Best dog carrier for car seats are designed to securely install your pup in your car, protecting them from sudden stops, minor traffic accidents, and you from distracted driving.
Most are secured using included straps that lasso around the headrest and/or secure your pet with a harness attached to the seat-belt.
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One of our favorites is the Kurgo Skybox Dog Carrier Seat – a great solution for dogs weighing up to 30 lbs. It’s designed to keep your pet secure, comfortably seated in place, preventing distracted driving.
Many dog owners say that using a best dog carrier for car seats has helped skittish dogs become comfortable with car rides, while also protecting their car seat fabric from claw marks.
Another benefit is that the car booster seat can elevate a small dog enough that they can look out the window- and we all know how much dogs enjoy looking out windows during long drives.
The Kurgo installs on the back or front of your car’s bucket seat, or it can be mounted on the smaller side of a 60/40 split bench car seat. It ships with a tether attachment and a dog harness, securely attaching your pup in place while driving.
Why the best dog carrier for car seats are essential in every pet owner’s car
Installing one of these best dog carrier for car 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.
The best dog carrier for car seats help to keep your dog in place while you are traveling and keeps him or her safe so that you can get from one place to another. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 10% of all fatal crashes and 18% of injury crashes involve some type of distraction.
Related post: Best VarioCage Crash Tested Dog Crate Review
Even worse, nearly 25% of pet owners have used their hands or arms to hold the pet in place while applying brakes and 19% have used their hands or arms to keep their pet from climbing into the front seat. These behaviors may require both hands being taken off the wheel which has been shown to result in variability in vehicle lane position and drifting into adjacent lanes. Booster seats for pets keep that distraction to a minimum.
The rate of motor vehicle collisions for older drivers who always drive with their pet was nearly double that of drivers who never drove with their pet. They are also among the least likely to use a pet restraint system.
In a recent survey of drivers, interaction with pets was one of the top three most frequently reported distracting behaviors that participants admitted did result in an accident or near-miss. They either start barking at something that you cannot see, they want to be petted, or they just pull your attention in some other way.
Using one of the best dog carrier for car seats 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 carrier for car seats
Most 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. 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 dog carrier for car seats 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.
In this article on the best dog carrier for 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 dog carrier for car seats.
Top 5 Best Dog Carrier For Car Seats Comparion
Snoozer Luxury Lookout II Pet Car Seat
Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat for Cars and Dog Car Seat
Snoozer I Lookout Car Seat
American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat
Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat
Snoozer Luxury Lookout II Pet Car Seat
Snoozer alongside the below mentioned K&H have been the leading manufacturers of most well-designed, safe testing passed best dog carrier for car seats. 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.
In 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.
Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat for Cars and Dog Car Seat
A lot of dog booster seats are just too big that it’s an overkill to use them for small dogs; the Kurgo Skybox is perfect in those situations! It is reasonably sized with measurements of 12-inch deep, 16-inch wide and 8-inch high. It definitely provides enough space for small dogs but not too much to turn into a cumbersome car seat.
Don’t get me wrong — it is not a fiddly product! It welcomes dogs of up to 30 pounds thanks to its metal frame that supports the whole structure very efficiently. The material uses are also of good quality: reversible pad to remain fresh and clean as well as a machine washable liner! As little perks, there are two zippered pockets on the sides; they’re perfect for treats and toys!
The Kurgo Skybox is fully collapsible making it perfect for quick journeys as it takes seconds to use or pack. The attachment system works on both front and back seats. A great product, perhaps not as polished as its K&H counterpart but nonetheless great… and half the price!
Pros and Cons
While it is strong, the inside of the seat (12D x 16W x 8H) tends to be a bit small for most dogs who reach 30 pounds. Instead, most people tell you to go up to 20 pounds. Many pet parents are happy that this seat can be used in the front seat, which isn’t always a possibility for car seats.
Many have mentioned that installation is easy, but if you move the car seat around quite a bit, it gets more and more difficult to move it.
There is only one model of this car seat for dogs, but it does come in two colors: blue or orange. The bottom of the model is black and easy to clean.
Overall, this is a fantastic car seat for people who love to take their dogs with them on hikes or to the doggie park. Since it is so easy to clean, it is also a great option for taking your dog to the lake or the beach.
Snoozer I Lookout Car Seat
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.
What 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.
Pros and Cons
Many people who have dogs that are thin but long may have problems with this seat if you want your dog to lie down. However, many people also comment that they love the fact that they can sit their dog up so that they can see out of the windows when they are in the car.
Installation is easy, where the seat belt goes across the back of the seat and keeps it up in the air.
The Snoozer is available in both small and medium sizes and in the following colors: baby pink, black and cream, black watch plaid, denim, grey, hot pink vinyl, khaki and cream, and hot pink. Make sure to pay attention as the materials can differ between the car seats.
With any car seat, there are going to be pros and cons. However, this seat gives you plenty of personalization and different choices that will fit to the interior of your car or the personality of your pet. If there are flaws in the seat, you should return it immediately as there could be defects that hinder the safety of your pet.
American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat
This is a dog booster seat that can help give your dog a safer ride in the car and it is one that can be used in most any kind of car.
This pet booster seat is meant to hold small dogs up to 20 pounds and measures 15” x 4” x 15” and it weighs just three pounds. This dog seat has a memory foam cushion that adds extra comfort and it can help to keep dogs from getting car sick.
There are straps that are adjustable so it will fit snug in the car and it has a leash that is built-in and will attach to a dog harness for a secure and safe ride. There is also a convenient pocket in the front that has a zipper which can be used for storage.
Customers like how well this dog booster seat is and how nice it looks. Dog owners who have bought this safety dog seat say it is extremely easy to attach to any car seat and just as easily to remove. Other points that the got thumbs up were no assembly required and dogs can see everything from the booster seat.
Pros and Cons
Since this is a somewhat strange construction, many people have had issues with setting it up and installing it, however once they got used to it, they found that they really loved this seat. It is easy to clean and care for, though it doesn’t look as strong as it is. The softshell isn’t as safe as some other seats, but it does make for a lower price point.
This booster seat comes in red, black, and tan. It does not come in any other sizes.
If you are looking for a name that you can trust, you can always go with an American Kennel Club booster seat. It will support the club, which does amazing things for pets and dogs. Still, it doesn’t have all of the safety features that many other car seats for dogs will have, so you have to balance out the pros and cons by yourself
Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat
Solvit Tagalong pet booster 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.
This dog seat safety will work well on any backseat that has a headrest and it will also connect to the seat belt in your car. It has a soft fleece liner that can be easily removed so it can be washed in your washer. A safety leash is included with the purchase of this pet safety seat.
Dog owners of this product say that it is very easy to install because the straps are very adjustable and will work on just about any car. They also like the two straps that are in the booster seat basket that attaches to the dog’s collar for extra safety.
Many customers have commented on how solidly built this pet booster seat is. Some customers complained of a bad chemical smell when unpacking it and it had to be wiped clean with vinegar and a damp cloth plus some Febreeze to get rid of the odor. Another complaint was that the basket of the dog booster seat will not stand alone and only stands when attached to the seat.
Pros and Cons
One of the pros about this seat is that it is made to hold one bigger dog or two smaller dogs, making it the perfect option for those who have more than one pet. Some people did complain that the stains were more difficult to clean, especially if there are any accidents in the car.
Many owners loved the fact that it was so easy to install and move if need be, however they weren’t thrilled with the fact that it didn’t collapse easily.
This doggie car seat comes in three different sizes: extra large, large, and jumbo. Unfortunately, you do not have any options with size.
Overall, this is a great seat for people who have more than one dog or those who need some serious clearance for their dogs (this one lifts them 9 inches off of the seats). Be sure to check for any damage, as there have been a few reports here and there of problems.
10 Best dog carrier for car seats as alternatives
The above list of best dog carrier for car seats 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 carrier for car seats are affordable, I found ten great alternative best dog carrier for car seats owners on a budget.
1. Pet Gear Booster Car Seat for Cats and Dogs
This is a great seat for people who have dogs that are between 20-30 pounds but aren’t all that long. It holds dogs that are bigger, but can be a bit claustrophobic for them, especially if they want to lie down in the car. This is a very comfortable car seat made with memory foam, but can be a bit hard for dogs that are on the older side.
This is a model for both cats and dogs, which gives you quite a few more options than other models will give you. People who love this seat and swear by it will tell you that the seat is easy to install and even easier to set up – it comes already put together.
However, some people have problems with the cleaning of the seat. It is extremely difficult to clean up, especially if your dog gets food on it, as spot treatments can only go so far.
This Pet Gear for Cats and Dogs comes in three different colors, tan, charcoal, and black. You can get it in a medium or large size.
Overall, this seat is a good option for people who won’t use it all that frequently and won’t use it for dogs who have been out in the elements on in the water. Still, it will be a great seat that should last a long time.
2. Pettom Pet Car Seat Carrier for Dog Cat
If you are looking for a pet seat that doubles as a carrier, this Pettom seat may be your best option. Holding dogs up to about 25 pounds, this seat is higher than most, protecting a large majority of your dog’s body. You can also pull it over your shoulder to carry your dog wherever you go.
Some people aren’t a fan of the design of this seat, mostly because it seems to cut their dogs off at the neck or is too high for them to see out at all. Be careful about dogs that are prone to panicking, as they may not like – this seat.
Those who love this seat say that it feels like a diaper bag for your dog it has carrying pockets for your things, is easy to clean, and is pretty lightweight. You can use it in any weather situations because of the mesh. In colder temperatures, you can put a blanket inside to safely use it.
This seat is available in large and medium sized. The larger seat is about the size of a large duffle bag, so it may take up two seats in the back of your car.
Overall, this is a great seat for people who are always on the go with their dogs. However, since you will be using this a bit more heavily than you’d use another seat, you want to consistently check this seat for signs of wear and tear.
3. A4Pet Easy Storage Pet Booster Seat Pet Sofa Bed for Dog and Cat
This absolutely large seat doesn’t have a weight limit, but instead is made for dogs of the biggest sizes. It has a size of 29″ L x 16″ W x 14″ H, so you may want to measure your dog. One of the safest collapsible boosters seats for big dogs, the 4Pet is an obvious choice for people who need the safety elements.
Obviously, this is a big car seat. It takes up quite a bit of room that can really limit how much you will use your seat. If you have children that sit in the back, it will get crowded.
Still, there is no denying that the seat doesn’t budge, according to users. It has two belt loops and a sling, so it will stay put on back country roads and mountains. Even better, it is foldable and washable so that you can easily store it and use it in all situations.
This is one of the few doggie car seats that comes with a front seat and a back seat model. While it isn’t the best for people who tend to move their seats around, it can be great for those who have a designated station for their dogs.
Overall, the people who tend to love this option more than any other are those who use their dogs for hunting or hiking.
4. Pet Booster Seat, CarBoss Dog Booster Seat for Cars
Dog booster seat by CarBoss is designed with the safety of your dog in mind. This dog safety seat keeps your dog safe and secure while driving. It also enables your dog to be able to safely look out your car window.
This dog booster seat measures 13” L x 9.5” W x 8” high and is meant for a small dog or puppy weighing up to ten pounds. The pet booster seat comes with a safety leash, a safety belt tether, compartments with zippers to keep your dog’s leashes, treats and toys in.
It also has easy to adjust straps so there’s no trouble getting it installed in your back seat. The lining of this pet booster seat is faux sheepskin, is removable so it can be easily washed in your washer. The lining is soft so it adds extra comfort for your dog. When it’s not in use it can be quickly and easily removed and stored away.
Customers who own small dogs find this dog safety booster seat a great way to keep their small dogs both comfortable and safe while traveling. Owners of this pet booster seat like how easy it is to both install and remove for easy cleaning and storage. Dog owners have found the dog booster seat to be made well and seems to be quite sturdy.
5. Precious Tails Gray Pet Booster Car Seat High Density Foam
This is a dog booster car seat that is made so that your dog is situated just right and they can see everything that’s going on around them.
This booster seat for small dogs is not one that shields them from the outside world. It measures 16” W x 19” D x 13” H and is constructed from high-density foam for added support and comfort. The cover of this dog booster seat is a micro suede material and has a zipper so you can remove it to wash it in your washer and then hang dry it. This dog car seat does come with a leash strap to secure your dog in place but you will have to have your own leash.
The seat itself attaches quickly and easily to the seat belt system in your car and then the seat stays in place securely.
Dog owners enjoy how easy it attaches to the seat belts in the car and how easily their dogs can see out all the windows and still be safe. Many who have purchased this dog booster seat find it to be of high quality and well made especially for the price paid for it. A few have commented that the booster seat for their dogs is not quite tall enough. Others have said the sides could be a little sturdier.
6. Luxury Console Pet Car Seat
The Snoozer pet brand is known for manufacturing and selling top-quality comfortable pet accessories for the demanding dogs and owners. Their products look good and feel good. It is delivered with a sturdy security strapto restrain your dog from moving too much and also has a high back to avoid having your dog jumping out, which is a great addition.
The microsuede cover is demarking itself from other brands by giving it a luxury feel and the padding in this premium dog booster seat is achieved through durable foam form. It is built to last forever and fits an SUV or truck without any problem. I am not sure it could fit a regular passenger car, though. The only downside is the storage: you can’t fold it so packing it away means you have to do it as is.
7. K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Seat
K&H Manufacturing is a leading pet accessories brand famous for their high-quality of manufacturing (see their famous orthopaedic dog bed) and they did it again! Their dog booster seat is not the cheapest out there but it’s the best rated for several reasons:
- dual security lashes — enhanced safety system using two restraining leashes
- front & back seats — set it up with ease wherever your prefer
- washable cover — comfortable and easily removable plush quilted interior
- elevated — dogs are more relax while looking through the window
This amazing K&H Manufacturing Bucket Booster Pet Seat is designed and put together to be durable and resist the most excitable dogs out there. It comes into a small and large size as well as two different colors. The comfort is enhanced thanks to a 3-inch foam cushion that is also easily washable.
8. Pet Gear Bucket Seat Booster for Small Pets
Perhaps the soft-sided seats aren’t inspiring enough confidence. This plastic-framed booster should help you rest a bit easier. The rugged construction is more akin to a child’s car seat, and will keep your dog safe and secure. The overall height of this one is a bit shorter, so pick this if safety is the ultimate goal over having your dog be able to look out the window. You have two sizes to choose from with this model — a larger one with interior dimensions of 20 inches by 17 inches, and a smaller one with interior dimensions of 16 inches by 12 inches. Both are brown plastic, but you can choose between chocolate swirl or jaguar print liners.
- Rugged plastic frame
- Installs easily
- Available in two sizes
- Four included tethers
- Limited color options
- Sides of the seat are hard
- Not particularly elegant-looking
- Shorter than other options
9. PupSaver Original Dog Car Seat Black White Houndstooth
If safety is your number one concern, you may consider this novel option. Taking a cue from baby car seats, this is meant to be installed facing backwards. That limits your pup’s view of the road, but significantly increases the safety. In a collision, the clamshell style frame will keep your dog safely in place. Additionally, you can use this in the front seat where the frame will deflect an airbag deployment that could otherwise seriously injure your dog. The company has more recently released the AirPupSaver 45, which will hold a dog up to 45 pounds, improves the tethering system, and includes its own dog-sized airbag that will provide more cushion during an accident.
- Backward facing for safety
- Crash-test rated
- Durable, comfortable seat pad
- Can be used in the front seat to protect from airbag deployment
- Doesn’t give your dog a chance to view the scenery
- Tricky installation
- Won’t work for everyone
10. Petsfit Booster Seat, Car Seat For Small Dogs and Cats, With Big Pocket
Available in two sizes, this is a nicely-designed option. The key to this model is that the inner liner is reversible. One side is smooth and light-colored for warm days, while the other side is dark and fluffier to keep especially smaller dogs warm on cold days. The larger version is good for the back seat and measures 29 inches long by 16 inches wide, while the smaller version measures 15 inches by 16 inches. If you have a toy breed, you might use the smaller version even in the back seat. On the other hand, the larger size will work for dogs up to 45 pounds.
- Available in front seat and back seat sizes
- Reversible lining offers light and dark sides for warm and cold days
- Pockets for toys and treats
- Leash tether
- Not as padded as other options
- Potentially confusing installation instructions
- Backseat version may be too large
How To Choose The Right Best Dog Carrier For Car Seats Among Dozens of Models
When choosing a car seat for your dog, you should do the same amount of research for your dog that you would a child, after all you care about them just the same amount. Choosing the right model amongst many others can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible if you follow the following guidelines:
- Size: Make sure that the size is big enough for your dog, both lengthwise and weight wise. Focus more on the weight, unless you take longer trips, because that is what will keep your dog safe.
- Ease of Use: How often will you be moving it around? You will want to check to see how hard it is to uninstall and reinstall this seat, how easily they store, and if they go bad if you take them apart too many times.
- Cleaning: Depending on what you want to use these seats for, your seat may have to be cleaned. If your dog walks on dirt tracks, swims, or is just dirty in general, you may want to have a model that is easier to clean and handle than others.
- Your Car: Some cars don’t have headrests, but you absolutely need a headrest to install the car seat. Sometimes backseats in cars don’t have shoulder belts, but you need those for the seat. Make sure that the model you purchase works with your car.
- Materials: Some materials will just make your pet itch, that’s a fact of life. Make sure that every material inside the seat is one that is comfortable for your dog. Think about putting something comfortable inside of it or getting accessory pads if the seat doesn’t seem comfortable enough.
- Use: What will you use your doggie car seat for? You might order a cheaper model for when you want to take shorter trips, or you will order one that is a little more luxurious if you are going to be road tripping with your dog.
- Breed: Some dogs have special requirements when travelling. Make sure to do some research about your pet to see if there is anything you need to take into consideration.
An Ephemeral Timeline Of Pet Transportation Systems
Dogs and humans have had a close relationship since long before cars were invented. In fact, there were dog car seats in buggies and trains for long before there were cars.
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However, 1932 saw the first dog car seat with the invention of the Bird-Dog’s Palace, a crate style device that held pets of all sizes. This was slightly better than the version from 1936, when a sack came onto the market that held the dog. It was comfortable, but did nothing to protect them in there were to be an accident.
It wasn’t until 1957 when Marie French created a pet trailer, which hooked on the back of the car and had food and water bowls. It was comfortable for the dog and allowed them to roam freely. Thank goodness, today’s seats have come a long way and put the dog in the car with his or her owners.
What is better: installing a pet booster seat in the front or in the back seat of the car
It is almost always a better option to put your dog in the back seat of your car because the air bags can do serious harm if you are in an accident. The best place is in the back driver’s seat side of the car because you can check on your pup in the mirror and he will be able to see you and know he is safe.
If you have a middle seat that you can attach the seat to (which is rare because in many seats you need a headrest) this is actually the best place for your dog. In cars that have three rows, keep your dog in the row closest to you.
If you do put your dog in the front of your car, make sure to put the seat back as far as possible so that your pet won’t be hit by the air bags if they do go off. In some cars, you can even turn the airbags off.
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