Pet Travel Safety: Find the Best Rated Booster Car Seat for Your Dog
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
Which is why we put together this article, we needed a pet car seat for a larger breed which set me on a research mission to find the safest the UK had to offer..
We’ve compared every small and large dog 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 booster seat through quality, price and safety to give you a complete overview when picking!
Our Reviews of the Top Rated Products in 2019
About the Product
Check Price on Amazon
Kurgo Dog Car Chair
3.5 out of 4
Petsfit Dog Car Chair
4 out of 4
Solvit Car Seat
3.5 out of 4
Me & My Pets Car Chair
3.5 out of 4
Genorth Dog Car Chair
3 out of 4
HDP Dog Car Chair
2.5 out of 4
Portable Dog Car Chair
2.5 out of 4
PawHut Dog Car Chair
3.5 out of 4
Legendog Travel Car Seat
3.5 out of 4
#1 - Kurgo Skybox
Boasting over 130 5* reviews this collapsible pet booster seat 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.
#2 - Petsfit with Tether
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.
#4 - Me & My Car
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.
#5 - Genorth
This waterproof 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.
#9 - Legendog
This deluxe booster seat for dogs is made from waterproof polyester and comes with a soft wool lining. It collapses for easy storage yet has a sturdy base. Handy storage pockets are ideal for poo bags and treats and it has a safety tether to attach to your pet’s harness. It's certainly one of the cutest dog seats for cars we've seen.
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 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, its not all about how pretty the car seat covers look!
Types of (UK) Vehicle Restraints for Canines
Developed for smaller dogs a lookout seat does exactly what it says and lets your pooch enjoy the view when travelling in the 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 seat will keep him safe, entertained and prevent him from distracting the driver.The best lookout seats have an attachment for your dog’s lead or harness to prevent him from roaming around the car.
These small pup car seats can be used in either the rear or front seats and have washable covers.
A dog booster seat is basically the same as a lookout car seat – it is used for either 1 or 2 small dogs, so they can see out of the window when in the car.
Usually made of foam and covered with fabric a booster seat is held in place by the car’s seat belt. They can help reduce anxiety and keep your pooch safe and secure when traveling.
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 seat harness.
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.
Further down you will find a link on how to make your own. Now there's a challenge!
3) Seat Belts
While car 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 seat 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 you dog is considered bigger than a medium breed, the best option is to get a 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 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.
What to look for
There are two main reasons pet owners consider when purchasing a car seat.
Safety 101: Getting the Safest Option
While some pups will sit calmly on the back car 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 of the ride but is extremely dangerous for the pooch, even if your four-legged friend is well-behaved on trips an unrestrained pet can be injured or even killed in the event of an accident.
Slamming on the brakes or being involved in a collision, even a small one, could cause serious injury to your pet, 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.
The safety of the driver is also important, especially with experts estimating between 10 and 30% of all road accidents are caused by the driver being distracted.
Can they look out of the window?
Sure you can place the seat anywhere you like, but they are often referred to as dog window seats as we all know they are nosy and like to see.
Comfort (Luxury Options are great here)
Don't just purchase the prettiest! These are not beds!
Another reason for choosing a car seat is comfort, yes, you can use dog seat belts or puppy harnesses. But, especially for smaller pups, car 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 boosters for pups 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.
How to install properly
Installing a car chair is not difficult 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 seat belt will be holding it securely in place.
- 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.
- 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 and may only apply to certain models. It is important to fully read the instructions of your chosen doggy car seat before installation.
Installing a console: they make it look pretty simple!
Colours, Fabric, And Style
Does it really matter?
There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a top car seat for your four-legged friend although you may be limited by the weight and size of your pup. Some are more like cosy beds while others double as carriers, some may sit on the chair itself while booster chairs are higher and enable your pet to enjoy the view while travelling.
There are also many different fabrics to choose from including, quilting, nylon, even denim, some are lined with waterproof material or faux fur while others combine the luxury of sheepskin.
Where to Buy
- Pets at Home
Over The Counter
- Pets at Home
Shopping online will provide you with way more options compared to shops, although you will find good pet safety chairs at Pets at Home and other pet stores. The most important thing to remember is you are purchasing a pet car chair for the safety of your pooch, not because you like the colour or style so always check whether it complies with regulations and it is advisable to read some online reviews and look around before buying.
Buying for a Puppy
If you are buying a dog travel chair for a puppy then there are some products that are designed especially for puppies. All the car seats advertised for small dogs will double well and be suitable for pups.
Tips for travelling With Fido!
q: where should your dog be seated in the 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 of the car, 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 air bag 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 car seat?
A: A booster seat 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 from car seats?
A: Most K9 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 of car seats?
A: There are several ways to remove pet-hairs from your car 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.
Our Choice for Small breeds
Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat
This quality booster seat has terrific reviews and when combined with the Kurgo harness offers comfort and safety for even the most discerning pup.
Perfect for pups up to 30lb, the covers are washable, and it is collapsible for easy storage
See the options for big breeds next ...
Our Choice for Medium / Large breeds
Seats are fantastic for small dogs but large dog seats are not really ideal. For big breeds a harness is the best option. This excellent car harness by Ruffwear has been tested rigorously and fits breeds such as Labradors, Rottweilers etc
How to Make Your Own
The best dog car 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, 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 dog car 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.
Please note if you have a big dog then most of these may not be great options. See the links below for tips restraining big dogs in cars.