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Top 15 Best Car Seats for Dogs

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As the numbers of adopted dogs in the US increases, so does the chance that pets will be traveling in cars alongside their humans. But many pet owners are not aware about the comfort level and especially the dangers of car travel for dogs. In this best car seats for dogs review we'll discuss everything related to this subject matter, and more.

Top Best Car Seats for Dogs for TravelDog car seats isn't a new or revolutionary invention. Just like car seats for kids, dog booster seats are an essential item in any dog owner's vehicle. In the last year, we've seen huge improvements and some of these best car seats for dogs are a great example of how manufacturers ensure safety of dogs and owners.

For years, safety experts have been issuing warnings to pet owners on the potential dangers of having pets ride in cars without harnesses, seat belts, dog crates or outside of dog car seats. The main argument for having a booster car seat for dogs in your vehicle is because it prevents your dog being a distraction to the driver, and ensures that the canine is safely fastened in case of an accident or just a sudden break.

In this article on the best dog car seats, we'll discuss all the pros and cons of using a dog booster seat versus other dog supplies for cars, how they benefit dogs and review these five best car seats for dogs:

Dog Car SeatsPriceQualityRating
Snoozer Luxury Lookout II Pet Car Seat$$$$$A+4.6/5
K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Seat$$$A4.9/5
Snoozer Lookout I Pet Car Seat$$$A4.7/5
Kurgo Skybox Pet Booster Seat$$B4.4/5
Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat$$C4.2/5

* Click on the best dog car seat for more information and prices, or scroll down below for more details.

Why dog booster seats are essential in every pet owner's car

Installing one of these best dog booster seats in your car isn't the only option to protect yourself and your dog, and there other alternatives which I'll discuss below. But why it's a must to secure your dog in a car?

After evaluating motor vehicle risks, a study in 2013 has concluded that people who drive with pets in their cars are much more likely to get into motor accidents than those who drive without them.

In 2009 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a statistic that almost 6,000 people were killed and 450,000 people were injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers, with pets being one of the causes of such distractions, advising people to further secure their animals in cars.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is right there with these agencies, encouraging dog owners to find ways to secure their dogs and cats to prevent potential deaths:

“An unrestrained pet can be hugely distracting — if he is seeking your attention, putting his face right in front of yours, starts chewing up the upholstery or is vomiting because he is carsick,” says Katherine Miller, director at ASPCA (source)

Using one of the best car seats for dogs is one of the most effective ways to secure your dog in a car, but it may not be for every dog or every owner. Let's take a look at the alternatives to dog booster seats.

Alternatives to using best dog booster seats

Top Best Car Seats for DogsMost consider that the best dog car seat is a good compromise between dog owners and their pets who may be unhappy if they're not allowed to ride with their head sticking out of the window. The reason being is because dog booster seats keep your dog at an elevated level, allowing to see the surroundings.

One of the most popular alternatives to booster dog car seats are doggy car harnesses, also known as car seat belts for dogs (follow the link to see our video test). They're easy to strap onto your dog and then attach the canine to the car's seat. However, it doesn't prevent sliding completely like a dog car seat would.

Another way to secure your dog in a car is by using dog travel crates that can be attached to car seats to prevent sliding. This is probably one of the best options for those who will use a dog crate once they arrive at the location, as well as for dogs who cannot be restrained into the best dog booster seat.

What about large dogs? While most of these best car seats for dogs are for small to medium sized dogs, recently, companies started manufacturing large dog booster seats to accommodate big dogs or two dogs.

Whichever option you decide to pick for your dog and your car, the most important thing is that you pick something and secure your pet while traveling. While 99% of the time nothing will happen, that 1% when you do get into an accident may change your life or your dog's life. Securing a dog takes only a minute.

What are the Best Car Seats for Dogs?
2017's top 5 best dog booster car seats for travel

1 Lookout II Pet Car Seat
by Snoozer

Snoozer alongside the below mentioned K&H have been the leading manufacturers of most well-designed, safe testing passed best dog booster seats for cars. These two companies and their dog car seats have been receiving a ton of attention from the owners and the canine community as one of the best ways to secure dogs in the car.

Snoozer's Lookout booster dog seat is made out of comfortable and warm simulated lamb's wool interior and foam form. These are also available in multiple different designs and fabric options for the picky dog owner. They have recently released their deluxe option as Snoozer Luxury Lookout dog seat, which takes the foundation of their original item and improves on the design and style of it.

Best Car Seats for DogsIn terms of weight, Lookout II pet car seats can support dogs anywhere from 4 lbs up to 40 lbs worth of dog, or about two dogs of 20 lbs. Many customers who purchased this dog product have reported to be able to fit two 18-20 pound dogs easily, and have them stretch out in the dog car seat comfortable.

The measurements for this seat are approximately 8″ height x 22″ length x 13″ width. Booster seat itself only weighs about 7 lbs, it's cover is machine-washable and very easy to put back on. Other customers on Amazon seem to be praising this car seat's size.

Noteworthy review (read the full review on Amazon): “Be warned – this model is BIG. I have it in the back seat (2nd row) of my SUV and it takes up half the seat. Instead of room for 3 people, there's now room for only 1…”

 

2Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat
by K&H

  • Bucket Booster Pet Car Seat by K&HSmall size: dogs up to 10 lbs
  • Large size: dogs up to 30 lbs

The second and easily one of the top quality booster seat on our list of the best car seats for dogs is K&H's Bucket booster pet car seat. Let's begin by saying that at the time of this writing, K&H is one of the most popular dog car seats on Amazon and boosts an almost perfect rating of 5 stars.

Their Bucket booster best car seats for dogs are available in two sizes, small and large. Small one is truly small, and will only be good for toy dog breeds. If you have a dog of 10 lbs and above, it's advisable to go for the large size just to leave some wiggle room for the dog. You can also choose between two colors.

Best Car Seats for DogsThis booster dog car seat is elevated, allowing your pet to look through windows with more ease. The seat is perfect for either front or the back, and many dog owners have noted its sturdiness and strong build. If you buy the right size, the seat can be very roomy and you shouldn't have any problems with attaching to the seat belts.

The primary selling point of this best car dog seat is safety, and on this scale, many dog owners have rated this pet car seat very highly. However, if you're looking for a dog car seat that will allow your pooch to really be raised in the car, this might not be the seat for you, as the below review has already noted.

Noteworthy review (read the full review on Amazon): “If you are purchasing this car seat for safety reasons only, then this is WELL worth the money. If you are purchasing the seat for the reason I did – so your dog can ‘see' out the window – then this might not work for you, either…”

 

3 Lookout I Pet Car Seat
by Snoozer

  • Small size: dogs up to 10 lbsLookout I Pet Car Seat by Snoozer
  • Medium size: dogs up to 20 lbs

As I mentioned above, Snoozer are one of the most popular manufacturers of dog beds and best car seats for dogs. The company does not put a lot of imagination in coming up with names for their dog car seats, but it seems that's because they keep all of their creativity for actually designing the products like their best dog car seats.

This Snoozer Lookout I (the older version of above mentioned Lookout II) is still one of the best dog car seats to this day, and all of Snoozer's dog car seats are commonly purchased by pet owners and are one of the best rated booster seats on Amazon with a high star ratings. The reason for this dog car seat's popularity is its comfortable foam padding made out of simulated lamb's wool.

Best Car Seats for DogsWhat dog owners will love is the variety of colors, fabric options and designs that Snoozer Lookout car dog seat comes in (they currently have 10 different designs, all comfy looking). For protection, there's a strap provided for car's seat belt to join the harness. In terms of sizes, they only have two (small and medium), and the medium dog car seat will support any pooch up to 25 lbs.

Most of Snoozer's pet seats are definitely one of the best car seats for dogs we can find, especially for the winter or other cooler times because of the insulation they provide to the dog through their wool materials. Other customers seem to love this dog booster seats.

Noteworthy review (read the full review on Amazon): “He layed down during most of the ride, but was still able to see out the front window. He would even sit up and look around when the car was stopped at lights…”

 

4 Skybox Doggy Booster Seat
by Kurgo

  • Medium size: dogs up to 20 lbsSkybox Doggy Booster Seat by Kurgo

Kurgo Skybox dog booster seat is listed as number four on our list of best car seats for dogs, but this is one of the most popular dog car seats pet owners often buy on Amazon to great satisfaction. It's best for small to medium dogs up to 20 lbs, although 20 pound dog would be exact fit with little to no room left. Ideally, I'd say it's best for dogs up to 16-18 lbs where they still have a tiny bit of wiggle room left.

Kurgo dog car seat seems to be one of the most stylish on this list, and you have four different designs to choose from, all of which are very modern looking. Note that all of these car seats for dogs are of the same size, and will support pets up to 30 lbs only.

Best Car Seats for DogsKurgo's Skybox dog booster seat can be used in front or back seats, and has an adjustable dog seat belt which you can attach to any kind of dog harness, if needed. Aside from the stylish designs, one of the great features of this dog car seat is the fact that it's collapsible.

When you don't need to use the seat, simply fold it and put it away somewhere in your car. It's also machine-washable, which is always convenient. The most popular customer review on Amazon seems to be praising the safety of this best dog car seat, too.

Noteworthy review (read the full review on Amazon + photos): “The skybox seems very well made with the metal frame and cushy pad in the bottom. It was a piece of cake to install in the backseat of my Toyota Camry…”

 

5 Tagalong Pet Booster Seat Deluxe
by Solvit

  • Large size: dogs up to 18 lbsTagalong Pet Booster Seat Deluxe
  • Extra Large size: dogs up to 25 lbs
  • Jumbo size: dogs up to 30 lbs

Solvit Tagalong pet booster dog car seat is a popular option among dog owners that you can purchase in three different sizes – Large, Extra Large and Jumbo size. However, it's important to clarify that Solvit's dog seat sizes do not fall in lines with most other best dog car seats mentioned above. Here's why.

Their Large size (smallest size) can fit a dog up to 18 lbs, which is closer to medium in standard measurements. Their Extra Large size can fit dogs up to 25 lbs, which is more like regular large size. And their biggest car seats for dogs, the Jumbo size, can fit a dog up to 30 lbs in weight which isn't that far from the general large size.

Best Car Seats for DogsThe construction of Solvit's dog booster seat isn't as sturdy or stylish as the above mentioned, but it has it's advantages too. For example, it's good because of the supporting seat from below. This dog car seat allows your pooch for unobstructed view when inside the booster seat without using any straps whatsoever.

You can use this dog seat either in the front or the back, and there's a special attachment for your headrest to secure the seat properly around it (safety leash is included with this dog car seat). Overall, customer response seems to be very positive about this booster car seat. Beware though, because some dog owners who purchases these best car seats for dogs from Solvit have found them to be unsafe. The below review in particular expands on how and why this booster dog car seat can become dangerous to your dog.

Noteworthy review (read the full review on Amazon): “Update: February 2011 Warning – Product can be UNSAFE. Just recently I used the booster seat as I have in the past and when I went to get my dog out of the seat, she was trapped…”

 

10 Best Cheap Dog Car Seats as Alternatives

The above list of best car seats for dogs have the five options that are made of highest quality materials and in stylish designs to provide comfort and safety for dogs. The five mentioned dog booster seats have proven to be the most popular options according to reviews from pet owners as well.

However, they're some of the most expensive booster seats one can find. If none of the above five dog car seats are affordable, I found ten great alternative best dog car seats for dog owners on a budget:

6. Pet Gear Booster Car SeatPet Gear Booster Car Seat (large size: dogs up to 35 lbs; medium size: dogs up to 20 lbs) – This dog booster seat from Pet Gear has one of the thickest foam padding for extra level of comforts for dogs. It could easily be on the top list as one of the best car seats for dogs due to its ease of use and the fact that it also comes with two harness attachments, saving you a bit of extra money.

7. Snoozer Console Lookout (large size: dogs up to 12 lbs; small size: dogs up to 7 lbs) – Yet another dog car seat from Snoozer, as they have a large variety of offerings. This one is much smaller than the above two mentioned, because even the largest size will fit only a bigger “small” dog. Nevertheless, it may be a more affordable option and their huge range of styles and colors makes it something to consider.

8. Petsfit Booster SeatPetsfit Booster Seat (one size: dogs up to 15 lbs) – Petsfit is another company garnering great reputation among pet owners as their booster seats for dogs have proven to be comfortable and sturdy for most canines. The problem is that they don't offer any seats for dogs larger than 15 pounds. The design is pretty conservative, but the mesh filling is comfortable for dogs and it's machine-washable.

9. Kurgo Rover Dog Booster Seat (one size: dogs up to 30 lbs) – This is Kurgo's newly released booster seat for cars which is yet to be properly acknowledge by pet owners, but seems like a great seat for the price. It comes with a secure seat belt, in a simple yet easy-to-install design and is machine-washable. Like with all other Kurgo products, you get a lifetime warranty on this dog car seat.

10.Pet Car Seat Carrier for Dog Pet Car Seat Carrier for Dog (small size: dogs up to 15 lbs; large size: dogs up to 20 lbs) – The reason I include this dog car seat carrier is because it's great for mobility: very easy to breakdown and fold, and you can kind of use it as an uncomfortable dog crate and carrier. However, as a dog car seat itself, it falls short on many parameters, including sturdiness and comfort. It should be cheaper.

11. Cozy Boost Pet Booster Seat (one size: dogs up to 12 lbs) – This is a new manufacturer of dog car seats and their one size small pet booster seat seems a good option as an alternative. It gets some points for being mobile, easy to convert and fold. However, for small dogs and this price, a better option would be the Kurgo's Skybox car seat, which costs the same but is significantly superior.

12.Tagalong Pet Booster Seat Tagalong Pet Booster Seat (small size: dogs up to 12 lbs; medium size: dogs up to 18 lbs; large size: dogs up to 25 lbs) – This cheap dog booster seat for cars is easily the best one in this price range. It comes from the well-established manufacturer with great reputation, Solvit, and has all the main and basic aspects of a decent dog car seat that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It's the most popular cheap dog seat, too.

13. Outward Hound PupBoost Car Seat (small size: dogs up to 10 lbs; large size: dogs up to 20 lbs) – Outward Hound is a known dog toy manufacturer, but their dog car seats need work. This seat is one of the cheapest pet owners can find, but as a result of this lower price tag, its construction and the overall design seemed to have suffered. The main problem is the lack of padding and sturdiness.

14.WOpet Deluxe Portable Pet Car Seat WOpet Deluxe Portable Pet Car Seat (one size: dogs up to 30 lbs) – Another new and fairly unknown pet supplies manufacturer, they seemed to have released a decent cheap dog booster seat for the price. It's not as sturdy, and the design could be improved, but for short trips and if using for small dogs that don't overpower the seat's walls, this could be a decent option.

15. American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat (one size: dogs up to 20 lbs) – The absolute cheapest dog booster seat, AKC's option is popular among pet owners, likely due to its lower price tag; however, the whole design of this dog car seat leaves much to be desired. Constructed more like a backpack for cars rather than an actual seat, it lacks in sturdiness, padding and comfort, but is worth the low price.

The above ten best car seats for dogs may not be the first choice for most pet owners, yet they still remain a great option for those on the budget. They're cheaper than our top five picks but provide essentially the same thing. The main difference between these and more expensive dog car seats is the material used and their design, resulting in potentially slightly less comfort and not a stylish look.

Best Car Seats for Dogs
#1 Best car seat for dogs

Why Should Anyone Buy Car Seats for Dogs?

Why Should Anyone Buy Car Seats for Dogs?The reason is safety, first and foremost. Pet owners who like to travel with their dogs by car, even if it's simply to a local grocery store to grab a few things for dinner, should take a look at some of the best car seats for dogs and pick the next throne for their pooch. The reason you absolutely must use dog car seats is the same as why you would use child seats in the car – protection.

Very often, dog owners will strap themselves and their kids, but the dog is left loose in the car. Does that mean that dogs will not hurt themselves in case you suddenly break on high speed, or if you get in an accident? Of course not.

Just like any living creature, your pooch is in danger of serious injuries and possibly even death if you do not provide sufficient protection for them when riding in the car, even if you're not traveling with your dog by air. Any one of these best car seats for dogs will be able to prevent many potential disasters on the road.

Unrestrained dog not only can hurt himself, but he will also pose danger for the people inside the car. In case you do break suddenly, there's a chance your dog will go flying through towards the car's windshield and probably injure himself, as well as someone else in the vehicle. Most booster dog car seats will protect your pet and the occupants of your vehicle at all times while driving, and they don't take much time to setup, nor do they cost a lot.

Many dog owners (almost 1 in 5, to be exact) have also admitted to taking their hands of the steering wheel just to keep their pets from climbing out of the window, or otherwise restricting them while driving.

This just goes to show that restraining your dogs in the car is very important for everybody's safety: yours, your dog's, anybody else's in the vehicle, as well as all those other drivers on the road. Before you know it, car seats for dogs will become necessary by law.

Choosing the type of dog booster car seat

Best Car Seats for DogsAlthough safety of your pooch is the primary reason why you should look into purchasing one of these best car seats for dogs, there are also other advantages of investing in this dog travel product. If you pick the right item of the right size, elevated booster dog car seats will help your Fido look out through the windows with more ease, thereby enjoying the trip and observing instead of being bored and sleeping.

To get the most benefit out of your car seats for dogs, always consider the size first. You want something that will provide safety for your pet, but also allow for some wiggle room so that your dog can stretch out, lie down and not feel constrained.

Two most popular types of best dog car seats are those that rest on a car seat itself, and others that can be strapped onto the headrest. Usually, both types provide some elevation for your Fido to see more easily.

Is your car's interior made out of leather? Best car seats for dogs will not only protect your expensive car leather from your pup's nasty nails, but ensure a more comfortable trip for your dog, too.

It may be funny for some to watch the dog slide back and forth on the backseat of the car every time a car makes a turn, but it's really not that fun for the dog at all. Well designed car seats for dogs will prevent this from happening, and have your dog always in one place: safe, secure and continuously visible to you.

Our video of top five best booster car seats for dogs:


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