- 1 Selection Of The Best Dog Car Seats
- 2 Best Dog Car Seat Buying Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Sources
Car travel with a dog is so much easier when you have the best dog car seat available.
Then, when you get in the vehicle, you just need to settle them in, tether them, and be on your way.
It’s time to go on a trip! Fido’s coming with you, and you need to get ready to pack. There are some obvious items you need to bring along, like their automatic dog feeder, dog water fountain, and/or dog bowl. And you can never forget their dog treats!
Personal hygiene items for your dog are essential for longer trips as well. For example, did you pack their dog toothbrush, dog toothpaste, dog nail clipper, dog dematting tool, and dog dryer with you? You probably can leave the dog grooming table behind unless you’re going to a show.
Where will they hang out? Do you need to bring a dog gate or dog playpen so they have a safe place to enjoy when you’re not with them? Will they need their calming dog collar so they don’t feel nervous in a new place?
If you’ll be outside a lot, pack some dog boots, their service dog vest (if applicable), and a dog interactive toy for them to play with. Emergencies can happen on the road too, so be sure to have their dog cone and/or dog recovery suit on hand.
Selection Of The Best Dog Car Seats
Here are the best dog car seats for most people according to Outlinist:
Best Dog Car Seat Buying Guide
Style / Type
There are a number of different types of car seats for dogs. The most common are bucket-style seats, where your dog sits in a little box that is usually boosted enough so they can see outside. These are typically for toy-sized, small, and sometimes medium dogs (up to 40 lbs.).
For larger breeds, there are options that look like hammocks, which fit over the entire backseat of a vehicle. You can also find options that have harnesses and other tethers, which work for dogs of all sizes.
Front Seat or Back?
Different designs are built to go either in the front seat or the back seat. Booster and box-style seats are usually pretty versatile – they can either go in the front seat or the back, as long as the connection can fit on the seatbelt or around the seat.
The larger, hammock style options are typically meant to be a dog car seat for back seats. Larger dogs are often better off in the back anyway, since they may get in your line of vision in the front seat.
How does the dog’s seat attach to the car’s seat? You’re getting a dog car seat for their safety and security, so you want to be certain that it attaches well and isn’t going to jerk or move.
Velcro is a very common option for hooking up car seats. Another common option is buckles. And, a number of dog car seats have started to utilize seat belts in order to keep the seat as secure as it can be.
If you’re using this for long car rides, you want to be certain that it’s going to be a comfortable place for your dog to sprawl out and nap in if they want to. You also don’t want them to be sitting on something hard for that long.
Look for cushions, bedding, and other soft, comfy options that your dog can just go ahead and curl up on while you’re on your trip. Many of these are built into the seat, making it easy for your dog to get comfy.
The best dog car safety seat absolutely must have some sort of tether system that helps to keep your dog in place. Whether it’s a leash that you connect to their harness or collar, or a complete system with a harness, it’s important.
A good tether is important because it keeps the dog out of your space and ensures that they are secure in their seat if you were to get rear-ended or some other issue were to occur.
As you look for the best dog car seat for small dogs and puppies, you want to get something that isn’t too much bigger than they are. With larger dogs, they are going to need some more space to move around, lie down, and stretch when they need to.
Measure your dog’s length, height when sitting, and height when standing. This can help you to compare dimensions and know what is best for your dog and their needs.
Extra Storage Areas
When you explore dog car seat options, you also want to keep your eyes peeled for some extra storage areas. You aren’t going to have as much space in your vehicle if you use one of these, so things like pockets and bags can go a long way.
Make sure that the pockets are out of reach of your dog and that they are big enough to actually fit something (even if it’s just their treats or bowl).
Ease of Cleaning
Your dog is going to be in their car seat a lot, and they’re going to get covered in drool, fur, and food. So, cleaning is something that you want to be able to do quickly and without too much hassle.
Some options have covers that you just take off and toss in the washing machine. Others just need a quick wipe down with a warm, soapy cloth or they can get hosed down in your yard and left out to dry for the next time you use it.
Can Your Dog See Out the Window?
For small dogs, having their dog car seat elevated is a really big deal and they will absolutely love everything about it. It allows them to look out the window without jumping or standing the entire ride.
For larger dogs, get car seats that don’t block their windows and they will have a very easy time checking things out and enjoying the view. If you’re worried about sun exposure, you can find guards to stick in the windows that won’t block their vision.
A 3 in 1 or 2 in 1 dog car seat is absolutely perfect for families that like to take their dog on trips. These are built so that you can use them as carriers and/or beds when you arrive at your destination.
The different uses are typically very simple for you to switch between, so you can have it in your car in the afternoon, then put your dog in it when you check into the hotel, and then put it out as a bed when it’s time to go to sleep!
The safest dog car seat is not going to collapse or fall apart when you make a sudden stop. And, if your dog is a little bouncy or they can’t get comfortable, you don’t want one of the sides to fall forward. Stability also helps your dog to feel confident while riding in the seat.
If it’s a collapsible or multi-purpose seat, then make sure that the corners and sides are secured with wire or plastic. Hard plastic options are inherently stable because of how they are designed and built.
Use in Multiple Cars
If you’re a multi-car household, then you’re likely taking your dog with you in both vehicles. But, are all car seats built for all vehicles?
In some cases, the design of the seatbelts, the front seat, or the back seat can make it difficult for you to properly secure the car seat in a way that is safe and comfortable. And, for large-dog options, you need to be sure that your backseat has enough space for it. Measure your seats and compare that to the dimensions of the car seat you’re considering.
These cannot be flimsy at all! This is a safety device that is meant to keep your dog safe and secure, so they need to be made from materials that can do that.
Plastic and foam frames are very durable, because even if you have a bigger dog, they aren’t going to be able to completely decimate it with their weight. You also want to look at sheepskin, vinyl, and other strong materials for the inner lining. Extra padding is always helpful, as well.
Ease of Setup
How easy is it to complete your dog car seat installation? Could anyone who needed to come and get the car seat set up and your dog secured into it?
You want to be able to hook your seat up and hook your dog up in just a few easy steps. If it gets too complex, your dog may get impatient or you are more likely to make a mistake during installation. Look for already assembled options that you just need to buckle in or secure.
Sometimes, you need your backseat or front seat for something like groceries, or if another person is riding with you. Or, you aren’t taking your dog with you so you want to put it away. So, it’s essential to be able to store it without it becoming burdensome.
Many of the best dog car seat options are going to be able to fold up or store away in your trunk without taking up too much space.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get your dog used to the seat?
Put the seat in the house and allow your dog to smell it and sit in it. Put treats in it sometimes, too – they’ll associate it with good things.
Then, start off by taking them on short trips in the car or truck. If it doesn’t take up the entire back seat, have someone sit back there with them to reassure them. Eventually, they’ll get used to it and enjoy using the car seat during car rides.
How do you prevent excitable dogs from jumping out?
A dog car seat tether is essential for both excitable and calm dogs. Tethers, like leashes, hooks, and harnesses, are going to keep your dog in place in case you get in an accident.
If you have an especially excitable dog, consider getting a shorter tether. It’ll help to restrain them a little bit more and prevent them from making an escape.
Do I really need to get my dog a car seat?
While most people are used to having their dogs just hanging out in the car or in the bed of the truck, this can be a really dangerous thing.
Not only are they not secure in case of an accident, but they are also a lot more likely to distract you while you’re driving, which can cause an accident. They may also get in your line of vision, which is also hazardous.
Are booster seats a safe option for dogs?
Absolutely! Booster seats take care of two different things; the fact that your dog wants to look out the window, and the fact that you want your dog to be safe, secure, and out of the way while you’re driving.
As long as you follow the directions and secure the booster seat as recommended, they are very safe options. They’ll keep your dog in place and, if there’s an accident, they are a lot less likely to get hurt.
What if I have multiple dogs?
For smaller breeds, you can find a 2 dog booster car seat that either has enough room for both, or that has some sort of separator or wall.
For larger breeds, the hammock-style options can usually fit at least two dogs, but you may need to get an additional tether for the second dog. The best dog car seat for a multi-dog home should have multiple options to make travel easier.
- Travel Training for You and Your Pets, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Oct 19, 2017
- Pets in Cars, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
- Dog Car Seats & Booster Seats: Small to Large Dogs, Chewy
- Dog Car Seats and Seat Belts: Can They Keep Your Pup Safe?, petMD
- Pet travel, Wikipedia
- Dog Car Seats: Pet Booster Seats & Consoles, PetSmart
- Dog Car Seat, eBay
- Car Seats & Boosters, Petco
- Dog car seat, Etsy
- How Pet Car Seats Work, How Stuff Works