Shouldn’t your best fur friend get to go along with you when you travel?
Sometimes dogs (and their owners) miss out on the fun of a trip together due to the challenges of keeping a dog safely in a car. One solution to this problem is car seats for dogs.
Reasons to Get a Dog Car Seat
1. Dog Car Seats Are A Safety Essential
Dog car seats are an essential safety measure for traveling in the car.
It can be very dangerous for your pet to be loose in a moving car. For one, dogs are distractions – when they’re bouncing and jumping around a car, your chances of getting into an accident go up significantly. In car accidents, dogs also become small projectiles and can injure human passengers and themselves.
It’s worth noting that while dog car seats can help prevent your dog from becoming a distraction and causing a car accident, car seats won’t do much to actually protect your dog in the event of a collision.
The truth is that very few dog products are tested to the same degree that human safety products are. The vast majority of dog car harnesses, crates, and booster seats have not been crash-tested. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these items won’t work or provide your dog with safety, but it means we simply can’t tell you with 100% confidence that your dog will be safe in a car crash.
To truly keep your dog safe, you’ll need to go with a crash-tested dog car harness or a crash-tested dog car crate.
2. For Small Dogs, Car Seats Offer Visibility
Our curious buddies want to see where they are going, but small dogs just can’t look out the windows easily.
Not only is this no fun for your dog, but your puppy will also bounce and jump around trying to see, which can result in upset puppy tummies.
Some dogs don’t like to stay still and want to sit on your lap while you drive. Luckily, dog booster seats offer a compromise of visibility, comfort, and safety for your dog while making trips more pleasant for you and your companion.
3. Car Sickness and Anxiety
Believe it or not, some dogs do suffer from car sickness, just like humans. Raising dogs up higher so that they can see outside and have better visibility often reduces car sickness in dogs.
Some dogs also suffer from car anxiety, which dog booster seats can also alleviate. Having a stationary car seat allows dogs to feel more secure and comfortable in the car.
How to Pick a Dog Car Seat
If you are considering a car seat for a dog, there are several options. Take these factors into consideration when choosing a canine car seat.
- Placement. Most dog car seats attach directly to an existing seat in your car, while others sit on top of a car console.
- Padding. Many dog car seats have some form of padding which can usually be removed for cleaning.
- Tethers. Some come with tethers to fasten your pet more securely into their car seat, improving safety.
Note: Dog car seats come with tethers which you can use to fasten your dog into their seat. Never attach a tether directly to your dog’s collar, as this can lead to strangulation. Instead, attach the tether only to a dog harness.
Best Dog Car and Booster Seats
1. Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat
About: The Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat is a cozy seat for your dog that lets him ride hoisted up alongside you while keeping you focused on the road and distraction-free.
The Kurgo Booster Seat includes a tether that can be connected to a harness, ensuring your dog stays put in the seat. Metal supports make the seat more sturdy, supporting your pooch and maintaining the seat’s shape. The cozy liner can be removed and tossed in the washing machine for easy cleaning.
This seat is designed for dogs up to 30 lbs. The seat is also available in several different styles and colors.
Easy to install, makes it easier for dogs to see out of the window.
Could use more padding around the rim. Some buyers also note that the instructions were somewhat difficult to interpret, but since the car seat is quite easy to install, it’s not a huge problem.
2. Snoozer Luxury Console Dog Car Seat
About: The Snoozer Luxury Console Seat is a dog seat that attaches directly to your car’s middle console, letting your pup sit right beside you!
No products found.
The Snoozer Luxury Console seat includes a tether to keep your dog from bouncing all over the car and features a two-tone microsuede cover that is comfortable, stylish, and can be removed for washing. This seat’s high back design also helps discourage your dog from trying to leap into the back seat area.
This doggie booster seat is suitable for dogs up to 25 lbs.
Seat allows the dog to see out of the car during travel, and console positioning allows your dog to sit right beside you in comfort.
This dog car seat is more expensive than other models, and will only be suitable for cars with adequate console space.
3. Snoozer Lookout Dog Car Seat
About: The Snoozer Lookout Dog Car Seat is another canine booster seat from the Snoozer team. This seat is designed to sit in your back or passenger seat.
- CALMIER, HAPPIER DOGS. Dogs love looking out the car window, but many little dogs are too short to...
- SAFETY AND COMFORT. The Lookout elevated dog car booster seat hooks into the seat belt system to...
This car seat is quite large – it really takes up an entire seat! The Snoozer Lookout includes a strap that joins the seat belt to your dog’s harness.
This seat features a sherpa lining that is designed to keep your dog cool in the heat and warm in the winter – it can also be easily removed for machine cleaning. The outer layer of the booster seat is made of quilted nylon, which helps repel hair.
The Snoozer Lookout comes in two sizes – small and large. The small fits dogs up to 18 lbs, while the larger size covers dogs up to 25 lbs. The car seat also comes in 8 different colors and fabric options.
Note: If you’re struggling between the two sizes, one customer noted that for their 20lb dog, the medium was the perfect size, allowing just enough space to lie down. Larger dogs may want to try the large-sized seat.
Comfortable dog car seat with a multitude of fabric and color options to suit your tastes. This canine car seat has also received a multitude of positive reviews.
May not be very secure in an accident as belt loops around back of seat rather than fastening to it.
Note: If you have trouble installing this dog booster seat, take advice from this customer, who notes that in order to get a tighter installation, you need to pull the seatbelt all the way out.
Then, while holding the seatbelt fully extended, insert it into the clasp, pull the lap belt tightly through the slots in the back of the booster seat. Then, hold it tight while you let the shoulder belt retract. This allows the seat belt to lock in a tight, sturdy installation.
4. PetSafe Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat
About: The PetSafe Solvit Booster Seat functions by hanging the main seat structure from the headrest, allowing you to adjust the straps so that you can customize the height for your dog’s size – make sure they get a good view outside!
- WINDOW SEAT: Boost your dog to the perfect height to look out the car window
- SIZING: Booster seat comfortably holds 1 or 2 dogs weighing up to 25 pounds; measures 20 in L x 14...
The PetSafe booster seat also uses a removable, washable fleece liner so that you can throw the cover in the wash when needed. It can be installed in just a minute or two, and also included an internal harness connector to keep your pooch safe.
It also comes in three sizes: medium (holds up to 10lbs), large (hold up to 18lbs), and extra-large (holds up to 25lbs).
This doggie booster seat is super easy and quick to install. Most owners felt the seat was safe, secure, and comfortable for their pooch.
Requires a headrest for installation, so if you don’t have one you’re out of luck! Some owners also found this seat to be too deep, and ended up adding cushioning to raise the height up.
5. Pawhut Deluxe Booster Car Seat
About: The Pawhut Deluxe Booster Car Seat is a no-nonsense seat to keep your dog still in the car.
No products found.
The seat includes a tether that can be attached to a harness keeping your dog safely in place. This seat also includes a zippered front pocket, which can be used to store your dog’s leash, harness, or other essentials.
This seat is suitable for dogs up to 30 lbs.
The seat is easy to install, plus it can be wiped down to clean. It’s also available at a very affordable price.
Seat may droop with larger dogs.
We hope this guide to car seats for dogs has been helpful. Please feel free to comment with any of your own experiences, recommendations, or information regarding dog car seats! Thanks for reading!
For further reading on dog car issues and safety, also check out our articles on:
September 11, 2018
Actually I have a question I have a eat Klein Ford van with quite a bit of space between the seats and I am looking for something that my little Yorky can ride in when someone Actually I have a question I have a Econoline Ford van It is a utility van with quite a bit of space between the seats and I am looking for something that my little Yorky can ride in when someone else is in the passenger seat can you please help me thank you for your time Julie else is in the passenger seat can you please help me thank you for your time Julie
July 1, 2017
To the posters and the folks reading this, you should NEVER place a dog or other animal in a front seat, precisely because of the danger of the airbag and the dog flying through the window should the product fail.
AND FAIL THEY LIKELY WILL. Please check out http://www.centerforpetsafety.org/test-results/pet-seat-pilot-study/ Center For Pet Safety check on, granted only 4, seat holders.
September 27, 2016
Airbags usually do not deploy if no one is sitting in the seat. Check your owners manual. Or, do you have an indicator light? Mine reads “off” if the seat is empty or if there is something on it under a certain weight limit. Not sure what that is, but my purse and a shopping bag are not enough to activate it. When I have a passenger the indicator light reads “on”.
September 27, 2016
Hey Pepper – many cars do have indicators, but for some cars, the weight of a pet is enough to turn on air bags. Having a pet up front also makes them vulnerable to hitting the windshield during a sudden stop, and can even turn them into projectiles in case of an accident.
No reason to put you or your dog in more danger than necessary!
June 26, 2016
Does anyone know of a dog carseat that takes the impact of the airbag into concideration? My airbags will not disable, and I am more concerned about the airbags harming my best friend, than than I am the accident itself. Any ideas or knowledge of a good brand would be greatly appreciated!