Pets

The Best Dog Car Seat in Canada in 2021 – Reviews and Buying Guide

If you have a dog, then you know how much they can love car rides. With my dog, going for car rides is one of his favorite things to do (mostly because he knows he’s going to the dog park or somewhere else after!)

However, many people are rightfully worried about their dog’s safety in the car. You can’t exactly get a dog to sit down and stay put in a car seat like a child. If your dog is anything like mine, they like to move around the car while in motion.

That is why dog car seats exist. Like car seats for children, dog car seats are meant to keep your pooch safe and secure while you are on the road. A good dog seat can help your pet relax and stay safe.

So today, we are going to give an exhaustive view of the best dog car seats available right now. To create this round-up of the best doggie car seats, we examined over 24 different products over nearly 31 hours and combed through 864 consumer reviews. Our goal is to give the best information possible so you can make an informed decision.

Without any further ado, let’s get to it!

Following our last update, our favorite pick is the Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat.

Kurgo Rover(TM) Booster Dog Car Seat with Dog Seat Belt Tether

In a rush? Buy it Now on Amazon!

 

Dog Car Seat Comparative Table

Product Summary Rating Price
TOP PICK
Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat

Kurgo Rover(TM) Booster Dog Car Seat with Dog Seat Belt Tether

  • The Best Overall.
  • Dimensions: 12 x 16 x 8
  • Weight: 1.4 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 20-30 lbs.
9.1/10

Read our Review

See price on Amazon
UPGRADE PICK
 

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat, Large, Gray

  • Best luxury option.
  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 16 OR 18 x 13 x 16
  • Weight: 1.65 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 10-40 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year
8.9/10

Read our Review

See price on Amazon
BUDGET PICK
SWIHELP Dog Car Seat

Dog Car Seat_SWIHELP

  • Most affordable option.
  • Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 8
  • Weight: 1 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 10-40 lbs.
  • Warranty: Not listed
8.5/10

Read our Review

See price on Amazon

Our Pick for The Best Dog Car Seat

Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat

Kurgo Rover(TM) Booster Dog Car Seat with Dog Seat Belt Tether

The Best Overall
Kurgo

First up on our round-up and our pick for the best dog car seat in Canada in 2021 is the Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat. The first thing to notice about the dog car seat is how simple and relaxed it is. The seat is made from a durable and waterproof material that is puncture and tear-resistant. The booster seat can keep your dog safe and out of the way when you are driving.

See price
on Amazon

Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat Video Review

 

What We Think of the Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat

The Kurgo Rover Booster Seat is a fantastic choice due to its simple design, durability, and ease of use. The Kurgo features a 12 x 16 x 8 seat bucket that is layered with a special padded material and covered with a waterproof nylon fabric covering. The Kurgo installs quickly around the seats of your car and provides a slight boost for your dog.

 

One of the better features of the Kurgo is the metal support bars built-in. The bars are designed to pop out and stay rigid when the seat is set up but can be folded down when not in use. It is best suited for a mid-seat placement It can be installed on bucket seats or on a 60/40 split-bench seat.

Really like this seat. My two heathens (Yorkie and pomeranian) fit together very well. Dogs had no trouble adjusting immediately. Quick and easy to set up and takedown. Seems to hold the dogs inside safely and high enough not to set off the seat belt (but let’s not test that.) Price is good, quality is good.

Pomazoi

The Kurgo is also 100% waterproof and can be cleaned using a simple rag and cleaning solution. It also comes with a doe car seat belt that attaches to any standard harness. The Kurgo can hold dogs up to 30 pounds and also come with an extremely generous lifetime warranty. If anything goes wrong, you can get a full replacement for free.

Kurgo Rover(TM) Booster Dog Car Seat with Dog Seat Belt Tether

Kurgo Rover(TM) Booster Dog Car Seat with Dog Seat Belt Tether

Kurgo Rover(TM) Booster Dog Car Seat with Dog Seat Belt Tether

 

Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12 x 16 x 8
  • Weight: 1.4 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 20-30 lbs.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime

 

Kurgo Rover Booster Dog Car Seat Pros and Cons

Les plus

Pros

  • Very simple design is easy to use
  • 100% waterproof
  • Includes dog seat belt for harness
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy to clean

Les moins

Cons
  • Straps can become frayed
  • Not great for larger dogs

 

Our Final Opinion About the Kurgo Rover Dog Booster Seat

Quality:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Design:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)

The Kurgo is probably not the most high-quality dog car seat that you can get, but it is definitely one of the best for the price. The Kurgo is a durable, comfortable dog car seat that can keep your dog comfortable and safe while on the road. The Kurgo is also very affordable, making it an excellent all-around dog car seat for your pooch. We recommend the Kurgo Rover Dog Booster Seat very highly.

See price
on Amazon

Our Upgrade Pick for a Dog Car Seat

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat, Large, Gray

The Best Luxury Option
K&H

The K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster seat is a great choice of booster seat for your dog. The Bucket Booster not only keeps your dog safe from car accidents and crashes but also elevates them so they have a better view. The interior of the seat is lined with a soft plush material that is soft on the skin and can fit in either the back or front seat of your car. The Bucket Booster comes in 2 sizes and 2 colors so you can get a smaller model for small dogs and a large model for larger dogs.

See price
on Amazon

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat Video Review

What We Think of the K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat

The K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Seat is a great choice for both smaller and larger dogs. The entire seat is made from a durable, microfiber material and features a soft, plush, microfiber interior that is soft on the skin and will not cause allergic reactions. The Bucket Booster works for all ages of dogs from puppies to senior dogs and has a very simple design that is easy to set up.

I originally bought the Bucket Booster seat just to keep my fidgety Maltese/Yorkie off of my lap while driving. However, very recently I was driving on an interstate highway when a deer ran into the path of my car. I was not able to avoid the collision and my car was extensively damaged. Both I and my dog where [sic] buckled in. Had my dog not been secured in the booster seat by the leash and the booster seat secured by the car’s seat belt, he would have been seriously injured. Same goes for me, I guess. Love your dogs? Buckle them in!

Greg

The Bucket Booster straps around the back of your car seat and is reinforced by strapping it with a seatbelt under the cushion. It is designed to fit in both front seats and back seats and is angled so your pet is elevated over the bottom of the seat. The Bucket Booster is pretty large for a dog seat, which is good because it is plush and gives them plenty of space. The Bucket Booster also has two harness straps built into the seat so you can fit up to two smaller dogs at once if you want.

The Bucket Booster is made with a durable 600-thread count polyester nylon fabric and flex interior that is warm and soft. The back of the seat has a slight contour so it better fits car seats without losing its shape. The bottom cushion can also be removed if you need a bit more space or you need to clean it.

The Bucket Booster is made from a soft plush material that cleans easily. You can clean the seat using a rag and a simple cleaning solution that is designed for fabrics.

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat, Large, Gray

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat, Large, Gray

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat, Large, Gray

 

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat Specifications

  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 16 OR 18 x 13 x 16
  • Weight: 1.65 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 10-40 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year

 

K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat Pros and Cons

Les plus

Pros

  • Large design good for multiple types of dogs
  • Very soft plush interior
  • Simple to set up and break down
  • Can hold up to two smaller dogs at once

Les moins

Cons

  • Rather large and bulky
  • Cannot be machine washed
  • Tracks a lot of hair
  • A bit more expensive

 

Our Final Opinion About the K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat

Quality:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Design:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)

The Bucket Booster seat is a great choice for a medium-sized dog. It is large, very soft, and extremely comfortable. The seat is large enough that your dogs can actually lie down and get a nap. The seat is durable, easy to clean, and easy to set up and takedown. The main criticism is that it is pretty large and might be hard to store when not in use as it does not fold up. Otherwise, the Bucket Booster is a great upgrade-choice of dog seat for dogs of all ages.

See price
on Amazon

 

Our Budget Pick for a Dog Car Seat

SWIHELP Dog Car Seat

Dog Car Seat_SWIHELP

The Affordable Choice
SWIHELP

Last on our round-up of main products is the SWIHELP Dog Car Seat, our pick for the best budget pick dog car seat. The SWIHELP is an affordable and comfortable dog car seat designed for small to medium-sized dogs. The SWIHELP features a durable nylon exterior and built-in PVC support rig so the seat stays rigid and stable while the car is in motion. The SWIHELP is also incredibly affordable so you can buy it without breaking the bank.

See price
on Amazon

 

What We Think of the SWIHELP Dog Car Seat

The SWIHELP Dog Car Seat won our pick as the best budget option due to it;’s affordable price and good price-to-quality ratio. The SWIHELP has a large and robust design that is large enough for any dog under 50 lbs and can be placed in the front or back seat. The SWIHELP also is made from an extremely durable 600-thread count nylon material that is 100% waterproof and has a PVC mesh net across the front.

We bought it to put on our lawnmower and our dog loves going with us. This fits perfectly on our mower and can secure her in without her jumping out. It’s safe and great for us!

Chris S.

The seat has adjustable seat straps that are made to fit any kind of car seat. Thes traps go over the back of the seat and it includes a safety belt to attach to your dog’s harness. The SWIHELP is also suitable for more than just dogs and can be used for cats too.

Overall, the SWIHELP is a great dog car seat that will suit you well. The major flaws with it are the size. The entire seat is almost 16 inches tall and over 12 inches wide. So it may be a bit difficult to store when you are not using it. It is also easy to clean as you can just use a normal cleaning solution and rage on the nylon.

Of course, the best part of the SWIHELP is how affordable it is.

Dog Car Seat_SWIHELP

Dog Car Seat_SWIHELP

Dog Car Seat_SWIHELP

 

SWIHELP Dog Car Seat Specifications

  • Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 8
  • Weight: 1 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 10-40 lbs.
  • Warranty: Not listed

 

SWIHELP Dog Car Seat Pros and Cons

Les plus

Pros

  • Large design for all sized dogs
  • PVC mesh
  • 600D nylon material is strong and waterproof
  • Anterior pocket can store dog food and toys
  • Suitable for other pets besides dogs

Les moins

Cons
  • Bulky and large
  • Does not fold up very well
  • PVC mesh can tear

 

Our Final Opinion About the SWIHELP Dog Car Seat

Quality:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Design:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)

Overall, the SWIHELP is a good budget pick. It is highly affordable, durable, and made with quality materials. The PVC mesh front is good for keeping your dog cool and the dual-layer seat provides enough cushion. The SWIHELP is not the best dog car seat on the market, but it is one of the best you can buy for a comparable price.

See price
on Amazon

Alternative Products to Consider

AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Seat

AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Bucket Seat - 18 x 18 x 16 Inches

TheBest Well-Rounded Pick
AmazonBasics

The AmazonBasics pet car booster seat is a good alternative choice that is well made and affordable. This dog seat is great for any kind of car and has a simple setup and installation design. The seat goes in the front of the back seat and can help you drive distraction-free while your dog is safe.

See price
on Amazon

 

What We Think of the AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Seat

Like most AmazonBasics products, this pet car seat booster is a good choice for a mid-grade pet car seat. It features a durable plush interior or exterior and has a simple bucket design that elevates the seat so your dog can see and you can keep an eye on them through your rear-view mirror. It also has a quilted flannel plush top layer.

This car seat is AWESOME for smaller dogs. It elevates the seat so the dog can see out the window and secure the dog at the same time. The seat is well made and provides just the right amount of support and cushion. It’s also easy to remove.

The Tech Guy

The AmazonBasics is a good starter seat to buy as it is versatile and relatively affordable. The seat is easy to wash and can be cleaned using a simple rag and cleaning solution. Overall, the AmazonBasics is a great alternative choice to consider if our other picks do not work for you.

AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Bucket Seat - 18 x 18 x 16 Inches

AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Bucket Seat - 18 x 18 x 16 Inches

AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Bucket Seat - 18 x 18 x 16 Inches

 

AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Seat Specifications

  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 16
  • Weight: 1.17 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Quilted flannel
  • Sizing: 10-40 lbs.
  • Warranty: Not listed

 

AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Seat Pros and Cons

Les plus

Pros

  • Very soft
  • Extra cushion and plus
  • Easy to clean
  • Works for any sized dogs
  • Simple to install

Les moins

Cons
  • Does not fold up
  • Gets dirty easily

 

Our Final Opinion About the AmazonBasics Pet Car Booster Seat

Quality:4 out of 5 stars
(4 / 5)
Effectiveness:4 out of 5 stars
(4 / 5)
Design:4 out of 5 stars
(4 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars
(4 / 5)

Overall, the AmazonBasic pet car seat is a good choice for a first car seat. It is comfortable, easy to install, and large enough for most dogs. Unfortunately, it cannot fold up and is slightly bulky so it might be hard to store it when not in use.

See price
on Amazon

FAREYY Dog Car Seat

FAREYY Dog Car Seat for Small Dogs or Cats, Car Pet Booster Seat with Storage Pocket Clip-On Safety Leash, Travel Safety Waterproof Warm Plush Dog Car Seat (Silver Grey)

The Excellent Cheap Option
FAREYY

The FAREYY Dog Car Seat is another good alternative choice that is safe on your wallet and your dog. The FAREYY is made with a special, warm, plush material with a thick, comfortable interior lining. The dog car seat puts safety first with its plush design and is easy to install. Overall, it’s a good dog car seat as an alternative option to the other ones we have listed here.

See price
on Amazon

 

What We Think of the FAREYY Dog Car Seat

The FAREYY Dog Car Seat is a good option thanks to its extra-plush design. The FAREYY uses a thick comfy plus material that is made from waterproof Oxford cloth that is also scratch-resistant. It is very easy to install and can be put in either the front seat or the back seat. The FAREYY is also very easy to clean as you can just use a rag and a cleaning solution. It is fairly large, so it takes up some space, but it is very soft and comfortable.

Charlie, my pug, was such a nervous car rider and never could get comfortable even when we held him. This bed was a game-changer for travel. He climbs in and falls asleep before we even get out of town!

BD

The FAREYY Dog Car Seat also comes in several different colors including black, gray, red, blue, and more. It installs around the back of the seat and has two straps to attach it. Also, the dog car seat can be used outside of the car as a dog bed.

FAREYY Dog Car Seat for Small Dogs or Cats, Car Pet Booster Seat with Storage Pocket Clip-On Safety Leash, Travel Safety Waterproof Warm Plush Dog Car Seat (Silver Grey)

FAREYY Dog Car Seat for Small Dogs or Cats, Car Pet Booster Seat with Storage Pocket Clip-On Safety Leash, Travel Safety Waterproof Warm Plush Dog Car Seat (Silver Grey)

FAREYY Dog Car Seat for Small Dogs or Cats, Car Pet Booster Seat with Storage Pocket Clip-On Safety Leash, Travel Safety Waterproof Warm Plush Dog Car Seat (Silver Grey)

FAREYY Dog Car Seat Specifications

  • Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 14
  • Weight: 1.17 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Oxford cloth
  • Sizing: 10-40 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year

 

FAREYY Dog Car Seat Pros and Cons

Les plus

Pros

  • Very large and soft
  • Can be used as a dog bed
  • Easy to install
  • Machine washable

Les moins

Cons
  • Very large and bulky
  • Difficult to store when not in use

Our Final Opinion About the FAREYY Dog Car Seat

Quality:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)
Design:3 out of 5 stars
(3.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)

Overall, the FAREYY is a great alternative option. It is very large and cushioned so you can even use it as a dog bed outside of the car. It is also very affordable for the size and works for multiple types of dogs. The main drawback is that it is large and might be hard to store.

See price
on Amazon

 

Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat

Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat, Dog Booster Seat for Car Front Seat, Pet Booster Car Seat for Small Dogs Medium Dogs Within 30 lbs, Reinforced Dog Car Booster Seat Harness with Seat Belt - Purple

The Small Dog Alternative
Henkelion

The penultimate entry on our roundup is the Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat. As the name implies, this dog car seat is for small dogs and is good for use in compact cars. The Henkelion has a durable nylon seat with Oxford fabric and has ventilation mesh on the sides. The Henkelion can prevent your dog from getting distracted in the car and is 100% waterproof.

See price
on Amazon

What We Think of the Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat Review

The Henkelion is a good choice for smaller dogs on account of its small build and durability. The Henkelion uses a durable 600-thread count nylon material that is waterproof and resistant to scratches and puncture. The adjustable straps can fit cars, SUVs, trucks, and more. The Henkelion also has a mesh liner that keeps the dog cool while in the seat. It is very easy to assemble and can be set up in just a few minutes.

Love this product! It’s easy to use, roomy, and you can fit a small bed inside. It’s got pockets on the side for toys and food. My cat hates sitting in his carrier in the car so I got this and it’s perfect. Overall Impressed!

Rachael

The Henkelion can fit dogs up to 30 lbs. and has special pockets in the back and sides for storing food and toys. It also has two safety straps that keep the car seat in place while you are driving around.

Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat, Dog Booster Seat for Car Front Seat, Pet Booster Car Seat for Small Dogs Medium Dogs Within 30 lbs, Reinforced Dog Car Booster Seat Harness with Seat Belt - Purple

Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat, Dog Booster Seat for Car Front Seat, Pet Booster Car Seat for Small Dogs Medium Dogs Within 30 lbs, Reinforced Dog Car Booster Seat Harness with Seat Belt - Purple

Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat, Dog Booster Seat for Car Front Seat, Pet Booster Car Seat for Small Dogs Medium Dogs Within 30 lbs, Reinforced Dog Car Booster Seat Harness with Seat Belt - Purple

 

Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 10
  • Weight: 1.3 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 10-20 lbs.
  • Warranty: Not listed

Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat Pros and Cons

Les plus

Pros

  • Great for small dogs
  • Durable
  • Waterproof nylon fabric
  • Extra secure with two straps

Les moins

Cons

  • Only for small dogs
  • Straps can get frayed

 

Our Final Opinion About the Henkelion Small Dog Car Seat

Quality:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Design:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)

Overall, the Henkelion is a great alternative option. It’s made specifically for smaller dogs, so you won’t be able to use it with larger dogs. It is highly durable and waterproof and has two straps so it’s extra secure when strapped into your car. We would recommend the Henkelion if you have a smaller dog.

See price
on Amazon

 

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat, Deluxe, Large

The Elevation Alternative
Solvit

Last on our list but not least is the Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster. The Solvit is designed to give your dog extra elevation over the seat and attaches around the headrest and back of the car seat. The car seat is designed for smaller dogs and includes an internal leash and front storage pockets.

See the price
on Amazon

 

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Video Review

 

What We Think of the Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster

The Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster is a great choice for smaller dogs. It has a suitable-sized bucket and attaches around the headrest and back of the car seat. It can be put in the front seat and can be put in the back seat. The Solvit also includes an internal leash and food storage pockets on the front and back. So your dog can sit in comfort while it has its toys and food nearby to calm it down.

We got a Yorkshire puppy and she loves riding in the car with this seat. The seat is easy to install and the height can be adjusted to get a high enough position so the dog can look out the window. The materials are good quality and comfortable and the cover can be easily removed for washing. Recommended.

J. Christy

The Solvit is a good choice if you have a smaller dog that needs some extra support and security while in the car. It is also very affordable so you can buy it without breaking the bank. Overall, we would highly recommend the Solvit Tagalong for smaller dogs and other pets.

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat, Deluxe, Large

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat, Deluxe, Large

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat, Deluxe, Large

 

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Specifications

  • Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 8
  • Weight: 1.3 kg
  • Seat Belt?: Yes
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizing: 10-20 lbs
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

 

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Pros and Cons

Les plus

Pros

  • Elevates your dog
  • Great for any kind of car
  • Double strap design is extra stable
  • Includes internal storage pockets

Les moins

Cons

  • Only for small dogs
  • Difficult to clean properly

 

Our Final Opinion About the Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster

Quality:4 out of 5 stars
(4.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)
Design:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars
(5.0 / 5)

Overall, the Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster is a great choice for smaller dogs when you want them to have a bit of elevation over the car seat. The Tagalong is small, durable, and convenient. It is also easy to set up and folds up when you are not using it.

See price
on Amazon

 

Why Should You Trust Us?

All our recommendations on Achetezlemeilleur.ca are the result of many weeks or months of research, comparisons, analyses of user’s ratings and if need be, interviews with experts and scientists. You will quickly notice that the products we suggest here are not the most expensive or the most trendy: they are those that will best perform their daily tasks, passing all security, reliability and efficiency tests while having an appealing price-quality ratio for everyone. 

In the end, the products we recommend are those we would have wanted to buy, or those we will choose for our friends and family.

 

Things to Know Before Buying a Dog Car Seat

Does a Dog Car Seat Actually Work?

There are a couple of different products for dogs and cars to keep separate. Dog seat belts are designed to attach to a harness with a clip. Dog crates and dog carriers are also different and are basically self-contained carrying boxes for dogs. Dog crates and seat belts tend to work well for larger dogs, but they may not work that well for medium-sized and smaller dogs.

Dog booster seats, in contrast, are basically a booster seat for your dog. They sit directly on the seat and attach to the seat belt to keep it stable. Your dog can sit right in the center of the seat so it can remain stationary and supported when the car is in motion.

Dog car seats are best for a wide range of dog sizes and let your pet look out the window without actually being free in the car cabin. Dog car seats can also make your dog feel more comfortable if they get anxious in the car by keeping them secure so they are not moved around when the car hits a sharp turn or stops quickly.

It is important to realize though that doggie car seats do not have federal standards like child car seats do. As such, dog car seats do not have to pass crash tests or adhere to minimum safety laws to be sold. Many manufacturers claim that they test their dog cat seats to make sure they are safe for modern cars.

So make sure that you research any tests your dog car seat has undergone and make sure those tests are performed by an independent third-party organization.

Front Seat or Back Seat?

You might also be wondering about whether it is better to put your dog car seat in the front or back seat of your vehicle. As is the case with a child car seat, it is always better to put your dog car seat in the backseat, not the front.

The reason why is that putting your dog in the front seat could both distract you while driving and also be dangerous to your dog. Airbags in the front seat are designed only for humans and can seriously hurt dogs (humans too!). Also, having your dog in the front seat can be distracting. I don’t know about you, but whenever my dog is within eyeshot I always end up focusing on them instead of the environment.

If your back seat has three seats with one in the middle, the middle seat is probably the best place to keep your dog. Also, keep your dog seat in the backset row that is closest to you.

Don’t Do These Things

Here is a quick list of things you should NOT do with your dog car seat.

  • Do not attach the seat to the dog’s leash. Attaching the seat to the leash can choke it and damage its throat.
  • Make sure that you attach your dog’s harness to the seat tether while riding. If they are not secured in the seat, they can fly out if you get into a crash or stop very suddenly.
  • We know that you love giving your dog attention, but make sure to always keep your eyes on the road. That way you are not distracted when you are driving.
  • Do not leave your dog alone in the car. Even on relatively cool days, car interiors can get very hot which is deadly for dogs.
  • Make sure your dog’s feet and body are clear of dirt and mud before you put them in the seat. Otherwise, the seat can get very dirty and pick up mold, mildew, and other harmful things.

 

How to Properly Choose Your Dog Car Seat

Chien - Voiture

To help you out when buying, we put together this list of important features to look for when shopping around for a dog car seat.

Safety Features

The entire point of a dog car seat is to keep your dog safe and secure when on the road. As such, safety features should be your number 1 priority when shopping around. To that end, you want to make sure that the dog car seat you choose is a dog car seat that has been crash-tested by a third-party organization.

As the name implies, crash-tested dog seats have been tested to make sure they meet standards set down by the Center for Pet Safety tests. That way you can be sure that your dog will be safe in the unfortunate event that you get in a car crash.

If you have a larger dog (>30-40 lbs) then you might want to make sure your dog car seat has a harness system. Harness systems work well for larger dogs up to 90+ lbs. Harness kits can also be crash-tested so make sure that you look for those products.

Materials

Obviously, you want a dog car seat that is tough and will not fall apart on you. Most dog car seats are made from synthetic materials, such as nylon. Nylon is a great material for dog car seats because it has an extremely high tensile strength, is puncture-resistant, and resists staining and degradation.

Also, pay attention to the materials you pick to make sure that your dog does not have an allergic reaction. Certain types of fibers, such as synthetic fibers, might have additives and other chemicals that might trigger an allergic reaction. Natural fabrics like cotton or hemp are less likely to produce an allergic reaction in your dog. Some dog car seats might market themselves as hypoallergenic.

In addition to the fabric, dog car seats might also have solid components like a PVC frame. Interior frames give the dog seat a bit more stability and security. However, a dog seat with a solid interior frame might be harder to fold and transport when not in use.

Also, the materials you choose should be easy to clean. We love dogs but also recognize that they are not the cleanest animals to have.

Seat Belt/Harness System

It is very important to make sure that your dog car seat has the right kind of seat belt/harness system. Typically, the booster seat is attached around the car seat from the back and then your dog has a harness and clip attached to their body. The point of the harness/belt system is to keep your dog stationary in the seat.

Keep in mind that you should never attach the seat belt system to a collar. This can be dangerous as the collar can choke your dog and make them uncomfortable. Also, make sure that the harness that comes with the dog car seat fits snuggly. You should have no more than two fingers worth of space between the harness and your dog’s body, or else it will not be as effective.

Size and Orientation

It is also important to get a dog car seat that gives your pup enough space. Too much space and they will feel uncomfortable and too little space they can get anxious. Most dog car seats for medium-sized dogs measure about a foot long and over a foot wide. Dog seats might also be slightly elevated off the bottom of the seat so they can look forward.

Also, dog car seats have padding to make your dog’s ride as comfortable as possible. Allowing your dog to see forward will keep them calm and allow you to keep an eye on them through your rear-view mirror.

Ease of Installation and Cleaning

Another important thing to consider is how easy the car seat is to install and how easy it is to clean. To that end, finding a dog car seat that can fold up when not in use is very important. It is unlikely that you will have your dog with you every time in your car so it needs to be something that can be quickly set up and broken down when you need it.

Most dog car seats are designed to basically slip over the car seat and can be lifted off. Sometimes they might be made with a strap that connects around the back of the car seat. You can take these off, fold them down, and store them in the trunk or under the seat when not being used.

As far as cleaning goes, you want a seat that you can simply wipe down with a rag and some cleaning solution. Generally, dog car seats are not machine washable, but there might be some models that are. The problem is that putting a nylon and padded dog car seat through a washer and dryer can deform the material and cause the dog car seat to lose its shape.

 

Conclusion

People love taking their dogs on road trips, so make sure that they stay safe and comfortable with a high-quality dog car seat. A good dog car seat will keep them protected from the perils of the road, so you can rest easy as your pup relaxes and enjoys the ride.

 

We do our best to provide you with a comparative guide of dog car seats allowing you to choose the best product possible. If we are missing information or new models, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to send us a message.

Former journalist and editor for various media groups, I love interior design, baking and especially yoga!

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