When you let your dog be loose in your car–whether they are sitting on your lap or laying in the back seat–you are putting your dog at risk. Car crashes can be serious and dangerous, and sudden impact can send a loose dog flying. The risk of injury for a dog that is not secured in the car is far higher than a safely restrained dog, so just like you, Fido needs to buckle up with a dog seat belt. 

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Here, I’m covering the basics of why dogs need to wear seat belts, what you need to do to keep your pup safe in the car, and the best dog seat belt options available right now. 

Does Your Dog Need To Be Wearing a Seat Belt?

Dog wearing a seatbelt. dog seat belt. Seat belt for dogs

Yes! There are plenty of reasons to secure your pup when you’re driving, but the most important is personal safety and reduced distractions. If your pup is unsecured, they’re apt to wander, and this may result in them finding ways to open windows, distract the driver, or injure themselves. That’s why responsible owners invest in a crate or a dog seat belt harness.

Safety experts recommend that pups be kept in the back seat. This keeps them out of the driver’s way and prevents them from fiddling with essential controls.

Why Do Dogs Need Seat belts? What Are The Risks?

Without a seat belt, dogs can be harmed or killed when a car experiences sudden deceleration. Even a particularly hard stop can send an unsecured pup flying, and their bodies are much less durable than ours!

Seat belts for dogs eliminate these problems, and they keep pets secure. Properly made dog seat belts can keep a pet from careening through the cabin, saving their life in the event of a crash.

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When in motion, a good dog seat belt will prevent a pup from wandering around the car. This keeps them out of trouble and prevents actions such as:

  • Climbing into the driver’s lap
  • Fiddling with buttons
  • Opening and closing windows
  • Jumping from the vehicle

Types of Dog Seatbelts

You can find a lot of dog seatbelt options on the market, but not all are equally safe, reliable, or easy to use. To help you make the right choice for your dog, take a look at the three most common types of dog seatbelts and car seats. 

Harness + Tether CombosBooster SeatsCar Crates
DescriptionTwo-piece dog seat belt consisting of a full-coverage back-clipping harness and a short lead. You must have both pieces, but they can be purchased separately.
The lead may be attached to the car via the seat belt buckle, or car seat attachments.
Some tethers may include bungee to allow for extra flexibility in case of accidental falls.
Booster seats attach to the car by buckling behind the seat, and over the headrest. 
Booster seats essentially function as baskets with secure walls where your dog can sit on the car ride. 
Booster seats will include a short lead to clip your dog in, or a spot for you to attach your own lead.
Car crates are fully enclosed spaces where dogs can move around a little bit, but will be safe in the event of a crash. 
Many car crates will include a spot for you to attach your lead.
Car crates come in soft-sided and hard-sided varieties. 
Benefits– Easy to install- Good for dogs of any size- Compatible with all cars- Affordable– Secures dogs with a barrier and a restraint- Compatible with most cars- Comfortable – Good for small dogs who like to look out the window– Keep dogs in a small, designated area- Avoid wandering or destructive behaviors- Make anxious dogs feel more confident – Avoid restraining difficult or wiggly dogs
Downsides– Dogs may still be able to slip off the seat- Rigid tethers can become a choking hazard in an emergency– Not suitable for large dogs- More Expensive– May not include tether or restraint features inside the crate- Most expensive- Dogs may still be able to slide around and get bumped in a crate- Not suitable for small cars
Ease Of UseVery EasyEasyModerate

No matter which option you choose, having your dog safely secured using a car seat will greatly increase safety in the car, and you’ll be able to confidently travel with your pup in tow. 

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Best Dog Seat Belts

To help keep your pups safe, I’ve compiled a list of the best dog seat belts on the market. Each of these entries is chosen for affordability, ease of use, and reliability. No matter where you go, you’ll want to have one of these secure dog seat belts at your disposal!

Sleepypod Clickit Sport Dog Travel Harness + S Clip

Dog wearing a seatbelt

Reviewers love the Sleepypod Clickit Sport Dog Travel Harness! This durable easy-to-use seat belt for dogs is the perfect way to keep any dog secure. It features soft neoprene padding to prevent chafing and discomfort, and it doubles as a harness.

To support its harness features, this belt comes with a double “D” ring connection and reflective lights. The rings are perfect for attaching any leash, while the reflective material provides pups with plenty of nighttime visibility.

Stats:

  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large
  • Weight Limit: 18 – 90 lbs.
  • Chest Size: 16.5” – 40”
  • Crash Tested: Yes, CPS Approved
  • Price: $95.73 – $117.00

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VavoPaw Dog Vehicle Safety Vest Harness + Seat Belt Leash Travel Strap

Dog Vehicle Safety Vest Harness & Dog's Seatbelt

At $11.89–$16.99, the VavoPaw Dog Seat Belt is one of the most affordable entries on our list. It has not been tested by the CPS, but its durability is being widely praised by reviewers. Users love its ease of use, with many praising how it fits snugly into seat belt slots.

To keep dogs comfy, the VavoPaw seat belt features a padded harness and fully adjustable straps.

Remember to fit your dog’s harness before embarking on any journey!

Stats:

  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large
  • Chest Size: 15.35” – 32.28”
  • Crash Tested: No
  • Price: $11.89 – $16.99

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CarSafe Crash Tested Dog Harness

The CarSafe Dog Seat Belt is perfect for any size.

The harness is made from a soft and flexible material, which provides plenty of support and security without sacrificing comfort. When you’re not using it as a seat belt, it can be converted into a harness for walks!

Reviewers love the affordable price, and many are praising its quality. It may be less expensive, but that doesn’t make it any less useful! This multifunctional dog seat belt is perfect for any journey, and it keeps giving with its harness function.

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Stats:

  • Sizes: Extra-Small, Small, Medium, Large
  • Weight Limit: 5 – 70 lbs.
  • Chest Size: 16” – 34”
  • Crash Tested: Yes
  • Price: $24.93 – $41.88

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PETZANA Seat Belt for Dogs with Bungee Buffer

*Note: While this image from PETZANA shows a dog attached to the seat belt by the collar, it is safer and recommended that you always use a harness when buckling in your pup.

If you’re looking for a simple and affordable solution to securing your pet during car rides, look no further than the PETZANA Seat Belt. This simple tool connects your pup to your car’s existing seat belt, and it’s a breeze to use! There are no pesky adjustments to make or fittings to measure. All you have to do is provide a secure harness.

The PETZANA dog seat belt is best used with an over-the-shoulder harness. Attempting to use the seat belt with a collar can result in serious injury, strangulation, or death.

Stats:

  • Length: 21” – 29”
  • Crash Tested: No
  • Price: $10.99

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UNICITII Lookout Booster Seat for Small Dogs

Booster Seat for Small Dogs

For small dogs, having a secure space is the perfect way to keep them in one spot. UNICITI’s dog booster seat gives small pups plenty of space to stretch without getting in the driver’s way. To seal the deal, it also comes with a harness for securing your pup in place.

Stats:

  • Dimensions: 15.7” x 15” x 13.8”
  • Weight Limit: 25 lbs.
  • Price: $69.96

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NOVOLAB Puppy Booster Car Seat with Clip-On Safety Leash

Booster Car Seat with Clip-On Safety Leash

NOVOLAB’s seat is an alternative to the UNICITI booster seat. It gives small pups the ability to admire the view without harming themselves. In addition to having a comfy spot to sit, pups will also be secured in place with the included harness.

Stats:

  • Dimensions: 13” x 16” x 9”
  • Weight Limit: 25 lbs.
  • Price: $38.70

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Queen’s Nose Durable Dog Car Seat with Front & Back Protection

Dog Car Seat with Front & Back Protection

Queens Nose produces a fantastic padded seat, which is perfect for smaller dogs. This comfy box will keep your pup secure and occupied while you drive, and the included harness will guarantee that your pup remains safe.

Stats:

  • Dimensions: 20.87” x 18.5” x 17.32”
  • Weight Limit: 30 lbs.
  • Price: $182.44

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PetSafe Happy Ride Collapsible Dog Travel Crate

Happy Ride Collapsible Dog Travel Crate

For a more traditional approach to pup safety, there’s the PetSafe collapsible cage. This soft enclosure gives pups a somfy place to relax during any drive, and its collapsible design makes it much easier to use than conventional models. To ensure proper safety, it comes with a sturdy aluminum frame.

Stats:

  • Dimensions: 27” x 19” x 28”
  • Weight Limit: 60 lbs.
  • Frame Construction: Aluminum
  • Crash Tested: No
  • Price: $169.99

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K&H Travel Safety Carrier

Travel Safety Carrier

K&H also offers a lovely travel cage. This affordable option is made of mesh and padded fabric and allows rapid disassembly. However, prospective buyers should know that it is not necessarily as secure as a solid or aluminum-frame carrier.

Stats:

  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
  • Weight Limit: 10 – 40 lbs.
  • Frame Construction: Mesh & Padded Fabric
  • Crash Tested: No
  • Price: $59.99 – $109.99

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MIM Variocage Large Crash Tested Dog Travel Crate

Crash Tested Dog Travel Crate

Finally, there’s the MIM Variocage. This crash-tested crate is the perfect way to keep any dog safe, but it comes at a steep price. At $929.95, this is the most expensive entry on our list, but your pup’s safety is well worth it.

The MIM Variocage is renowned for its durability and design. It’s not the easiest thing to set up and disassemble, but it’s designed for security. Once you’ve installed your Variocage, you can rest assured that any pup will be safe and secure in your car.

Stats: 

  • Dimensions: 40.55” x 21.85” x 25.59”
  • Other Sizes: XS – XXL
  • Weight Limit: 70+
  • Frame Construction: Powder Coated Steel
  • Crash Tested: Yes, 4×4 North America approved
  • Price: $929.95

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Find More for Your Pet

If you’re still hunting for more ways to spice up your pup’s life, then be sure to drop by my blog! In addition to regular news updates, I’m always updating my site with reviews of products like these dog’s seat belts.

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