10 Best Dog Car Seats and Booster Seats
Dog car seats and booster seats keep small and medium size dogs safe and comfy when driving in a car. Check out our selection of car seats for dogs to ensure your pet can accompany on the ride, look through the window, and be safely and comfortably tethered while you focus on the road.
It’s no secret that us pet pawrents like our pooches to tag along with us everywhere we go. Whether it’s a well-deserved vacation or a family visit, a car ride with your pet is likely to happen sooner rather than later, and that’s assuming that your pet is not already a regular companion to you when you drive. However, small dogs can’t just sit back and enjoy the ride–they need the proper equipment to be safe and comfortable in the passenger seat of your car.
Available in different types and designs, dog car seats and booster seats are a must for all petite pooches. They prevent your pet from wiggling and bothering you while you’re trying to focus on the road, give them a comfy seat that allows them to look out the window, and keeps them safely tethered to prevent accidents and motion sickness. For bigger dogs, there are alternative to car seats, but small breed dogs usually do best with a car seat, as it meets all of their specific size and comfort requirements. Unrestrained pets in the car can often cause accidents by diverting the driver’s attention, so not only that dog car seats and booster seats are a great accessory for your pet, but they are also a much-needed safety measure.
However, choosing between many styles of dog car seats and booster seats might not be as straightforward as you think. There are plenty of factors to pay attention to, from size to construction, and every detail is important if you want to ensure the fit is perfect for your pet, both in terms of safety and comfort. Our comprehensive guide on dog car seats and booster seats and how to choose them will help you find out what you need to look for. And as a bonus, you won’t have to spend hours locating the right match once you know what you want–just check out our list of the 10 best dog car seats and booster seats and pick one for your pampered pooch.
This bucket-style booster car seat is ideal for dogs up to 20 lbs. The raised sides keep your pet comfortably confined in one spot, and the inner leash clip can make it even more secure by allowing you to attach your pet’s collar or harness to the seat itself. When it comes to the attachment style of the Devoted Doggy Deluxe Dog Booster Car Seat, it’s suitable for the front seat of the car. One strap goes around the back of the seat and the other around the headrest, anchoring the seat in place. Well-made, this booster seat has a sturdy metal construction and a warm and comfy sherpa lining for superior comfort during road trips.
Suitable for back and front seat both, this booster bucket seat has an elevated bottom (circa 5.5 inches) that will give your short pooch a unique opportunity to sit back and enjoy the view. This dog car seat has two safety leashes attached to it, meant to be connected to your pet’s harness for extra safety measures. To secure the pet seat to the car seat, just loop the seatbelt through the 3 loops hidden under the removable cover–it will keep your pet securely tethered to the seat without a doubt.
This car booster seat comes in two versions: one designed to fit the front seat, and the other better suited to be attached to the rear seat of the car. The Kurgo’s front seat booster attaches with clasps around the car seat, with a strap that goes over the headrest and adds another layer of stability and security. The cover of the booster seat has convenient pockets all around for storing your pet’s knickknacks, so you could say that Kurgo Car Pet Booster Seat for Dogs is ideally suited for all kinds of adventures with your four-legged bestie. This booster seat can support dogs that weigh up to 30 pounds.
Made from a durable 600 denier polyester fabric, this affordable yet high-quality car seat for dogs is a perfect match for petite pooches that love riding shotgun. HDP Deluxe Lookout Dog Booster Seat can also be used as a regular height car seat in the rear of the car. The adjustable straps go both around the headrest and the seat itself, so your small dog will be able to look out of the window and still be comfy and safe. Available in 4 different colors, this booster car seat will hold most dogs that weigh up to 20 pounds.
With adjustable height, this car booster seat will be a good choice for tall and short pooches both. If your pet can’t see through the window without a boost, prop up the collapsible flaps that are located under the plush cushion seat to add a few inches to the seat’s height. Suitable for both the front and the back seat of the car, Good2Go Auto Booster Seat is secured with the seat belt. It also boasts a convenient front pocket with a zipper that will hold your pet’s leash, toys, or other accessories for the road.
To make sure that the height of your pet’s car seat is just right, this booster seat uses adjustable headrest straps that can allow you to fasten it at any height you want. So, instead of adding inches on the base of the seat, the Tagalong simply elevates your pet to give him a perfect view. The Tagalong booster seat is ideal for toy breeds, puppies, and small pooches, as it is suitable for dogs that weigh up to 10 pounds.
Made out of sturdy foam with soft microsuede cover and removable plush pillow, this booster car seat will give your pooch superior comfort while you’re busy driving- they’ll probably take a nap once they are through with watching out the window, ‘cause this seat is soooo comfy! The seat belt fastening makes sure that this booster seat fits perfectly both on the back seat and the front, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility.
If money is no object when it comes to your pampered pet, why not splurge on a luxurious car seat? Covered with soft and plush micro suede with an extra pillow for comfort, this booster seat is as comfy as it is beautiful. The elevated seat is great both for preventing motion sickness and to give your petite pooch a peek through the window. And since Snoozer Luxury Lookout I Dog Car Seat attaches both at the front and the back seat with the same ease (just loop the seatbelt in the back), the same is through whether your pet is riding shotgun or chilling in the back seat.
If you want your dogs to be like peas in the pod while you’re going on a vacation or driving to the vet, this bucket seat will have them snug as bugs. Designed to fit two small dogs or one medium breed dog, Pet Gear Bucket Seat Pet Booster can be attached both to the back and the front seat as it utilizes your car’s seat belt to stay firmly in place. Lined with an interior plush cover, this car seat for dogs is both convenient and cozy!
Made to support dogs that weigh 35 pounds or less, this jumbo booster seat for dogs is 9 inches high- there’s no doubt your pet will enjoy his new view during the drive. The booster seat connects to your car’s seat belt for stability, so it can be used both in the front and the back seat of the car. And to make sure your pooch is enjoying his ride in style, this seat has quilted faux suede shell with a quilted plaid liner–coziness and luxurious looks both.
What is a dog booster seat and do you need one for your pet?
The fact that the car seat for dogs is often called a booster seat can be a bit confusing to some pet pawrents, but it’s essentially the same thing. The only difference is that a car seat for dogs doesn’t have t necessarily add any height to your pet and instead just keeps them safe and comfy during the ride, whereas booster seats do offer that additional perk, as well.
Dog booster seats are designed to fit the needs of small dogs, and their role is twofold. First, booster seats ensure that your pet is safe during the drive. You wouldn’t drive without a seat belt on, so why should your pet be without one? There are plenty of reasons why driving with an untethered dog is a bad idea. Your dog could jump in your lap or bother you in some way while you drive, endangering your and other people’s safety on the road. And in the case that you get in an accident, the risk is far greater for your pet if they aren’t tethered. So, it goes without saying that your pet has to be restrained during the ride- but small dogs are not always suitable candidates for a harness and seat belt combo, and often need a more convenient solution such as a booster seat.
The second function of dog car seats and booster seats is to give your pet a better view of his surroundings and make the trip more enjoyable. Unlike big dogs, that can stick out their heads out and enjoy the breeze, petite pooches can often barely see through the car window, A booster seat gives them a taller spot for the lookout. It’s also great if your dog is anxious when in the car, as being able to look around will help ease them and engage them enough to let the worries go.
How to choose the right car seat for your pet
There are plenty of different styles and designs out there, and not all of them will suit your dog’s needs and match your budget at the same time. To make sure you get the best value for money, check out what features you need to look for before purchase:
Making sure you get the right size of your pet’s car seat will be extremely important, both in terms of comfort and security precautions. There are a lot of varieties, and what works for a Yorkie won’t necessarily be a good match for a Frenchie- you have to take your pet’s body measurements into the account. The perfect match should allow your dog to comfortably sit down and lie down while being tethered to the seat. If you opt for a seat that’s too small or too big, your pet will be both uncomfortable and unsafe.
Not all car seats for dogs are booster seats (although the majority of them are). So you’ll have to double-check if the height of the pet seat fits your needs. Depending on the size of your pet, you might have to go for those styles that give them a boost bigger than a couple of inches to allow them to get a peek through the window. In case your dog is petite but tall enough to see through the window without a bit of help, you can go for the regular car seat for dogs that sits flat on the seat of your car.
- Seat compatibility
Is your pooch going to be riding shotgun or are they lounging in the back while you’re road tripping? Before settling on a design, make sure that the dog car seat you chose actually fits your car. Most are pretty much universal and can be easily attached to the car’s seat belt or the seat itself, but there are plenty of types that have uncommon dimensions or attachment style that could render it useless for your needs.
Keeping your dog safe while you drive: alternatives to dog car seats and booster seats
While dog car seats and booster seats have plenty of upsides and benefits, not all dogs can use them. For starters, a large breed dog is certainly not going to fit in a booster seat- he’s probably having trouble comfortably fitting inside as it is! Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no other options for keeping dogs safe during a car drive besides dog car seats and booster seats.
- Dog seat belt harness
Dog harnesses that attach to seat belts are the most common option, as they come in all sizes and are easy to use. The harness goes on your pet and attaches to the seat belt itself, keeping them tethered and secure even when the road is bumpy. Of course, it’s best if you combine a seat belt harness with a car seat cover–just to make sure that the loose hair, dirt, and claw marks don’t ruin your car’s interior.
- Zipline harness
A zipline harness attaches to the rear seat’s passenger seat belt to keep your pet tethered, but it doesn’t restrain their movement like a regular harness does. Instead, they are free to roam around the back seat as they please, which can be a downside or an upside- it all depends on the dog. Naturally, this type of driving protection is meant only for well-behaved and trained dogs that won’t use the opportunity to make a ruckus on the back seat.
- Carriers and crates
Crates and travel carriers are also a common choice, especially for longer travel destinations. If you have to drive for hours and want your pooch to have a safe, comfy spot to nap while you’re at the wheel, a crate or a carrier could be just what you need. Depending on your dog’s preferences and the size of the car, a crate could be placed in the back seat or in the boot of the car.
- Back seat hammock
A back seat hammock will keep your pet comfy in the back seat, while at the same time restricting them access to the front of the car. It’s not ideal in terms of long rides as it doesn’t tether your pet to the back seat, but it’s great for shorter distances.
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