Using a dog hammock is one of the best ways to transport your dog in your car safely and without making a mess. If you bought or made a dog hammock for that very purpose, installing it for the first time can be daunting. How do you use dog hammocks in a car exactly?
Using a dog hammock isn’t rocket science. You can install the structure on your own, but training your dog to get comfortable using it is a daunting task. With many attempts, trials, and errors, you can help your dog learn to use a dog hammock safely.
In this article, you’ll learn how to make a DIY dog hammock for your dog. After showing you how to make the hammock, you’ll also learn how to install it to create a comfortable riding experience for your dog.
What Is a Dog Car Hammock?
Unlike the regular hammocks you must have seen at campsites, you can only find dog hammocks in cars. They offer a comfortable rest surface for your dog, as well as a way to prevent the hair from your dog’s fur from sticking to the seats on your car.
Before buying or making a dog hammock, you should measure the distance from the back of the front seats to the back. Since this distance doesn’t vary wildly across cars, you can always find a premade dog hammock for any car.
Oftentimes, you don’t get any help with installing a dog hammock. There is always a manual, but the manual usually doesn’t explain how to get back on track after messing up an installation. This guide is what you need, and not the three-page manual that came with your dog hammock.
How to Use a Dog Hammock in a Car?
The process of using your dog hammock in your car doesn’t end at installing it correctly. The installation means nothing if you can’t help your dog get used to staying in the hammock. In other words, using a dog hammock in a car starts from the installation, up until when your dog learns to use it.
To guide you through the entire process, I’ve compiled some tips to help you use a dog hammock in your car. The following tips will help you set up the hammock for your dog to have a comfortable riding space in your car.
- Buy a fitting dog hammock.
If you’ve read this post up to this point, you should understand that dog hammocks come in varying sizes. The perfect size for you doesn’t depend on the size of your dog, but that of your car. If you have a pretty small car, a large hammock will fit very badly.
Before buying a hammock for your dog, it’s important to take accurate measurements of the space it will eventually take up. Unfortunately, the steps for measuring your car for a hammock aren’t universal; it varies depending on the specific brand you’re buying.
If you’re making your hammock for your dog, it’s even better. You can measure however you want and create the best size while adjusting for your dog’s size appropriately.
- Unbox the hammock before your dog.
Since the process of setting up a hammock involves helping your dog get used to it, you should also attempt to involve your dog in the unboxing process. Try to unpack the hammock with the dog around to encourage them to pick up the scent.
When your dog has a calm experience with the hammock before coming across it in your car, it won’t see it as a potential threat. While this won’t magically make your dog fall in love with the hammock, it will be instrumental in making them comfortable with it.
- Follow the manual to the letter.
As I pointed out above, the process for installing your dog’s hammock in your car depends on many factors. The most important ones include the size of the hammock and the model of your car.
While I can write the processes for installing a specific type of dog hammock here, you may mess up the installation if you try following it. The reason for that is simple: you have a different type of hammock that most likely hangs the structure using different parts of your car.
While it’s understandable that you hate reading manuals, they’re the only feasible way to install a dog hammock correctly. You can always call the manufacturer for help if you messed up the installation process.
- Train your dog to use the hammock.
And here comes the hard part. Contrary to what you may be hoping for, your dog won’t magically jump onto the hammock the first time it sees it. To carry your dog with the hammock without stressing it out, you must train it to learn to stay in the hammock.
Training your dog to get used to a piece of new equipment like a hammock is a very daunting task. If you introduced the hammock to your dog before installing it, your dog should be willing to try it out.
However, willingness to try out the hammock doesn’t always translate to liking it. You just try using positive reinforcement to help your dog link the hammock to positivity, making it always willing to use it.
You can start by giving your dog its favorite treats while taking it on short rides with the hammock. As your pet gradually gets used to riding in the hammock, you can take it on longer distances without worrying about any unintended consequences.
Are Car Hammocks Safe for Dogs?
Cat hammocks have numerous benefits for both the pet owner and the pet itself. One of the most discussed benefits of owning a dog hammock is the safety aspect.
Using a dog hammock is the most comfortable way to carry your dog in a car, but that fact is still open for debate. With the entire backseat converted into a comfortable space for your dog, they’ll have more than enough room to stretch and nap while you drive.
If you get a waterproof pet hammock, you can be sure that it’s not absorbing dirt. When you wipe out the dirt at the end of the day, you can carry another dog without worrying about the transfer of germs from a dog to a human or another dog.