LAST UPDATED: September 19, 2018

The Best Dog Car Seats (Review) in 2020

Best Choice K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat
Premium Pick Petsfit Lookout Car Seat Petsfit Booster Lookout Dog Car Seat
Best Value WOpet Deluxe Portable Pet Dog Booster Car Seat WOpet Deluxe Portable Pet Dog Booster Car Seat

For dog lovers, our pooches are members of the family, and we love to take them everywhere with us. However, when traveling on long car trips, it’s important to make sure our pups are as safe and as comfortable as possible. Not only do the laws in some states require that all dogs be restrained in the vehicle for the safety of the driver, passengers and dog, keeping a dog in a comfy confined space prevents him or her from becoming overstimulated while traveling. This will also keep the pup from getting travel sick or overly nervous.

The best way to keep your dog safe in the car is through the use of a well designed, high-quality booster seat.

The Best Dog Car Seat

This bucket-style booster pet seat allows your dog to have an elevated view so he can see the outside world pass him by during the journey. It fits easily on both the front and back seats, and you can place your pup wherever you’d like. Designed to look like a stylish armchair, your dog will feel right at home in its brand new booster seat! Available in two sizes, the small is designed for small dogs and the large can accommodate two small pets or one medium-sized breed dog.

Key Features
  • Machinable washable cover
  • Clasp attaches to pet's harness
  • Thick, foam cover
  • Available in two sizes
Specification
  • Brand K&H Pet Products
  • Model 551039
  • Weight 3.6 lbs

The Devoted Doggy Deluxe Dog Booster seat is simple to install and comes with fully adjustable straps that fit any seat in the car, so you can have your pooch riding shotgun or in the back, the choice is yours! A cosy, super soft and fully lined seat with cottony padding that your pet will adore, it’s designed for small to medium-sized dogs and offers them plenty of room to lie down, stand and settle in as they please due to its large dimensions. 

Guaranteed to keep your pooch safe and happy throughout any car ride, whether short or long, she will also be offered an unobstructed view of the window. Due to the elevated nature of the Deluxe Dog Booster’s innovative design, your pet can comfortably view you and the world outside the window,  helping to ease her nerves.

Key Features
  • Open-air design provides plenty of space
  • Adjustable clip-on safety leash for a comfortable customisable fit. 
  • Elevated design so your dog can see through the window
  • Designed for small to medium dog breeds
Specification
  • Brand Devoted Doggy
  • Weight 3 lbs

This cosy car seat looks more like a bed than a booster seat, so will put your pooch at ease instantly, particularly if you are taking them on a trip to the vet! The good people at Snoozer say that “there’s not a single difference between a Snoozer and a dog bed off the shelf: there are several” – and they are not kidding! Each snugly booster seat is crafted using made to order fabrics, including a shearling style lamb’s wool alternate that’s just as soft as the real thing to cedar shavings and polyfill. 

 Just like It says in the name, your pup will happily snooze in peace cuddled up in this car seat, even on this longest of trips. Concealed zipped means that your pup can stay utterly comfortable without getting poked! With completely machine washable friendly liners and covers, you can use them again and again. When the filling is done for, you can simply replace it with no trouble.

Key Features
  • Highest quality materials
  • Overlocked hems and concealed zippers
  • Bed style design for ultimate comfort
Specification
  • Brand Snoozer
  • Model 80001
  • Weight 4.2 lbs

This uber safe booster seat keeps your pup comfortable and provides them with security as they get ready to hit the road with you. With an unparalleled elevated designed, your pooch can enjoy a safe ride with a view of the road. Making use of a unique Safe-T-Core technology, consisting of a stiff, internal construction that attaches to the seat belt to provide extra safety for your dog. Installation is simple and can be connected securely to either the front or back seat and it does not require headrests. It lifts your pet up by 9 inches to give them a clearer view of you or the outside world.

Your pampered pooch can recline in pure luxury on a quilted plaid liner within a deluxe quilted faux suede shell. There is no need to worry about doggy smells, a fully removable and machinable washable liner means that you can keep the seat clean and fresh. Designed for small to medium sized doggies, the Solvit Jumbo Deluxe Pet Safety Seat includes a safety tether for maximum security and peace of mind. 

Key Features
  • Designed for dogs up to 30 lb.
  • With innovative safe-t-core technology
  • Elevates your pooch by 9 inches
  • Safety tether included
Specification
  • Brand Solvit
  • Model 62350
  • Weight 7 lbs

We’ve all been there – you’re trying to drive, yet your dog is pining to get onto your lap, distracting you whilst you are trying to concentrate on the road. It’s a dangerous situation for everyone and an interfering dog could result in an accident. Leaving your pooch loose in the car is not only unsafe for them, but it’s also potentially deadly for you, your passengers and other road users and pedestrians. 

The Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat attaches to either the front of the back your car seat and secures your dogs firmly into place comfortably using a special dog car seat belt tether which fastens to any dog harness. This dog seat will hold a dog of up to 30 pounds, but it best for pooches of up to 20 pounds, since once of 30 pounds tend to have larger body masses.

Key Features
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Recommended for dogs of up to 20 pounds
  • Waterproof exterior
  • Machine washable liner and reversible pad
Specification
  • Brand Kurgo
  • Model 01144
  • Weight 3.9 lbs

We all want our pets to be riding along with us in luxury, and with this gorgeous Pet Gear Lookout Booster Car Seat, they will have no cause for complaints! Rendered in the softest yet sturdy foam, your beloved dog will be able to relax on a long car trip, as if they were cosiest up on their own bed at home.

It boasts an indulgent and sumptuous micro-suede cover, complete with removable plush pillow, perfect for longer rides. Better yet, these are machine washable so can be freshened up as needed.  To make securing your pet an easier process, the booster seat includes a tether which can be attached to their harness. The Pet Gear Lookout seat is large enough to fit two small dogs and is easily installed to any car seat.

Key Features
  • Removable micro-suede cover and pillow for easy machine washing
  • Includes a tether which attaches to your pet's harness to secure them safely and easily
  • Accommodates two small pets or one medium-sized pet
Specification
  • Brand Pet Gear
  • Model PG1122CH
  • Weight 4.5 lbs

The next on the list, we’re taking it back to basics with this simple but brilliant offering from the AmazonBasics range. This bucket style booster seat is ideal for keeping your pooch safe in the car and fits on either the front or the back seats, the choice is yours. Offering your dog a more entertaining ride by giving them an raised view out of the window, this booster seat makes use of your car’s existing seatbelts for instant installation.

Whether you’re on a week-long road trip or a simple drive to the dog park, your pup will stay stylish and comfortable in this quilted flannel seat complete with hard wearing Oxford fabric detailing on the sides and bottom. Machinable washable and oh-so cosy, your pet will adore it! For added security and peace of mind, the seat includes an adjustable leash, designed to be clipped on to your dog’s harness. 

Key Features
  • Bucket style design fits on to the car seat
  • Machinable washable quilted plush flannel
  • Adjustable security dog leash
Specification
  • Brand AmazonBasics
  • Model AMZBS-001
  • Weight 2.57 lbs

If you have a nervous dog who isn’t so keen on going in the car, this is the perfect car seat. Designed to look just as cosy and comforting as her own bed, she will feel right a home in the plush Petsfit Booster Seat. With it’s lush, super soft lining, she’ll never want to get out! What’s more, the lining is machine washable and has two sides: a warming, fluffy one for colder months and a smooth, light-colored side for hotter weather. One of the larger seats on the list, it can accommodate medium-sized doggies of up to 45 pounds. 

What’s great about this option is that it comes equipped with handy side pockets, so you can store your doggy poop bags or treats for safe keeping. It doubles as a carry case for smaller pooches.

Key Features
  • Machine washable
  • Soft and comfortable cat seat/bed
  • Plush liner is removable
Specification
  • Brand Petsfit
  • Model ZFC1106L
  • Weight 9.5 lbs

The adjustable straps mean that the WOpet Deluxe Booster Seat can fit in almost any car. With a special ring that attaches to your dog’s harness, you can be sure he will be kept safe and secure. It includes a zippered front compartment where you can store your fur baby’s toys and treats in a convenient and accessible space that they will not be able to access without your permission, so no sneaky road trip gravy bones for Rover!

When you need the extra space, the WOPet Deluxe seat is easily collapsed and stored away.

Key Features
  • Dimensions:  16"L x 12.6"W x 9.5"H: perfect for pets up to 30 lbs.
  • Dissembles for easy storage
  • Durable Oxford cloth for comfort and long-lasting wear
  • Easy installation into any vehicle
Specification
  • Brand WOpet
  • Weight 1.5 lbs

This cosy bed like car seat is large enough to house a whole litter of puppies – although we certainly wouldn’t advise it! It’s much better suited for your trusty best fur buddy, who will simply adore the fact it will lift them up to six and a half inches higher to get a better view out of the car window. Whether you’re travelling in the dead of Winter or taking a trip in the

Summertime, you can adjust the temperature as needed. With an innovative two-faced design, the A4Pet Lookout Booster Seat has two sides, a warm fleecy and a cooling Oxford fabric, so your beloved pooch will never get too warm or too cold.
The A4Pet Booster seat doubles up as a great dog bed for your pet at home, so there’s so scary disconnect between the house and the car for nervous travellers. Tested with a maximum weight of 300 pounds, you can fit even the chunkiest of pups in this bad boy!

Key Features
  • Easy fold-down storage and simple installation in literally any car
  • Includes a security leash and two seat belt loops to restrain your dog safely
Specification
  • Brand A4Pet
  • Model ZFC1106CYB2101L
  • Weight 9.59 lbs

This deluxe option has everything you could ever want from a booster seat and more! The Cozy Boost offers your pup of up to 20 pounds a comfortable place to be kept safe and sound whilst you keep your mind and eyes on the road ahead. With the addition of a collapsible silicone dish and a lavishly soft and snugly blanket, you won’t need to worry about packing anything for your pooch, this seat has it all!

It may be soft but it’s mighty tough – a robust metal frame encased in thick fleece makes sure that that the Cozy Boost will last for years to come. Perfect for use on either the front or back seats of the car, it’s able to be used with 60/40 rear split fold-down back seats with ease. It’s extra large size gives you the space to load it up with blankets and cushion for an even cosier drive for longer trips and unique high-quality materials adjust to the temperature to keep your best friend snuggled up in cool weather and chilled out in the heat.

Key Features
  • Includes a silicone collapsible bowl and blanket
  • Durable metal frame design
  • Safety seat belt that attaches to your dog's harness
  • Materials adjust to temperatures to keeps dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Specification
  • Brand Stella and Bear
  • Weight 4.19 lbs

The PetSafe Solvit Tagalong Booster Seat does exactly what it says on the tin, keeps your furry companion safe in the car. Installation is quick and simple – it attaches to the headrest using two adjustable straps and an internal frame supports your pooch, allowing them to hang comfortably in their seat, watching the world go by. Designed for pups up to 25 pounds, you can adjust the straps to make the chair sit as high or as low as you’d like. 

The seat includes a fully removable internal Oxford material and fleece liner so you can keep it as fresh and clean as the day you brought it home.

A  leading manufacturer of animal behavioural products and reputable brand that has provided many pets and pet owners with handy and fun merchandise the world over since 1991, you can be sure PetSafe goods are of great quality and that your pooch will love their booster seat.

Key Features
  • Dimensions:  20 inches x 15 inches x 10 inches. Recommended for dogs up to 25 pounds.
  • Headrest required
  • A strong, internal frame to support your dog
  • Removable, machine washable fleece and Oxford liner
  • Installation in one minute
Specification
  • Brand Pet Booster Seat
  • Model 62347
  • Weight 4 lbs

This choice is different from the others on the list, as it offers your pup the comfort of sitting right beside you as you drive along, but in the safest way possible. This unique car seat from Snoozer fits right onto your car’s console. The patented design is perfect for anxious dogs who struggle to be away from their owners and will put an end to many a tantrum when it comes to getting your furry friend into the car. 

Thanks to the firm and sturdy foam, the seat is both comfortable and practical and will keep your pup safely in place throughout the whole journey. Safety straps secure your pet into the seat to ensure they won’t be able to disturb you whilst you concentrate on the road. It’s a win-win for everyone! 

Key Features
  • Unique patented design that attaches to your car's console
  • Available in vinyl, quilted and poly cotton fabrics
  • Crafted in sturdy foam for comfortability and structure
  • Removable machine washable and dryable cover
  • Includes straps to attach the seat to console lid securely. 
  • Safety straps to secure your pet into the seat
Specification
  • Brand Snoozer
  • Model 890-SC
  • Weight 1.75 lbs

Have you got a serial biter on your hands? This booster seat is the one for you! Made in durable, high-quality PVC Oxford material, the GENORTH Car Seat is completely waterproof in case of spills or accidents on long trips. The tough fabric is utterly immune to bites and will last for years and years. What’s more, its wipe clean and protects your car from dirt, dander, hair and any other doggy-related mishaps. 

An update on a previous addition, the upgraded safety strap means that your pooch is secured in whilst you drive. It can also be adjusted to an appropriate length of your choosing. Compatible with virtually any car of all sizes, you can simply install the booster seat to the front or back seats using the headrest. When you are done with it, it is easily stored away and folded up for use another day.

But the special features don’t stop there – the GENORTH seat also comes with a cuddly flannel fleece blanket for your best friend to enjoy. Just the thing for wintery nights in the car, your pup will love their brand new fluffy premium blankie. And with the addition of several zippered front pockets, it also doubles up as a nifty storable bag for all your pet essentials.

Key Features
  • Dimensions: 15.7 inches x11.8 inches x 9.8 inches
  • Designed for pets up to 30 pounds
  • Concealed zipped compartments
  • Wipe clean, durable material
Specification
  • Brand GENORTH
  • Weight 2.12 lbs

The Pet Gear Bucket Booster Car Seat comes in a variety of colours and will keep your precious pooch safe and happy during car trips. This specially designed bucket style booster seat can be attached to any car seat using the seat belt. Allowing them to see through the window due to it’s raised design, it includes a tether that fastens to your pet’s harness for easy, no fuss security.

An incredibly soft cushion allows your doggy to recline in style and comfort. Better yet, it’s fully removable so can be washed when needed.  

Key Features
  • Unique design that makes use of seat belt to secure booster seat to the car
  • Safety tether attaches to pet's harness
  • Ultra-soft, fully removable and machine washable pillow. 
Specification
  • Brand Pet Gear
  • Model PG1122CS
  • Weight 4 lbs

Making sure that your four-legged friend is properly protected when you are traveling in the car is one of your most important responsibilities as a pet owner. This one is designed for cats and small dogs of up to 15 pounds. Providing plenty of comfort, your can remove the liner and throw it in the washing machine when it needs a clean. And it also has the convenience of allowing you to bring along toys or treats in the side pockets.

Depending on whether it is summer or winter, you can reverse the lining for increased warmth or comfort. It also has the obvious safety elements of stopping your pet from roaming around in the car and potentially causing a serious distraction. You simply loop the seatbelt though the two rear loops on the back. There is an installation video that shows you in more detail if you are still struggling.

Key Features
  • Solid structure for smaller pets
  • Can be used in the front or the back of the car
  • Adjustable strap fits through headrest
  • Removable and machine washable plush liner
Specification
  • Brand Petsfit
  • Weight 6.8 pounds

Best Dog Car Seat Buying Guide & FAQ

What to Look for When Buying a Dog Car Seat

You might be tempted to select the most stylish booster seat out there that perfectly matches your brand new car, but take caution – your pet’s safety should be the first thing on your mind.

  • Installation

Before purchasing your new pet car seat, you need to make sure it is suitable for use in your car. There are many different kinds of booster seat out there, each with a different method of securing to the car safely. Some will use the car’s seat belt system, some will hang over the headrest and some will even attach to the car’s console. Think about the amount of space, features, and passengers your car has when selecting the right booster seat.

  • Protection

The point of a good puppy car seat is to protect them in the event of a crash, so you need to ensure that whatever booster you select, it has sufficient padding. Most booster seats will use thick foam to provide protection and absorb force from accidents. Opt for a seat that has at least two inches of foam, or some other form of sturdy, firm protective layer. Anything less will not offer your pup enough protection and it’s not worth taking the risk, lest the worse should happen.

  • Size Limitations

Most car seats will state their maximum threshold off weight, so be sure to check this before you order your Labrador one designed for a miniature dachshund. If you are shopping online, a good idea is to filter down the search within your dog’s weight range, so you don’t accidentally get caught out. And if you go looking in store and get confused, ask an assistant for their advice, or bring your pet along. Be mindful that if you have a puppy, they won’t stay puppy sized forever, and you’ll need to purchase a booster seat they can grow into.

  • Keeping it Clean

Anyone who owns dogs knows that they can get pretty mucky when they want to. That’s why it’s best to choose a booster seat that is made from a material that is easily wiped clean and bite-proof. Or better yet, why not opt for a pet seat that has removable components that can be cleaned separately? Most of the options on our list have are machinable washable, but do be sure to double check!

labrador in a dog car seat

Different Types of Dog Car Seats

There are a plethora of different kinds of pet car seats out there, each with their own benefits. Two of the most popular styles that we love are the bucket and bed dog booster seats.

  • Bucket Style Dog Car Seat

Arguably one of the most popular kinds of booster seats for dogs on the market, this kind of car seat is named due to its bucket-like shape. The dog is placed in and strapped using a tether that often clips to their harness. It allows them to sit in an elevated position, giving them the perfect vantage point to look out of the window.

  • Bed Dog Car Seat

This booster seat is best for long journeys, as it allows your pooch to get comfy. With this option, you get two products in one as it can also double up as a bed for the house. Perfect for dogs with a nervous disposition, it won’t create a large disconnect between their familiar home and the car.

Why Use a Dog Car Seat or Dog Booster Seat?

According to AAA, a third of all drivers have admitted that they are distracted by their pets whilst driving. This can lead to serious collisions, and possibly even death. In fact,  Melanie Monteiro, author of The Safe Dog Handbook: A Complete Guide to Protecting to Protecting Your Pooch Indoors & Out and dog safety coach, stated, that, “In the event of a crash at 50 mph, a 10 pound, unrestrained dog generates 500 pounds of projectile force. In a 30 mph crash, an 80-pound dog would become a 2,400-pound flying projectile.” Yikes!

We all love our dogs, but it’s important that the road has our undivided attention when we are in our cars. A dog booster seat keeps not only our beloved dogs safe and sound, but also prevents us from becoming distracted and therefore, significantly reduces the chances of accidents occurring.

How to Correctly Use a Dog Car Booster Seat

The first step to making sure you are using your booster seat correctly is to always select the correct the size for your dog. If you are not sure of your doggy’s size, simply get them on the scales! It’s also crucial to select one that is suitable for your car, take a look at the different options below to see which will work best for you.

dog in a dog car seat

Best Dog Car Seat FAQ:

Q:  What is a dog booster seat?

A:  A dog booster seat is a specially engineered chair designed to keep dogs safe whilst travelling in the car. They will include a seatbelt-like tether to secure them and provides extra padding from the impact in the event of a crash.

Q:  How do dog car seats work?

A:  Just like we humans need to sit in our seats and wear a seatbelt, so must our pets. Dog car seats work very similarly to the way our own ones do – they protect our precious pet’s from serious injury if they worse should happen. Most pet booster seats are similar to buckets or beds and usually have a tether which then attaches to their harness, acting like a seatbelt.

Q:  How safe are dog car seats?

A:  Provided you do your research and install them properly, car seats for your dog are perfectly safe. They are certainly much safer than allowing your pooch to run about the car loose. Dr. Lund, of the ASPCA, states that dog seats are best for small to medium dogs, but if you have a larger pooch, a dog seat belt might be the best option. He said of dog booster seats, “They are often designed as a comfortable dog bed held in place by the vehicle’s seat belt, similar to a car seat for a child,”

Q:  How do I install a dog car seat?

A:  This really depends on the kind of dog car seat you decide upon. Some will use the car’s headrest, whereas some will simply make use of the existing seatbelts. There are even some, like the Snoozer Console Seat shown on our list, which attaches securely to your car’s console.

  • Headrest Booster Seats

These of dog booster seats are incredibly easy to install, they simply wrap around the headrest! They will also include straps that clip around the entire chair for extra security. These are often adjustable, so your pup can be given a good view out of the window.

  • Console Booster Seats

These seats allow your pet to sit up front, upon the console of your car. They are a particularly good option for dogs who feel anxious when their owner is out of sight. These have a strap on the underside that secures to the console and is the safest option if you would like your dog to sit in the front of the car. Always remember, if you cannot disable your side airbags, do not allow your dog to sit in the front passenger seat.

  • Seat Belt Booster Seats

These are considered one of the safest ways of securing your pet into the car by making use of the seat belts. The seat belts simply loop through the seat and through a strap which will then clip to your pet’s harness, ensuring they are safely strapped in!

puppy car seat

Our Top Pick

K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat

Our favourite item of the bunch is the K&H bucket style booster pet seat! This chic and cosy bucket style seat has everything you and your pooch could want from a car seat, from it’s thick, comfy foam cover, to it’s elevated design so they can peek out of the window. Your doggo will thank you for this one!

Sources:

  1. How Do Pet Car Seats Work?, Pet Auto Safety
  2. N.J, Other States Turn Focus to Pets in Fight Against Distracted Driving, ABC News
  3. Dog Car Seats and Seat Belts: Can They Keep Your Pup Safe?, PetMD