The Best Car Seats for Dogs in 2023
If you love taking your dog on car trips, you’ll want to make sure your furry friend is safe as you travel, just like any other member of the family. With a dog car seat, your pet is every bit as safe as everyone else on board.
There are quite a few different models of seats and harnesses on the market. Luckily, there are several well-vetted – and vet-approved – seats available that suit a variety of needs, dependent upon your dog.
Below you can find our top 5 options this year!
Our Top List
Last update on 2023-03-12 at 23:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat
This is a favorite among many dog owners for a wide variety of reasons. Featuring a removable cover and coming in multiple sizes, this product provides safety and security for your pet and reduces the chance of injury thanks to the restraining straps that connect to your dog’s collar or harness. Furthermore, it serves as a booster seat, providing your dog a contained, comfortable place to look out of the window and see you.
One of the best features about this style of seat is the overall size – while the seTt itself comes in multiple sizes dependent upon your needs, the seat itself is designed to provide a snug fit within your vehicle – much like the feature designs in children’s car seats. This ensures that, should you come to a hard and fast stop, your pet remains comfortable and is not jerked to and fro, or worse, sent flying.
Ultimately, the style of this seat combines the best of all worlds. It allows you and your pet to enjoy traveling together without potential distractions. Furthermore, it ensures that your pet has a confined, safe place to ride in the car and keeps them out of harm’s way when you have to come to a sudden stop. Combine this with the fact it will allow your furry friend a better view of the road, and it becomes an obvious contender in the top five.
- Removable cover can be washed
- Designed to fit in either the front or back seat
- Relatively bulky
2. Snoozer Lookout Seat
One of the more fashionable pet booster seats on the list, this product is lined with simulated lamb’s wool, ensuring you and your pet are able to ride comfortably, no matter where you are going. Furthermore, this particular seat is made almost entirely of foam, making it comfortable for your pet to ride in for quite some time. The seat itself includes a variety of features that many pet owners find helpful, as they provide the necessary support and comfort for their pets while also ensuring their safety.
This seat is designed in such a way that it can be used with or without the pet harness – it is removable, but also allows the seatbelt to attach to it, providing your pet with a bit more wiggle room in the long term. While some owners feel that this feature isn’t helpful, others find that it makes car rides more relaxing for their pets.
Additionally, the cover for this seat is removable and can be washed – meaning even after a long day at the dog park, you don’t have to worry about your pet’s seat smelling like mud and wet dog, which is a win for all parties involved. Some owners, however, have stated that the cushions themselves don’t feel sturdy and that removing the cover and replacing it can be difficult, however, it is certainly a feature that many have enjoyed.
- Small size provides enough room for the dog to move around and look out the window
- Secure straps ensure that your dog will not be harmed when coming to a sudden stop
- Not suitable for large dogs
3. WOpet Seat for Puppies & Small Pets
A more unique style of a pet seat on this list, this particular booster seat has an interesting feature – it also doubles as a pet carrier. This means that when you and your furry friend are done traveling and it is time to exit the vehicle, you can simply zip the top shut and grab the strap, and the seat converts itself into a carrier for easy transportation of your pet on the go.
Furthermore, this carrier has received official airline approval and can be used to transport small dogs on many airlines, making it a great solution to various types of travel – whether you need to stow your pet beneath the seat or strap them into their own individual seat.
When the seat itself isn’t being used as a carrier for your pet, it can easily be strapped into the car seat and converted into a seat for your pet. When strapped into the car, there are easily accessible pockets for holding water, treats, and toys to keep your pet happy and entertained during long trips. Furthermore, it is made of easy to wash material that does not naturally collect pet hair, making it simple to wash the carrier and seat combo, at need. When you are not using it, the carrier itself folds flat, making it easy to store for future use.
Pet owners also love the ability to utilize the closed-carrier style while in the vehicle – pets are able to remain in the carrier itself while secured, reducing the risk of the carrier itself sliding off the seat while you are driving, which is a common worry for many owners. Ultimately, this style of pet’s seat and carrier combination is great for a variety of individuals thanks to the way it can be easily converted. Unfortunately, however, this product is only intended for animals under 15 pounds, restricting its usage.
- Can be converted into a carrier
- Can be stored flat when not in use
- Additional in-seat harness strap to secure your dog
- Cover not removable
B01KNUM15S” title=”4. Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness
While traditional car seats may not work for larger dogs, there are still options available on the market that might work. For instance, this is truly more of a harness. Specially designed to ensure your pet’s safety the harness comes with a seat belt attachment and has a high safety rating from many pet owners.
The harness itself is designed with pet safety in mind – after all, pets can often be a hazard when they are in the vehicle. Therefore, ensuring they are secured can be the difference between potentially causing an accident and ultimately ensuring their safety. With a thick chest strap, the harness is designed, should your vehicle come to a sudden stop, to put the majority of the pressure on the animal’s chest, keeping them from flying forward and keeping them from being injured.
The attachable seat belt function allows you to click in a leash to the seat belt connector, allowing you to restrain your dog whether they’re in the front or back seats. It provides the ability for your dog to have some room to move around, while also keeping them from potentially getting under your feet or nudging the gear shift – bringing you the best of both worlds. The seat belt attachment is also adjustable, meaning you can provide your pet with more or less room, dependent upon your personal needs and preferences.
- Adjustable and fits both small and large dogs
- Provides overall freedom for the dog while also ensuring their safety
- Does not include any barriers for the pet outside of being attached to the seat belt, making it less secure than other booster seat options
5. Friends Forever Durable Dog Seatbelt
Among the most affordable of the above options, this car seat is less of a seat and more of an in-vehicle leash. The above options all consisted of a type of restraint, such as a harness or a seat. This option, however, is simply a pet-friendly seat belt. The overall mechanism simply attached in the seat belt port and allows you to tether your dog to the seat.
This particular product also allows you to determine the length at which your animal can move – for instance, if you want to adjust it so your pet can roam the back seat, but simply not make it to the front seat, that is an option. However, you will need to provide your own harness or collar in order to successfully secure them, and dependent upon the length the pet has to roam, it can be less safe than other types of car seats.
This is a great option, however, for larger animals who simply need to be restrained to a section of the vehicle. Furthermore, it will also be a great choice for individuals who are looking for a simple and affordable way to transport their dog in the car while not having to worry about safety and portability, as this is small enough to be stored in the glove box when not in use. Many individuals, however, do not recommend this for smaller dogs, as it does not provide them the kind of in-car stability they need.
- Budget option
- Can be stored easily
- Provides less protection and stability than other options
While ultimately, what you choose for your pet is a personal decision and depends entirely upon you and your pet’s needs, among these there is an obvious winner. Based upon a variety of criteria, such as available selection, security, and size, the Bucket Booster Pet Seat is the most versatile, secure, and safe way to transport your pet.
When you are looking for security and comfort for your pet, it’s important to consider a bucket seat option, such as our top choice. While it may not be ideal for every animal, this seat supports transportation for up to two smalls dogs, is able to fit in both the front and back of a vehicle, and provide you, as the owner, a sense of relief in knowing that your pet is safe and secure on every trip you take.
Naturally, this option won’t work for every pet – though there are seats available in larger sizes for medium and large dogs. If you intend to have your pet’s safety and best interest in mind, this is one of the best choices on the market currently.
There are many different factors to consider when it comes to choosing a pet car seat that is right for you – and a ton of those factors have to do with personal preference, the type of vehicle your pet will be riding in, the size of the animal and the space they need in order to be comfortable. Below are some factors to consider, and be sure you have a dog gate installed in your car.
Read the Reviews
No matter what style of dog car seat you are looking for, one of the most important things you can do is read the reviews for the product itself. Even if it looks as though the product will meet your expectations, in many cases what is pictured and what is sold might be a little different. Furthermore, you never know when something will run on the small side – and you want to make sure you have something that fits your pet and their needs, as well.
Reading the reviews will provide you with valuable information in regards to the quality, sizing, and any defects that people may have noticed – for instance, if something is relatively flimsy and you have a dog that will pull hard against it, it may not be the best fit for you and your pet. The reviews will give you a realistic idea of what to expect from the product itself and ensure you are making the correct purchase.
Consider Your Vehicle
The amount of space you have and the amount of space you will need for a car seat is an important factor to consider when you are making your purchase. If you drive a small car and need to confine your pet to a small area, utilizing a leash-belt may not be your best choice, as it often allows some freedom for your dog. Alternatively, if you are driving a small car, using a larger car seat may not be the best idea either, as you want it to fit comfortably. Furthermore, if you have room and want your dog to be able to move around, a leash-belt may work perfectly. Considering the space you have and what you need from the seat itself will help guarantee your satisfaction in the long run.
Find a Fit for Your Pet
There are a variety of things you should consider when purchasing a car seat for dogs, including:
- their size: you want to make sure that you purchase a seat that is the right size for your dog. If you have a larger dog, a booster seat may not fit them and, in the long run, may actually be more dangerous for them. If you have a smaller dog, it may be a good idea to purchase a padded booster seat, both as it provides additional security for them and because it prevents them from potentially distracting you while driving.
- their activity level: a pet who often runs around the car can be dangerous, and should definitely be restrained. If your pet tries to get your attention while you are driving, it may be in both you and your dog’s best interest to purchase something that will keep them from making direct contact with you in order to ensure their safety.
- their in-car engagement: this is one that many pet owners often don’t consider, but that can be especially valuable when transporting your pet. If your pet often wants to look out the window and investigate but is too small to see out the window, you might consider a booster seat that allows them to be at eye level with the window. Seeing as many seats will allow your pet to stand up, this will provide them with the vantage point they want to be happy throughout the course of their trip.
Lastly, you should consider the price range you are able to afford. The car seats vary in price, depending upon the setup you are looking for. So while you should consider the above options, ultimately, it will come down to what you can afford. While there are many different seats on the market at a variety of different price points, some of them are certainly more affordable than others. Prices range from only a few dollars to well over $100, dependent upon the popularity, size, and safety ratings for the particular seat.
If you are going to be taking your pet on plenty of car trips, of course, it may make sense to save up and purchase a high-quality pet seat for them to ride in, as it will ensure their safety and security while on the road. However, if you don’t feel that you will be making trips with your pet often, a lower-cost option may be the best choice for you – it depends almost entirely upon your personal preference and the way you will be using the car seat for your pet.
At the end of the day, if you are shopping for a dog car seat, you likely care about your pet and their safety when they are on the road with you. Therefore, it is important that you pick a quality, reliable seat that fits your needs, and your dog’s needs. While not every style of dog booster seat will work for you and your pets, there are a variety of styles made to accommodate large, highly active dogs.
Taking the first step by researching the variety of seats available on the market is most important in ensuring your animal’s safety and wellbeing. Keep this in mind while you search, and you will likely find a style that works for you.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!