If you’re like many dog owners, you likely let your dog travel with you frequently, at least when making quick runs near home. After all, the more time you spend building a rapport with your dog, the better he’ll respond to you outside and in the field. Unfortunately, bad things occasionally happen, and dogs can really mess up your vehicle’s seats if something goes wrong. To keep things as tidy as possible, consider these three factors when shopping for the perfect dog seat cover for you.

Bench Covers

This bench seat cover is compatible with middle seat belts and rear arm rests. YESYEES

The two main styles of dog car seat covers are bench seat covers and hammock seat covers. Bench-style seat covers are the simplest and often least expensive. Most cover both the backrest and seat portions of a vehicle’s backseat, and keep dirty dogs and other items off the seats to protect them from grime, wear and tear. If you have a dog or that frequently runs in the wild, it’s important to choose a water-resistant seat cover. They’re also handy if a liquid mess happens. Water-resistant seat covers not only keep liquid and grime off your seats, they’re also easier to clean than those that are more absorbent. Another consideration is comfort, with padded seat covers offering a little more comfort than thin ones with little padding.

Hammock Covers

This hammock seat cover protects both your rear bench seat and the back of your front seats. URPOWER

The car seat cover style that protects your vehicle the most is the hammock style, which shields the rear bench seat, footwells, and even the back of the front seats. These covers also offer better protection if you have to stop suddenly and your dog falls onto the footwell. Quilted seat covers are best for comfort and durability. One thing to remember about hammock-style seat covers is they come in a variety of different sizes for different vehicle types. Getting one that is a little too large isn’t as big a problem as getting one that’s too small and won’t sufficiently cover the seat. It’s best to measure your seat before making a purchasing decision. And again, if it’s an outdoor adventure you’re going on, a waterproof cover will serve you better than one that absorbs liquids.

Special Features

This hammock seat cover has side flaps to protect your rear seat when your dog is entering or exiting. Vailage

Regardless of which style you choose, a number of special features can make one car seat cover better for your purposes than another. Some seat covers have multiple attachments, making them easy to attach to back seats that have two or three headrests. Others have side flaps that come in handy when dogs are entering and exiting the car, keeping the sides of your seats clean and safe from sharp toenails. The surface is also important, as non-slip surfaces are safer for your dog than slick ones. Finally, cost is a consideration. Know your budget before starting your search and you’ll be less likely to spend more money on a dog car seat cover than you had intended.