Our Top 3 Picks
We’re going to bring up the same argument again by saying our dogs are members of the family and many of us pet owners equate them to our children. If you have a child that needs a car seat, there’s a good chance your pup does too. Dogs should also be properly restrained during the car ride because they are at risk of the same injuries and dangers we are. At any size, an unsecured dog could be a danger to themselves, and to you.
There are several types of dog seats on the market for different-sized dogs and for different weights. Introducing your dog to any sort of device, clothing, or safety equipment of some sort is best done at a young age.
A car seat is very necessary for their safety, but another reason for a car seat is to protect the interior of your car. Whether you drive an expensive Beamer or just a humble but very functional car, scratched-up leather is not a good look.
Let’s take a look at our top 10 picks for best dog car seats in 2022.
- Certified content. This article has been fact checked and verified by our veterinary advisor.
Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM
Notes from our DVM, Sara Ochoa: “Dog car seats are great for traveling with dogs. All dogs should be securely fastened in the car. If you ever get into an accident this should help keep them safer.”
View The Best Dog Car Seats Below
1. Devoted Doggy Deluxe Dog Booster Car Seat
- Brand: Devoted Doggy
- Color: Black/Grey
- Breed Size: Small Breed, Toy Breed
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 15 pounds
- Features: Adjustable Straps, Metal Frame, Collapsible Canvas
The Devoted Doggy Deluxe Booster Car Seat is made for safety and comfort. It has a plush fleece interior lining to keep stray hairs from turning your leather interiors into the carpet. To lock it in place, there is 1 adjustable strap that fits around the back of the front seat. Another adjustable strap fits around the headrest to keep your dog securely anchored.
Also, it comes with an adjustable leash where you can attach your dog’s harness or collar for added security. The removable plush liner is easily cleaned by hand or machine. Enjoy the waterproof feature of the exterior, along with extra-soft padding to keep your dog warm and comfy during car travels.
+ Plush and soft fleece liner
+ Waterproof Oxford fabric exterior
+ With 2 adjustable straps
+ Built with high-quality collapsible metal frame
+ High-quality metal buckle
+ Easy to install and store
– Some dog owners say it doesn’t fit in the passenger seat of their car
– Too small for some dogs
– Interior padding can be improved
Why We Like It – We love that this dog car booster seat is easy to install and easy to remove and store. If you need to remove the dog booster seat for another human family member, the collapsible metal frame makes it convenient to store. If by any chance your dog does not fit, Devoted Doggy will refund your purchase with no questions asked.
2. Snoozer Pet Products Lookout II Dog & Cat Car Seat
- Brand: Snoozer Pet Products
- Breed Size: Small Breeds, Medium Breeds
- Material: Polyester
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 25 pounds
- Features: Removable Pad, Interior Tether, Seat Belt Loop
Snoozer Pet Products Lookout II Dog & Cat Car Seat will make even you jealous as you look over your dog, and they’re sitting snuggly in this dog car seat. The comfortable foam form is one of this car seat’s most appealing characteristics. If your dog has travel anxiety, you can keep your dog comfortable and warm in this faux lamb wool interior.
A connection strap is included for the seat belt to latch onto your dog’s harness, so the seat is secured in place. For sudden breaks or stops, the seat belt tether will keep the car seat to a stop as well once you hit the brakes. A great addition to this car seat is the built-in storage tray where you can conveniently store treats, toys, and other pet accessories.
+ Features comfort, safety, and style
+ Comfortable foam form and soft faux wool lining
+ With a connection strap to attach the seat belt to the pet harness
+ Suitable for small to medium dogs weighing 18 to 25 pounds
+ Built-in storage tray for holding treats, toys, and other accessories
– Strap that connects the seat belt to the harness is badly designed
Why We Like It – Feel as calm and comfortable as ever in knowing your dog is safe and all snuggled up beside you in this car seat because they will feel exactly the same riding in it! This dog car seat will provide a cozy and safe space away from home.
3. K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat
- Brand: K&H Pet Products
- Color: Gray, Realtree Edge, Tan
- Material: Fleece
- Breed Size: Extra Small & Toy Breeds, Small Breeds
- Features: Interior Tether, Removable, Washable, Plush quilted fleece cover
The K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat comes in two sizes to give you more options for those with bigger dogs. The seat of the car seat is higher and elevates your pup so they won’t strain their necks trying to look out the window or yap at the dog in the car next to you. This is considered a safety feature, as it will distract your pet from obstructing your view or bother you while you’re driving.
This seat fits in the front or back seat depending on your pup’s preference, and with two adjustable security leashes, this booster pet seat will stay in place. The cover is also removable and washable, so don’t worry if your pup gets a bit car sick.
+ 2 adjustable security tethers
+ Easy to install and uninstall
+ Removable and washable plush quilted fleece cover
+ Designed to fit the front or back seat of any car
+ With firm foam bolster to keep pets in place
– Seat belt is flimsy
– Still too tight-spaced for some small dogs
Why We Like It – With this pet booster seat, you get a one-year limited warranty. The contoured back of this seat fits the seat of your car flawlessly. The soft three-inch cushion foam will give your pet the feeling of home.
4. AmazonBasics Pet Bucket Booster Seat
- Brand: Amazon Basics
- Breed Size: Extra-Small and Toy Breeds, Small Breeds
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 25 pounds
- Features: Bucket-style booster seat, Elevated design, Quilted flannel plush top, Machine washable
AmazonBasics Pet Bucket Booster Seat has a concave design that will keep your pet in place. The quilted flannel plush lining will give your pup the snuggly comfort it craves, and the durable fabric along the sides and bottom will keep it from ripping.
The two adjustable security leashes on the inside are similar to those used for children and will keep your pet safe. The cover and removable cushion are machine washable and easy to clean. This car seat will make car rides more fun and comfortable for your dog and less worrisome for you!
+ Bucket seats to keep your dog in place
+ Cozy and comfortable with quilted flannel plush top
+ Elevated seat for a better window view
+ With adjustable security leash to clip on a harness
+ Mat cover is easy to clean using a washing machine
– Not that secure when you come to a sudden stop
– Not recommended for light-colored car seats as it leaves a blue or purple stain
Why We Liked It – This seat fits into the front or back of a vehicle. The installation is easy with the security straps hooking right into your seat belt. The seat also has a security leash to latch to your dog’s harness for added security.
5. Pet Gear Lookout Booster Car Seat
- Brand: Pet Gear
- Color: Black, Charcoal, Slate, Tan
- Features: Sturdy Foam, Tether, Machine washable
Pet Gear Lookout Booster Car Seat looks comfy and sturdy at the same time. The seat pillow is removable for slightly larger dogs but doesn’t fit into the next size up. The soft microsuede cover and removable plush pillow are machine washable and easy to clean, so it’s alright if your pet has accidents in the seat.
The booster seat is large enough to accommodate two small pets. It has a safety tether that easily hooks onto your pet’s harness. No assembly is required as this is a ready-made mini chair that fits right into your car and attaches easily to the car seat.
+ Soft microsuede cover
+ Removable and washable plush pillow
+ With safety tether to attach to a harness
+ Easily attached to the car seat
+ No assembly required
+ Holds up to 2 small pets
– The straps and clips are small and thin
– Not recommended for compact cars
Why We Like It – If you have two smaller pups, you really get a bang for your buck with this car seat. Fit both your pooches easily into this large booster seat so they can have company while enjoying the ride.
6. PetSafe Happy Ride Car Cuddler Dog Bed Seat Cover
- Brand: PetSafe
- Color: Grey, Tan
- Material: Synthetic Sheepskin, Polyester, Microsuede, Fabric
- Features: Soft, microsuede liner covers, Machine washable
This 2-in-1 PetSafe Happy Ride Car Cuddler Dog Bed Seat Cover solves many problems. Keep your pet close to you and comfortable on long road trips. Another microsuede design with faux sheepskin and oversized polyester gives your dog something similar to a doggy bed. The materials used keep your pet’s loose fur from flying about and save you the hassle of cleanup.
An adjustable strap fits over the headrest and a device that fits between the seat back and seat bottom to keep this cuddler in place. Also easy to clean, make sure you remove the bolster filling inside before using cold water with mild detergent.
+ Combines a pet bed and seat cover
+ Keeps pet hair and other messes away from your seats
+ Soft microsuede liner perfect for snuggling into
+ Compatible with the PetSafe Happy Ride Seat Belt tether
+ Adjustable headrest strap to use on front or back seat
+ Bolster cushion and seat pillow are machine-washable
– PetSafe Happy Ride Seat Belt tether is sold separately
– The bottom part of the dog bed seat cover is nylon and can easily slide on leather seats.
Why We Like It – This dog bed/car seat fits pets up to 30lbs. This is a good option for dog owners with pooches that like to lay flat and be comfortable during car rides. They have enough freedom to stretch their legs but still be safe with the safety harness.
7. PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Booster Seat for Dogs
- Brand: PetSafe
- Material: Polyester
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 25 pounds
- Features: Quick Setup, Easy to Clean
PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Booster Seat for Dogs gives your dog a wonderful window view because of this elevated design without sacrificing pet safety. It can fit 1 to 2 small dogs weighing a total of 25 pounds. This is for pet owners who have a nervous dog during travel rides. The safety tether included can be attached to the seat belt keeping your pooch safe and secured in place.
The exterior is made out of polyester oxford shell, and the interior is made out of soft fleece liner where your doggo can comfortably sit and enjoy the ride with you. Car sickness can be a problem, especially on long rides. The three attachment points with adjustable straps will stabilize the booster seat, keeping your dog safe and car sick-free.
+ Polyester oxford shell and soft fleece liner for comfort
+ Interior liner is machine-washable
+ Folds flat for easy storage
+ Safety tether to attach to the car’s seatbelt
+ With a maximum weight capacity of up to 25 pounds
– Inside padding can be improved
– Not for overactive dogs as it can tip over when you move around too much
Why We Like It – This PetSafe doggie booster seat is a good dog car seat for first-timers. If you’re looking for the right product for your dog’s first dog car seat, this is the one to look for. It’s also incredibly convenient when cleaning and storing because the liner can be machine-washed. While the pet booster seat itself is foldable to make it easy to store and carry around anywhere.
8. Cozy Boost Dog Booster Seat with Clip-On Leash
- Brand: Stella and Bear
- Color: White, Pink, Blue, Modern Grey
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 20 pounds
- Features: Plush Thick Padding, Adjustable Safety Leash, Quick and easy setup, Machine washable removable liner
You’ll love the Cozy Boost Dog Booster Seat that comes with free gifts! This cozy-looking dog car booster seat comes with a collapsible silicone dish for eating on the road, a clip-on leash for added safety, and a custom-fit plush blanket just for your fur baby! It looks super fuzzy and comfortable, but it is also water-resistant.
If a spill happens, simply remove the lining and throw it in the wash. Just set it up once, and you can easily slip it on and off your car seat with ease. If you decide to take a trip without your pup, simply collapse the car seat and throw it in your trunk, and you’re good to go. This dog car booster seat can hold up to 20 pounds, and they also have the Large Cozy Boost Booster Seat for small to medium dogs weighing up to 30 pounds.
+ With free collapsible silicone dish and safety harness clip-on leash
+ Water-resistant bottom exterior
+ High-quality collapsible metal frame
+ Easy to install and no assembly needed
+ Collapsible design to easily store it
+ Donates some of the proceeds to animal rescues and no-kill animal shelters
– Bottom padding is not enough for comfort
– According to some fur parents it can only be used in the front passenger seat
Why We Like It – When a product comes with a lifetime warranty, you know you’re getting a premium quality product. If your pup isn’t 100% satisfied, you get your money back!
9. URPOWER Waterproof Pet Seat Cover Hammock
- Brand: URPOWER
- Color: A-Black, Black-Orange, Grey, Khaki, Light Brown
- Material: Oxford fabric
- Features: Waterproof, Wearproof, 4-Level Protection
URPOWER Waterproof Pet Seat Cover Hammock takes the traditional hammock and upgrades the design by adding two flaps on the side to keep your pup from falling out the side. The side flaps also protect your car door from scratches. This is a large option that can take up your entire backseat. For those of you with kids, the versatile split zipper allows pets and kids to share the same space.
The waterproof and wear-resistant Oxford fabric makes this a heavy-duty but comfortable addition to your car. This dog hammock is easy to install with quick-release clips. Keep the inside of your car and this hammock clean with a damp cloth, or a cordless vacuum for dog hair. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, simply throw it in the washing machine.
+ Protects back seat and car doors from scratches
+ 100% waterproof and wear-proof
+ Non-slip backing
+ With 4 levels of protection for maximum safety
+ Easy to clean with damp cloth or vacuum
– Not recommended for large or heavy dogs
– Pocket and zipper are flimsy and not durable
Why We Like It – We absolutely love the 4-level of protection that this dog car seat offers. It has a non-slip backing to prevent the cover from slipping on the back seat, adjustable headrest anchors, seat anchors, and 2 seat belts to keep your dog neatly secured in place. It’s the best dog car seat you can find that protects your back seat as well as the doors.
10. SWIHELP Pet Car Booster Seat Travel Carrier Cage
- Brand: SWIHELP
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 13 pounds
- Features: Durable waterproof dog car seat, sturdy support and falling prevention, detachable board that makes cleaning more easy
If you love going on road trips with your small fur baby the SWIHELP Pet Car Booster Seat Travel Carrier Cage is the perfect pet booster seat for you. It can hold puppies or small dogs that weigh less than 13.2 pounds so it’s the perfect fit for toy and small breeds. The material is made out of high-quality waterproof 600D oxford fabric, great for avoiding accidental leaks or spills.
It has 2 nylon belts to attach to your car’s headrest and an antirust D-ring to attach your dog’s leash and keep them from jumping out. You won’t have to deal with distracted driving with this pet booster seat. There’s also the breathable mesh design and the PVC frame bars so the booster car seat is in shape all the time and doesn’t collapse on your dog.
+ Sturdy PVC frame bars
+ Thick breathable mesh pocket
+ Made of high-quality waterproof 600D oxford fabric
+ With 2 safety belts
+ Easy to assemble and foldable for easy storage
– Only suitable for toy breeds or extra small dogs
– Flimsy and not very sturdy
Why We Like It – Fur parents love how lightweight and easy it is to install this pet booster seat. Additionally, it has the front pocket to keep the dog harnesses or toys or treats, whichever you’d like to keep your dog from getting bored.
A Buyer’s Guide On The Best Dog Car Seat
Traveling with our fur babies can be such a hassle. We have to make sure they are securely strapped in, won’t make a mess, and are comfortable. A dog car seat of any sort of design is the answer to your problems. Keep you and your pet safe by giving them the cozy space they need to relax but also enjoy the view, while you can give your full attention to what’s happening on the road.
But again, even with our narrowed-down list of 10 options, you might still find it tough to make the right decision. To further help you, we’ll break down the key things to look for when buying a doggy car seat.
What to Look for When Buying a Dog Car Seat?
Ease of Use and Convenience
Before safety is even in the equation, you have to make sure the seat you buy is even usable. To do this, the car seat should be easy to set up. Most dog seats and most of the options above are easy to store. The collapsible options are great to just slide into your trunk. For those of us without the need for all 5 or 7 or 2 seats in the car (depending on the model of your car), and would prefer to have a permanent seat for your dog, the dog seats that don’t fold could be a better option.
For safety, you must look at 2 distinct factors. One is how the seat is secured in place in the car, and the other is how your dog is secured into the dog seat. The dog car seat you purchase must have strong buckles that are heavy-duty. Do not purchase one with flimsy material. The best kind of dog car seat will fit with any seat, both the front and the back. An easy thing to remember is, the more adjustable belts it has to fasten the seat in place, the safer it is.
For the dog car seat to come with a safety leash or harness is another added feature that you should look for. Either that or straps to strap the dog in a place that latch onto the harness is another good option. Also, the best car seats for dogs are crash-tested, so if you happen to see one with the logo of Center for Pet Safety Certified, that’s the best option for maximum safety.
Of course, soft material and extra padding make a car seat comfortable for your pet. But other than that, the seat needs to be spacious enough to give your dog sufficient room to relax. Whether your pooch feels like laying down, curling up, or sitting up straight, it should be able to do that with ease. If your dog isn’t granted these basic comforts, it will get fidgety and agitated, and therefore affecting you and your trip.
The material used in making the dog car seat will determine its quality and durability. Not only that, just for convenience purposes, waterproof and wear-resistant material is also preferred. Traveling with a pet can be a hassle and messes happen. Waterproof material can keep the rest of your car clean, and be easily machine washed.
Different Types of Dog Car Seats
Before looking for the best dog car seat, you’ll need to identify what type of dog car seat you need. Your choice will depend on your dog’s size and your purpose. So first, take a look at the 3 different types of dog car seats and see which one suits your dog more.
Bucket Car Seats – These are for slightly heavier and larger puppies, as the design has a removable seat cushion that gives taller pups more space. Bucket Car Seats usually have more cushion and padding that makes them a comfortable option for dogs. If your dog loves a soft and comfortable dog car seat that also resembles a dog bed, a bucket dog car seat is the one for them.
Booster Pet Seats – Dog booster seats are great for the smaller pet, they are elevated options to give your pet the chance to look out the car window. Although, with a great view comes great consequences as dog booster seats have less padding on the bottom, which may provide less comfort compared to bucket car seats.
Car Hammock – For any sized dog, but preferably larger, the hammock gives your pet all the space it needs to feel at ease. Car hammocks are designed to occupy a much bigger space in your car, specifically the whole backseat. They’re a great option for large dogs. Plus, they’re also used for protecting your car seats from scratches, pet hair, dirt, mud, or any liquid that can spill.
For large dogs, instead of car seats, look into car seat belts to strap them into place without the extra little seat, just as you would a child.
Does My Dog Need a Car Seat?
Although all dogs or any living being for that matter should be safe in a moving vehicle, dog car seats benefit smaller dogs more. If you have a small to medium-sized dog, a dog car seat is a necessity. They provide security, so if a car accident was to happen, your dog would be safely held in place.
Aside from the pet safety aspect of things, such dog car seats are also there for soothing and emotional purposes. A dog car seat will give your dog the comfort it would have at home in its own bed. A huge plus to dog car seats is it helps combat motion sickness.
Some dogs may spend the whole trip running rampant throughout the whole car, interfering with your driving and the ride just to see out the window. Elevated booster seats can keep them occupied. If your dog has any of these tendencies or you just want him/her to be safe, save yourself from worry and stress and purchase a dog car seat today.
Are Dog Car Seats Safe?
We’re going to be completely honest with you and layout the truth. Nothing is safe 100% of the time. Dog car seats are the best things on the market right now for small-medium dogs that ensure their safety during transport. They are commonly designed to resemble a dog bed that we can securely buckle in place and come with a pet safety leash or harness feature. As we said above, make sure the dog seat securely fastens to the seat of the car, and the leash or harness keeps your dog securely in place without hindering its mobility.
Dog seats can provide stability and therefore decrease the chances of motion sickness for your dog. If they are distracted or bored, they can interfere with your driving, or start crying for attention. Giving them the option to look outside can save a lot of headaches.
What’s The Best Dog Car Seat For Small Dogs?
For our little furry friends, we highly recommend the K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat. Overall we think it’s a top-quality dog car seat with an elevated design, so you can easily monitor your beloved dogs through your rearview mirror. That way, you don’t have to constantly look at the back to ensure your dog is safe, also preventing an unwanted car accident. It’s easy to install and uninstall, and the cover is removable and washable, making it easy to maintain.
A dog’s happiness and safety are our responsibility as pet parents. We always want them to feel comfortable on the trip, and it eases our minds to know they are safe. Just like a child, we must consider all the “what if’s” when we have a fur baby.
It’s better to set up a booster seat in the back seat of a car because the force of the exploding airbag could do more harm to your tiny pup than the accident might. Give your dog the safest and most comfortable option with a new car seat today! Make your next road trip a quiet and enjoyable one.
Did You Know?
This bucket or booster car seats are great for not only dogs, but they can be for any sort of pet that can fit and have a collar, like a cat, ferret, or bunny rabbit!
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