9 of the Best Dog Car Seats for UK Breeds Both Big & Small

If your strapped for time and don’t want to read all the reviews then the best dog car seat we found was Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogs. Based on the research we did and the buyers feedback this is our top choice this year.

Sick of watching your dog bounce around the car, constantly whining?

My buddy George does it all the time, it’s even worse when we hit a roundabout! It’s a serious question and one we wanted an answer on, how to safely transport a dog in a car.

Dogs should be trained to travel by car, but they still need to be secured.

Which is why we put together this article, in our search for the best dog car seat we reviewed loads of different makes and models.

We’ve compared every small and large car seat in the UK to show you which are the most trusted and reliable brands on the market! Our in-depth guide has analysed each dog booster seat through quality, price and safety to give you a complete overview when picking!

In this article, we are going to be reviewing the following car seats for dogs:

What To Look For in a Good Dog Car Seat

best dog car seat

There are three main things pet owners consider when purchasing dog car seats.

1) Safety 101: Getting the Safest Option

While some pups will sit calmly on the back seats for the duration of a journey, others, mine included, will move around, fidget even try to climb over to be with their owner. This not only causes a distraction to the driver but is extremely dangerous for the pooch, even if your four-legged friend is well-behaved on trips an unrestrained dog can be injured or even killed in the event of an accident.

Did you know that 44% of dog owners do not restrain their pups when driving (source DogsTrust)

Slamming on the brakes or being involved in a collision, even a small one, could cause serious injury to your dog, they could also potentially be thrown through the window screen which would likely be fatal. Even a small car accident in which no-one is harmed can cause your pooch stress, they could run away in fear when the doors open or become afraid to get in the motor.

2) Can they look out of the window?

Sure you can place the car seat anywhere you like, but they are often referred to as dog window seats as we all know a dog is nosy and likes to see.

3) Comfort (luxury options are great here)

Another reason for choosing a car seat is comfort, yes, you can use seat belts or puppy harnesses. But, especially for smaller pups, dog chairs are a better option, the dog will be able to sit higher than if he were sitting in a regular option. Meaning he can watch the world go by and he will also be less likely to slide around, resulting in less car sickness.

The best booster seat for pups will have cosy interiors like dog beds meaning your dog will happily curl up and have a snooze on long journeys. Whilst, another benefit is; they will prevent stains, mud and pet hair from going all over the interior of your vehicle. If you have one of the non-moulting breeds like a Yorkshire Terrier this would avoid all problems. 

3 Types of (UK) Vehicle Restraints You Can Buy

1) Lookouts

Developed for smaller dogs a lookout car seat does exactly what it says and lets your pooch enjoy the view when travelling by car.

Your dog doesn’t want to spend hours stuck in the back seat of the car without being able to see what’s going on. He or she will likely start to fidget and stand up to look out of the window, so a lookout will keep him safe, entertained and prevent him from distracting the driver.

The best lookout seat fordogs have an attachment for your dog’s lead or harness to prevent him from roaming around the car. These small seats can be used in either the rear or front and have washable covers.

2) Booster Seats

A dog booster seat is basically the same as a lookout – it is used for either 1 or 2 smaller dogs, so they can see out of the window when in the car.

Usually made of foam and covered with fabric a booster is held in place by the car’s seat belt. They can help reduce anxiety and keep your dog safe and secure when travelling.

As with the lookout seat, there should be a leash or harness attachment to prevent injury in the event of a crash. So be sure to search for a dog car seat with harness attachments.

Did you know

“A 10lb dog can generate 500lbs of projectile force” Source Melanie Montiero author of The Safe Dog Handbook 

So, it is essential your pup is restrained whenever they are in the car to keep them and the driver safe.

3) Seat Belts

While travel chairs are great for small and medium-sized dogs, larger breeds should have a car seat belt or harness. A dog safety belt is a body harness which connects to the car’s belt.

There are a few different designs, some have a loop that allows you to pull the seat-belt through, and some have a clip that directly plugs into the car seat belt.

If your dog is considered bigger than a medium breed, the best option is to get a booster with harness attachments.

In the event of sudden braking or an accident the force should pull across the back and chest rather than the neck, it should also be short enough to prevent your pup crashing into the dashboard or the seat in front

A dog should always be restrained when in a car not only does it reduce the chance of them experiencing motion sickness, it keeps them safe and let’s face it no one wants an 80lb dog trying to climb into their lap while driving.

Product Reviews & Buyers Guide

There are many different doggy accessories and many owners consider most, luxuries. I mean do puppies really need to sleep in fleecy pyjamas, wear booties or have their own castle?

Here, we find out why you should consider a dog safety seat, what the advantages are for you and your canine companion, what you should look for when choosing and review the safest options available.

Try to remember about the safety seat itself, it’s not all about how pretty the car seat covers look! 

Best Dog Booster for Small to Medium Breeds – Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogs

Boasting over 130 5* reviews this collapsible pet booster by Kurgo holds dogs up to 30lbs and has a padded interior that can be removed for washing. It includes a tether compatible with the Kurgo Tru-fit smart harness ensuring a safe and comfortable car ride for your pet.

Pros:

  • The car seat is excellent quality
  • Universal fit
  • Washable and easy to clean

Cons:

  • No good for large breeds or two dogs

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best Car Seat with Tether – Petsfit Lookout Car Seat

This smart booster seat by Petsfit is made from quality Oxford cloth, it comes in black, pink or grey and can be installed in the front or rear car seats. It has 2 handy pockets for storage and comes with a removable seat covers.

Pros

  • The washable liner makes it easy to clean
  • Handy pockets to store toys or dog treats
  • Soft and comfortable feel your dog will like

Cons

  • N/A

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best Car Seat for Large Dogs – PetSafe Solvit Jumbo

This roomy Solvit car seat utilises a rigid structure and comes with a safety tether which has been crash-tested up to 2000lbs. Easy to install it can take up to 30 pounds in weight and is the perfect dog seat letting them travel comfortably and look out of the window.

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Strong safety tether
  • Safe-T-CoreTM Technology

Cons

  • Not suitable for sports or bucket seats

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Most Stylish Car Seat for a Dog – Me & My Pets Booster Seat

Transport your pet in style with this booster, a perfect small K9 car seat by Me and My Pets, it comes in 2 sizes small and medium and has a cosy fleece interior with beautiful outside seat covers. This booster rests on the seat unlike some which loop around the headrest.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • This dog booster comes in two sizes
  • Washable easy to clean seat cover

Cons

  • No tether for harness

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Top Lightweight Car Seat – GENORTH Dog Car Seat

This waterproof dog booster by Genorth comes in 2 colours, black, blue and pink and is the perfect way to keep your puppy car seats clean while keeping your pooch secure and able to see out of the window. Suitable for pups up to 11lbs and compatible with most vehicle models.

Pros

  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • Keeps cool in the summer
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May not be very cosy (may need a blanket or soft seat cover)

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Do Dogs Need Car Seats? – Answers and Advice

  • Always keep the dog restrained when in a car. Unless you have a large four by four with a huge boot where you can put a crate or use a pet guard the most common products designed for this purpose are belts and seats.
  • A belt will keep your pooch restrained but a car seat offers more benefits, Boosters will enable him to look out of the window, a car seat will protect the interior of the motor, it will also be more comfortable and prevent him slipping and sliding around If you come to a sudden stop.
  • Never feed before going on a car journey as he will be much more likely to suffer from motion sickness, instead feed a small meal, 3-4 hours before starting out
  • If you are travelling a long distance it will be necessary to stop every couple of hours for your dog to stretch his legs and go to the toilet, don’t leave it until the last minute!
  • A dog first aid kit is essential when travelling with your four-legged friend. This should include bandages, scissors, tweezers, antiseptic spray, and gauze. Also, include any medications your pup is taking, including carsickness tablets.

How to Install Dog Car Seats Properly

Installing a dog car chair is not difficult. Here are a few things that you need to know;

  1. Thread the cars seat belt through the chair, and attach it to the other end, this will hold it in position. Meaning the belt will be holding it securely in place.
  2. Booster seats are often attached with a strap which goes around the headrest, in fact, some can only be used in cars with a headrest so check the chair is compatible before purchase.
  3. Attach the quick connector to your pet’s harness ring. A harness is far safer than a collar because it can prevent choking your pooch if he attempts to get out or if there is an accident. You can make this as loose or tight but remember the tighter it is the more secure your pooch will be although you will want to give them enough leeway that they can lie down and be comfortable.

These are just general guidelines on installing dog car seats and may only apply to certain models. It is important to fully read the instructions of your chosen seat before installation. See this video for more help:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Do You Seat a Dog In a Car?

A: There is no legislation about where your four-legged friend should be when travelling but the Highway Code states they should be suitably restrained.

Preferably they should be strapped into the rear seat because as with a small child the airbag in the front passenger seat can pose a danger.

Q: Are Dogs Allowed In Front Seat Of Car?

A: Yes, a dog can sit in the front seat of a car, however, they should be restrained. The airbag must also be disabled as it can pose a real threat to the safety of your pup in the event of a crash.

Q: Is Dog Allowed In Car With Seats Down?

A: Yes, if there is a barrier between the front seats, however, this is not as safe for your pet as being properly restrained as if the worst happens they could be seriously injured. Also, if there an accident a loose dog could interfere with rescue efforts or escape the vehicle.

Q: Do Dogs Need Seat Belts In Cars?

A: Yes, definitely. Not only does it ensure the safety of the dog and driver but if an accident does occur and your pooch is not properly restrained you could lose your licence and the insurance company would be within its rights not to pay out, so it really isn’t worth the risk.

Q: Should Small Dogs Be In A Booster?

A: A booster is great for some small dogs but not all are suited to them as some can become over-excited by what’s going on outside and perhaps start barking. 

Booster or lookout seats are usually very comfortable and let your dog look out of the window, however, you need to make sure the harness attachment is safe as not all doggy car seats are equal.

Q: How To Remove Dog Smell?

A: Most canine car seats have removable covers which can be thrown in the washing machine but if your dog has been for a walk in the rain, a swim or sits on the seats with a harness restraint you may find the car begins to pong a bit.

You can buy specialist de-odouriser online or try these natural solutions. 

  • Leave a bowl of baking soda in the car overnight (you may need to repeat for a few nights if the smell is strong) 
  • White vinegar is also an excellent odour remover. Mix equal parts with water and spray the seats and floor.
  • Crumbled charcoal briquettes and bread can also absorb the smell just leave on a tea-towel in the car overnight

Q: How To Get Dog Hair Out?

A: There are several ways to remove pet-hairs from your seats, you can use duct tape wrapped around your hand, which collects the hair. 

Alternatively, you could use fabric softener which has an ingredient which loosens hairs, just spray a diluted solution on the seat and leave to dry then vacuum as normal (also has the added bonus of smelling great) You could even use a dedicated pet hair removal vacuum.

However, if your dog is in the car a lot it may be easier to place a blanket in there to prevent hair, odour and stains.

Last Word

The best booster seats are great for keeping your pet safe and comfortable while driving. Not only will it restrain your four-legged friend so that they will not distract the driver, but they will also be able to feel comfortable and secure and with a booster seat for small puppies will be able to look out of the window.

When choosing you to want to be focused on buying the safest seat. It is important and you should always check the dimensions before ordering. I recommend the Solvit car seat, while it is a little more expensive than some of the others, it is excellent quality and has been rigorously tested giving you extra peace of mind.

Our choice is the Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogs, for a small and medium dog breed. It’s a solid car seat at a decent price too. Our choice for medium / large breeds

Seats are fantastic for small dogs but large dog seats are not really ideal. For a big dog, a harness is the best option. This excellent car harness by Ruffwear has been tested rigorously and fits breeds such as Labradors, Rottweilers etc

John Devlin

Husband, father and avid dog lover. Currently the proud owner of George a pedigree Golden Retriever that barely leaves my side. However, cute this sounds a little break from the dog hairs every now and then would be nice!
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