LAST UPDATED: May 15, 2019
Best Dog Seat Belts: The Safest Dog Restraints for Cars
Keep your dog safe and happy in the car with these dog seat belts
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON May 15, 2019
When you have a dog, you may want to take them with you wherever you go. Pet owners love spending time with their pets. Dogs love being in the car with their head out the window and tongues flapping in the breeze; but, what if you get in an accident with your dog in the car? If your dog isn’t properly restrained, even a small accident can put them in serious danger. This article will give you reviews and tips for the safest dog seat belts on the market and help you learn how to properly secure your dog in a car seatbelt.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Dog Seat Belts
- Secure your dog. Your dog’s safety is important, even more so when riding in a car. Using a dog harness for car travel can help prevent injury if you get in a car accident or even just swerve or brake quickly while driving.
- Drive distraction-free. Not only can dog seat belts keep your dog safer, but it can also help avoid your dog from distracting you while driving. Many dogs like to try climbing into their owner’s lap or into the front seat while driving, which can be extremely distracting and dangerous. Keeping them restrained with a pet harness can help eliminate these distractions.
- Keep your dog inside the vehicle. Some dogs like to have the windows down in the car. However, if they see a small animal or something else that excites them, it’s easy for the dog to jump out of an open window. Not only is this very dangerous for your dog, but this could also cause serious problems for other drivers on the road or for people walking with their pets nearby. The seat belt will keep them from harming themselves and others while in the car.
Types of Dog Seat Belts
This is by far the safest dog seat belt option. A harness provides more restraint and will not pose a risk of choking. The harness fits securely on your dog and clips or straps down to the seat.
Leash Attachment: Clip-In
This is the most common form of the dog seat belt. It can clip directly to your dog’s harness or collar. The biggest difference here is that it clips directly into your car’s seat belt receiver for a secure and convenient hold.
Leash Attachment: Loop Strap
This is another restraining leash that clips to your dog’s harness or collar. This type has a loop at the other end that can be fixed to your car seat headrest.
Pawaboo is a company that focuses solely on pet products. It produces multiple different products including pet carriers, toys, beds and, of course, seat belts and car seats for pets. Its most popular item on the market is the PAWABOO Dog Safety Harness.
iBuddy is a company specifically created for dog owners. From dog seat belts to training collars, this company has everything dog owners need. Its most popular dog safety product is the iBuddy Dog Seat Belts for Cars of Small/Medium/Large Dogs.
Mighty Paw is another company that focuses on items for pets, but its products are more focused on heavy-duty use and sports supplies. This company’s products range from collars and leashes to harnesses and even climbing gear and ropes for dogs. It offers the Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness to keep your dog safe in the car.
Dog Seat Belt Pricing
- $5-$7: This price range typically provides a basic leash attachment. It can include the strap that clips to your dog and to your car, which can come in the form of a loop or a seat belt clip.
- $7-$10: This price range also includes a basic leash attachment, but it is usually better and stronger than the budget options. Some harness seat belts can also be found in this price range.
- $12 and above: You will likely find more seat belts that come with a harness or collar in this price range. The seat belt design tends to have a restraint that is detachable and clips to a dog collar or harness, with the other end clipping into your car’s seat belt receiver.
Each seat belt comes with some sort of fastening mechanism to secure your dog in the car. This could be in the form of a loop strap or a clip that slides into your standard seat belt receiver. The seat belts that clip into the car’s existing seat belt receiver give a more secure fit. However, these types of dog seat belts are sized to a specific vehicle model and/or seat belt size. They may become jammed in the car’s belt receiver if the wrong size is inserted. Other fasteners are looped around the headset seat. These are not model specific and are easy to install. However, it is not as secure, as a large dog could pull against the seat belt. This style also mounts much higher and could present a choking hazard.
Not everything fits large or small dogs the same, so many seat belts will have adjustable straps to ensure a proper fit on your dog. These straps help to keep your dog safe and comfortable. Some seat belt straps are used to connect to the collar, while others are designed to be used with a harness only. For the most secure fit, straps must be adjusted to the specific size of dog.
Waterproof and Durability
Many owners like to take dogs to parks or places with water for them to swim and play. Many of these seat belts include a waterproof coating that helps them last longer. They are also made with strong materials for extreme durability. This is ideal for car use because the harness can remain on the dog during outings, not just while the dog is in the vehicle. Some seat belts also work as a leash, making a trip easier with one less item to bring.
- Dog Size: The fit of your dog’s seat belt is extremely important. If it does not fit properly, it will not work as intended. Whether you’re looking for a car restraint for a small or large dog or a seat belt for a puppy, you need to take your dog’s measurements first. This will help you determine what size of belt to get your dog. Then, you can make smaller adjustments as needed.
- Car Compatibility: Some car seat belts for dogs include clips that can be inserted into the seat belt receiver. However, many of these only fit specific cars. Be sure to double check the size of your car seat receiver and make sure it will fit the dog seat belt so it doesn’t get stuck.
Best Dog Seat Belt Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Due to the included harness, this dog seat belt ranks as our pick for the best and safest dog harness for cars. The harness is what sets this one apart because it provides a sturdier hold on your dog without the risk of choking. Plus, its adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit so it’s just right for your dog.
This harness comes in multiple sizes, making it perfect for puppies and small/large dog breeds. The material is a sturdy oxford fabric that is reinforced with polyester that is strong enough to withstand excited pups. The harness is high-quality and can withstand any pulling your dog might do while in the car. The stainless steel snap hook is durable and won’t rub against your pup.
What’s nice about this seat belt combo is that the harness can be used outside of the car for daily use. The strap that clips to the seatbelt is removable so you can use your own leash with the harness too. The only downside to the fastening mechanism on this seat belt is that not all car seat receivers are compatible. Some car seat receivers may be too small so the seat belt might not fit. Also, if the seat belt is not compatible with your vehicle, it may become jammed, making it extremely difficult to remove the seat belt.
These durable, nylon seat belt safety leads are a great way to keep your dog safe in the car. The adjustable strap length adjusts to your dog’s unique shape and size. This dog seat belt is comfortable for your pet while also keeping them safe, no matter how big or small they are.
This dog seat belt is designed for comfort in mind. The metal buckles and swivel snap clips will not rub against your dog but are still strong and durable to keep them secure. The swivel also allows your dog a wide range of motion while being securely attached. This dog seat belt is also long enough to accommodate large dogs but is adjustable so you can shorten it for smaller dogs or keep your dog more securely in place.
The downside to this product is that the seat belt clip is not compatible with certain car seat belts. Some of the cars that are not compatible include the Honda Pilot and the Honda CRV, as well as Ford F150s and Rangers. You will have to double check the size of your seat belt receiver to make sure these dog seat belts will fit properly.
Spending the weekend with your furry friend is always great. But just as you have to ensure the safety of your human passengers when driving, it's also crucial to guarantee your pet’s safety. The Kurgo Impact Dog Car Harness and Seat Belt keeps your pet safe until you arrive at your destination. It is strong, easy to use, and highly durable.
Some of the things you'll love about this dog harness and seat belt include its padded chest plate and steel nesting buckle. These offer extra protection to your dog. The seat belt is suitable for dogs weighing between 25 and 50 pounds with a neck measuring 16-25 inches. It weighs less than a pound and directly connects to a car seat belt.
However, there are also some things you may not like about it. It is only rated up to 30 miles per hour and is difficult to put on a dog. In addition, your dog won’t be able to lie down when wearing it.
There are over 19 colors to choose from for this seat belt—the strap measures one inch wide and 16.5 to 25.5 inches in length. The belt is adjustable so that you can create the ideal length for the size of your dog and your seat. The one end of the seat belt has a metal latch that's designed to fit into the female slot of your vehicle's seat belt attachment. The other end has a clip that attaches to your pet's body harness.
What's nice about this seat belt is that it's adjustable to use with a wide range of vehicle and dog sizes. The belt is also easy to care for as it's machine-washable.
The downside of this seat belt is that it's not compatible with Volvo vehicles. The seat belt also doesn't come with a harness, so you'll need to buy one separately. Never use this belt to secure your dog by the collar. The seat belt attachment doesn't stay attached to your vehicle.
This durable seat belt is constructed from high-density nylon webbing with an included elastic bungee. The strap is adjustable and can extend from 23 to 30 inches in length. The adjuster is a secure buckle that won’t loosen over time. On one end is a seat belt latch that is compatible with most car seat belt female latches. The other end of the belt has a dual safe bolt hook.
What makes this seat belt stand out is the elastic buffer. This flexible nylon bungee section creates some flex and give during sharp turns and sudden braking, which reduces the risk of choking or injury to your pup.
Unfortunately, the seat belt end won’t fit all vehicles. You may find that the latch won’t fit at all or won’t stay hooked into the seat belt holder. The strap can also be too long for some larger vehicles.
Safely secure your dog in the car with this combination harness and strap. It comes in sizes XXX-small through large. There are 14 colors to choose from with detailing on the chest piece of the harness and the length of the strap. The harness has a soft and wide chest piece that’s made of breathable mesh fabric. The strap has a seat belt latch attachment and a 360-degree swivel metal clip.
You’ll like the strap because it has an elastic bungee band that makes the strap safe. The matching set makes it easy to secure your pup and know that the two pieces will work together. There’s also reflective stitching on the strap, making it safe for use at night and can be used as a quick-release short leash.
Unfortunately, there are several vehicles that this harness and seat belt aren’t compatible with—confirm that it will work with your vehicle model before purchasing. The adjusters on the harness and strap aren’t secure, so they can slip and come loose during use.
Choose from one of the eight available colors when purchasing your heavy-duty seat belt. It’s constructed from durable nylon fabric and uses a premium zinc alloy clasp, and anti-rust stainless hook and seat belt clip. You can adjust the strap to the size of your dog with adjustability from 20.8 to 26.3 inches. Built into the length of the strap is an elastic buffer.
What’s nice about this seat belt is that it has a universal seat belt fitment. It’s also effortless to use with the quick attachment clip. The swivel nature of the clip allows for free movement by your pup.
Unfortunately, the strap may not stay secured in the seat belt latch during sudden stops. This can be dangerous and cause your dog not to stay secured in the car seat. The bungee may also allow too much give in the length for larger dogs.
This car seat belt hooks onto the latch bar that you access through the seat’s crease. These are federally required latches in your vehicle, and they help make this seat strap universally compatible. The strap then attaches to your dog’s harness with a quick-release carabiner. You can adjust the strap from 16 to 26 inches in length. The strap is constructed from weatherproof, high-quality nylon material.
What makes this strap stand out is that it can’t be accidentally released by slipping out or hitting the seat belt button. By hooking to the latch bar, your dog is securely tethered to the car seat. The carabiner also stands out for its durability as it’s made from aviation aluminum. It has a maximum force tension of 400KG.
Unfortunately, the tether material can snap during hard and sudden stops. This makes it not the best choice for larger dogs whose weight may be too much during the force of an accident. This tether also requires a bit more vehicle knowledge as you’ll want to hook it up to your car first, and then attach it to your dog.
This adjustable harness and tether come in four sizes, from small through X-large. The harness is comfortable with a padded front area and breathable liner. The tether has universal vehicle compatibility because of the tether loops around the secured seat belt.
What makes this harness and tether stand out is that they are crash-test certified in a DOT-approved facility. This gives you more than just a claim of safety; it gives you peace of mind. The harness has multiple connection points that loop around the seat belt carabiner for a more secure and stable connection.
The downside of this harness is that it only comes in blue, which may not be everyone’s taste. The safety testing claim may not be for the exact harness that you’ll receive. The tether only has a clasp on one end, which can require you to get creative in how you loop the seatbelt through.
You’ll get a set of two tethers that are each made of heavy-duty nylon. They have a seat belt latch attachment on one end and a swivel clasp on the other. Both straps are adjustable in length from 20 to 32.5 inches. The hardware on the straps is constructed of zinc alloy for increased strength and durability.
What’s nice about these straps is that you can leave one in each vehicle if you own multiple cars. This means you’ll always have a tether ready when you need one. The metal hardware helps the tethers be strong enough to stay in your adjusted position and be strong enough to secure large dogs.
Unfortunately, the seat belt attachment can come undone on its own. It can also become stuck in some seat belt connectors. The nylon material can easily be chewed through by your dog.
- Be sure to adjust the straps to fit your dog properly. They should be tight but not too restricting. The strap that attaches to the seat should be long enough to allow your dog to move around comfortably, but not reach the front seat.
- Do not allow your dog to wear the seat belt without it being clipped securely to the seat. The strap could get caught and cause injury if your dog were to jump out. To remove your dog from the seat belt, detach it on the end that hooks to your dog, not to the seat.
- Try to avoid fastening these seat belts to a collar. This can be a choking hazard. Attach the seat belt to a harness instead.
- If your dog is very strong, consider using two seat belt straps. Many of these come in packs of two, which can provide a stronger hold for your dog.
Q: How do I measure my dog for a seat belt harness?
A: You should take three measurements when measuring your dog for a harness: the length of the back from the base of the head to the start of the tail, around the chest, and around the neck. You can then use sizing charts to help you determine the size you need.
Q: What if my dog is afraid of the seat belt?
A: Dogs can sometimes be nervous when introduced to something new. Introduce your dog to the seat belt or harness in your home where they feel safe. Reward them with treats while wearing it so they associate the treats and positive reinforcement with the seat belt.
Q: Can I use multiple seat belts for multiple dogs?
A: Yes, you can use as many seat belts as your car will allow. Just make sure each seat belt is attached to a separate seat so your dogs don’t get them tangled.
Taking your dog in the car with you don’t have to be dangerous. Dog seat belts can make car rides enjoyable for both you and your pup.
Our top pick for the best dog seat belt is the PAWABOO Dog Safety Harness. It is easy to use and safe for any dog while giving you peace of mind.
For a less expensive alternative, you should consider the Vastar 2 Pack Adjustable Pet Car Seat Belt.