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11 Best Dog Car Seats: Compare, Buy & Save
For the most part, dogs love car rides. They love seeing new places, sticking their head out the window, and just following you wherever you go. Most dogs have an inexhaustible sense of adventure, and there is no better promise of an adventure than a car. Dog car seats allow them to ride safely in comfort. They also lift small dogs just enough so they can see out the window while keeping them in one place so they don’t jump over you while you’re driving. While larger dogs usually do well with hammocks and seat covers, a car seat is the best option for smaller puppies.
If your dog hates the car, consider our list of the best dog car seats to make your ride more comfortable for them and for you.
What are the best car seats for dogs?
Our objective reviews
1. Kurgo Skybox dog booster seat
- Side storage pockets
- Dogs under 25 pounds
- Reversible and washable lining
- Foldable for easy storage
- The dog can get tangled in the hook of the harness
- No color options
- Difficult installation means some users have found it tilts constantly
- Belt clip problematic for some
This Kurgo rig is designed for work at height. Attached to the headrest in the front or back seat, it is designed to lift your dog above the bottom of the seat to its maximum height. The exterior is waterproof and the lining is removable and machine washable. When the metal support structure is not in use, it can be folded for storage. It’s a bit smaller, but still able to hold a relatively heavy puppy.
2. Snoozer Lookout II Pet Car Seat
- High-quality option
- Sherpa plush lining
- Variety of fabric options
- storage tray
- Takes up a lot of space
- Some reviewers note that the build quality does not match the price.
- Not as soft as it seems
If you’re looking for something a little more expensive, Lookout II might be right for you. Available in multiple colors from blue to grey to hot pink, you can also get different textures like quilted and denim. The interior is lined with synthetic lambswool for comfort, while a front flap hides a pull-out storage tray.
It is also one of the larger booster seats, measuring 28″ by 22″ for an overall height of 15″. (The smaller version measures 15 inches by 19 inches, while the medium size is 22 by 19 inches. It’s definitely more expensive than the others, but if you have two dogs or a medium-sized dog, this one might be for you.
3. Petsfit child seat.
- Available in front and rear seat sizes.
- Reversible lining for light and dark sides on both warm and cold days.
- Pockets for toys and treats
- Not as soft as other options
- Possibly confusing installation instructions
- The backseat version might be too big
Available in two sizes, this is a beautifully designed option. The key to this model is that the interior lining is double-sided. One side is smooth and light for warm days, while the other is darker and more fluffy to keep especially small dogs warm on cold days. The larger version is good for the backseat and measures 29 inches long by 16 inches wide, while the smaller version measures 15 inches by 16 inches.
If you have a toy breed, you can use the smaller version even in the back seat. On the other hand, the larger size will fit dogs up to 45 pounds.
4. Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster.
- Rise nine inches from the seat
- Installed without headrest strap
- Removable wash liner
- Quite expensive
- Does not fold for storage
- Potentially difficult assembly and installation
- May need to increase a size larger than expected
This Solvit model is available in three sizes, each in a neutral checkered style. Large size fits dogs up to 18 lbs, extra-large up to 25 lbs and large up to 30 lbs. The strap that attaches to the car has been tested to withstand loads of up to 2,000 pounds, allowing you to securely hold the seat in place. The rigid internal structure reinforces this security and keeps your pup in the seat.
5. ASPCA booster seat for dogs.
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Folds up for storage or storage in the car
- Integrated safety leash
- Memory foam pillow and back cushion
- Sits at an odd angle depending on the car
- Only suitable for small dogs
- Some quality control issues
- Relatively thin fabric
Based on the AKC model above, this ASPCA-branded version can be had for a bit less depending on which color you choose. Speaking of colors, you can choose from black, gray with orange trim, and light gray with turquoise trim. The bottom cushion can be removed for cleaning and the entire seat can be folded down when not in use for storage. Another cheap and fun option to consider, especially for docile toy breeds.
6. Pettom Pet Carrier
- Doubles as a carrier
- Side entry for easy access
- Folds up for storage
- Available in two sizes for small breeds.
- Not as structurally sound as other options
- Some dogs may not see around
- Some quality control issues
- Installation instructions may be unclear or missing
The beauty of this car seat is that it doubles as it easily converts into a carrier when you arrive at your destination. While the height of the booster is low here, you can keep your pup safe throughout the journey and simply lift it all up when you arrive. There is a drawstring inside that keeps them in place and you can also zip it up. Rugged, low profile, versatile option.
8. American Kennel Club baby seat
- Easy to clean
- Dogs under 20 pounds
- Folds up for easy storage
- Very small – weight limit can be optimistic
- Plastic clips on the cheap side
- Difficult to align
- Small bottom support
This very basic dog car seat can be purchased for less than a third of the price of the above. It offers one zip pocket on the front as well as a memory foam cushion covered in synthetic lambswool. Like the previous one, it will be placed high above the seat, which will give your dog a better view. It’s also available in at least three colors (black, gray, and red), with a fourth possible (brown was not available at the time of this writing). While it says it’s good for dogs weighing 20 pounds, it’s a very small unit, so we’ll stick with ten pounds or less.
9. Pet Seat with Booster Bucket K&H Manufacturing
- Available in two sizes and two colors.
- Washable cover
- Comes with one or two adjustable leashes.
- Weight is not that important
- Not collapsible
- May not stimulate enough very small dogs
- Chewing dogs can eat through the straps
- The seat belt could be tighter
If you don’t like having your dog hung up on a seat, consider a booster-style option. It comes in two sizes – 16″ square or 18″ by 13″ by 16″ – and sits right on the seat, taking the worry out of your dog being too heavy. Obviously, you can’t fit a 60lb lab in it, but for small dogs of just about any breed, this should work.
The back is shaped to fit snugly on most vehicles, while the interior is lined with quilted fleece for maximum comfort. The opening in the front allows your dog to get in and out easily. You can choose grey or brown in both sizes. The included harness gives you room to attach your dog’s harness while travelling. A solid option that should cater to a wider range of dogs than the first two.
10. Pet Gear Bucket Seat Booster
- Durable plastic frame
- Easy to install
- Available in two sizes
- Four included cables
- Limited color options
- The sides of the seat are hard
- Doesn’t look very elegant
- Shorter than other options
Maybe padded seats don’t inspire enough confidence. This plastic-framed booster will help you get some rest. The durable design is more like a child car seat and will keep your dog safe. The overall height of this one is a bit shorter, so choose this if safety is your dog’s ultimate goal so he can look out the window.
You have two sizes to choose from with this model, a larger one with 20″ x 17″ internal dimensions and a smaller one with 16″ x 12″ internal dimensions. Both are in brown plastic, but you can choose a chocolate swirl or jaguar print liner.
11. Devoted Doggy Deluxe Booster Dog Car Seat
- Collapsible metal frame structure
- Easy Installation
- Zipped pocket and lanyard
- Plush lining
- Only for dogs up to 20 pounds
- Some find it too small even for the size indicated.
- The location depends on the angle of the seatback in some vehicles.
- Straps are a little flimsy
Our last option is aimed at a small canine crowd. They advertise that it will fit a dog up to 20 lbs, but for the most part, it is really made for toy breeds. It measures 14 inches long, 12 inches wide, and seven inches deep, so be sure to measure your pup before jumping in for one. However, it has a metal construction that can be folded up when not in use. The dual strap system is easy to deploy and the included lanyard ensures your dog stays in place during the ride. If you just need something simple to contain your small dog and let him see you drive, this is a good and inexpensive option.
When should I use a dog car seat?
A study by Harris Poll for Volvo found that 25 per cent of dog owners don’t use any safety devices when their pets are in the car. This quickly creates a dangerous situation – for them, for you, and for other drivers on the road.
Dr. Carol Osborne says dog car seats are best when placed in the back seat and prevent your dog from moving into the front seat. The complete story on PetMD explains when you should use booster seats, dog harnesses, and dog barriers .