5 Best Dog Car Seats

Need a dependable car seat for your dog? We recommend 5 reliable options to keep your pet safe on your next journey.

Dogs in a car

Transporting dogs can be one of the more stressful times while owning them! 

Dogs aren’t really designed for cars and they can quickly become fractious and restless when they’re on the move.

One solution is a relatively new innovation: the dog car seat. 

Dog car seats are safe, convenient and provide an excellent way to secure your dog for both short and long car journeys. 

Today , we’ll be looking at the best dog car seats and best dog booster seats to give your dog the view and security they deserve.

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What Exactly is a Car Dog Seat?

A dog car seat is typically a basket or bed that can be plugged into the seatbelts of a car or fasten itself around the back of the seat.

It allows your dog to sit inside the seat whilst remaining safely belted in. The dog itself can then be harnessed and secured to the dog car seat.

This means the seat itself is braced using its own seatbelts and the dog is braced to the car seat from its harness.

According to new UK law, driving with an unsecured pet could land you with a £5,000 penalty for 'careless driving' so it's more important than ever to keep your dog buckled up.

If you don’t use a dog car seat, a loose dog essentially becomes a projectile in the event of even a small crash.

PetSafe Tag along car seat


Why You Might Need a Dog Car Seat 

There are other reasons to get a good car dog seat besides the more obvious ones.

Safety 

Dog car seats are by far the safest way to travel in cars and vehicles with your dog.

The principle is the same as it is for a small child or baby. Being secured to the seat is much safer than roaming the vehicle freely, for both your dog and you.

Chihuahua in a bag in the car

Without a dog car seat, even sudden jolts and bumps can send them tumbling off the seat. Your dog won’t be ready if you need to slam on the breaks and whilst you’ll be saved from hitting your head or flying forward by your seatbelt, your dog may not be so lucky.

Dog car seats are much safer than simply placing your dog in a dog cage in the boot also.

Law

The updated Highway Code now regards driving with an unsecured pet as 'careless driving'. This could land you with a £5,000 penalty and could invalidate your insurance even in the result of an accident that was unrelated to your dog.

Rule 57 now says "When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."

Comfort

Dog car seats are also super-comfy and can calm and relax your dog on long journeys, which is a massive bonus!

'Dogs can get fractious in cars and keeping them chilled out and secure is very important, especially on longer drives.

Dog car seats are frequently padded out nicely with soft fabrics and foam - the comfiest way for your dog to travel by car.

Stops Chewing

Want to protect your leather car trimmings? Dog car seats are the best way to stop your dog from chewing your car’s soft furnishings!

This may be especially important when your dog is stressed or just feeling a bit naughty. A dog car seat keeps chewing at bay!

Dog chewing a ball

Helps Prevent Motion Sickness

Motion sickness in cars is not aided by being low down towards the floor. Car seats help keep pets off the floor and upright, which is better for their stomachs, reducing motion sickness. 

Even in the case of boot-installed cages, motion sickness can be awful for your dog. Dog car seats give your dog the same benefits as we get from being secured in a seat straight and upright.

Recommended: Need a puppy playpen to keep your pride and joy safe and secure?

How to Choose the Right Dog Car Seat

Dog car seats come in a fair few different shapes and sizes. Picking one depends primarily on your dog and car space.

Size 

The main way in which dog car seats differ is in size. Most dog car seats only really suit smaller dogs, puppies and medium dogs up to around 20kg.

It is possible to get double dog car seats that can hold two smaller dogs or one medium-sized dog, and these will go across both seats.

It’s tricky to transport very large dogs using a dog car seat as they’ll need space to lie down.

If you have a smaller dog then great, picking a dog car seat shouldn’t be too difficult. Smaller dogs can fit cosily into a dog car seat with easily enough room to lie down and wriggle about.

The width of an average car seat is about the length of a small or small to medium-sized dog.

Security

Dog car seats are secured either by plugging them into the car’s seatbelt or by straps that fasten around the back of a seat.

They also usually feature a second strap that goes around the headrest when you’re using the seat in the front.

Dog car seats can feature straps that attach to your dog’s harness, meaning the dog seat is secured to the car and the dog is secured to the seat.

Dog sitting in a car

Durability

Anything to be used by a dog needs to be durable and car seats are no different!

Designed to be resilient to chewing and grabbing, most car seats are made from strong materials that ought to last for many years of use.

Materials can also be easily cleaned and washed without damaging the seat.


Comfort

Dog car seats are there to be comfortable as well as secure. They’re often kitted out with soft padding and warm textiles to keep your dog as snug as they are secure.


The Top Dog Car Seats Compared

Take a quick look at the car seats for dogs that we recommend over all others in the table below. We review each one in more detail in the next section.

Model

Details

Dog car seat

OUR TOP PICK

PetSafe Dog Safety Seat

- Comfortable

- Safe

- Fast assembly

- Easy clean

Legendog Dog Car Seat in maroon

Legendog Dog Car Seat

- Made of high quality waterproof polyester

- Can hold dogs below 16kg easily

- Portable and foldable

Car seat with dog in it

Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogs

- Waterproof design 

- Seat-belt tether is adjustable

- Holds dogs up to 13 kg

A white dog in a car seat

Petsfit Lookout Car Seat

- Removable & machine washable

- For medium dogs up to 20kg

PetSafe Tag along car seat

PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Pet Seat

- Safe

- Easy assembly

- Adjustable

- Durable


OUR TOP PICK


PetSafe Dog Safety Seat


This premium dog car seat is comfortable, easy to clean, and secure. It’s suitable for small and medium-sized dogs up to 16kg in weight, which covers you for most fully grown small breeds and larger young dogs.


It’s designed to raise your dog comfortably to the window line so they can see out of the car. This will help relax your dog as they’ll be able to see you and what’s going on outside. You'll also be able to easily check if your dog is up to any mischief!


This car seat comes in two different models, the Happy Ride and Solvit. They’re very similar, though the Happy Ride is slightly newer. 


Both have the same dog capacity and are roughly the same size. You can also choose from standard or deluxe, with the primary difference being the quality of the interior padding.



Both dog car seats plug securely into the seatbelt attachments of your car and are crash-tested for safety.


The liner and cushioning are easily removed for cleaning and the seat features a harness attachment for securing your dog to the seat itself.

Pros

  • Large enough for dogs up to 16kg
  • Super-soft interior cushioning
  • 40cm height allows dogs to see out of the window
  • Attaches to seatbelts

Cons

  • Plastic construction is fairly heavy
  • Soft cushioning not perfect for heavy chewers

Bottom Line:

This one ticks all the boxes for us. It's easy to install, reliable, and simple to clean with its removable liner.


It's a dependable dog car seat for small to medium sized dogs.










Outstanding Value


Legendog Dog Car Seat


This dog car seat is awesome value and doubles up as a convenient and comfy carry basket.


It’s made from durable soft materials and features pockets around the outside for storing you or your dog’s accessories.


For the price, this dog car seat is hard to beat and though it looks relatively small, it can still hold dogs up to 16kg in weight.


This car seat doesn’t plug into your car but is instead secured using two straps. One strap circles your headrest and the other secures tightly around the seat.


This is advantageous as it allows you to adjust the height of the car seat to ensure your dog can see out of the window.


It does, however, mean it can only be used properly in the back of a car if rear headrests are present.



This dog car seat has a strong steel frame and is easily stripped down for cleaning.


Dogs can also be secured inside the basket via an additional strap that connects to dog harnesses.

Pros

  • Strong metal frame
  • Dual strap design
  • Comfy removable liner
  • Attaches to dog harnesses

Cons

  • Can only be used where headrests are present
  • Less stable with heavier dogs

Bottom Line:

This is the car seat we believe offers the best value for money. It's a pretty durable piece of kit that's priced really well.





Best Small Dog Car Seat


Kurgo Booster Seat for Dogs


This is a very high-quality dog car seat made exclusively for smaller dogs.


It features everything you’d expect from a dog car seat, including secure fastening to car seats, a soft inner lining and durable construction.


This dog car seat is secured via dual straps. There's one that loops around the car seat headrest and one that loops around the back of the seat. This makes height adjustments very simple. Perfect for very small dogs that need to be hoisted up to get a good view out of the windows!


The Kurgo Booster seat features a high-quality waterproof exterior and is very easy to clean. The soft lining is very comfy and the depth of the basket allows you to easily fill it with your dog’s favourite blankets and some toys.


There are pockets around the outside for accessory storage and a strap is included for attaching your dog’s harness to the seat.


As a smaller dog seat, it makes an excellent travel dog seat for when portability is useful.

Pros

  • Dual strap adjustable height design
  • Waterproof material
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comes with a harness strap

Cons

  • Not suitable for dogs beyond 13kg
  • 9kg max recommended weight for smaller framed larger dogs

Bottom Line:

If you need a car seat for a particularly small breed then this model from Kurgo is the one to go for.


It's really well put together and is one of the few seats around to offer a lifetime warranty.




Recommended: Need a reliable dog harness that doesn't pull on your dogs neck? Don't miss our latest equipment guide.


Best Large Dog Car Seat


Petsfit Lookout Car Seat


If you have two dogs or you’re looking for a larger car seat for bigger dogs then you might be in luck here!


This is a large dual dog car seat suitable for two smaller dogs or one medium to large dog of up to 45lbs (20kg).


Given its large length, this is also great for thinner lighter dogs such as greyhounds that have longer body types.


Of course, this is a large car seat that covers two average seats easily and it isn’t particularly size-efficient, but it’s an excellent option for those who simply can’t fit a dog comfortably into a smaller car seat.



In terms of construction, this large dog car seat is super-strong built from lightweight plastic and features an innovative reversible lining, with one smoother side suited to hotter days and the other fluffy side suited to colder days.


It is secured with a strap that ties behind two car seats, so it can only be used in cars where the rear seats can be moved down either individually or as a pair.


It also has back-straps that can be secured to car seatbelts for extra security. There are two straps for attachment to dog harnesses.


Finally, the dog car seat comes with its own carry bag, which is an excellent option that few manufacturers offer.

Pros

  • Large size for bigger dogs
  • Can comfortably fit two smaller dogs or a dog and another pet
  • Two attachments for dog harnesses
  • Reversible liner

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Won’t fit into every car

Bottom Line:

If you have a larger dog then this is the dog seat to choose. It comes highly recommended from us and many other happy customers.







PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Pet Seat


From PetSafe, this medium-sized dog seat for a car is the biggest in their range. It’s best suited to small to medium-sized dogs and has a weight limit of 11.3kg.


This is crash tested, though, so you can be assured that it’s up to the task of securing dogs at its highest weight limit.


This dog seat features high-quality construction that combines a super-soft inner liner with a durable plastic chassis. It has a dual-strap design that allows it to be looped around car headrests and secured around the back of a seat.


This allows it to be adjusted easily to any height, allowing you to position your dog high enough up the seat to give them a good view out of the window.



The high-quality inner lining is removable and very fluffy, perfect for relaxing dogs and encouraging them to snuggle down. The seat features an attachment for securing your dog to the dog car seat itself.

Pros

  • Tested for dogs up to 11.3kg
  • Dual strap fastening
  • Easily adjusted to various heights
  • Super-soft removable lining

Cons

  • Won’t suit light but long dogs
  • Best fitted to larger seats

Bottom Line:

A well priced alternative for small to medium dogs. 




Conclusion

Dog car seats are highly recommended nowadays for travel safety. They’re an excellent addition to your dog accessory arsenal and will allow your dog to travel with you in the car in comfort and safety. 

These dog car seats are some of the best available and each offers an effective way to secure your dog in comfort. Whether you need a smaller car seat for a tiny dog or puppy or a larger one for your medium dog, there’s something here for you!

If we had to choose one model over all others it would be the PetSafe Dog Safety Seat but it really depends on the size of your dog.

If you've got any questions about anything we've covered today then be sure to let us know down in the comments section. We'll be sure to get back to you promptly!

We'd love to hear what you think in the comments section!

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