If you are 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 car seat this year.
Sick of watching your dog bounce around the car, constantly whining? If you are regularly taking Fido for a ride in the car, a dog’s leash is not enough.
Dogs should be trained to travel by car, but they still need to be secured. Car rides with dogs moving freely is a bad idea for sure.
This is why we put together this article; in our search for the best dog car seat, we reviewed loads of different dog seat makes and models.
Those which go on the back seat, ones which are held in place by your car’s seatbelt, ones with removable linings and pockets for storage. 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:
- Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogs and Car Booster Seat for Pets
- Petsfit Lookout Car Seat For 2 Small Dogs or Medium Dog
- PetSafe Solvit On Seat Car Booster For Dogs
- Me & My Pets Car Booster Seat – Choice of Size
- GENORTH Dog Car Seat Upgrade Deluxe Portable
- FRISTONE Dog Car Seat Removable, Safety Pet Car Booster Seat
- Snoozer Luxury Console Pet Car Seat, Black & Herringbone
What are the Best Car Seats for Dogs?
Dog car seats make driving with your dog much easier. They are perfect for a smaller dog and excitable puppies, stopping them from being a distraction while driving and can help prevent car sickness by letting Rover look out the window.
If your canine companion feels secure, they are much more likely to nod off or enjoy the view while you concentrate on the road ahead no more sliding across the seat when you come to a roundabout or trying to launch themselves through the window when they spy a cat…
It’s important to remember that even the best booster seat needs to be secured to the car seat in case you brake suddenly and a dog car seat will offer little protection if the worst happens, so fitting them with a crash-tested harness is essential.
This buying guide will hopefully narrow down your options and help you decide which features of these best car dog seats are important.
Do you want a bucket booster seat? One that sits in the rear seats, or does Fido prefer to sit in the front. Most dog car seats are designed for smaller dogs. If you have a Great Dane or a Pyrenees Mountain Dog, you may want to choose a harness or grill instead. Check out the best dog guard options here.
Product Reviews & Buyers Guide
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.
Best Dog Car Seat for Small to Medium Breeds – Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogs
Boasting over 130 5* reviews, this collapsible bucket booster by Kurgo holds dogs up to 30lbs and has a padded interior that can be removed for washing. The dog car seat includes a tether compatible with the Kurgo Tru-fit smart harness, ensuring a safe and comfortable car ride for your pet while protecting the seat cover.
- No good for large breeds or multiple dogs
Best Car Seat with Seat Belt Tether – Petsfit Lookout Car Seat
This smart booster seat for dogs 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 removable seat covers. The dog seat belt tether adds an extra layer of security.
Recommended Dog Car Seat for a Larger Dog – PetSafe Solvit Jumbo
A great dog car seat for bigger dogs. This roomy Solvit dog car seat utilises a rigid structure, which keeps your dog secured with a safety strap that has been crash-tested up to 2000lbs. Easy to install it can take up to 30 pounds in weight and lets your dog safely travel whilst being able to look out of the window.
- Not suitable for sports or bucket seats
Most Stylish Car Seat for a Dog – Me & My Pets Booster Seat
Transport your pet in style with this booster seat, 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 that loop around the headrest.
- No tether for harness
Top Lightweight Dog Car Seat – GENORTH Dog Car Seat
One of the best dog car seats for smaller dogs. This waterproof dog booster by Genorth is the perfect way to keep your car seats clean while keeping your pooch secure and able to see out of the window. It can be installed in either the front or back seats and will hold dogs weighing up to 30bs. compatible with most vehicle models and has handy zippered pockets for treats etc.
- Not suitable for large dogs
Perfect for Puppies – FRISTONE Dog Car Seat Removable, Safety Pet Car Booster Seat
This stylish pet bed for cars is ideal for transporting dogs in your car, it may only be small, but is comfortable with raised sides to make your pup feel secure. The adjustable buckle makes it suitable for most vehicles and the handy side pockets are great for wipes, poo bags etc.
The cover is machine washable and your pup can comfortably sit and watch the world go by attached by the safety strap.
- Some reviews mention the strap could be secured better
Top Luxury booster seat –Snoozer Luxury Console Pet Car Seat, Black & Herringbone
This Snoozer luxury high back console dog car seat has a deluxe microsuede cover and is a popular choice for pet safety on car rides. The removable pillow is lined with snuggly sherpa and unlike most car seats, it attaches securely to your vehicle’s console, not the back seat, so Fido can ride shotgun
Snoozer is a popular choice for comfort dog car seats that will keep your pet safe; this dog booster seat gets fabulous reviews and is one of our favourites.
- Very small
What To Look For in a Good Dog Car Seat
There are three main things pet owners consider when purchasing dog car seats.
1) Safety 101: What’s the safest dog car seat?
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 road 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 on a road trip, 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) What the most comfortable car seat? (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 pet booster seat 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 and protect your seat cover. If you have one of the non-moulting breeds you won’t have to worry so much.
3 Types of (UK) Pet Restraint System You Can Buy.
Here are 3 of the most commonly used car restraint options.
1) Lookout Dog Car Seat
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 dog car seats 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) Dog Car 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 dog booster seat 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 the best dog car seats 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 in a dog car seat whenever they are in the car to keep them and the driver safe.
3) Seat Belts and Dog Harnesses
While standard dog car seats are great for small and medium-sized dogs, larger dogs should have a car seat belt or harness. A dog safety belt is a body harness that 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 a medium breed, the best option is to get a dog car booster seat 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 from 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.
Do Dogs Need Car Seats? – Answers and Advice
It is actually against the law in the UK to drive with an unrestrained pet in the car, which can see you getting a fixed fine of £100 and 3 points on your licence.
Not just that, a survey by Kurgo found 65% of US dog owners were distracted by their pooch whilst driving. Scary thought, eh?
Some distractions during car travel include:
- Using arms (which should be on the wheel) to stop your pup from clambering over the seats
- Feeding treats
- Petting your pup to comfort him
- Playing with your dog
- Taking a photo
- Holding onto your pooch when breaking or going round a roundabout
- Driving with Fido on your lap
- 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, and a car seat will also protect the seat cover. It will also be more comfortable and prevent him from slipping and sliding around If you come to a sudden stop.
- Never feed before going on a car journey most dogs 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 car sickness tablets.
How to Install Dog Car Seats Properly
Installing a dog car seat is not difficult. Most have adjustable straps which fit around the body of the seat and or headrest. Choosing the right dog car seat for your make and model will make it much easier.
Here are a few things that you need to know;
- 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.
- Booster seats for dogs are often attached with a strap that goes around the headrest; in fact, some can only be used in cars with a headrest, so check the chair is compatible before purchase.
- 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 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 seat models. It is important to fully read the instructions of your chosen dog 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 and whether dog car seats are necessary, but the Highway Code states they should be suitably restrained.
Preferably they should be secured with a seat belt harness into the rear car 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. they should still be secured with a dog’s harness
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. Ideally, you should have a dog car seat secured by the cars seatbelt and an extra seat belt tether.
Q: Should Small Dogs Be In A Booster Seat?
A: A dog booster seats are 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 dog 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 that loosens hairs, just spray a diluted solution on the seat and leave it 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.
The best dog 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 want to be focused on buying the safest car seat for your dog. It is important and you should always check the dimensions of the car seat before ordering and consider your dog’s size. A dog car seat is mainly for small and medium dogs. If you have bigger dogs, a safety harness or dog guard for the car boot may be a better option.
Our choice is the Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogsfor a small and medium dog breed. It’s a solid car seat at a decent price too. Our choice for medium / large breeds. I also recommend the Solvit dog car seat; while it is a little more expensive than some of the others, it is of excellent quality and has been rigorously tested, giving you extra peace of mind. Most of the top pet carrier option nowadays are crash-tested dog car seats.
Dog car 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.
For lots more helpful guides and training tips for dogs it’s here.