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Best Dog Car Seats 2024

Updated: 5 days ago

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Looking to provide the ultimate ride for your dog with their very own car seat ? Boosters and car seats for dogs are designed to give your four-legged friend an elevated view, so that they can relax and watch the world go by whilst you are left to concentrate on the road ahead.

Best Dog Car Seats

Your dog can either sit alongside you up front or sprawl out on the back seat throughout your journey.

The Buying Advice along with the Features to Consider section should help you decide which type of dog seat would be best for your dog, you and your car.

dog playing illustration

NOVEMBER 2023 : UPDATE After a new round of testing, we've added 2 Julibees Dog Car Seats as our top picks for large, non-elevated car seats


Buying Advice for Dog Car Seats

Features to Consider

6. Best Non-Elevated Large Seat - Julibees


Dog car booster seats are game-changers for small dogs and puppies and are particularly useful if they are prone to car sickness by providing a better view out of the window.

A forward facing, elevated position alongside increased ventilation has been proven to help deal with dogs suffering from car sickness.

Let's face it, if your dog feels comfortable, safe and secure they are more likely to sit or lie quietly, letting you simply concentrate on the road.

Luther Bennett Dog Car Seat

There are so many different dog car seats available that it can be quite confusing. This buying guide will help you decide which features are important to you and your dog then group the car seats making it easier for you to choose.

Dog car seats, unlike child safety seats, do not have standard safety tests. Therefore, it’s up to you my dog-loving friend, to decide which products you feel would be safest for your dog. Keep in mind, however, that ultimately any car restraint is better than none at all.

We feature a crash tested harness along with two of the best seatbelt tethers later in the article.


Whether you're looking for a dog car seat for a puppy or fully grown dog, choosing the right type is essential.

Here at Smart bark we've tested many car seats and feel that before you rush out and buy one, these are the criteria you need to consider -

Booster Type

As mentioned earlier, work out which types of dog car seat suits your dog best :-

🚗 Elevated - attaches to headrests (1- 3)

🚗 Elevated Base - Sits on your seat with a raised base (4 - 5)

🚗 Non-Elevated - Sits on your seat (6 -10)

We've included all three types of car seat in our review.

Seat Size

Elevated car seats (which we feature first) tend to be suitable for smaller dog breeds and puppies.

If you have a larger dog we recommend taking a look at the non-elevated style of seat (see 6 -10), they can carry larger and heavier dogs safely


There are various methods of attachment - with straps around the back of the seat, adjustable headrest straps or directly to your car seat belt system.

Some seats and boosters attach by all three methods, so not only are they safe, but they tend to be more rigid in corners.

Best Dog Car Seats for small dogs


If your dog loves mud, look for seats featuring removable, machine washable covers. Also consider the colour, as pale shades look appealing but they can discolour quickly.

Here's our definitive guide to the best dog car seats for 2024 to suit your dog, your vehicle and your budget.

dog paw graphic


1. Best Overall Elevated Car Seat


The first elevated dog car seat to feature in our review is from the Kurgo range. We tested and analysed their Skybox Booster to see if it was as good as they claim.

Testing the Best Dog car Seat - Kurgo Skybox Booster Seat

Kurgo are renowned for their extensive range of products aimed at canine travel and safety and whilst the Skybox Booster is still available, they also offer the arguably better looking - Rover and Heather Boosters (links after this review)

All three elevated car seats, install really easily on either your front seat (as shown here) or the smaller side of a 60/40 split rear seat.

The unique design feature which sets this dog car seat apart from the competition, is the option to buy extension straps.

If you need to install the booster seat on the larger side of the 60/40 split rear seat, Kurgo offer extension straps which wrap behind the widest part of the rear seat.

In both cases, the Kurgo's dog seat attaches to the car headrests plus the seatbelt system as well as the seat itself. Making their range some of the safest car seats on the market.

Kurgo Heather car seat with dog

Arriving pre-assembled (unlike the PetSafe seat featured next), we found it incredibly easy to install in our car.

Each seat incorporate a range of safety features including a series of integral metal supports for rigidity. What's more, all their dog seats include an adjustable dog seat-belt tether so you don't need to buy one separately. So as long as your dog has a harness, you're ready to go.

We love that the exterior is waterproof and the removable base cushion and liner can be machine washed so this car seat is super easy to keep clean.

The bottom line is that in testing, our Miniature Dachshund loved the ride, the seat didn't rock or move in corners, so looked and felt very secure.

Better still, if you're short on space, this booster collapses flat for easy storage.

Whilst it can hold dogs up to 13 kg, Kurgo recommend this for dogs up to 9 kg so they have a little extra room to get comfy (you know the routine - circle round three times before settling).

Our Verdict - The smooth ride, flexible attachment points plus the integral safety features means that we consider the Kurgo range to be the best elevated dog car seat you can buy today.

Dimensions: (L W H) : 30 x 40 x 20cm

Type: Elevated

Machine-washable: Base cushion & liner

Reasons to Buy

+ Option to fit on wide rear seat

+ Integral support

+ Includes adjustable seat belt tether

+ Collapses flat for storage

Reasons to Avoid

- Only suitable up to 9kg

Buying Options


2. Best Mid-Range Dog Car Seat


If you're looking for an elevated dog car seat at a great price then we highly recommend the Happy Ride Booster by PetSafe.

 PetSafe Happy Ride Booster Car Seat
Taking my favourite toy along for a test drive

We tested their car seat and we were really impressed by the safety features. It combines no fewer than three attachment points to your car.

There's the headrest straps, lower car seat straps and seat belt loops, making for a comfortable ride with extra stability through those corners.

Better still, the headrest straps are fully adjustable so you can alter the seat height to coincide with your windows ensuring your dog has a great view of the world.

The seat includes a dog seat belt tether for safety, so as long as you have a dog harness, you're ready to go.

Muddy dog ? No problem, the outer covering is stain-resistant and both the outer and inner liner can be removed and can be machine washed.

Whilst not a deal breaker, the seat has a padded fleece liner, which we felt could benefit from additional padding. We'd recommend adding your own dog blanket for comfort.

Lastly, it doesn't arrive fully assembled like the Kurgo seat featured in first place, but it's fairly straightforward and takes 10 minutes.

Dimensions (L W H) :

Small 36 x 31 x 20cm | Large 41 x 33 x 20 | Extra Large 51 x 36 x 25

Type: Elevated

Machine-washable: Inner & outer liner

Reasons to Buy

+ 3 Attachments for stability

+ Adjustable headrest straps

+ Harness tether included

Reasons to Avoid

- Could use additional padding

- Needs assembling before use

Buying Options


3. Best Small Dog Booster


Kong are better known for their best selling range of dog toys but they've recently expanded their range and stepped into the dog travel arena.

Kong Secure Booster Seat

This booster seat is designed and tested to the highest standards as you would expect from Kong.

Like the Kurgo and Petsafe seats featured at #1 and #2, the Kong Secure Booster can sit directly on your car seat or ride in an elevated position simply by shortening the headrest straps.

Adjustable straps which fit around your car seat for stability.

If you're interested, a clever design feature on this car seat is the inclusion of multiple storage pockets on three sides.

Really useful for storing balls, poo bags, water bottles, the list of dog stuff goes on and on...

Whilst the outer cover is waterproof, the inner cosy lining is machine washable. Kong recommended their car seat for dogs up to 11.5kg.

Dimensions (L W H) : 40 x 30 x 20 cm

Type: Elevated

Machine-washable: Inner lining

Reasons to Buy

+ Stylish colours

+ Multiple storage pockets

+ Waterproof exterior

+ Machine washable liner

Reasons to Avoid

- Only suitable for dogs up to 11.5kg

Buying Options


4. Best Luxury Dog Car Seat

Luther Bennett

If you’re prepared to fork out a little more on a car seat, then take a look at Luther Bennett.

The ultimate in luxury dog travel, their Travel Pod and XL Travel Pod are incredibly flexible too.

Luther Bennett Travel Dog Pod

Luther Bennett offer a small but stylish range of dog travel products. The design of their range of Travel Pods means that they are suitable for much larger and heavier dog breeds.

Their original Travel Pod is suitable for larger dogs (up to 16 kg) and their XL Travel Pod is suitable for any size dog or multiple small ones.

Sitting directly on the seat they aren't elevated but their base is padded offering your pup a slightly elevated position and a better view of their surroundings.

We love their original multi-functional Travel Dog Pod as it's an all-in-one portable bed. One of the great features that sets the Luther Bennett dog car seat apart from the competition, is the option to use it as a dog bed when you reach your destination.

Luther Bennett dog car seat bed

Incredibly flexible, one end can unzip and lay flat so your four-legged friend can use it as a bed when you're on-the-go.

The XL version creates a dog bed suitable for any breed or for two smaller dogs with it's wide base. It turns into their very own dog-sofa at your destination.

Dog Pod car seat from Luther Bennett

Super strong handles help you carry to the car and then two adjustable straps secure it to your car seat.

The front and back walls are high which can make anxious pups feel more secure, whilst lower sides help with ventilation and better still offer a great view of the road ahead.

The base as well as the side walls are extremely well padded so your pup will sit in a slightly raised position.

It's also worth noting that two adjustable dog seat belt tethers are included with Luther Bennett car seats so if your dog already has a harness - you're good to go.

Despite its generous padding, the seat surprisingly fit comfortably in the front seat of a Mini, as pictured.

Available in Midnight (dark blue), Coffee (brown), Bond (striped) & Olive green, the bed is machine washable, however a wipe down with a dampened cloth usually does the trick.

Importantly, Luther Bennett offer complimentary returns and exchanges within 30 days of delivery. Oh, and it's not recommended to use it to carry your dog to the car - it's not a dog bag!

Dimensions (L W H) : Travel Pod - 55 x 50 x 30 cm | XL Travel Pod 90 x 50 x 45 cm

Type: Slightly elevated base

Machine-washable: Yes

Reasons to Buy

+ Super stylish design

+ Suitable for larger dogs

+ 2-in-1 dog bed

+ Complimentary 30 day returns

+ Choice of gorgeous colours

+ An XL design for larger dogs

Reasons to Avoid

- More expensive option

Buying Options

Smart Bark readers can enjoy 10% off the Luther Bennett range

with discount code SMARTBARK10


5. Best Large Dog Car Seat


If you are looking for a car seat for a larger dog or even two small dogs, then this large Petsfit car seat could be perfect for you.

It measures a whopping 75cm across giving your pooch plenty of room to sit or lay down.

Petsfit Large car seat

Be aware that due to the width, the large Petsfit car seat is only suitable for the rear seat of your car and will sit across two spaces.

Recently updated to include more substantial seat belt tethers to attach to your dog's harness following customer comments.

Other safety features have also been improved including the base support plate and the attachment points.

This car seat secures to your car in three ways - an integral seat belt buckle, around your car headrests and using seat belts across the front.

Be aware that you'll be using your rear car seat belts for the dog seat so you can't use the back seat for human passengers as well.

The cosy, fleece liner is removable for machine washing and it has two handy storage pockets. Available in two sizes (large one shown in photo).

Both the medium and large versions elevate your dog 18cm above your car's seat and we love the fact that they both fold flat for storage when not in use.

We consider the Petsfit the best value large dog car seat on the UK market.

Dimensions (L W H) : Large 75 x 40 x 35 cm | Medium 38 x 40 x 35 cm

Type: Elevated Base

Machine-washable: Removable fleece liner

Reasons to Buy

+ Large dog seat

+ Fold flat for storage

+ Improved safety features

+ Integral storage pockets

Reasons to Avoid

- More expensive

- Not height adjustable

- Less room for humans

Buying Options


6. Best Non-Elevated Large Dog Seat


This Fluff dog car seat from Julibees is available in 4 different widths and it's the larger versions that caught our eye.

Julibees dog car seat - large size

Ideal for two (or even three) small dogs or one large one, we decided to take a closer look at the Fluff car seat X-Large model.

Sitting directly on your rear car seat with a non-slip base, it attaches via two adjustable headrest straps. This leaves the third seat free for a human companion.

It arrives vacuum-packed so you will need to assemble it yourself, zipping in the padded cushions. To be honest, although there are no instructions, it's fairly obvious which cushions go where.

Once assembled, the cushions create a comfortable seat or even bed for your dog to sprawl on journeys. The back, sides and front are all well padded and the lower curved front edge offers your dog an uninterrupted view.

large dog car bed

It comes with three dog harness attachment points so there is plenty of flexibility to attach more than one dog if you want and there's even a small external pocket for storing toys.

Comfort wise, we loved it ! Creating a warm and cosy space for your dog. The padded base is reversible and removable for cleaning.

We felt that there's only one flaw in the design - the the lack of attachment points.

With no anchors or seatbelt attachment points, it's ultimately relying on the headrest straps so potentially could slide on the seat.

It's worth noting that the Julibees dog seats we feature are soft and don't incorporate a rigid frame.

Overall though the good outweighs the bad, and truthfully, this is a great value dog car seat. It's the range of large and X-large sizes sizes which make this car seat worth considering for dog-lovers with several smaller dogs or one large dog.

Dimensions (L W H) :

Standard (single) 55 x 50 x35cm | Large 88 x 42 x 28cm | X-Large 95 x 47 x32cm | XX-Large 120 x 47 x32cm

Type: Non Elevated

Machine-washable: Yes (except the single seat)

Reasons to Buy

+ 4 sizes available ( inc. XX-Large)

+ Adjustable headrest strap

+ Cushioned for comfort

+ 3 harness straps

Reasons to Avoid

- Only 1 attachment point for stability

Buying Options

Use discount code SMARTBARK

for 15% OFF


7. Best Non-Elevated Luxury Dog Seat


If you like the look of the Fluff dog car seat above, but ideally want a different colour, then can we recommend the Luxury version, also from Julibees.

Julibees dog car seat - large size

Available in black, light purple, grey or this eye-catching stripe design, it arrives ready assembled.

It comes with two (not three) dog harness attachment points so ideal for two small or one medium sized dog.

Sitting directly on your rear car seat with a non-slip base, it attaches via two adjustable headrest straps.

It's worth noting that it also has an additional adjustable strap that fits around the back of your rear seats.

We tested it in a Porsche Macan (a small SUV) and found the adjustable strap too long. However it should fit in a larger car.

large dog car bed

We particularly liked the dual-sided base cushion. With a soft faux fur on one side or matching striped fabric on the other it's ideal for winter or summer.

The thick 12-ounce cotten exterior cover felt robust although it is removable for machine washing if needed.

It was exceptionally comfortable and we think it's a great option for transporting your dog on the back seat or even in the car boot.

We thought that the stripe was exceptionally smart. Although it's probably not a great choice if your dog is a fan of getting muddy, in our case it's a perfect addition to the rear seat.

Dimensions (L W H) : Double 85 x 50 x30cm

Type: Non Elevated

Machine-washable: Yes

Reasons to Buy

  + Choice of colours

  + Adjustable headrest & seat strap

  + Cushioned for comfort

  + 2 harness straps

Reasons to Avoid

  - Only 1 size

Buying Options

Use discount code SMARTBARK

for 15% OFF


8. Best Non-Elevated Small Seat


This PetSafe bed is a combination of a dog seat and a dog bed for the car. All four sides are well-cushioned for the dog to rest its head on and a removable bottom adds extra padding. We tested their seat on several journeys.

PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Bed
I'm ready, let's go !

Sitting directly on your car seat either in the front or rear, we think that it offers a really flexible solution for dogs.

Boasting three attachment points - adjustable headrest strap, seat anchor and seat strap, the car seat is secure and won't slide about during journeys.

We were pleasantly surprised by just how cosy and padded it was. The central bed section is made from soft faux sheepskin, with a zipped pocket for an extra polyester cushion.

Dog lying on PetSafe dog car seat bed

Initially, we thought it would be too small for our 12kg Cockapoo, but he loved sprawling and resting his head on the surrounding bolster.

We've reviewed lots of car seats and car seat covers at Smart Bark and we think that if you are looking for a non-elevated dog car seat then this PetSafe bed solution is the perfect combination for comfort and protection.

If you have a larger dog or 2 small ones, then take a look at their large dog car seat which covers two car seats.

Dimensions (L W H) :

102 cm x 58 cm and bolsters 13 cm high ( and larger size 140cm wide)

Type: Non Elevated

Machine-washable: Yes

Reasons to Buy

+ 3 attachments for stability

+ Great Value option

+ Cushioned for comfort

+ Integral bolster cushions

+ 2 sizes available

Reasons to Avoid

- Not elevated

Buying Options

Currently small version only available in pale brown


9. Best Non-Elevated Budget Seat


If you're looking to keep your dog safe and secure whilst protecting your car seats then we recommend the MuttStuff & Co car seat.

mutt stuff & co dog car seat in front

Not only will this car seat protect your own seats from scratches and mud but it can keep your dog securely confined.

An excellent lightweight seat, it can be fitted in the front or rear of your car and incorporates a really handy feature. The sides of the seat unzip and fold down so it can effectively double as a single car seat cover.

It is secured to your car seat in three ways - straps around the seat, headrest straps and lastly a seat anchor which pushes into the seat base for added stability.

Better still, the base of the dog car seat is slip resistance to ensure it's stable even on leather seats and the waterproof coating protects your car from puppy 'accidents'.

What's more a seat belt tether is included so you don't need to buy one separately. Admittedly, not particularly cosy, we'd suggest adding a cushion for extra comfort.

Dimensions (L W H) : 58 x 52 x 52 cm

Type: Non Elevated

Machine-washable: Yes

Reasons to Buy

+ Great value

+ 2-in-1 design

+ Suitable for heavier dogs

Reasons to Avoid

- No additional cushioning

Buying Options


10. Alternative for Large Dogs


Our last pick is probably not classed as a dog seat itself, but can turn the whole of your backseat area into one massive dog car seat.

Kurgo backseat extender for dogs

If you have one very large dog or several dogs then a backseat extender could be a great option.

The range of dog car seats we've featured which, let's be honest, tend to be aimed at small to medium sized breeds aren't suitable for large or multiple dogs.

With the Kurgo Backseat Extender, the footwell is transformed into extra space to spread out. We particularly liked this seat solution because it creates a flexible space for your dog to curl up comfortably.

The design includes a fold-down centre barrier which you can use to keep your dog contained to the backseat and helps to prevent driver distraction.

It's worth mentioning that if you have a human passenger in the back, the sides fold up revealing the footwell.

Kurgo's Backseat Extender is reversible with black on one side and a sand colour on the reverse. It can hold up to 45kg.

Dimensions (D W) : 40.6 cm x 132.08 cm

(not recommended for footwells wider than 33.02cm)

Type: Non Elevated

Machine-washable: No

Reasons to Buy

+ Extends backseat area

+ Perfect for large dogs

+ Reversible

Reasons to Avoid

- Not elevated

Buying Options

dog paw graphic


What harness should my dog wear in the car ?

Whilst riding in any of the seats featured, all dogs should wear a dog car seat harness that is tethered to the vehicle's seat belt system. NEVER attach the seat belt tether to your dogs collar, always secure to their harness.

A dog seat belt can protect dogs from sudden brake or sharp turns as well as preventing you from being distracted as your dog tries to leap onto your lap!

Dog in a Car Safe crash tested  harness

This harness from Car Safe is fully certified crash tested. In testing we found it incredibly easy to fit with two side release clips and then it simply connects to your car seat belt.

From the fitting, straps, breathable mesh to the stitching, the design and materials are top quality.

The chest plate is extra padded for comfort and the straps are wide so don't dig in. The harness also has a D ring on the front and back, so you can connect your lead and head off for a walk when you reach your destination.

Available in four sizes with a handy sizing guide available online, it takes into account the chest, neck and the weight of your dog to help you select the best fit.

Our verdict - A well designed, easy to fit, safe and good-looking car harness

We take a closer look at this harness and others in our popular article - Best Dog Harnesses

How do I attach their harness to my car ?

You have two options. The first is a seatbelt tether.

We tested and analysed the upgraded Nasjac seat belt tether which comes in a pack of two. Ultimately it's a flexible nylon bungee belt but the standout feature is the dual attachment clips.

dog seat belt tether with ISOFIX points

To keep your dog safe in the car, this Nasjac tether gives you three attachment options :-

🐾 ISOFIX point

🐾 Standard seat belts

🐾 D rings in you car boot.

It's this multi-functionality which set it apart from other dog seat belts options. It's also adjustable between 53-76 cm so you can ensure it's a suitable length to keep your dog restrained comfortably in their seat.

dog seat belt tether with two attachment points

The metal buckle means it easy and quick to attach to your dog's harness and importantly it swivels a full 360° so no problems with your dog becoming entangled in the tether whilst you're driving.

While this style of car restraint works exceptionally well, but be aware that it won't restrain your dog as much as the Kong Safety Tether featured above ( it allows for more movement due to the bungee style of strap)

The Nasjac dog seat belt is exceptionally good value and with its upgraded 2 in 1 attachment options, works well in all cars.

Can I use the ISOFIX system in my car ?

This is your second option for attachment to your dog's harness. If you have an ISOFIX system in your car then you can opt for a restraint designed specifically for dogs.

ISOFIX has been standard on all new cars since the mid-2000s so there is a high chance, your car will have it fitted.

Kong Ultimate Safety Tether

Originally ISOFIX had the two anchor points but some cars also have a top tether point – usually on the back of the seat. To use this safety restraint, your car will need this the top tether point.

The Ultimate Safety Tether is a fairly recent addition to the Kong range of safety products. It works by creating its own seat belt rather than using your cars seat belt system.

Fully adjustable to the size and type of car seats, we found it simple to install and remove.

The carabiner then attaches to your dog's harness. You can adjust the carabiner strap slightly to take account of the size of your dog and it swivels so your dog won't become entangled.

Dog in car attached to Kong seatbelt

Once in place, your dog will be unable to move from seat to seat, and we found compared to tethers that attach to your car seatbelts, their movement is generally much more restricted.

Whilst it definitely ticks all the safety boxes, there are a few points to bear in mind before you buy one.

Firstly, you will need to double check that your car has a top tether point on the back of your rear seat. And secondly, it is only suitable for use in the rear of a car, you cannot use it in the front seat.

Our Verdict - The truth is that the Kong Ultimate Safety Tether is well designed, probably the safest tethers on the market and gives you a greater degree of control than using a standard seatbelt. It will work well alongside any of the dog seats featured in this article.

dog paw graphic


Initially it's a great idea to set up your car seat in the house and simply allow your four-legged friend to explore.

This stage of introducing your new dog car seat is especially important for young puppies who can benefit from having this new experience broken down into bite-sized pieces.

Consider rewarding your dog or puppy with a few treats as they approach or climb into the car seat as this helps to create a positive experience.

Install the new booster seat in your car once your dog is comfortable. Attach your seat belt tether to your dog's harness and adjust to secure.

Planning on fitting the car seat in the front of the car? Remember to switch off the passenger-side airbag and move the seat as far back as possible.

If your dog's simply too large for a dog car seat, why not take a look at our dog car seat covers article. They protect your car interior whilst letting your four-legged friend ride on the back seat - Best Dog Car Seat Covers

dog paw graphic

Thanks for dropping by and reading our article on The Best Dog Car Seats.

We really hope you were able to find the right car seat for you and your four-legged friend.




Feb 09, 2023

The Amazon Basics Dog Seat is dangerous. The tether is not attached to the base but only sewn into the loose lining so if your dog is lively or tries to get out of the chair, the cushion pops up and the lining pulls up and out of the chair. The dog can get very tangled and reach way beyond the chair.

Smart Bark
Smart Bark
Feb 22
Replying to

We’ve removed this style of dog seat from our review following further testing.


Sep 02, 2022

Which car seat/ box won't allow my puppy sausage dog to chew the existing car seat belt?

Just cost me £400 for Citroen to replace :( as failed MOT.

He currently weighs 4.8kg at 16 wks but growing...

Smart Bark
Smart Bark
Nov 20, 2022
Replying to

So sorry, your comment slipped through the net! I’ve checked all the car seats we feature and with all of them, your car seatbelts are accessible. Could I recommend a seatbelt cover? There’s various great value options available on Amazon. Your dog may chew through them but they’d be considerably cheaper to replace than you car seat belt. Hope this helps.

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