Dog Car Seats Are Game-Changers for Long Rides—Here Are the 10 Best You Can Buy
At a time when flying on an airplane—let alone with a dog in tow—seems unappealing, road trips are looking pretty attractive. Plus, if you’re the proud owner of a large breed, you know car rides are sometimes the only way to bring your pet along for the, well, ride. For long road trips with pets, car seats are game changers. Here are ten of the best dog car seats you can buy right now. Time to get packing!
Note that all of these dog car seats should be placed in the back seat; it’s unsafe for your dog to sit in the front, for a whole host of reasons. If you go with a car seat that doesn’t include a tether specifically designed to keep you dog in place should you slam on the brakes, it’s wise to invest in that type of equipment separately and use them in tandem.
1. Best Booster Seat: K&H Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat
This comfortable booster seat provides dogs with a safe spot to chill on during car rides. Actually, they probably won’t be chilly at all because it has a built-in seat warmer! Perfect for anyone who lives in frigid climates. It comes in both large and small sizes and has a removable, washable cover.
2. Best Harness to Buckle In: Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness
Some dogs don’t need—or want—a cushy seat. They just want to be clipped in like their humans! This harness has been crash tested for animals weighing up to 75 pounds. Clip it to the seatbelt in your car and simply unclip when you arrive at your destination. You can also clip your leash to it for pit stops and it saves space in jam-packed vehicles.
3. Best for Small Dogs: SWIHELP Pet Car Booster Seat
As the number-one best-selling booster seat on Amazon, this car seat is ideal for small pups. It collapses for better storage yet provides sturdy support during your drive with PVC pipes inserted into the rim during set-up. It’s also waterproof. One note: The images show it attached to the front seat. Again, we don’t condone this! Plop this booster in the back.
4. Best Seat Belt: Vastar Dog Seat Belt Harness
Unlike the other harness on our list, this product is just two flexible nylon bungee belts (no harness included). This is ideal for dogs of all sizes who already have a harness they love. Plus, it’s great to purchase alongside a booster seat or seat cover; you can clip your dog in to protect him from harm if you brake suddenly. Check your car model to ensure compatibility!
5. Best for Dogs Who Love Windows: PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Booster Seat for Dogs
Yes, dogs love sticking their heads out windows. Yes, it’s cute! No, it’s not safe. But, if your pup really wants to see out the window and is too short to reach, this booster seat is the perfect perch. There are three sizes available for dogs up to 25 pounds.
6. Best for Dogs Who Like to Roam: K&H Pet Products Travel Safety Pet Carrier
Letting your dog roam around the car is a great way to get distracted and make mistakes while driving. Please don’t do this. Some states even have laws against this behavior, and you could be fined. Instead, invest in a dog car seat that completely envelops your pup without suffocating him or cutting him off from the group.
7. Best Cargo Cover: F-Color SUV Cargo Liner
The thought of fitting a Great Dane into the back seat of a car is daunting. Large breeds need space, which may mean turning your trunk into a canine living room. This calls for a heavy duty, waterproof, non-slick cargo liner like this one. Anti-slip rubber backing means it won’t slide around when you make sharp turns; washable means a little drool won’t be a problem. Or a lot of drool.
8. Best Car Seat to Carrier: Pet Gear Signature Dog & Cat Car Seat & Carrier Bag
When you know you’ll be making frequent stops or you just want a multi-purpose piece of equipment, this car seat will be your best friend (after your dog). Seamlessly buckle it into the backseat and unbuckle when you arrive at your destination. It also contains an interior line you can secure to your pup for added safety, which we love.
9. Best for Sleepy Dogs: Snoozer Luxury Lookout Pet Car Seat
Do car rides put your dog to sleep? Give him something cushy to lay on! Lined with lamb’s wool and cushioned with firm foam, this booster works well to lull your dog to sleep or give him a stellar view of the outside world. This might also be a good option for dogs who get motion sickness (yes, animals can get car sick!). Treating a car ride like naptime could improve their experience.
10. Best for Big Dogs: PetSafe Happy Ride Car Seat Dog Bed Bucket
Fitting large breeds into your car for a road trip is much easier when you’ve got a specific bed zone for them to claim as their own. The larger size of this car seat dog bed is ideal for big dogs who need a special spot. Again, we highly recommend pairing this with a harness and belt made for dogs.