How to Make a Dog Hammock for the Back Seat of an Vehicle

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Traveling with your pet is fun, but safety should be a concern. A secured pet is a safe pet.
Traveling with your pet is fun, but safety should be a concern. A secured pet is a safe pet. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dog hammocks are a safe and easy way to travel with your pet while keeping your car clean. A washable dog hammock made of a sturdy fabric enables your pet to ride in comfort without getting dog hair or dirt all over your car seats. With a little ingenuity and an eye for pet safety, anyone can construct an inexpensive and serviceable dog hammock.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine
  • Durable and washable fabric (canvas, denim) -- at least 10 feet
  • Cotton Batting -- 10 feet, at least one-inch thick
  • 4 lengths of elastic, each one foot long and ome inch wide
  • Pinking shears
  • Sturdy straight pins
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Trim (optional)

How to Make a Dog Hammock for the Back Seat of an Auto

Choose a fabric that is washable and durable. Denim or canvas works well. You want something that will last, is easy to care for, and is comfortable for your dog. It has to be sturdy enough to hold the weight of your dog without ripping, and sturdy enough to withstand repeated washings. A regular cotton fabric will not last long. A polyester fabric will lose its shape quickly. If you use a solid color fabric that is two-sided, you will have less maneuvering before the sewing.

Your fabric can be patterned or solid. Just make sure that it is sturdy.
Your fabric can be patterned or solid. Just make sure that it is sturdy. (Image: Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Measure the length of your back seat from door to door. For the width, measure from the top of the seat -- where the headrests are -- to the back of your front seat. Make sure your measurements are taken flush along the seats; this will ensure a safer hammock. Add six inches to the width. These will be the length and width measurements for the hammock. Fold your fabric in half and, with your tailor’s chalk, sketch a rectangle with rounded corners according to your measurements. Cut out your rectangle using your pinking shears. You should now have two equal pieces of fabric.

Careful measuring and cutting will make a neater hammmock.
Careful measuring and cutting will make a neater hammmock. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Place a piece of batting on a flat surface. Lay the one of the pieces of cut fabric on top of the batting. Trace the fabric's outline onto the batting. Cut out the batting from your sketch, subtracting two inches from the outline all the way around. Lay one piece of the cut fabric out on your flat surface. If your fabric is one-sided and one solid color, place the batting on top of it so that the batting is centered on the fabric. If it is two-sided, lay the fabric face-down on your flat surface and then lay the batting on top of that piece of fabric, centering it carefully. Take the other fabric piece and lay it face-up on top of the batting.

Laying out your fabric can be tricky.
Laying out your fabric can be tricky. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Pin the edges of the fabric pieces and the batting together, remembering that the batting is two inches shorter than the fabric pieces all the way around. Your pin circumference should be two and a half inches from the edges of the fabric pieces. Before you begin sewing, you should put the pinned hammock on the car seat to make sure you have measured properly. While you have the pinned hammock in place, mark the location of the headrests onto your fabric.

Pin in as straight a line as you can manage.
Pin in as straight a line as you can manage. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Sew around the pin circumference. Take the unsewn edges of the fabric and tuck them inside towards the batting. To make sewing this hem easier, iron the edges well. Stitch the ironed opening closed all the way around. Attach both ends of one of the elastic lengths to the sewn fabric hammock where you marked the headrest. Do this for all four corners of the hammock. These elastic loops will slip over the front seat and back seat headrests of your car, thus creating a safe and inexpensive hammock for your dog.

(Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not throw the hammock in the dryer. You don't want to risk shrinkage. Wash your hammock in the washing machine and line-dry it.
  • For quick clean-ups, a lint brush may be used. Shaking out the hammock will get rid of any loose dirt.
  • Always make sure your pet is secure in your car. Never let it hang out the window. A sudden stop can be fatal to your beloved pet.

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