Our Guide to Finding The Best Dog Car Seat
There’s nothing we love more at Dog Furiendly, than hitting the open road with our canine companion. But whether we’re going on a sniff-worthy walkies or heading out for something to eat, car safety and comfort takes top priority for our pooches.
Getting a dog car seat is a great way to allow your furry pal to enjoy the ride and make your journey a little more restful. Aside from giving you the confidence that your dog is safe and secure, car seats can be particularly useful for dogs that are prone to car sickness or for those who have other distractions or anxieties in the car.
Does your dog just love looking out of the window? Many car seats double up as a booster seat so your dog can look out in ease. So now they can enjoy the ride with the view of the window and not the back of the car seat.
Finding a dog car seat that is both safe, secure and comfortable can be quite challenging. So we’ve done the hard work for you by reviewing 6 of the best dog car seats, reviewing quality, comfort and security.
Before we hit the open road with 6 of the best dog car seats, here’s a little guide to what you should be looking for when picking one our for your dog(s).
Is it a legal requirement to restrain your dog in the car?
Yes, rule 57 of the Highway Code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”
It’s estimated that around one-third of UK drivers are not complying with this law. Not only are they risking a hefty fine of up to £5,000, but they risk having their license revoked and if there are any accidents with your dog in the car, your insurer may not payout.
Some of the car seats don’t come with any restraints so be sure to buy one to go with the car seat for ultimate security.
What is a dog car seat?
A dog car seat helps to keep your dog safe, stable, secure and comfortable during any car rides. It’s like a dog bed for your car that is strapped in, providing extra clips for restraining your pooch and features for comfort.
Does it help with the dog’s motion sickness?
Yes it can help. Keeping them secure and stable can help them to have a smooth journey. The biggest problem with motion sickness in dogs is having stability in the car. If they’re properly restrained in their own space, the sickness will ease.
What Size Should I Get?
It’s important you get one that’s the right size for your dog. Too small, and your dog will be uncomfortable or unable to fit. Too large, and they’ll be unsafe and at risk of injury. It should have enough room for them to sit or ideally lay down.
For larger dogs, there are some styles suitable but you may find using a car harnesses or seat belt restraint may be the better option to keep them comfortable and safe. They don’t take up any extra room and work just as well as a seat.
What should I think about before buying a dog car seat?
Car Practicalities: You will need to make sure the car sear is big enough for your dog to lie down in and small enough to fit in the car. Make some measurements in your car so you know what sizes to look for.
Security: The best car seats strap into the seat anchor, much like a child car seat does. This provides ultimate security and stability. Other car seats strap onto the head-rest, while others strap into the seatbelt itself.
Seatbelts: Some car seats come with harness attachments to keep your dog strapped in. Not as effective as a secure dog seat-belt, but they keep your dog restrained abiding by the law, and can prevent your dog from falling out of the seat during the ride. Our recommendation is to purchase this separately.
Weight-limit: Also, note the weight of your dog. Some car seats have a weight limit because they are designed for slotting on top of your head-rest.
Booster: Not all dog car seats are also booster seats. Some car seats will offer the ability to boost your dog’s visibility in the car. Especially for small smaller dogs, a car with a booster adds the window visibility they’ve been dreaming of!
Padding and Material: Dog car seats can keep your car interior clean, perfect after a long muddy walk. Look for dog car seats with removable padding or covers that are washable, breathable, waterproof and long-lasting. Oxford fabric is usually the most suitable.
To help our dogs navigate those tricky roundabouts, a non-slip material can be extremely helpful for them.
You’ll also want to note, while looking through reviews, how secure the walls are. Some dog car seats get damaged when your dog pops out and flattens the wall – you want sturdy walls that keep your pooch tucked in.
Other Features: Constantly on the go, between cars? Something lightweight and collapsible may be more practical for you. However, heavyweight car seats will be more secure, stable and durable. Always think about what features are most suitable for you and your travels.
6 Top Dog Car Seats
Ready to go on a tail-wagging adventure? Here’s 6 of the best dog car seats that are no doubt on your dog’s wishlist.
Our Top Pick: Petsafe Solvit Dog Car Seat
Your pooch will be riding in style and comfort with this spacious, secure car seat. It comes in standard or deluxe and the difference just means that the luxurious one has quilted faux suede shell w/quilted plaid liner.
Even though the deluxe comes with extra padding, it’s still fairly thin. We recommend getting the standard and filling it with your dogs blanket and padding. Using your own blanket may also be more beneficial for dogs with anxieties. The rest of the cover material is completely washable, pawfect for muddy pups.
In terms of the Solvit, Happy Ride styles they’re both the same car-seat just under new brand names. If you want the same car seat for the lower cost stick with Solvit, if you want to go with one that’s been recently re-tested and slightly updated go with Happy Ride!
These car seats are perfect dogs up-to 14kg, and although it’s expensive the raving reviews speak for themselves – it’s worth the money. It doesn’t come with any restraints but you could purchase the Happy Ride Crash Tested Safety Harness to go with it. The seat integrates with your car’s own seatbelt making this one safe and secure ride.
It’s also boosted, which makes car journeys for smaller pups much more exciting.
This dog car seat makes a great all-rounder with non-slip, washable, waterproof and scratch-resistant fabric. Suitable for dogs up to 15kg, small to medium-sized.
The car seat attaches easily to your head-rest straps and seat-anchor for safe, secure fastening (just like a child car-seat). It also comes with a dog seat-belt that doubles up as a lead. This is attachable to your dog’s harness for safety and provides convenience for any in-between breaks.
Sidewalls have been updated with carbon fiber rods to stop it from collapsing if your dog sits on it.
Another great thing about this dog bed is that it can be used as a two in one, so it can also be used as a mat or car-seat cover.
This brand is well-known in the industry for providing quality outdoor and travel products. They have a range of car seats, but our top pick is the Rover.
This light, portable car seat is suitable for small dogs up to 13kg. It has a hanging basket design which has been created specifically for safety, preventing airbags deploying if there’s an accident. The elevated design also helps with motion sickness.
The material is quite thin, so additional padding in the form of blankets could also make it more comfortable. It also comes with pockets to store some of those travel essentials, and a seat belt which can be used with a good harness to secure your pooch.
This one is pawfect for small-to-medium dogs, where stability is the most important feature. The bottom of the seat comes with a slip resistance to ensure those four paws are stable at all times (particularly handy when it comes to roundabouts).
Its also made from high-quality washable Oxford fabric which is both waterproof and scratch-resistant. It has three eco-friendly boards placed on the side of the seat to ensure that the car seat structure remains in place.
The seat is fastened with strong hook and loop straps with snap buckles, that insert into the seat-anchor.
This booster seat is perfect for two small pooches, or one medium to large dog up to 20kg.
It comes with a liner that’s both removable and washable. What’s more? The lining is reversible, providing a warm comfortable fleece for the cooler months or a cool, lighter material for the summer.
It also has two storage pockets for storing those essentials.
This car seat is perfect for small paws with a weight limit of 16kg. It comes with a hardness blank at the bottom making it sturdy and adjustable straps that keep it strong. Although it can withstand a decent weight the dimensions are pretty small. It’s portable and foldable which makes a great solution for those switching between cars, are for those always on the go.
The booster is fastened with an adjustable strap which you fix to both your car head-rest and seat. It also comes with pockets for all your bits and pieces like water bottles, treats or other travel essentials. The liner is removable and washable, which is always great for those soggy doggy walks.
Share your travel tips!
Do you have a car seat for your dog? Perhaps you prefer to stick to the basics of a seatbelt and harness? Let us know in the comments below, who knows, you may help another dog owner with their decision!