Best Dog Car Seats: Protect Your Dog While Traveling
For your canine companion’s safety while traveling, check out these dog car seats
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON April 12, 2019
Your dog is a member of the family and, as such, you probably want to take it everywhere with you. It is crucial to make sure that your dog is safe and comfortable when traveling on car trips. Getting the best dog car seat will keep your dog in a safe space, preventing it from being nervous or overstimulated while traveling.
- Best OverallSnoozer Lookout Car SeatSummarySummaryThe Snoozer Lookout Car Seat will keep your dog stable while the car is moving. The interior is made with simulated lamb’s wool, which makes the pet cozy and safe while in the car. It has a restraint system that is sturdy.ProsProsMost dogs easily and quickly adapt to the car seat. Sports adjustable restraint systems that hold the dog in place. The cover is washable.ConsConsThe harness tether doesn’t connect to the car seat so the dog won’t be as secure as with other options. The seat belt connector strap and side walls look flimsy.
- Best ValueKurgo Skybox Booster Seat for DogsSummarySummaryMade for up to 30-pound dogs, this one keeps small dogs in place while driving on long road trips.ProsProsMost dogs adapt to the high sides. Easy installation and removal. The liner can easily be removed and washed.ConsConsThe retaining clasps are weak and may break after a few weeks of use. The harness connector is in an awkward spot. New owners may find hooking up the tether and harness confusing.
- Honorable MentionK&H Pet Bucket Booster Pet SeatSummarySummaryThis booster car seat elevates your dog and can easily fit the front or the back seat. The seat’s back is designed to fit easily inside the car.ProsProsThe seat is easy to install and perfectly attaches to your car’s seat belts. It has two tethers that keep the dog in place. Easy to remove and wash the cover.ConsConsThe car seat is huge and takes up a lot of space. People with small cars may find it a little tricky to thread the seatbelt through the loops when installing. Liquid stains and urine can soak in the foam since the cloth isn’t waterproof.
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Benefits of Dog Car Seats
- Protect your dog. Keep the dog in place to reduce distractions when you are driving. This lowers the chances of you and your dog getting into an accident by removing the challenge of having to handle your dog instead of focusing on the road.
- Elevate the dog so it can see the road. If your dog enjoys the outdoors, the seat allows it to comfortably look out the window.
- Give your dog peace of mind. During car rides, dogs can easily be distracted and start panting, whining, and pacing back and forth. The car seat gives the dog a physical sense of safety and security.
- Help reduce motion sickness. Dogs that suffer from car sickness will benefit from a car seat because it raises them high enough to see the outside, which in turn reduces car sickness. It can also help alleviate anxiety in the dog.
- Protect the car’s upholstery. If the dog gets car sick or in case of an accident, the dog seat can protect the car’s upholstery.
Types of Dog Car Seats
Bucket-Style Dog Seat
This is the most popular type of dog seat on the market. As the name suggests, the dog seat has a bucket-like shape. You place the dog in and strap the seat using a tether that clips to the seat’s harness. It elevates your dog into position giving them a good view of the outdoors.
Bed-Style Dog Seat
This is probably the best dog car seat for long trips because it allows your pet to sit comfortably in one place. This option gives you two products in one since it is longer and can double up as a bed as well. This type of seat is a preferable option for dogs suffering from nerves since the bed can feel safe and comfortable for the pooch.
K&H Pet Products is popular for pet solutions. It is the largest company dedicated to producing heated pet products. Its dog seats offer great innovation, quality, and problem-solving solutions for pets, making their life and yours better. Its top-selling products are the K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat and the affordable K&H Pet Products Hanging’ Bucket Booster Seat.
Snoozer is popular for its fashionable and long-lasting dog car seats, beds, carriers, and other pet products. The car seats are very cozy and are made to make your pet comfortable thanks to the comfy form-foam. The seat’s interior is made from simulated lamb’s wool that warms and raises the dog to look out of the window. Its most popular dog car seats are the Snoozer Lookout Car Seat and Snoozer Lookout II Pet Car Seat.
Kurgo is popular for its pet products that mesh function, safety, and design that all inspire both you and your dog to enjoy adventures together. It was founded in 2003, and its dog seats offer innovative solutions that make traveling with your pet easier, more fun, and safer. It offers affordable options like the Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat and Kurgo Skybox Booster Set for Pets.
This manufacturer makes dog car seats that give your dog a safe ride with a view of the outside. The seats cradle your pet in comfort and safety as you drive down the road. They use Safe-T-Core technology that easily integrates with the car seat belt and provides an added sense of safety and security for your dog. Its popular products include the Solvit Jumbo Deluxe Pet Safety Seat and Solvit Petsafe Deluxe Tagalong Pet Booster Seat.
Dog Car Seat Pricing
- $20-$40: In this price range, you can find some models that are decent. However, many are subpar in terms of overall build quality and longevity. If you have a large dog, you may not find a suitable option in this range.
- $40-$60: In this mid-range, you can find dog car seat options suitable for large dogs. There are some excellent models that cater to the safety requirements of larger dog sizes.
- $60-$100: If you are looking for a high-end dog seat option, this is the price range for you. This price range has some of the most comfortable, most secure, and safest canine car seats.
High-Quality Lock System
The lock needs to be one that easily attaches to the car seat. This will allow you to thread the seat belt through part of the dog’s seat to safely secure it.
Dog car seats come with different ways to attach to the car seat. Some have two seat belts built in. One is wrapped around the headrest and the other around the back of the seat. Other seats come with holes where you secure the dog seat by putting the car seat belt in the hole. Harnesses either have clips that attach to the seat belt or just attach to the seat belt holder.
Not all dog seats in the market are booster seats. Hence, you can find car seats that add no height to your dog and, instead, just secure your puppy to keep it safe. Booster seats keep your dog secure and add some height so they can peek outside.
- Design: Before buying a dog car seat, consider the design you like the most or one that complements the interior of your car.
- Materials Used: In most cases, the materials used to make the dog seat largely determine the quality and durability of the seat. They also influence the dog’s comfort. Your dog will enjoy the drive if the seat has a thick cotton floor pad.
- Size: Before buying a dog car seat, make sure it is the correct size to fit your dog. Most dog car seats are sized to fit small or medium dogs, so you might have to find larger models if you have a big dog.
Best Dog Car Seat Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Snoozer Lookout Car Seat
This is our best overall dog car seat pick because you can strap your dog in right next to you. In addition to keeping your dog right next to you while driving, this also helps to minimize their anxiety and other undesirable behaviors in the car.
It comes with a comfortable and removable micro-suede cover. It also features a plush lining that will allow your dog to enjoy long rides. This booster seat comes with a security strap that protects your dog from minor jolts and turns.
Before buying it, measure it to see if it fits well on the console. This dog seat might take up too much space in your back seat. You may also not be able to secure the dog properly since the harness connects to the seat belt instead of the car seat.
Best Value: Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat for Dogs
The Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat for Dogs offers the best value for those who love traveling with their canine companions. The booster seat is easy to install, and you can find it with a headrest strap and two sets of back straps. The headrest strap wraps around the car seat’s back, while the back straps wrap around the back of the car seat.
It has a tether that prevents your pet from moving around. It easily loops around the seatbelt, then pulls through the slide on the seat’s back, giving it room to maneuver. You can purchase a harness separately and attach it to the hook of the leash.
This dog car seat allows you to have your pet next to you when you are driving. Safety wise, however, there are more secure options to consider. The straps on this one are weak and may break easily in rough driving conditions. You may also find tethering the harness a bit tricky when getting a dog into the seat.
Honorable Mention: K&H Pet Bucket Booster Pet Seat
This seat gets our honorable mention slot because it can accommodate larger-than-average dogs. Most manufacturers design the seat to be compact, which makes it challenging for people with huge dogs. If you have a large dog, the K&H Bucket Booster could be the best option for you.
You can find this dog seat in two sizes. It can be perfect for dogs that are between 30 and 40 pounds, depending on the physical shape of your dog. This seat can also be used for small dogs, making it a worthy investment. The seat is well-made, sturdy, and easy to install.
It fits well in place and is comfortable and roomy. If you have a small car, however, you may find this dog seat is too large to fit comfortably. The design takes up a lot of interior space, so you may also have to choose between human and canine passengers in the back seat.
- Choose a dog car seat that will be compatible with your vehicle. There are seats that require a certain type of belt or headrest to be properly secured.
- Consider whether a booster seat is the best option. A booster seat can allow your dog to watch the environment and enjoy the ride more, but it can also make your dog overexcited, making them bark at anything and everything they see. In this case, you may have to opt for a shorter model.
- Back seats are the safer area to secure your dog instead of the front. You may prefer to drive with your dog strapped in the front, but it is more secure to install the seat in the back seat since your dog may be injured if the airbag in the front is deployed.
Q: Is it safe to attach the safety clip of the car seat to my dog’s collar?
A: No. It is not safe. The tether or the safety clip should never be attached to the pet’s collar. In case of an accident, your dog can be seriously injured. The safety clip should only be attached to the harness, which can be bought separately if the dog car seat doesn’t come with one.
Q: How safe are dog car seats?
A: As long as you install the dog car seat properly, the car seat should be perfectly safe for your dog. It is safer to have your pet in a car seat rather than have them roaming around the car while you are driving.
Q: Do raised dog car seats help dogs avoid travel sickness?
A: A raised dog car seat allows your dog to peek outside the window, helping your pet avoid getting sick in the car. Although it doesn’t work in all cases, a number of dog owners have found this to be helpful. If your dog is too small to look outside, it tends to get sicker in the car.
Q: Are dog car seats heavy?
A: The weight of the dog car seat varies between different models, makes, and sizes. Most dog car seats are lightweight enough for an average person to carry or lift.
Our top pick for the best car dog seat is the Snoozer Lookout Car Seat. This dog car seat stands out for a reason—it is one of the best dog car seats that offers the most comfort. The interior is made of simulated lamb’s wool, making your dog comfortable and warm.
If you are in the market for an affordable dog car seat option, you should check out the Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat for Dogs. It has all the desired qualities for a dog car seat in its price range.