Dogs, too, are at risk for stress and depression. You may not easily observe it, but your vet knows. While there is no single golden pill to cure all emotional and mental maladies, there is always something you can do. For instance, you can take them out on a trip and provide them with a secure and comfortable ride with the best car seat.
While car seats look similar, they actually vary not just in terms of size and color, but also in function and comfortability. Car boosters are also available in various materials and lengths that help keep your pup safely harnessed onto the seat. Take your personal favorite from the list below and help your furry friend relax during your travels:
The Best Dog Car Seat
While it doesn’t look like your typical seat, Devoted Doggy’s Deluxe Dog Booster Seat is one of those best car seats for dogs you could ever get. It is fashionable and comes with exceptional structural support without creating a large gaping hole in your pocket. Unlike other pet car seat products that don’t even put metal support rods in their design yet have the gall to charge more than a hundred dollars, the Devoted Doggy is always a great buy especially for pet parents who want to economize without sacrificing quality, pet safety, and overall functionality.
Easy to install without breaking a sweat or requiring any tools, the Devoted Doggy can be easily set up in a matter of minutes so you can get on with your adventure. This dog car seat has high-enough sides to keep your small dog comfy and cozy while you drive. There are pockets for doggie things and a secure leash attachment to help keep your pet inside its comfy box. It’s no wonder pet parents call the Devoted Doggy the best dog car booster seat.
Heavy-duty metal frame supports
Soft, comfy, and plush padded liner
Clip-on pet safety leash
Zippered storage pockets
No-tools easy installation
Maximum load capacity: 20 lbs
- BrandDevoted Doggy
- Weight3 pounds
Featuring a sturdy and solid foam core to provide a comfy and secure box for your pet while taking a gentle cruise by the countryside, the Snoozer Lookout dog car seat is a real neat-looking contraption that comes with Sherpa fabric interior plus a classic quilted design on the outside. The Sherpa liner gives pets just the right level of comfort especially when it’s a bit chilly outside. The quilted look of the exterior should be a welcome addition to your car’s modern upholstery.
The only downside to the Snoozer Lookout is that its form is reliant on the structural rigidity of the foam itself. There are no metal supporting rods to keep it upright. Additionally, the price is quite high for such a dog car booster. Nevertheless, pet parents don’t seem to mind as the brand consistently scores high in reviews for dog car seat products.
Pet hair-repellent quilted nylon cover
Stable and solid foam core
Comfy and warm Sherpa lining
Secure safety straps
Maximum load capacity: 25 lbs
- Weight7.75 pounds
Fully capable of accommodating a 30-pound dog, the Solvit Jumbo Deluxe dog car seat not only offers a safe and comfortable way for your pet to enjoy the ride but also gives it the chance to feel pretty much like a royal hound. With a sturdily built shell that features a unique T-core internal frame and covered with quilted microsuede, the Deluxe is like a travel cradle that’s designed specifically for dogs.
Your pet’s security and safety are not the only things important for this pet car seat. Its optimum comfort is also ensured. The quilted plaid liner feels soft on your pet’s body, giving it a plusher surface with which to rest its body while you’re still on the road. It also comes with a safety tether that has a strength that is rated at 2,000 pounds. What your pet will surely love is the height of the booster platform as it effectively boosts your pet’s seat platform by 9 inches from the surface of your vehicle seat.
Fully padded, spacious interior made of quilted microsuede
Safe, stable, and secure T-core internal frame
Safety tether with 2000-lb strength
Machine washable quilted plaid liner
Boosts pets by 9 inches
Maximum load capacity: 30 lbs
- Weight7 pounds
Just because it is cheap doesn’t mean it is already of mediocre quality. This is the message that the WOpet Deluxe portable pet dog car booster seat hopes to convey. Sure, it has the friendliest price tags in this list, but it also has one of the soundest designs. Featuring wide mesh side panels that allow for optimum ventilation for your pet while also improving its view of the outdoors, the WOpet pet car booster seat is easy to install.
This dog car seat also comes with sturdy metal support rods plus durable polyethylene boards for the side panels to make sure that it stands up to pets weighing up to 30 pounds. Its straightforward design may not appeal to everyone, however, especially those who prefer plush faux fur elements to a doggie contraption. But for those who require a no-nonsense pet car seat that does the job well at a friendly price, the WOpet is a great buy.
Durable and sturdy construction with support rods and PE boards
Breathable mesh side panels
Plenty of storage pockets up front
Multiple safety and secure straps
Integrated clip-on pet safety leash
Maximum load capacity: 30 lbs
The way the Pet Gear Lookout Booster Car Seat is designed makes it so easy and straightforward to secure using your car’s seatbelt system. The L-shaped leg of the Pet Gear serves as an anchor point for the small dog car seat. It’s like an elevated boxy platform that comes with a soft and comfy pillow for your pet to rest on while taking it for a ride.
Making sure your pet will be safe and secure inside the pet booster seat are a pair of safety tethers that can be easily attached to your pet’s body harness or collar. It is high enough to allow your pet to have a full view of the outside while feeling fully secure and comfy in its elevated throne.
Sturdy and stable foam core
Machine washable soft microsuede fabric cover
Plush, removable pillow
Safety pet tether
Maximum load capacity: 25 lbs
- BrandPet Gear
- Weight4.5 pounds
Kurgo’s Skybox Booster Seat for Dogs is a slightly different kind of dog booster seat that is technically suspended several inches off the surface of your vehicle seat. Strong and durable straps secure the Skybox to the headrest of your seat while another safety strap secures it around the backrest of the vehicle seat.
Available in 7 color designs, there’s a Skybox dog car seat that should match your car’s interior as well as your pet’s overall personality. The built-in seatbelt tether can easily attach to your pet’s harness or collar to keep you pet from bouncing around inside the Skybox. You can always feel a lot more confident with Kurgo’s lifetime warranty, too. At the very least, the brand stands firm in the quality of its products.
Integrated metal supports for rigidity and structural integrity
Fully waterproof exterior with zippered pockets
Hangs from seat
Removable and washable pad and liner
Adjustable seatbelt tether
Maximum load capacity: 30 lbs
- Weight3.79 pounds
One of the best things about the Black My Buddy Lookout dog car seat from Snoozer is that it comes with a built-in pull-out tray that can be a really convenient way to keep your pet’s items such as treats, medications, small doggie toys, leash, and even collars. You don’t need a separate compartment for any of these anymore.
Of course, even without the built-in storage tray, the Snoozer Black will still be a great choice for a dog car seat because of the way it is constructed especially in the use of Sherpa fabric for its inner liner. It’s a luxurious way of making your pet feel right at home inside its cooler box-like contraption. The only problem is that, like all Snoozer products, this Lookout pet booster seat comes in with a hefty price tag. But if you are after the comfort of your pet as well as the luxury of the design of the dog car seat, then this one’s for you.
Interior liner made of Sherpa fabric
Stable and sturdy foam core
Hidden pull-out storage tray
Maximum load capacity: 34 lbs
The only difference between the Jumbo Deluxe and the Jumbo Standard dog car booster seat systems by Solvit is that the former comes with a quilted microsuede fabric that covers its unique T-core internal frame as well as quilted plaid for its liner. On the other hand, the Jumbo Standard Pet Safety Seat comes with 100% polyester as cover for its T-core frame while the inner liner is made of faux sheepskin. This makes the Standard slightly cheaper than the Deluxe; otherwise, you’re basically getting the same thing.
The Jumbo Standard dog car seat still comes with the already-patented t-core internal frame that gives the Safety Seat structural rigidity. The safety tether is also strength-rated at 2,000 pounds so you can bet that it’s strong enough to keep everything together while ensuring the optimum safety and comfort of your pet.
Spacious, fully padded interior made of polyester
Stable, safe, and secure T-core internal frame
Safety tether with 2000-lb strength
Removable and machine washable faux sheepskin liner
Boosts pets by 9 inches
Maximum load capacity: 30 lbs
- Weight7 pounds
As the name suggests, Snoozer’s Console Pet Car Seat can be conveniently place on the center console of your car right between the two front seats. This should give your pet the same vantage point as yours while you’re heading your way to your next adventure. The Snoozer Console can be easily secured using an integrated safety strap that also allows for instantaneous setup.
Taking on the rectangular shape of the center console armrest and give a more luxurious interior courtesy of Sherpa fabric, the Snoozer Console is the perfect crow’s nest for your four-legged pirate. Do understand, however, that it doesn’t come with any leash attachments for you to secure your pet’s harness or collar. You may have to improvise. Nevertheless, this puppy car seat sure is a stylish way for your young hound to travel.
Designed specifically for toy and small breeds such as Yorkies and Chihuahuas
With solid foam core as pet booster seat
Soft and comfy Sherpa liner
Integrated safety straps
Boosts pets by 3 inches
Maximum load capacity: 12 lbs
- Weight1.7 pounds
The A4Pet Lookout Dog Booster Car Seat looks like a humongous rectangular bag that comes with two oversized front pockets and two integrated carrying handles. But what you didn’t know is that this dog car seat can actually double as your pet’s sofa or doggie bed when it is already at home. The versatility of this dog booster seat makes it one of the up and coming best car seats for dogs.
Safety-wise, the A4Pet is quite commendable, too. Aside from the security leash, it also comes with a sling and two seatbelt loops which you can easily insert your car’s seatbelt system and secure the A4Pet. The security leash is what keeps your pet safe inside the dog car seat. And if you’re wondering whether the high sidewalls of the A4Pet are going to make it difficult for your pet to see the outside world, think again. The resting platform actually elevates your pet by 6.5 inches from the surface of the vehicle seat so that your pet will always have a good view of the outside.
Made of Oxford fabric and fleece for dual functionality as dog car seat and dog bed
Fully collapsible, machine washable design with integrated carrying handles
2 large side pockets for extra storage
Integrated security leash, sling, and belt loops
Boosts pets by 6.5 inches
Maximum load capacity: 300 lbs
- Weight9.59 pounds
Best Dog Car Seat Buying Guide & FAQ
How to Spot a Good Car Seat for Dog
Picking the right car seat for a dog can be intimidating. However, you can always make it a lot easier by focusing more on certain aspects of a pet car seat that you’ve got to look for.
- Safety features
This should be your primary consideration whenever picking the right car seat for dogs. Leash attachment mechanisms or safety pet tethers should keep your dog safely inside the pet car seat while additional systems secure the dog car seat.
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The right dog car seat should be large enough to accommodate your dog especially when it does decide to lie down for the rest of the trip.
- Weight limit
While the size of the dog car seat will address the physical space requirements of your dog, a more important factor to consider is your pet’s weight. Always choose a car seat for a dog that has a weight capacity limit of at least 25% more than your pet’s current weight.
Many of the materials used in the manufacture of pet car seats are soft and fully padded. However, there are also those that might irritate your pet’s skin. Be especially choosy when it comes to the materials used in the construction of the dog booster seat.
Some products require headrests in their installation, while others don’t. You’ve got to think about what your car already has so that you can match it well with the specifications of the dog car seat.
Most products can be cleaned in the washing machine while others require a more hands-on approach. Choose one that suits your preferences.
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Reasons to Get a Dog Car Seat
Different folks often cite different reasons for buying a dog car seat. What is common is that it improves overall safety both for the pet and the driver of the car. Imagine driving on the highway and your dog is jumping around from the back seat and onto the front and back again, distracting you in the process. You could easily get into an accident in such a case. It is not safe for both you and your pet. Additionally, even if you did not figure into an accident but had to make an abrupt stop, your dog can easily get thrown inside your car. This can also seriously injure your pet. A dog car seat can help minimize such injuries if not totally prevent them.
Some dogs are not also comfortable riding in cars. Just like some folks, they can feel sick and you know what happens next. Using a dog car seat can help limit the ‘mess’ that your pet creates when it has motion-sickness to the interior of the dog car seat. It protects your upholstery and your floor from your pet’s vomit. In like manner, it should also protect your vehicle seats and floors from pet hair especially if you have a dog that really sheds a lot.
Getting your dog its own car seat helps provide for a more comfortable and safer ride for your pet. It’s the least you can do to make your travel adventures a lot more meaningful.
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Types of Car Seats for Dogs
Car seats for dogs come in a variety of styles, shapes, and designs. However, these are mostly classified into two general types: a dog car seat and a dog booster seat.
The main difference between a dog car seat and a booster seat is that the surface upon which the dog will lie on is not elevated in an ordinary dog car seat. Technically, what you have is a box-like contraption that has been filled with padding or layers of soft cloth to make it comfy for your pet. It’s like putting your pet inside a large-enough box that is secured to the vehicle seat. The top of the box is open to allow your dog to take a peak outside.
On the other hand, a dog booster seat, as the name implies, raises the resting surface platform by several inches from the top surface of the vehicle seat. That is why they call it ‘booster’ since it ‘boosts’ the height of the seat so that your pet will have a much better view of the outside through the car’s window.
Best Car Seat for Dogs FAQ:
Q: What size should I get?
A: Manufacturers of dog car seat systems provide the dimensions of their product usually in terms of its width, height, and length. They also provide size recommendations based on breed sizes. However, we urge you not to rely so much on such parameters. A much better way is to measure the area that your dog will need when it is traveling. You have to decide whether your dog will be sitting the entire travel or will it be lying down. If sitting, then measure the area that your dog covers when fully seated. The same is true when your dog is lying down. You will need to get its widest and longest parts to have an idea of the inside dimensions of the dog booster seat you will get. Once you have the measurements, you can then compare this with what the manufacturer has.
Q: How can I make my dog love a booster seat?
A: Everything starts with acclimatizing your dog to the existence of the booster seat, although if it has no problems with its doggie bed acclimatizing to the booster seat should be fairly easy. You can start by placing the booster seat inside your home and just allow your pet to sniff it and explore it a little bit. Once your dog has acclimatized to the presence of the booster seat, you can then start putting your pet inside the booster seat. Most pet booster seats have very high sides so your dog may not be able to get in or out. As such you will have to lift your pet and put it inside the dog car seat. Praise your dog for not making a fuss and give it a doggie treat. You can also put some of your dog’s favorite toys inside the pet car seat. The idea is to create an environment where your dog will feel safe, secure, and comfortable.
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Q: Where should I place my car seat for dogs?
A: Like children’s car seats, all dog car seats should be placed at the back of the vehicle and not on the front passenger seat. However, there are pet parents who are not really accustomed to having their dogs stay at the back of the car and as such, they put the pet car seat right in front. This is quite risky as air bags that deploy in a collision can hurt your dog. If you really need to put your dog in the front passenger seat, make sure to adjust the seat to as far back as you possibly can.
Putting the car seat for dogs at the back seat of the car is a lot safer since you won’t easily get distracted. Furthermore, you can easily check on your dog through your rearview mirror.
Q: How do I install a dog car seat?
A: Everything depends on how the pet car seat was designed. Some require attachment to the headrest of the vehicle seat while others utilize the car’s seatbelt restraint system as a means of securing the dog car seat. There are also those that come with straps that can be secured around the back of the backrest of a vehicle seat. What is important here is to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to install their product. You’ll be glad to know that many of today’s dog car seat systems don’t require any tools at all when installing and you can get them completed within seconds.
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Our Top Pick
There are a number of reasons why the Devoted Doggy landed on top of our best car seats for dogs. First, it’s very easy to install. Second, it has a reliably sturdy construction complete with a metal frame that gives it collapsibility. Third, it comes with an adjustable pet safety leash to secure your dog inside the dog car seat. Fourth, the plush liner can be easily removed and washed in the washing machine. Fifth, it comes with zippered pockets for your pet’s things. And lastly, it will never hurt your pocket.
The best car seats for dogs offer optimum safety and security for our pets whenever we are traveling. It also helps protect the precious surfaces inside our car by limiting pet hair and mess to within the confines of the dog car seat. It’s always a win-win solution for both pet and its human master.