The 10 Best Dog Car Seats

Updated March 30, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

10 Best Dog Car Seats
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Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Keep your canine companion safe, secure, and completely pampered in the car during long road trips with one of these handy dog seats. Available with connection straps, height boosters and compact designs, they fit easily into the front or back seats of any car, truck, or SUV, while removable and washable liners protect a vehicle's upholstery from dirty paws and accidents. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dog car seat on Amazon.

10. Petsafe Solvit Jumbo

The Petsafe Solvit Jumbo comes as a series of sturdy plastic panels that connect together without the need for any special tools, ensuring a quick assembly and installation in any car, truck, or SUV. Its integrated tether can withstand a pulling force of up to 2,000 lbs.
  • 30-pound weight capacity
  • crash tested for safety
  • padding is rather thin
Brand Solvit
Model 62350
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Outward Hound PupBoost

Although it's not as luxuriously-constructed as its competition, the easy-to-attach Outward Hound PupBoost is still a good choice for the pet that travels on a regular basis. The water-resistant material helps protect a car's upholstery from both accidents and wet paws.
  • breathable mesh sides
  • rugged and compact design
  • doesn't come with any instructions
Brand Outward Hound
Model 21003
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Pettom Lookout Carrier

Made from sturdy Oxford fabric, the Pettom Lookout Carrier supports most small dogs and puppies weighing up to 20 pounds. Its ventilated top and side mesh panels are designed to keep your pet cool and comfortable at all times, though the bottom needs additional padding.
  • straps are reinforced
  • approved for airline use
  • zipper is rather finicky
Brand Pettom
Model pending
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Devoted Doggy Deluxe

The Devoted Doggy Deluxe makes use of one of its straps around your vehicle's seat back, while the other attaches to the base of the headrest, keeping puppy securely anchored at all times. A built-in front zipper pocket makes toys and other accessories easy to reach.
  • collapses for convenient storage
  • backed by a lifetime guarantee
  • liner emits a strong odor
Brand Devoted Doggy
Model pending
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Snoozer Luxury

Constructed with an extra-high back and sides to prevent escapes, the Snoozer Luxury attaches unobtrusively to an automobile's front console, giving Fido the extra elevation he needs to easily look out the front window as he rides shotgun during those long drives.
  • has a non-skid base
  • two-tone microsuede cover
  • not as durable as its competition
Brand Snoozer
Model 277-LHBC
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Wigali Toto Too

Although it's designed for a small dog, the Wigali Toto Too is no stranger to versatility or multifunctional applications. Its innovative 3-in-1 design allows it to serve as a roomy car seat, a pet carrier, and even a travel bed for your little furry companion.
  • rear organizer pocket for toys
  • quick-lock connector for stability
  • instructions are a bit confusing
Brand Wigali Products
Model TT2
Weight 12 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

4. Petsfit Booster

Perfect for a large and fast-growing puppy, the Petsfit Booster measures 29.5 inches long, creating an ideal spread across a vehicle's rear lounging area for stretching out and relaxing on the go. Additionally, the plush liner is both reversible and machine washable.
  • suitable for cold and hot weather
  • resilient oxford cloth
  • leash attachment is flimsy
Brand Petsfit
Model ZFC1106L
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. K&H Bucket Booster

The K&H Bucket Booster features a downward-dipping front opening that makes it easy for a small dog to get in and out. Its thick walls, removable foam cushion, and quilted fleece interior will keep pups safe from injury when taking tight turns or slamming on the brakes.
  • 2 adjustable security leashes
  • fits in the front or back seat
  • sturdy fabric exterior
Brand K&H Pet Products
Model 551039
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Kurgo Skybox

The fully-collapsible Kurgo Skybox attaches easily to either the front or back of a car's bucket seat. Its metal supports deliver increased structural integrity, while the waterproof exterior and detachable liner make it a convenient choice when your pup has an accident.
  • lifetime warranty is included
  • pad is reversible
  • handsome blue and black colors
Brand Kurgo
Model 01144
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Snoozer Lookout II

Fashioned with a zippered, tear-resistant microsuede cover and available in a wide variety of colors, the Snoozer Lookout II blends elegance, practicality, comfort, and convenience when it comes to taking long road trips with a furry family member.
  • pullout storage drawer for treats
  • connection strap for seatbelts
  • very easy to clean
Brand Snoozer
Model 37487
Weight 9.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

How A Dog Car Seat Works

Just like small children, dogs don't fit into the standard car seat belt. But manufacturers of dog car seats need to take more than just the animal's size into consideration, since a person can't explain to a dog that they need to sit still while in a moving vehicle. Plus, since dogs move around on all fours, it's not comfortable for them to sit upright with their stomachs facing forward in the same way a person does. For that reason, dog car seats give one's pet a little room to move around.

Most models look like a glorified dog bed, but with elevated walls that prevent a pup from jumping out. Many are also equipped with padded interiors to keep a dog safe when the car is turning or stopping. There is usually a permanently-attached harness or leash on the inside of the car seat that secures the dog without making them feel constricted in their movements. Because some dogs become nervous in the car and forget their potty training, many dog car seats come with removable pads that are easy to clean.

There are several ways to ease a dog's anxiety in the car. One such method involves letting them remain within close proximity to their owners. Some car seats are designed to fit securely between the driver and front passenger seats. Dog owners with smaller pets can purchase a seat that doubles as a carrying bag when they get out of the car. These seats usually have storage compartments for essential travel items for pets, like treats, poop bags, and straps that hook securely around the back of a car seat or that sit comfortably on one's shoulders when used as a bag.

A Brief History Of Pet Transportation

As long as humans have had dogs, they've needed a way to travel with them. Several interesting methods have been developed over the years to solve the problem. In 1932, when most cars still had running boards on their sides, there was the Bird-dog's Palace. This crate-style device was constructed with metal on the outside to prevent dents or damage and insulated with soft material on the inside to prevent contact with the metal. On rainy days, people could place an oil-cloth over the crate to protect their dogs from the elements.

In 1936 a sack came onto the market that could clamp onto the running board and the back seat window sill. The sack was equipped with openings at both the top and on the side from which a dog could stick their head out. This, however, did not have the sturdy design of the Bird-dog's Palace. The hooks that attached the device to the car had rubber tubing to prevent any damage to the vehicle, suggesting that the designers may have been more concerned with the car than the dog.

In 1975, a woman named Marie French received a patent for her pet trailer, which hooked up to the back of a car, and, with the exception of some food and water bowls, was relatively empty on the inside so pets could roam freely. It also featured built-in viewing ports so that pets could look outside, while also keeping it properly insulated. When listing her reasons for creating the trailer, French stated many of the same safety concerns that pet owners still have today, like the hazards of leaving a dog in a locked car when the owners get out and the lack of proper seatbelts for pets.

Additional Car Safety Tips For Dog Owners

A well-exercised dog is a well-behaved one, which is why all owners should take their pets for an extra-long walk or trip to the park before putting them in a car, plane, or any mode of transportation. Owners should get their pet accustomed to their car seat before even putting the dog in a vehicle. A dog should be encouraged to try out his car seat while he's inside the house through the use of treats and praise. This will help him associate the seat with happy experiences.

If one has a long car trip planned, they should help their dog build up to being ready for that by taking them on several mini-car rides every day. It's much better to be forced to pull over for a whining dog when one is close to home as opposed to being hundreds of miles away and in unfamiliar territory. Owners should never feed their dog in a moving car. Eating while in a moving vehicle is one of the top choking hazards for dogs. Remember that dogs don't know to chew slowly and swallow carefully when they're in a moving vehicle.

As much as dogs may enjoy the experience, it's not safe to let them put their head out the window while the car is in motion. Owners who want to keep their dog happy and distracted during a ride should bring the pet's favorite toy or treat, so long as the treat isn't small enough for them to swallow.

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Last updated on March 30, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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