Fits most dogs cozily, owners report, with pets adapting easily to its high sides. Easy to install and remove. Liner is simple to remove and wash.
Retaining clasps may break after a few weeks of use. Harness connector clip is in an awkward spot. Hooking up tether and harness is confusing for some owners.
Can be folded up and stored easily when not in use. Dogs love being able to see out the car windows, owners report. Metal frame won’t bend when leaned on.
Bottom of car seat is unsupported, making some dogs uncomfortable. A few reports of frayed straps and broken tether clips after a few uses.
Dogs like the comfortable seat, with most adapting to it quickly. Restraint system holds pets in place and is adjustable. Washable cover is a big plus.
Takes up a lot of space on the back seat. Side walls and seat belt connector strap seem flimsy. Harness tether connects to seat belt but not the car seat, so the dog isn’t well secured into the seat.
Well-made and sturdy, owners report that dogs are safely secured in this booster seat. Large clip secures dog’s chest harness well.
Can be time-consuming to put together and install. Harness system too loose for some dogs. Harness clip is too big to handle comfortably for some owners.
Easy to install and remove. Owners like the double-use convenience as both an open-top car seat and a closed-top carrier. Side storage pockets are a nice plus.
Tether strap too short for dogs to comfortably lie down when hooked in. Owners want more padding and reinforcement of the bottom panel. Reports of tether clip breaking after a few uses, and handle fraying at attachment points.
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Whether you’re driving your dog to an awesome off-leash hiking spot or a necessary trip to the vet, it’s not safe for Fido to roam around your car unsecured. One option for safe canine car travel is a dog car seat.
Buying a dog car seat can be tricky, though. There are quite a few to choose from, and you’ll need to know what features to look for to make sure your pooch can ride both safely and comfortably.
At BestReviews, we’re here to help. Not only have we chosen the top five dog car seats on the market, we’ve also put together this detailed guide that breaks down everything you need to know about dog car seats before you buy.
Do you really need a dog car seat? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of securing Fluffy while you drive.
You’ll need to choose a dog car seat that’s the correct size to fit your four-legged friend. Many canine car seats are sized to fit small or medium dogs, but you can find some larger models for big dogs.
Some larger dog car seats are suitable for either one large or medium dog or two small dogs. However, only let your dogs ride next to one another if they’re calm together and won’t fight. Even a play fight could distract the driver enough to be dangerous, so it’s often better to secure multiple dogs on opposite sides of the back seat.
Part of the reason to buy a dog car seat is for the comfort of your canine companion. You can usually tell how comfortable a dog car seat is just by looking at it. Seats with plenty of padding made from soft materials provide a nice, plush surface for your dog to settle down on.
Another factor is the size of the seat compared to your dog. If the car seat is not large enough for lying down, your dog won’t be able to snuggle in for a snooze. Comfort is especially important on long car rides, so if you’ll be road-tripping with your pooches, be certain they can get comfy.
Ease of cleaning
Dog accidents do happen, so your chosen dog car seat should be easy to clean. Removable covers or seat pads are a must-have for ease of cleaning. While the vast majority of dog car seat covers and cushions are machine-washable, a handful aren’t. Be clear on the cleaning instructions before buying a dog car seat.
Dog car seats are supposed to keep your dog safe in the car, so it’s important to consider safety features. Your chosen model should have a high-quality locking system to attach the seat to your car seat. This usually involves threading the car’s seat belt through part of the dog car seat to secure it. The other main safety feature is the tether to secure your dog to the seat. This should be strong enough to restrain your dog in case of a collision.
What’s the average cost of a dog car seat? It varies depending on the size, quality, and features, but the majority range from $20 to $100.
Basic canine car seats cost between $20 and $40. While you can find some decent models in this price range, many are subpar. It’s also rare to find any options for larger dogs.
A mid-range dog car seat costs $40 to $60. At this price point, you can find some excellent models, including some options for large dogs.
Expect to pay $60 to $100 for high-end dog car seats. At this price point, you’ll find the safest, most secure, and most comfortable canine car seats.
Q. Do dog car seats have a maximum weight limit?
A. Yes, most dog car seats have a weight limit. This can vary widely depending on the car seat you choose. Some compact car seats can only house dogs up to 10 or 15 pounds and are therefore suitable for small breeds only. The largest and heaviest-duty options have weight limits up to 300 pounds – enough to seat the biggest of giant-breed dogs. Never use a canine car seat if your furry friend exceeds the weight limit as it’s likely the safety tether won’t be strong enough to restrain your dog in an accident.
Q. Can I attach the dog car seat’s safety clip to my dog's collar?
A. The safety clip or tether should never be attached to your dog’s collar. It should only be attached to a car-safe harness, which you’ll need to buy separately if it doesn’t come with your dog car seat. If you attach the clip to a collar, your dog is likely to be seriously injured in an accident due to the force of a collision.
Q. How heavy are dog car seats?
A. The weight of dog car seats varies between different makes, models, and sizes. That said, the majority tend to be lightweight. The average person should have no problem carrying a dog car seat or lifting it into the car.
Q. Can raised dog car seats help dogs with travel sickness?
A. Although it won’t work in all cases, many dog parents find using a raised dog car seat helps avoid car sickness by allowing their four-legged friend to peek out the window. If your canine companion is too small to look out of the car window and tends to get sick in the car, it’s well worth trying a booster seat.