What’s the Best Car Seat for Dogs in the UK? These 9 Stylish Boosters Put Safety First.

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!

More...

Which is why we put together this article, we needed a good car seat for a larger breed which set me on a research mission to find the best dog car seats for 2018?

We’ve compared over a 50 dog boosters and restraints extensively to show you which are the most trusted and reliable brands on the market!

Our in-depth guide has analysed each travel seat through quality, price and safety to give you a complete overview when picking!

Let’s jump straight in…

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?

UK Car Seats for Dogs (Broken Down)

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 a booster seat for dogs 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! 

The Top Pet Travel Chairs in 2018

Name

About the Product

Our Rating

Check Price on Amazon

Kurgo Car Seat 

  • Excellent quality
  • Universal fit 
  • Washable

3.5 out of 4

Petsfit Car Seat 

  • Soft & comfortable
  • Handy pockets
  • Washable liner

4 out of 4

Solvit Car Seat 

  • Excellent quality
  • Strong safety tether 
  • Safe T-Core technology

3.5 out of 4

Me & My Pets Car Seat

  • Easy to install
  • Washable 
  • Two sizes

3.5 out of 4

Genorth Car Seat

  • Collapse for easy storage
  • Keeps cool in summer 
  • Lightweight

3 out of 4

HDP Car Seat

  • Four colours
  • Lightweight 
  • Storage pockets

2.5 out of 4

Portable Car Seat

  • Easy to clean
  • Safety tether 
  • Value for money

2.5 out of 4

PawHut Car Seat

  • Built in straps
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to install 

3.5 out of 4

Legendog Seat

  • Good quality
  • Soft lining
  • Collapsible

3.5 out of 4

Types of Vehicle Restraints for Dogs

1) Lookout Car Seats

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.


They can be used in either the rear or front seats and have washable covers.

2) Booster Car Seats

A dog booster seat is basically the same as a lookout 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 seat with 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 & Harnesses

While car travel chairs are great for small and medium sized dogs, larger breeds should have a 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.

2018 Reviews 

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 ride for your pet.

SEAT PROS

  • check
    Excellent quality
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    Universal Fit
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    Washable

SEAT CONS

  • ban
    N/A

2. Petsfit with Seat Belt 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 seats. It has 2 handy pockets for storage and comes with a removable seat covers.

SEAT PROS

  • check
    Washable liner
  • check
    Handy pockets to store toys or treats
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    Soft and Comfortable

SEAT CONS

  • ban
    N/A

3. Solvit Jumbo

This roomy booster 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 30lb in weight and is the perfect puppy car seat letting them travel comfortably and look out of the window.

PROS

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

CONS

  • ban
    Not suitable for sports or bucket seats

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.

PROS

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    Easy to install
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    2 sizes
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    Washable

CONS

  • ban
    No tether for harness

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.

PROS

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    Collapsible for easy storage
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    Keeps cool in the summer
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    Lightweight

CONS

  • ban
    Not very cosy (you will need a blanket)
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    Flimsy

6. HDP 

This lightweight booster chair by HDP has a metal frame making it sturdy yet folds to 2.5” for easy storage.This car seat comes in a range of colours and has several handy storage pockets. It can be used for pets up to 20lbs in weight and comes with a safety tether.

PROS

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    4 colours; black, red, pink and blue
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    Lightweight
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    Storage pockets

CONS

  • ban
    Straps are thin
  • ban
    The bottom is not solid

7. Portable 600D

Made of quality waterproof 600D fabric this lightweight, breathable, booster seat is easy to clean and install, the handy storage pockets are ideal for treats and the safety tether helps keep your pet safe and secure while travelling.

PROS

  • check
    Easy to clean
  • check
    Value for money
  • check
    Safety tether

CONS

  • ban
    Stitching not very strong
  • ban
    No lining so will require blanket

8. PawHut 

This lightweight booster seat by PawHut is perfect for both long and short journeys providing a safe and comfortable place for your pet to relax. Ideal for dogs up to 10 kg it folds flat for compact storage and comes with a 90-day manufacturer’s warranty.

PROS

  • check
    Built-in adjustable straps
  • check
    Easy to install
  • check
    Lightweight

CONS

  • ban
    Soft base
  • ban
    No lining

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.

PROS

  • check
    Good quality
  • check
    Soft lining
  • check
    Collapsible

CONS

  • ban
    Straps are a little short

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 vehicle 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.

Did you know that 44% of doggy 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 pet, they could also potentially be thrown through the window screen which would likely be fatal. Even a small 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.

someone pet looking happy pretending to drive

Comfort (Luxury Options are best here)

Don't just buy 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, Fido 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 canine companion 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;

  1. Thread the motors 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.
  1. Booster seats are often attached with a strap which goes around the headrest, in fact, some can only be used in motors with a headrest so check the chair is compatible before purchase.
  1. 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.

how to install a Snoozer console 

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. 


Pet Traveling Checklist 

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    Always keep Fido 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.
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    A belt will keep your pooch restrained but a doggie 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.
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    Never feed before going on a journey as he will be much more likely to suffer from motion sickness, instead feed a small meal, 3-4 hours before starting out
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    If you are travelling a long distance it will be necessary to stop every couple of hours for Fido to stretch his legs and go to the toilet, don’t leave it until the last minute!
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    A doggie 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.

Where to Buy The Best Dog Car Seat 

Online


  • Pets at Home
  • Amazon
  • Ebay
  • Petsmart

Over The Counter


  • Asda
  • Argos 
  • Pets at Home 

The biggest range of dog carriers is sold online

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.


Tips for travelling with dogs

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    It is important your pet has identification tags before travelling and it is a good idea even if your pooch is microchipped to add a tag with your mobile number and if you are staying at a hotel their details too. If you become separated, it’s no good someone trying to contact you at home if you are away.
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    When pets travel in car never allow them to jump in and out of the ride without his leash on, you never know what may happen to make him run off.
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    Bring a bottle of water and a collapsible bowl so Fido can have a drink while travelling. This is especially important during the summer months and if you are travelling long distances.
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    Never let them sit in the front, without disabling the airbag, if the car airbag deploys during an accident it can cause injury and even death to a dog, especially small ones.
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    Take your pooch with you whenever possible, not only do they love being with their owners, but many often fear motor rides because they associate them with a visit to the vet or kennels. To master traveling with your dog start from a young age driving short distances at first. This video may help:

FAQ's

traveling with pups in the car frequently asked questions

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 canine companion 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 Car Booster 

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 car 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

Ruffwear Car Safety Harness for Dogs, Large to Very Large

Last Word

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 car seats for dogs, you want to be looking at the safest. It is important and you should always check the dimensions before ordering. I recommend the Solvit pet safety 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. 

Further reading

John Devlin

Owner - Dogsbarn.com

 

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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