Summer is in full swing and with Summer comes a whole lot of adventure and day trips. At least that’s what our dogs keep telling us 🙂 . Whether your dog is long- or short haired, one thing’s for sure – they all shed. Especially on the car seats! Not only that, but if your dogs are anything like ours, car rides are super exciting. One glimpse of a motor bike or another dog innocently strolling past the car will set off energetic leaping and lunging. And while we respect our dog’s need to “protect” us, their claws can do a fair bit of damage to the car’s upholstery. So, how do I protect my car seats from dog hair and dirt while also keeping my dog from scratching my car seat? There are a number of ways, including pet barriers and harnesses, but we prefer using a car seat hammock. The best way to keep your dog safe in your car Car seat hammocks and pet barriers are both effective ways to keep your dog safe in your car, and also contain them to a certain area. However, some dogs feel anxious when they’re “separated” from their owners by a pet barrier. This makes for stressful travel for both dogs and their owners. Also, many pet barriers are either permanent fixtures, or can be cumbersome to install. We find that the best way to protect our car interior is to use a dog car seat hammock. They not only protect your car seat upholstery and door interior, they’re also a great way to keep your dogs contained and safe. They’re lightweight, easy to rig up, and still give you access to your dogs in case you need to touch and comfort them. But first… What is a car seat hammock for dogs? Like its name suggests, a dog car seat hammock is a soft-sided cubicle that keeps your pets safely in the back seat of the car. The surface where the dog sits is made from strong, waterproof canvas, and the reverse side is also made from waterproof fabric that prevents water from soaking through to the upholstery. Between these two layers is soft padding which makes for a comfy, sweet ride. It protects your car upholstery from getting damaged from claws and also provides a washable, waterproof barrier for paw prints, mud, beach sand, stains, drool, and water (we see you, Retrievers and Labs!) at the same time. And while we like dog hair as much as the next guy, it really is stubborn about sticking to car seats – especially during Summertime shedding. When you get to your destination, the hammock doubles up as a dog picnic blanket. Nifty huh? How to install a car seat hammock It really is as simple as 1-2-3. Each hammock has 4 bungee cord straps which hook over the front and rear headrests, and around the top corners of the back seat. For station-wagons and hatch-backs, the car seat hammock can be laid inside the boot area, with two of the bungee loops hooking over the back of the rear headrests. When not being used, the car seat hammock folds up neatly and has handles which make it portable, easy to carry, and simple to switch between cars. Ta daaa! What is the best car seat hammock? Wagworld makes two styles of car hammocks – a standard or regular car seat hammock, and a deluxe car seat hammock. Wagworld’s standard or regular car seat hammock is essentially a flat “quilt” with stitched divisions that make it easy to fold into the hammock shape. Wagworld’s deluxe car seat hammock has side panels which zip up. These prevent your dog from scratching your car door’s upholstery as they look out the window, feel the wind on their face, and “chat” to dogs in other cars. The zip-up side panels make it easy for your pet to get in and out of the car, or for you to lift them into the car. There’s a handy pocket stitched to one of the interior panels of the deluxe car seat hammock where you can store leashes, toys and treats (hehe, let’s see if the treats make it to the beach.) How to care for a car seat hammock You can spot-clean or gently scrub both sides of the car seat hammock. Being water-resistant, dirt doesn’t tend to penetrate the fabric which makes cleaning easy and fuss-free. Use a gentle soap and give it a quick rinse with hose pipe. Don’t pop into the washing machine, don’t submerge in water, and as soon as it’s dry, take it out of the sunshine to prevent perishing. While we’re talking about hammocks and hairy-friends, do let us know what your favourite, pet-friendly accommodation and day-trip destinations in your city or region are. We’d love to share it with our community. Whether you’re heading to the beach, for a walk in the forest, or for a dip in the river, our Wagworld car seat hammocks make for happy pets – and happy pet owners. Where to buy Wagworld car seat hammocks in South Africa: For a list of our physical retailers, please click on this link and enter your zip code. If your nearest retailer doesn’t have stock, you can ask them to order from us. Simple as that! To purchase online, click on this link.