pet Car Hammock Seat Cover

While this dog car hammock may not have all the bells and whistles of others, it also comes without the high price point. For around $25, you can protect your pet and your car. This waterproof hammock is made from polyester, and it can be wiped clean or thrown in the washing machine when dirty. It also offers openings for seat belt access and two pockets for storage. Overall, if you’re looking for a backseat dog hammock without spending a ton, this is a great option for you.

Pros

  • Great price point
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Fits most vehicles
  • Waterproof material
  • Two pockets for extra storage

Cons

  • May not be as durable as other options
  • Slits for seat belts may let liquids and other substances onto your seat

Best Dog Car Hammock for Large Vehicles

Our Pick: Active Pets Dog Back Seat Cover Protector

Active Pets Dog Car Seat Cover for Back Seat

Though not all dog car hammocks are available in extended sizes for large vehicles, this one comes in XL, making it big enough to cover the entire backseat. The waterproof cotton material is comfy and durable and keeps messes away from your seat; it’s also easy to clean by vacuuming and wiping down. As an added bonus, this dog car hammock can be used in three different ways: as a typical dog hammock car seat cover, a bench-style seat cover, or a cargo liner in vehicles with an open trunk, like SUVs.

Pros

  • Made with durable, waterproof material
  • Available in both standard and XL sizes
  • Can also be used as a bench seat cover or cargo liner
  • Openings for seat belts
  • Non-slip backing

Cons

  • Liquids can spill through seat belt buckle openings

Best Dog Car Hammock for Stylish Pet Parents 

Our Pick: Kurgo Stowe Pet Hammock

Kurgo Stowe Pet Hammock

High-end cars and dog car hammocks aren’t mutually exclusive. If you want to protect your pup but also don’t want just any backseat dog hammock, this luxury suede option is for you. Because of the lush material, it’s best reserved for pups that are potty trained and tend to stay clean. But if an accident does occur, the waterproof barrier helps keep your car protected, and you can either hand wash or throw the hammock in the washer on the gentle cycle. (Just don’t put it in the dryer!) 

Highlights

  • Stylish option looks good and keeps your pet comfortable
  • Suede fabric is stain resistant
  • Machine-washable on gentle cycle
  • Openings for seat belt use

Things to Consider

  • Much higher price point
  • Material may not hold up to messier pets

Best Dog Car Hammock for Destructive Dogs

Our Pick: Kurgo Loft Hammock Pet Seat Cover

Kurgo Loft Hammock Pet Seat Cover

If your pup tends to chew or dig into fabrics, you’ll need a dog car hammock that stands up to destruction like this one that’s made with durable layers. Polyfill inside adds comfort, but on the outside, durable, waterproof Microtomic Ripstop material stands up to dogs’ paws and teeth. This sturdy car hammock can be used as a seat cover as well, and zippered pockets allow access to seat belts. Just remember, while it might hold up better than others, you should still keep an eye on any pet that could be prone to chewing.

Highlights

  • Sturdy, waterproof fabric stands up to spills and chew-happy pups
  • Zippered pockets for seat belt buckles
  • Machine washable
  • Can also be used as a seat cover

Things to Consider

  • While stronger than most, this hammock may not be completely immune to destructive dogs
  • Higher price point

Dog Car Hammock Buyer’s Guide

Dog asleep in the backseat of the car in a dog hammock

When choosing the right dog car hammock for you and your pup, there are few things that you want to think about. 

Materials. “Definitely look for ones with a non-slip bottom to help your pet grip easier. This could be cloth or a rubber type surface,” advises Steffen. Choosing a hammock with waterproof and easily washable material is important, too, since it’s bound to get dirty. Some hammocks can be put into the washing machine for even easier cleaning.

Size. It’s a good idea to take a look at the measurements to be sure the hammock will fit your car. “I would make sure that the straps secure well to YOUR car as they are all created a little differently,” Steffan adds. “You want to make sure there is minimal slipping [of the hammock] occurring so your pet is secure.”

Keep your options open.You should also compare features to choose the car hammock that makes the most sense for you and your pet. Options with mesh that allow for good airflow are ideal for hot climates, but be careful if your dog likes to chew since this material is less sturdy. Check for door protectors if you want to cover more surface area, and consider the feel of the hammock to ensure it will be comfortable for your dog.

Dog Car Hammock FAQ

Happy dog looking out the window of backseat

Are dog car hammocks safe?

Yes, dog car hammocks are safe. However you should look for one with secure, non-slip material so your pet doesn’t slide and hurt themselves. Chewing is also a hazard, so it’s a good idea to think about your individual pet and their tendencies before deciding whether a dog car hammock is right for you.

Where should you install a dog car hammock in a car?

Dog car hammocks are typically installed in the backseat. Straps secure to the headrests of the front and back seats, and some also include seat anchors (which go between the seat and backrest of the back seat) for further stabilization.

For best results, follow the instructions for the specific product you’ve purchased. This will ensure you’re using it in a correct and safe manner.

What if my dog doesn’t like using a hammock?

Never force your pet to use a dog car hammock if it frightens them. Instead, take it slow and begin by making positive associations with the hammock. This might mean giving them a treat for sniffing the hammock, or even just being in its presence. When in doubt, asking a qualified dog trainer for advice is a good idea. If introduced correctly, over time your pet may begin to love their car hammock. “It will have their scent on it after a few uses and may act as a security blanket of sorts,” explains Steffen.

Will a dog car hammock protect my dog from an accident?

A dog car hammock is not as secure as a crate or as a seat belt for dogs. However, it does provide your pet some protection. For example, it can keep them contained to the backseat during quick stops. For the most secure ride, you may want to combine the dog car hammock with a seat belt.

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