No one wants to be involved in an accident on the road and we do all we can to avoid them but sometimes they happen despite our best efforts. Both humans and dogs can get hurt. An unrestrained dog can hurt themselves badly or could even get killed. They can also get flung against other occupants of the car and injure them.
You have several options for restraining a dog in a car but a dog seat belt is one of the most popular options. You use it with a compatible harness. One end of the seat belt attaches to the dog harness and the other attaches to your car. It can attach to the latch bars, the seat belt receiver or the headrest. They are made from tough nylon webbing material and metal for durability and strength. To help you with your choice of the best dog seat belts for your car, check out our useful guide.
The Best Dog Seat Belt
Journeys will be so much safer with this adjustable pet seat belt. This dog car harness is compatible with seat belt clips that measure 2cm, so check the size before you order. Even though your dog will be restrained, they will be able to stand up, sit down and lie down.
The fabric is a high quality and tough nylon and the buckles are made from a solid zinc alloy for maximum strength and durability. The design will allow you to clip and unclip your pooch in seconds with no fiddling around.
Compatible with 2 cm seatbelt clips
Dogs can lie down, sit down
High quality nylon
Clips and unclips in seconds
- Weight2.08 ounces
This dog safety belt attaches to the frame of your car via latch bars. These are found in the backseat crease of every vehicle as they are required by federal law. They are commonly used to attach child car seats so you can be confident that they are safe.
With this dog car harness, there is no danger of your dog accidentally releasing the seat belt button with their paw. It uses a durable carabiner which is easy to use and releases quickly if there is an emergency. The fabric components are weather-proof nylon and the metal attachments are made from aviation grade aluminum which has a tension force limit of 400 kg.
Fixes to vehicle latch bars
Dog’s cannot release them
Tension force limit of 400 kg
Adjustable to accommodate all breeds
- BrandMighty Paw
- Model B019KHFESQ
- Weight2.4 ounces
This dog car seatbelt features a belt clip which measures 0.82 inches and is therefore compatible with most family cars but you should check this before you buy. You should use it with a dog safety harness and not with a collar as this is the safer option.
It’s made from a nylon webbing and has a dual-safe hook which prevents dogs from leaping around and causing distractions. Most breeds can use it but if you have a very small dog, it would be best to order the ‘Small Dog’ version of the product.
Belt clip measures 0.82 inches
Made from flexible nylon
Adjusts from 24.3 inches to 34.1 inches
Works best with a dog harness
- Weight9.3 ounces
A strong and safe dog seat belt that will fit most cars with the exception of Volvo cars. You must use this seat belt with a harness. One end clips onto the harness and the other slots into the seatbelt receiver by your car seat.
It’s made from strong webbing material that can be machine washed in cold water. The clips are made from strong and durable metal.
Strong and safe seat belt
Made from strong webbing material
Metal attachment hooks
Compatible with most cars except for Volvos
- BrandBlueberry Pet
- Weight2.1 ounces
This product is both a harness and a dog seat belt for your car and comes in three colors and six sixes. It has been manufactured from a double layer of mesh so it is breathable and will not make your pooch overheat. There is also a flannelette edge to prevent rubbing.
A durable strap made from nylon attaches your pooch to your car and is adjustable so it can be used in any car. The strap is long so your dog will be able to lie down or stand up as they wish but they cannot get out of the seat or roam around the car. To put it on, you use the two chest plate buckles which are quick to release. Then, you simply adjust the four buttons that are located on the strap to get the perfect fit. It can be used with a leash as a body harness when out walking.
Can also be used as a body harness
Made from a double layer of mesh
Strap long enough for dogs to move around
Available in six sizes
- Weight6.4 ounces
There’s no hassle getting this dog seat belt on because you just ‘click and go’. It features a strong attachment buckle made from steel and abrasion-resistant nylon webbing with reinforced stitching and which has a breaking strength of 2400 pounds. It can be adjusted from 17.5 inches to 26 inches.
You can only use this seatbelt with a dog harness, it should never be used with a collar as it could cause choking. It clicks into the seatbelt receiver of your car and is compatible with most makes except for Volvo. It features an electroplated swivel-style snap hook that resists abrasion.
Can only be used with a harness
Breaking strength of 2400 pounds
Can be adjusted from 17.5 inches to 26 inches
Cannot be used in a Volvo vehicle
- Weight4 ounces
For hassle-free car pet safety, you can’t go wrong with this dog seat belt. It can be used for any breed and adjusts from 20 to 32 inches so your pet can move around with comfort. You simply snap it into the seat belt receiver.
This pet seat belt is made from a durable nylon fabric with strong stitching and a solid zinc alloy buckle tab. You use it with a harness – it will fit most makes and can be used in most cars but it is sensible to check the clip size.
Adjusts from 20 to 32 inches
Metal hardware – zinc alloy
Durable nylon fabric with strong stitching
Compatible with most cars
- BrandFriends Forever
- Weight3.04 ounces
With this pet seat belt, you get all you need for keeping your dog safe in your vehicle. It is a dog seat belt and harness all in one. You can be sure of its safety as it has been crash-tested and complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS-213).
The harnesses can withstand forces of up to 3000 pounds. It will integrate with any vehicle seat belt system. Your pet will have the freedom to change position but will be securely strapped to the car at all times. The straps are strong and the vest section is fully padded with a breathable inner fabric layer to keep your pooch comfortable. It’s very quick to get on and off and even has a leash attachment so it’s not just for using in the car.
Crash tested and complies with safety standards
Can withstand forces of up to 3000 pounds
Padded with a breathable inner fabric
Quick to fit and take off
- Weight12 ounces
This is a very strong tether system that has a carabiner attachment for fixing onto your dog’s harness and a seatbelt clip that fixes into the seat belt receiver in your car. It has been strictly tested and will withstand a force of 4,500 pounds. The tether is extendable from 15 inches to 22 inches. This product is not safe to use with a collar.
You will be able to use this with the majority of vehicles but it will not be compatible with Volvo cars or with Ford trucks.
Tether system for use with a harness
Extendable from 15 inches to 22 inches
Compatible with most vehicles
Not suitable for Ford trucks or Volvo cars
- Weight4.6 ounces
With this dog restraint, you get to choose from nine colors so you can co-ordinate or contrast with your dog’s harness and car interior. It connects your dog’s harness with your car, giving you peace of mind about your dog’s safety whilst you are traveling. Made of top grade nylon to keep your dog safe and it features a zinc alloy clip that swivels and is built for strength and durability. The clip attaches to your dog’s harness and there is a loop that attaches to the headrest of your car.
This dog safety harness will adjust to between 18 inches and 30 inches and the nylon straps are tangle-proof so your pooch will not tie themselves into a knot! It is also quick and easy to take off. You will be able to use this as a handheld leash.
Available in nine colors
High-quality nylon fabric
Adjusts to between 18 inches and 30 inches
Nylon straps are tangle-proof
- Weight7 ounces
Best Dog Seat Belt Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Look for in a Good Dog Seat Belt
Deciding to buy a dog seat belt is an important step in ensuring your dog’s safety whilst they are in your vehicle. The next step is to choose the best one for your needs. Here are some of the features that you should look for in a good dog seat belt.
It is crucial that the dog seat belt is suitable for your dog. Make sure that it can withstand your dog’s weight. If the seat belt includes a harness, this must suit your dog’s size. Several sizes may be available and there is usually a size chart to refer to.
Once your dog is in the car, you may like them to have some freedom to move around – but not too much! This is why it is useful to have an adjustable length. Your aim is to allow your dog to be as comfortable as possible but safely contained. Smaller dogs may need a different length to bigger dogs.
This is the number one priority. Look out for a car harness that complies with safety standards and that has been tested in crash test situations. Sometimes, a figure is given for the force that the seat belt can withstand.
The materials need to be able to keep your dog safe in a crash situation. Most dog restraints are made of tough nylon webbing with extra stitching. If there is a chest plate, this needs to be breathable and soft. Any clips and buckles should be made from a tough metal such as aircraft grade aluminum.
- Ease of putting on
Dogs don’t like to wait around whilst you fiddle around with a seatbelt, therefore pick one that is quick and easy to get on and off. This will make it more likely that you will actually use the belt for every journey.
- Can they get out?
Dogs have a strange ability to escape from all sorts of restraints. Make sure that your dog cannot unclip their own seatbelt. You may not notice that this has happened and a dangerous situation could arise.
Most dog car seat belts work by clicking into the seat belt receivers in the same way as the human seatbelts do. However, some work by attaching to the headrest or by looping onto the existing seatbelt. If the seatbelt needs to clip into the seat belt receiver, it is essential that it fits! Check that it will actually clip into your car. Dimensions are usually given and the manufacturer may specify cars that are not compatible.
Types of Dog Seat Belts
There are several different types of dog car seat belt. Some are supplied with a harness but others are simply a strap to secure the harness to your car. You need to buy a separate harness to use these with.
Some dog seat belts clip into the seat belt receiver in your car using a metal clip. You have to make sure that this is compatible with your make of car. Other dog car seat belts fit into the latch hooks in the rear passenger’s seat that are used for child car seats. There are others that loop around the head rest.
Understanding the Danger For Dogs in Cars
Car safety should never be taken lightly. Not only can dogs get badly injured or even killed in car accidents but they can also hurt the humans in a car. Therefore, it is vital that your dog is correctly restrained for every journey.
It is important that you are clear about just how dangerous an unrestrained dog in a car can be. If you suffer a collision when your dog is in the car, they will get thrown around just like everything and everyone else. It has been shown in crash simulations that an unrestrained dog can impact with you at a force that is 40 times their weight if you crash at just 25 mph. That could cause a serious injury or could even kill you or anyone else in the car.
Of course, your dog will also get badly injured. Dogs have been killed after hitting the dashboard during a collision. An unrestrained dog can get terribly injured or killed in a car accident. They will be hurled against the dashboard or even thrown out of the window.
The safest place for your dog is in a crate in the trunk where they cannot cause serious distractions but not all cars have the space for this and not all dogs are happy about it. A dog seat belt harness is the next best option. No matter how cute it may appear to have your pooch on your lap whilst you are driving, this is extremely dangerous and should never be allowed. Get your pup used to using a puppy seatbelt from a young age and they will have no problem with it.
You should also be aware of the legal situation regarding dogs in cars. Some States have laws that require dogs to be restrained in vehicles and all States have laws relating to driver care and attention.
Best Dog Seat Belt FAQ:
Q: What is a dog seat belt?
A: A dog seat belt is a device for restraining your dog inside your car. It has to be used with a dog harness and should never be fixed to a collar. It is essentially a strip of nylon webbing with a clip on one end that fixes to the harness. The other end can loop over an existing seat belt, clip into the seat belt receiver, loop over a head rest or fix onto latch bars in the rear seat.
Q: What’s the difference between a dog car harness and a dog seat belt?
A: A dog harness and a dog seat belt are not the same things but they may be sold together. A dog harness is a device that fits around your dog’s body and fits securely. It fits around the chest and is usually secured with straps and clips. It can be used with a leash for walking or with a dog seat belt for car rides. A dog seat belt is a device that secures the harness to your car.
Q: How do I choose the right size?
A: It is important to pick the right size of dog seat belt harness for your dog. The seat belt itself, usually comes in one size but if it comes with a harness, it is important that this fits your dog correctly. Most manufacturers will give a size chart and you will need to measure your dog. The measurements are given in a table which indicates which size seat belt and dog car seat harness you should choose.
Q: Where should my dog ride in the car?
A: Most experts agree that the safest place to put your dog for a car journey is in the trunk of your car in a specially designed dog crate. However, due to a lack of space, this is not always possible. Also, some dogs simply do not like to do this and may howl for the entire journey which is very upsetting and distracting for everyone.
Therefore, a specially designed dog seat belt is the next best option and allows your dog to travel in any of the passenger’s seats. It may be tempting to have your dog ride up front with you in the front passenger’s seat. However, this is not the safest option. Dogs in the front seat cause more distractions for drivers. They are more likely to get injured in a collision because they will hit the hard dashboard rather than the soft back of a seat. Also, if there are side airbags, they will be injured by these. Therefore, the rear passenger’s seat is the safest option for your dog safety belt.
Q: Are seat belts safe for dogs?
A: Seat belts that have been specifically designed for dogs are perfectly safe. Most products comply with national safety standards and have been tested in collision simulations. However, dog seat belts should only ever be used with a dog harness. They are not safe to use with a collar because this can lead to choking and strangulation. It is also important that you fit them correctly by adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check that the product that you buy is compatible with your vehicle. Not all dog seat belts are compatible with all vehicles!
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best dog seat belts will make your dog’s journey both safe and comfortable. It adjusts to your dog’s size and is compatible with most seat belt clips that measure 2cm.
Using this harness, your dog will still be able to stand up, sit down and lie down. It’s made from a high quality nylon with solid zinc alloy buckles. It clips and unclips in seconds.