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The 3 Best Dog Hammocks for Cars

The 3 Best Dog Hammocks for Cars

When it’s time to take your best dog on the road, the right tools and accessories make the journey both easier and safer. That includes the best dog hammocks for cars. Amazon has dozens of designs and thousands of products to choose from — but since they’re not all created equal, I got a few recommendations from an expert.

the expert

Nicole Ellis is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and Pet Lifestyle Expert at Rover, as well as an American Kennel Club CGC Evaluator, APDT Trainer, and published author. She has spent over a dozen years training hundreds of animals, including puppies, service dogs and animals for therapy work.

What to Look for in the Best Car Hammocks for Dogs

washable“A washable waterproof hammock is key,” Ellis wrote to Bustle. In addition to restraining your dog, a car hammock will also “protect the side of your seats.” However, that often means it attracts mud, fur, sand, and moisture, so you’ll want to be able to just throw the whole thing in the washing machine when you’re done with the adventure.

Secure: While a dog hammock should not taking the place of a dog seat belt, it should still be fastened securely. “Make sure the hammock fits in your car,” Ellis wrote. “It should line up easily with the seat belt holes to fasten your pet’s harness.” Finally, some hammocks are made of materials that Ellis finds “too slippery,” which can be unsafe for both dogs and passengers; a material that allows some traction is safer and more practical.

UsefulAfter all, dog harnesses are made to make your life easier — not harder. An option that fits snugly also makes it “easier for human passengers to hop in the back without having to remove the hammock,” Ellis wrote. You can also opt for extra functions, such as ‘a storage compartment’ for ‘extra poop bags’ [and] a tennis ball” or a “mesh window” so you can see your pet and they can see you.

When shopping, keep in mind that while a dog hammock is great for protecting your car when it comes to dirt and fur, they definitely should not the only accessory you use to secure your dog in the car. According to Ellis, “It is important to note that they do not protect your dog and should always be used in conjunction with a crash-tested courier or armor.”

Buy the best dog hammocks for cars

Be in a hurry? Here are Ellis’ top three recommendations for dog hammocks.

  1. The dog hammock recommended by top trainers: RUFFWEAR Dirtbag Seat Cover
  2. The best price: Active Pets rear seat cover for dogs, standard
  3. The best half seat hammock: Kurgo dog hammock car seat cover, half

1. The Dog Hammock Recommended by Top Trainers

Advantages:

  • Machine washable and shake clean
  • Easy to attach and remove
  • Non-slip, safe and fits on the back seat of most passenger cars

cons:

“My favorite, and the one I use in my own car, is the Ruffwear Dirt BagEllis wrote. “It stays in place and my dogs don’t slide on it because of the non-slip fabric.” This option is made from a durable, waterproof material that is machine washable, but it is also designed to clean well with a quick shake. (“I’m always shocked by the amount of sand, dirt, and fur mine collects on our outings,” Ellis wrote.)

In addition, it is safe and the convertible design can be used as a hammock or simply over the chair. It attaches around the headrests with webbing loops and to the seat itself with shims, but you still have access to the seat belts. Finally, side flaps protect your car from mud, fur and dirt as your pup gets in and out.

A reviewer wrote: “This cover is great. I’ve had two similar covers, cheaper, for about a year, until they started flaking and falling apart. This one seems better made so far and the big plus is that it has pieces that go down over the sides of the rear seat, making [dirt] to get down there.”

Dimensions: 55 by 63 inches | Material: polyester | Available colors: Granite Gray and Trailhead Brown | Available sizes: one size |

2. The best value

Advantages:

  • Less than $40
  • Numerous extras such as a mesh window, a storage compartment and zippers
  • A favorite with highly rated reviewers
  • Available in two sizes and four colors

cons:

  • According to some reviewers it is not the longest lasting option

For less than half of what the best choice costs, you can get the Active Pets standard dog hammock, which can be used as a hammock, seat cover or trunk cover. It has over 2500 reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 stars. Plus Ellis recommends it because it has a “mesh window so the smaller pets can see the front seat.” You also get tough zippers, a non-slip rubber backing, openings for seat belts, and a built-in pocket for toys and pet supplies — all of which makes it a pretty great value.

The material is waterproof and can be attached to the car in six places (four headrest anchors and two seat anchors), and while the brand doesn’t explicitly say it’s washable, reviewers have thrown it in the machine and reported no problems. While the universal standard fit is suitable for most vehicles, it is also available in XL for large trucks and vans. You can also get it in your choice of four colors around the edges.

A reviewer wrote: “Great product. We’ll take the dog for a walk in the mud, snow, rain, whatever, and there’s nothing to worry about on the way home as long as we have this cover for the back seat. We also use the seat belt features for her when we are on highways and they work great. The mesh is fine so she gets airflow from the front and we can see her easily.”

Dimensions: 20 by 42 inches | Material: waterproof Oxford cotton | Available colors: black, blue, orange, pink | Available sizes: standard, XL |

3. The best half-seat hammock

Advantages:

  • Only takes up half of the rear seat, so the other half can be used for child seats, other passengers and storage
  • Has pockets and slots for seat belts
  • Stain resistant and creates a den like space for your dog
  • Can be washed in the washing machine

cons:

  • Expensive for its size
  • May not work for much larger vehicles

Finally, “Kurgo makes half a hammock, which allows you to leave a passenger seat open,” Ellis wrote — the best option “for child seats or to easily carry human passengers as well.” It protects half of your car seat (including the floor and the back of the front seat) with its water and stain resistant fabric, and the piped edges prevent moisture from rolling to the other side. It also has zippered openings so you still have access to seat belts and pet leashes, as well as two stash pockets for your dog’s belongings. It can be machine washed in cold water and hung to dry.

Currently, the brand has received an average rating of 4.5 stars after feedback from more than 1,500 reviewers. This is offered in three colors, but you can also get a full sofa cover, sofa to carpeting, hammock and non-slip cover design.

A reviewer wrote: “I don’t know why more companies don’t make this half hammock, but this is great! A full hammock leaves so much room for my dog ​​that she gets nervous. Having this half hammock is essential as it gives her more of a ‘den’ like space but still gives her plenty of room to turn and plop down if she wants to. […] The material makes it really easy to clean and vacuum her hair, drool, etc. The installation was super simple and easy to do.”

Dimensions: 27.5 by 30 inches | Material: waterproof polyester | Available colors: Heather Charcoal Grey, Heather Nutmeg, Heather Black| Available sizes: 27.5 inches wide, 55 inches wide |

Expert:

Nicole EllisCertified Professional Dog Trainer and Pet Lifestyle Expert at Rover