4 of the Best Dog Hammocks (REVIEWS)
If you’re a dog owner who travels by car, you probably know that you need some kind of protection for your back seat. Maybe your dog gets sick sometimes. Maybe she sheds. Maybe she likes to chew on the seatbelt. Whatever it is, you probably need some sort of solution that (1) keeps your dog comfortable and (2) protects your car. For my money, the hands-down best solution is a dog hammock. Never heard of them? Check it out.
Snap Review: 4 of the Best dog hammocks
- Scroll down to read our more detailed reviews or click above to see prices and reviews on Amazon.
What is a dog hammock?
For our purposes, dog hammocks are for cars. Of course, there are actual hammocks for lounging. But most of the time, when people are looking for a dog hammock, they’re looking for some sort of back seat solution.
Most dog hammocks work as a kind of sling (…I mean, it’s a hammock after all). And if they don’t actually hang in the air, they usually aim to cover the back seat completely.
They attached to the headrests of the front seats, and then they either attach to hooks/headrests above the back seat, or they have a stiff, padded backing that keeps them propped against the back seat.
Almost all dog hammocks (the ones worth buying anyway) are made out of waterproof material, and a good portion of them are made from a chew-resistant material (if you’ve seen a nylon toy made for heavy chewers, it’s kind of like that).
Here's a quick video if you want to see one in action (this is the Solvit hammock from the chart above):
4 of the Best Dog Hammocks Reviewed
This hammock has pretty much everything we like to see in a dog hammock. First, it’s waterproof, which, in my view, is perhaps the most important feature (quick note: if you follow the link from our chart, the actual product description does not say it’s waterproof; however, if you check out customer reviews, you can see that it is).
It’s also got good, sturdy, reinforced straps for the seat, and in our tests, they took quite a bit of abuse.
The other perk here is that this hammock is padded. Like we mentioned above, not all hammocks are both padded and waterproof. This one is. All in all, if you’re going to buy a doggie hammock, this is a good place to start.
This is another good hammock by 4Knines. Perhaps the coolest part of this hammock is that it’s built with three layers of fabric.
The middle layer is waterproof, which stops any accidents from seeping through onto your car, while the top layer is soft, cushy, and comfortable, making it easier for your pup to enjoy. The third layer is slip proof to help it stay in place on the rear bench of your car.
That said, having a top layer that’s not waterproof can make it difficult to clean. So, while this is overall a very high quality hammock, it might not be the best choice for dogs who frequently get car sick.
Still, it’s a high-quality product, and the seat flaps are a nice touch. It has dark color option along with fair ones to better suit your vehicle cabin.
This hammock is the dog equivalent to a Kevlar army cot. Seriously, this bad boy is heavy duty. It’s built with heavy-gauge polyester, making it both waterproof and chew-proof (almost).
It’s also got some cool pockets on the actual hammock which is very handy, but also kind of weird, because anything you might want to keep in the pockets of a dog’s hammock (treats, cleaning supplies) you probably also want to keep away from your dog.
Anyway, this is thing is super heavy duty, but it’s not padded, and it doesn’t have seat flaps. That said, it’s the cheapest on the list, and it definitely does the job.
This is a good hammock and mostly does what a dog hammock should do.
It should be noted that this is water resistant—not waterproof. So keep that in mind; it might not be the best choice for motion-sick pups.
It’s got pretty much every ting else covered. It’s a one-size-fits all hammock that fits on pretty much any car and has a relatively high comfort factor. It’s also got heavy-duty straps that you can also adjust, which is pretty convenient.
Should I invest in a dog hammock?
Generally, dog hammocks aren’t super expensive—typically in the $30-$60 range—and they can add a lot to your quality of life (in my experience, anyway), especially if you have a dog who gets car sick or sheds a lot. Here are a few of the main reasons you’d want to pick one up.
It protects against messes.
This is probably the most common reason anyone would buy a dog hammock—including me. When we first got our dog, we found out pretty quickly she got sick in the car sometimes. Not every time, but sometimes.
Before we got a dog hammock, we mostly just put trash bags down in the back seat, and then we put towels over the trash bags. Not only was it a huge hassle, but it was also really awkward for Chewie. The trash bags made noise when she moved around, which kind of freaked her out during the already-stressful experience of a car ride.
Hammocks fill this need: keeping your car clean.
If you pick up a model with a waterproof coating, cleaning up messes is usually very easy, even when you’re on the road. Just pull over, wipe it off, spray some cleaner, and get back on the road. Or, if you’re close to home, just pull in the driveway and hose it down.
That said, if you’re looking at dog hammocks specifically because your dog gets carsick, make sure to get a waterproof model.
Hammocks make car rides more comfortable for your dog.
The other major benefit of dog hammocks is that they can make car rides significantly more comfortable for your dog.
First, they give a bit of extra padding back there. This isn’t a huge deal, usually, since car seats are often pretty comfortable anyway, but dogs often appreciate a bit of extra padding they can snuggle into. Not all models include padding, but many do, and it’s just an added perk.
However, they also provide a sense of security. Since hammocks provide “walls” on all sides, it’s much easier for your pup to feel at home in the back seat.
They stop dogs from climbing through the center console.
Going on a car ride with your pooch can even be pretty dangerous if you’ve got an overzealous pup who likes to climb up into the front seat.
Hammocks provide a layer of protection by providing a “wall” that closes off the center console and armrest.
Of course, if a dog really wants to jump over, it’s not impossible, but a hammock acts as an obstacle that deters this kind of behavior and gives you a bigger window to correct it before it becomes dangerous.
It creates a familiar space for your dog.
I’m a big fan of creating a space for your dog that feels like “theirs.” For example, we worked for a long time to make Chewie’s crate feel 100% like her space, and we work hard to respect it. A hammock can work in kind of the same way.
After a few uses, a hammock might begin to take on a bit of your dog’s scent—or at least become familiar. Combined with a familiar blanket and a favorite toy, a quality dog hammock can work in much the same way her crate does: a space for her to retreat and relax.
Here's another quick video to show you how a hammock works:
How to Properly Use a Dog Hammock (Hacks I’ve Found)
For the most part, a dog hammock should be pretty self-explanatory. However, after using one for a while, we discovered a few awesome hacks to get the most mileage out of any dog hammock.
1. Wash it (if applicable) with an unscented detergent, and rub it down with something that smells familiar.
Of course, you’re going to give your dog a familiar blanket and toy in any new space. That’s a given.
I try to take this one step further. Most new products will have a weird factory smell (and if they don’t to you, they probably do to your dog). Hammocks are no exception.
If you bought a hammock that can go in a washing machine, use a good unscented soap and run it through the wash. After it’s dry, use one of your dog’s favorite blankets to rub the whole thing down thoroughly.
The goal, of course, is to get this thing smelling as familiar as possible before you introduce your pup to it. For us, this was the difference between a moderately anxious car ride and one in which Chewie hopped in and went directly to sleep.
2. Hang onto your cleaning kit, but add this to it...
Even if you pick up a good water proof hammock, don’t get rid of your cleaning kit. Accidents happen. Projectile vomiting happens. So keep your cleaning kit stored.
That said, because many dog hammocks are made of nylon, add a 20% hydrogen peroxide solution to your cleaning kit. This will help neutralize bodily accidents. Just remember: never pour the solution directly on the material. Dab instead, and always, always rinse thoroughly with water.
Image credits: Amazon.com