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A dog harness is a perfect tool for securing your pet in the car when extenuating factors prevent them from being safely crated.

However, not every dog harness for car travel is developed or approved for vehicular use. Let's take a look at three actually crash-tested dog car harness brands and how to choose the best one for your pet.

Quick Glance at The Best Crash-Tested Dog Car Harnesses

Clickit Terrain Dog Safety Harness ( Red - Extra...
118 Reviews
Clickit Terrain Dog Safety Harness ( Red - Extra...
  • Crash tested for use as a car...
  • Strength tested for use as a...
  • Quick connection and release...
  • Rear reflective patches for...
  • Loops for quick connection and...
Kurgo Dog Harness | Car Harness for Dogs | Medium...
5,161 Reviews
Kurgo Dog Harness | Car Harness for Dogs | Medium...
  • CRASH TESTED & SAFE: Most...
  • ADJUSTABLE & COMFORTABLE: Five...
  • DOG SEAT BELT TETHER INLCUDED:...
  • SIZING & FIT: Medium size fits...
Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Safety...
575 Reviews
Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Safety...
  • 3 points of automobile...
  • Wide supportive vest...
  • Ballistic nylon exterior...
  • Please Note: This harness is...
  • X-Large: 34.5"-40" (Chest)

What Makes a Safe Crash Tested Dog Car Harness?

When considering what makes a safe dog car harness, we referenced the criteria set out by the independent non-profit organization The Center for Pet Safety.

The organization has three main points of consideration when determining the safety of a dog car harness.

(1) Stability. One of the most obvious characteristics of a safe dog car harness is that it must keep your pets stable in their seat.

If a dog has enough movement or “slack” in the dog harness, he can easily slide off the seat, get injured, or come free from the pet harness in the event of a car accident.

(2) Rotation. This is considered the sideways movement (or rotation) of the body in the event of a car accident.

An effective crash-tested dog harness or a dog seat belt system should allow as little rotation as possible to prevent damage to the dog's spine at the time of the collision.

(3) Head Excursion. This is how far the dog's head moves forward at the time of a collision accident.

A good dog car harness should limit head excursion so that your dog’s head is unable to collide with the back of the seat in front of them in the event of a car accident.

ALSO READ: The REAL Truth About the ‘Safest' Dog Car Seats

How to Pick a Safe Dog Harness for Car Travel

3 Best Crash Tested Dog Harness Brands

  Sleepypod
Clickit Terrain
Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Sleepypod
Clickit Sport
Rank #1 #2 #3
Cost $89.99 $39.95 $69.99
Safety Tested Y Y Y
Safety Approved Y Y Y
Independently Tested Y Y Y
Independently Approved Y Y Y
Testing Report See Report See Report See Report

#1. Sleepypod Clickit Terrain

Find it on Amazon ($89.99)
Safety Testing: Certified for up to 90lbs by the Center for Pet Safety, July 2017
Guarantee: 1 Year Limited Warranty

The SleepyPod ClickIt Terrain crash-tested dog harness features a three-point safety restraint that ensures that your dog’s entire torso is secured when traveling rather than securing them at a single anchor point. Adjustable straps form fit the harness to your dog’s individual body shape for optimal restraint and protection while traveling in the car.

Clickit Terrain Dog Safety Harness ( Red - Extra...
118 Reviews
Clickit Terrain Dog Safety Harness ( Red - Extra...
  • Crash tested for use as a car...
  • Strength tested for use as a...
  • Quick connection and release...
  • Rear reflective patches for...
  • Loops for quick connection and...

Shock absorbing sleeves reduce the impact of any collision and sturdy metal hardware provides strength even at the weakest points of the harness design. Fast connection and release capabilities make sure that should an accident occur, rescue crews can easily extract your dog from their harness.

This ease of use also provides a simple, fast transition from car use to a walking harness.

I like this feature because in the past, since I have a strong dog it has taken longer than I would like of getting my dog to sit still while I unhook them from the contraption that has them secured.

The SleepyPod Clickit Terrain car safety dog harness is not only crash tested, but it is also strength tested for daily walking use.

Double rings on the back of this dog harness for car travel offer secure leash attachment for small and large dogs but are not ideal for those dogs that lack leash-walking manners.

Added padding provides comfort for every situation and avoids excessive rubbing or chafing.

Reflective patches on the front and rear of the harness also make nighttime walks a little safer, plus an optional saddlebag addition offers plenty of storage room for longer daytime hikes.

This is perfect for me because I live in Florida, so most of the time it is very hot, almost too hot for my dog outside so I wait until it's dark and do a nice brisk walk in the evening.

My dog is a black mutt mix with a german shorthaired pointer. So her dark coat puts her at risk of overheating.

Finally, the SleepyPod Clickit Terrain crash-tested dog harness for car travel is available in sizes small through extra-large, and the colors include black, blue, orange, and red.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • It’s approved as a car safety harness and for everyday walking.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • Webbing and light material construction keep your dog from overheating.
  • Reflective patches on the rear of the harness.
  • The reflective patches can be replaced with service patches for working dogs.
  • An optional backpack, seatbelt locking clip, and seatbelt buckle protector are available.
  • Not approved or certified for dogs over 90 lb. or under 18 lb.
  • Not structurally safe for use with Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, Afghan Hounds, and Borzoi.
  • The harness leash attachment isn’t ideal for dogs lacking leash manners.

#2. Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Dog Car Harness

Find it on Amazon
Safety Testing: Crash Tested for all Sizes
Guarantee: Lifetime repair warranty on manufacturing defects.

The ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack car safety harness for dogs features a multiple-point safety restraint system much like that used in child seats.

My dog, unfortunately, is too big for this harness, so we tested it using my Mom's yorkie, Maddie.

An easy-to-use anchor strap fits over the back of the seat and the adjustable harness slips directly onto your dog.

ZuGoPet The Rocketeer PackThe anchor and harness snap together with multiple sturdy metal buckles and a padded chest plate offers chest protection during a collision.

Unlike the Sleepypod ClickIt Terrain dog car harness, the Rocketeer harness has a slightly more complicated restraint system which can be an advantage or disadvantage to some.

Ironically, while this crash-tested dog harness offers security in a collision, it can prove difficult for emergency workers who may need to remove your dog from the car quickly.

While this dog harness for car travel does not double as an everyday walking harness, it does function as a chest carrier or backpack carrier.

My Mom overall liked the design, because she brings her little dog EVERYWHERE, and used to have her sit in this little strapped down, doggie purse on the center console.

As long as there's no accident, that is fine, but it would severely injure my dog if she was in a crash.

That dangerous setup would send her dog flying into the windshield most likely killing it upon impact, so she feels much safer with this choice.

The carrier system is included in the purchase of the harness itself.

Kurgo Dog Harness | Car Harness for Dogs | Medium...
5,161 Reviews
Kurgo Dog Harness | Car Harness for Dogs | Medium...
  • CRASH TESTED & SAFE: Most...
  • ADJUSTABLE & COMFORTABLE: Five...
  • DOG SEAT BELT TETHER INLCUDED:...
  • SIZING & FIT: Medium size fits...

The Kurgo Tru-Fit car safety harness is available in sizes extra small through extra-large. The only color available at this time is black.

This harness is designed for long trips due to the natural sitting position it allows all dogs.

Fortunately for my Mom, this was a perfect choice as a dog car harness for her because she sometimes makes long trips to the Carolinas to see her family.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • It’s approved as a car safety harness and for everyday walking.
  • A 7-year study has shown no impact on its use and spinal health.
  • Approved for use with dogs that have hip/knee concerns.
  • Every purchase results in a charitable donation.
  • Multiple accessories are included with the purchase.
  • Tested and reviewed thoroughly by crash test and through veterinarian approval.
  • Not approved or certified for dogs over 25lb.
  • Dogs only seem to be comfortable for 60 – 90 mins.
  • Some dogs can be nervous about having their bottom lifted off the seat.
  • A car must have baby seat connections in order for this harness to be used.
  • A second walking harness is needed.

#3. Sleepypod Clickit Sport Crash-Tested

Find it on Amazon ($101.74)
Safety Testing: Certified for up to 90lbs by the Center for Pet Safety, July 2014
Guarantee: 1 Year Limited Warranty

The SleepyPod ClickIt Sport crash-tested dog harness also features a three-point safety restraint that secures your dog’s full torso in the event of an accident.

We tested this leash with our friend's dog Max. He is a well behaved little chihuahua.

Adjustable straps form to fit the harness to your dog’s individual body shape like those of the Terrain harness, but plastic buckles offer less security and durability.

Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Safety...
575 Reviews
Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Safety...
  • 3 points of automobile...
  • Wide supportive vest...
  • Ballistic nylon exterior...
  • Please Note: This harness is...
  • X-Large: 34.5"-40" (Chest)

The SleepyPod ClickIt Sport has the fast connection and release capabilities of the Terrain harness but lacks the shock absorption sleeves that reduce the impact of collision.

That said, the fast connection and release of this dog harness for car travel still provide for fast removal of your dog from the car in the event of an accident and an easy transition between restraint in the car and a walking harness.

The Sport harness features a neck D-ring for leash attachment making it ideal for walking small dogs as well as dogs that walk calmly on a leash.

The lack of a front D-ring and just a singular back ring, however, make this an unsuitable harness for excitable dogs, dogs that pull, and owners who have trouble controlling their dogs.

This was fine because our friend's dog, Max is very well trained in walking alongside her and behaves when he sees other dogs across the street or strangers.

Lastly, the SleepyPod Clickit Sport dog harness for car travel is available in sizes small through extra-large and colors include black, blue, orange, and red.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • It’s approved as a car safety harness and for everyday walking.
  • The energy-absorbing vest reduces the impact in the event of a crash.
  • Reflective patches on the rear of the harness.
  • Ballistic nylon construction is strong and durable.
  • The reflective patches can be replaced with service patches for working dogs.
  • An optional seatbelt locking clip is available.
  • Not approved or certified for dogs over 90 lb. or under 18 lb.
  • Not structurally safe for use with Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, Afghan Hounds, and Borzoi.
  • Lack of mesh or venting can contribute to overheating.
  • Plastic buckling is less sturdy and durable than metal.
  •  Not ideal for dogs that do not walk calmly on a leash.

Picking the Safest Dog Harness for Car Travel

In addition to safety concerns, there are other features that make dog car harnesses more appealing to dog owners.

These features should always come second to safety, but they can help you to make a choice when deciding between two options with the same safety rating.

1. Suitability

Depending on your dog’s breed, height, and weight, one car safety harness may be a better choice than another.

For example, some harnesses simply aren’t suited to toy breeds because they offer no support for such small dogs.

2. Dual-Purpose Use

Some car safety harnesses for dogs can double as walking harnesses.

If your pet uses a walking harness, buying a dual-purpose harness can save time and avoid the hassle of switching over pet harnesses in the car.

These will usually have a strap similar to what you see below.

3. Guarantee

A guarantee is not a must, but it does show a company has confidence in its product.

Ideally, a lifetime warranty is the best option, but no guarantee, especially for a crash-tested dog harness, is definitely something to question.

4. Adjustable Straps

Any dog harness for car travel should have adjustable straps to get the optimal fit for your dog (see below).

Although general sizing helps to identify a starting point for a harness, a personalized fit is what makes the difference in accident safety.

Just be sure that the straps don’t adjust too readily or easily, or they could be shifted during travel.

Adjustable Straps of a Crash Tested Dog Harness5. Padding

Padding is present in most but not all car safety harnesses, but it makes a big difference in the comfort of your dog’s harness.

The less padding, the more a harness will rub and cause your dog to dread wearing it.

6. Cost

Cost should be a minimal consideration (or not a consideration at all) when choosing a car safety harness.

Just like buying a child seat, it’s important to get the best harness for your dog’s needs and the safest option on the market that meets those requirements.

Of course, we're all on a budget, but you need to buy the best dog harness for car travel that you can afford.

7. Included Accessories

Not all safety car harnesses for dogs include the seatbelt accessories. Rather, the harness and seatbelt accessory is sold separately even though you need both to keep your dog safe. Again, this shouldn’t impact your buying decision, but it is something to keep in mind.

READ NEXT: The Best Dog Car Seat Review


Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here.

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Crash Tested Dog Harnesses