From time to time, you are going to need to take your dog on a ridealong with you. Perhaps you are taking them on holiday or you have to make a trip to the vet. Whatever the case, you need to make sure that you keep them safe while you are transporting them around. And one of the best ways of doing this is by investing in a dog seat belt for your car.
An effective dog seat belt is designed to maintain the position of your furry friend in the moving vehicle, while also restraining their movement in the event of a crash. While some people simply rely on carriers, many of them simply do not provide a decent enough level of protection. To help you out in your quest to find the right one, here is an overview of some of our top picks, as well as some more general information about dog seat belts.
The Best Dog Seat Belt
Designed for smaller dogs between 11lb and 33lb, this dog seat belt harness from PAWABOO is made to keep your dog in place while still offering them a degree of movement and flexibility. After all, dogs find it very difficult to sit still in a single position for an extended length of time. Crafted using oxford fabric, it is soft and lightweight for your dog’s comfort, while also providing the level of durability needed for a product of this variety. Added protection is provided by the sponge padded chest plate, and there is also an adjustable buckle which provides a more precise fit.
This dog safety vest harness is designed to be installed and taken out quickly as needed. And when you are not using it in your car, it also has the dual feature of being suitable for outdoor use, meaning that you can walk your dog without the choking feeling of a standard leash. A variety of vibrant patterns are available depending on your preferences. Sizes also range from small to extra-large, so you need to measure your dog’s length, chest, and neck before settling on the one which is right for them.
Light and durable – made using oxford fabric
Sponge padded chest plate for comfort and protection
Adjustable buckle for the perfect fit
Can also be used as an outdoor walking harness
- Weight5.1 oz
An affordable option, this adjustable pet seat belt is suitable for both dogs and cats. If you have both in the car at the same time, they can act as restraints to help to hold them back from their usual fights! High-quality nylon fabric is the main material used in this product, but there are a zinc alloy swivel snap and metal buckles for increased sturdiness. Your pooch will be able to sit, stand, and lie down as they would like.
Ease of installation has been carefully considered, and the seatbelt clip makes it simple to put into or take out of your car as you would like. Before purchase, it is worth bearing in mind that the seat belt clip is 2cm, so you need to ensure that it is compatible with your specific brand of car. Most are covered, but it is still worth double checking that your vehicle is one of them.
Swivel snap and metal buckles for added durability
Easy-to-install seatbelt clip
Made using high-quality nylon materials
Allows your dog to stand, sit and lie down in the car
- Weight2.08 oz
Available in different sizes for small, medium and large dogs, high-density nylon webbing is used to make this dog car seat harness. Its elastic buffer is designed to protect your dog in the unexpected event of a sharp turn or sudden braking. The adjustable strap means that you can give your dog the freedom to move around while still keeping them protected. And the 360-degree swivel strap stops it from getting all tangled up.
Double check to make sure that this dog safety belt fits your individual make and model of car, but it has been specifically designed to work in most of them. And as well as keeping your dog protected, it also prevents them from putting you in danger by diving into the front seat, sticking their head out of the window or any of the other ways that they can end up causing an accident.
Elastic buffer belt to reduce risk of choking injuries
Antislip and adjustable strap to suit your dog’s size
Designed to fit in most car sizes
360-degree swivel snap providing maximum mobility for your dog
- Weight9.3 oz
Designed a little differently to the others we have discussed so far, Mighty Paw has crafted its dog seat belt to attach directly to the vehicle frame through the latch bars in the creases of the seat. Their promise is that this provides an extra level of safety as the dog cannot accidentally step on the buckle button to release the belt. Attached using a strong and sturdy carabiner, the max force tension is up to 400kg, which should certainly cover the weight of your dog!
The attachment is also designed to extend from 16 inches to 26 inches, making it suitable for a range of dog sizes, while also providing them the freedom to move around. It has been built with a high level of toughness and durability so that it will last you for years. And there is also a money-back guarantee in case you are not entirely satisfied.
Attaches directly to latch bars for added stability
Carabiner copes with max force tension of up to 400kg
Made using weather-proof nylon and all-metal hardware for an extended lifespan
Convenience to be removed or stay attached as you would like
- BrandMighty Paw
- Weight2.4 oz
Available in a wide range of colours, this dog seat belt is also designed to tether into most types of vehicle. It is worth bearing in mind that this product has been created to work with a harness and not directly with a dog collar.
It is also machine-washable, so you can easily get it back into tip-top condition if your pooch has managed to mess it up! Fully adjustable, it is suitable for long and short drives. Practicality and reliability are combined to create this product, which helps to give you peace of mind whenever you need to bring your pooch along in the car with you.
Available in a variety of colours
Designed to work with a wide range of dog harnesses
Adjustable for different dog sizes
- BrandBlueberry Pet
- Weight2.1 oz
Easy to snap in and out of the seat belt buckle of your car, you can install it as you need. And when you are out on a road trip, you have the peace of mind of knowing that your dog can sit, lie or stand up as they wish. The nylon which it is made from is high-quality and durable, while the zinc alloy buckle is manufactured with a USA industrial quality.
For maximum safety and additional comfort, you need to use it with a seat belt leash. And it also boasts universal compatibility, which makes it suitable for most makes and models of vehicle.
Easy-to-use and adjustable to fit all dogs
Allows your pet to sit, stand and lie down
Made using premium nylon fabric and USA industrial zinc alloy metal
Compatible with a wide range of vehicle varieties
- BrandFriends Forever
- Weight3.04 oz
This durable and comfortable product comes with a fully-padded vest area for maximum comfort levels. And since it can be attached to the seat of your car in a variety of different ways, it offers a combination of mobility and safety which is perfect for you and your pooch. The convenient connection point makes it straightforward to get your dog in and out of your vehicle as you need.
PetSafe is an established and reputable brand and there is a dedicated customer support line in case you encounter any issues along the way. Generally, this harness has been designed for pets between 6lb to 25lb, but there is a sizing chart available to make sure that their chest and neck measurements fit.
Fully-padded vest for comfort
Adjustable to be attached to your car in a range of ways
Convenient connection point for quick release
Crash tested in the DOT-approved facility and stress-tested to 3000+ lbs
- Weight10.2 oz
“Click it and go” is the motto of this dog seat car harness with the aim of making travel safety as straightforward as possible. The abrasion-resistant design has been reinforced using precision computer stitching for added strength performance and durability.
You can use it alongside the EzyDog harnesses for extra safety, comfort and peace of mind. The industry-standard swivel-style hook has been crafted to be highly durable, as well as simple to snap into place whenever you need to hit the road.
‘Click it and go” design to be installed and removed as needed
Reinforced with precision computer stitching
Durable swivel-style hook
- Weight4 oz
This dog car harness strap has been made with double mesh fabric which is designed to absorb sweat and feel extremely breathable when your dog is wearing it. Designed to provide protection to your dog’s head and neck, it can also be tightened securely to stop your dog from running about in the car.
Two buckles around the chest part are designed to make it easy to put on, and there is a wide array of sizes available to be suitable for dogs which are different sizes. And once you are finished using it in the car, you can also connect it up with a retractable dog leash to be used as a standard harness.
Double mesh breathable fabric design
Available in an array of sizes
Usable as a standard harness
Adjustable for maximum comfort, security, and mobility
- Weight6.4 oz
Clicking directly into the seatbelt slot of your car, installation is designed to be both quick and easy – you don’t have to undo the dog seatbelt every single time that you get in or out of the car! Manufactured to work in conjunction with a dog harness, this dog seat belt can extend from 15″ to 22″. And it is also a universal fit for most vehicles at the same time.
There is also a lifetime warranty included with this particular product, which means added peace of mind for you. So, you get a combination of safety and a long-lasting car seatbelt for dogs.
Quick and easy installation
Extendable from 15″ to 22″
Universal fit to be compatible with most vehicles
Lifetime warranty included
- Weight4.6 oz
Best Dog Seat Belt Buying Guide & FAQ
Now that we have looked at some of the best individual products on the market, let’s go into more detail about why you would want a dog seat belt in the first place. If you ever need to take your dog in the car even on short journeys, there are plenty of reasons why it is a worthwhile investment.
Understanding the Danger for Dogs in Cars
Some dogs love a ride in the car while others are not quite so keen. Whichever type of mutt you own, not restraining them properly can result in a host of risks and dangers. When a dog hangs its head out of the window, he or she can be injured by objects on the side of the road as well as passing debris. Not only this, if your dog is loose in the back or front seat, any kind of sudden stop can result in them flying through the car at speed.
But the danger can also come in the form of distraction as well. If they are not properly secured, you may be tempted to turn around to check on your dog. Otherwise, your attention can get diverted as they dive into the front seat. And if they do end up in the passenger seat alongside you, they are in a position of increased danger as the airbag could go off in the event of a crash, which is just as dangerous for dogs as it is for small children. Even a barking or fussy dog roaming around your car can be problematic. Any kind of distraction can lead to a car accident, which puts everyone in the vehicle in danger.
What to Look for in a Good Car Seat Belt
With a range of different varieties out there, the type of dog seat belt you go for depends on the size of your pup, your type of vehicle, and your individual needs. Durability, ease-of-installation, type of materials, and ease-of-movement are all features which are worth taking into account.
Some of the dog car seat belts which we have discussed include chest harnesses, but if you choose this variety, you should make sure that you measure the size of your dog carefully. Some will plug directly into the seatbelt of your car, but you need to make sure that it is compatible with your specific type of vehicle. Others work with additional harnesses, so check what you are buying carefully to make sure that you have any additional equipment which you may require.
Getting Your Dog Used to a Seat Belt
Your next challenge involves getting your furry friend used to their new seat belt. At first, it may prove to be somewhat of a challenge as many pups find them to be a little strange. So, to start off with, you can try clipping and unclipping them in without going anywhere to get them used to it. Make sure that you have plenty of treats on hand to reward them for good behaviour during this activity! You are also helping to get yourself used to the way that the seat belt works at the same time as you want to be able to take it in and out of your car quickly.
Next up, you should take some shorter journeys. Bring someone to ride along with you so that they can check your dog’s mobility levels in case the straps need to be adjusted in any way. Soon, it will all become second nature and you will be able to take your pooch out on extended road trips.
Dog Seat Belt Law
When it comes to driving with pets, there isn’t a consistent law which applies across the US, but plenty will prosecute under distracted driving laws. For example, in New Jersey, seat belts are required for dogs not secured in a crate. In the UK, the law is much stricter, and all drivers can face a fine if travelling with an unrestrained pet, as well as a significant hike in their car insurance premiums. Ultimately, it is worth securing your dog in some way to protect you from the law, as well as your own safety. And dog seat belts are an increasingly popular way of doing this.
Best Dog Seat Belt FAQ:
Do you still have some burning questions with regards to dog seat belts? Well, here we aim to provide some answers to illuminate any areas which are still in the dark for you.
Q: What is a dog seat belt?
A: Ever since the invention of seat belts in cars, countless human lives have been saved. Well, now this innovation is taking off in the world of pets with both dog and cat seat belts providing to be increasingly popular. The best dog seat belts often come in harness form to help keep your dog in place while still providing them with some flexibility of movement. The central goal of these harnesses is to maintain the stability of your pup, while also restraining movements – especially in the event of an accident like a crash.
As we have previously discussed, the central role of a dog seat belt is to protect your pooch from the various dangers which exist while they are travelling in a car. At the same time, they are also designed to help prevent the kind of accidents which can arise from you being distracted whilst you are behind the wheel. Dog seat belts come in various different forms, but safety is always at the forefront of what they are trying to provide.
Q: Are seat belts for dogs safe?
A: There is an increasing amount of testing being conducted on the safety of dog seat belts, and some of the specific products which we have discussed so far boast positive results. They have been designed so that in a sudden accident or change of speed, the harness will spread out the force around the dog’s central area, which is in contrast to them having no restraint at all or a leash which focuses it all on their neck.
When you are investing in a dog seat belt, you need to make sure that it is suitable for your size of a dog, as well as ensuring that it properly clicks into your car’s seat belt slot. And when you are choosing the harness length, it should be long enough to provide comfort, while being short enough to prevent them crashing into the seat in front. Check the product reviews online for more specific information from people who have used them in the past.
Q: How do I use a dog seat belt?
A: Dog seat belts tend to work by attaching a full-body harness to a strap with a buckle on it. Generally, this fits in with your regular seat belt device. However, we have also talked about a dog safety harness which attaches to the latch bars in the creases of the seat. Some of the products which we talked about above work on their own while others are just the leads which are compatible with other harness products. Always check the product overview to ensure that you have everything that you need and that it is going to work with the specific type of car which you are driving. Read the instructions carefully and ensure that the dog seat belt is properly fitted before use. You are better off embarking on a short journey to give the product a test before going out on any long drives.
Q: Where should my dog ride in the car?
A: When you are using a seat belt for dogs, the best place for them to ride is in the back seat. Just as the airbags in the passenger seat provide a danger for young kids, the same goes for your pooch as well. If you are planning on having them ride up front with you, you need to disable the airbag. Of course, this has the disadvantage of making the seat less safe for any passengers who sit there after your pup. Not only this, it is much more likely that you are going to get distracted if they are riding right by your side. Choose the back seat opposite to the driver’s side and you can check up on them in your rearview mirror whenever you have come to a safe stop.
Our Top Pick
The pick of the bunch for us remains the PAWABOO Dog Safety Vest Harness. First of all, everything that you need is included, and you don’t have to invest in extra harnesses, leads etc. And it also has the dual function of being usable when you want to walk your dog outdoors as an alternative to a standard lead which can end up choking your canine friend.
The oxford fabric which this product is made out of is designed to be durable, lightweight, and soft, meaning that it is easy to take in and out as you need it, while also providing the high level of restraint that you are looking for in the event that you should end up in any an accident of some sort. And the high-quality stainless-steel snap hook which you attach inside your car has been given an increased level of durability and abrasion resistance thanks to being electroplated.
Before you make a purchase, make sure that you measure the dimensions of your dog and match these up with the size chart offered. Finally, you can choose the style and design which you think will suit your dog, so that they can look their best while also staying safe!