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The 10 Best Dog Car Seats & Boosters

Updated: 5 days ago

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


Your four-legged friend can either sit alongside you up front or on the back seat throughout your journey. Dog car sest

Dog driving a car wearing seatbelt and glasses

Our review of the best dog car seats available in the UK is divided into categories. The Buying Guide along with the Features to Consider section will help you decide which category of dog seat would be best for your dog and your car.


If you know the type of car seat you're looking for, skip directly to the Our Picks of the Best Dog Car Seats


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Buying Guide for Dog Car Seats

Features to Consider

Our Picks of Best Dog Car Seats

How do I Keep my Dog Safe in the Car?

Hints & Tips for Introducing a New Dog Car Seat


BUYING GUIDE FOR DOG CAR SEATS


Dog car 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.

Cockapoo looking out car window

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.


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 booster seats, unlike child safety seats, do not have standard safety tests that they must pass in order to be sold. 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 any car restraint is better than none at all.


So for this reason we would always recommend fitting your dog with a crash tested harness whilst they are in their car seat. We feature a crash tested harness along with a really versatile seatbelt tether later in the article.



FEATURES TO CONSIDER


Whether you're looking for a dog car seat for a puppy or dog, choosing the right type is essential. Not only should it look good, but it needs to be comfortable for long journeys, extremely safe and, of course, be roomy enough for your perfect pooch.


We've tested many car seats and feel that these are the criteria you need to consider -


Booster Type

There are three main types of dog car seat available:-

  • Elevated - by attachment to your existing car headrests (see 1-4)

  • Elevated Base - Sits on your car seat and incorporates a raised base (see 5-7)

  • Not Elevated - Sits directly on your car seat without a raised base (see 8-10)

We've included all three types in our review in this order.


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 8,9 & 10).


They can carry larger and heavier dogs safely as they're designed to rest directly on your car seat.


Attachment

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 more rigid in corners.

Dachshund in an elevated dog car seat

Cleaning

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




We’re here to help you find the best dog car seat that suits both your needs and budget.



OUR PICKS OF THE BEST DOG CAR SEATS



1. Kurgo Skybox Booster

Best Elevated Dog Car Seat


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

Kurgo Car Seat
Testing the Kurgo car seat for comfort

Kurgo are renowned for their extensive range of products aimed at canine travel and safety.


This elevated car seat, installs 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.This option will suit those of you with super-sized SUVs and vehicles with wider seats.


In both cases, the Kurgo's dog seat attaches to the car headrests and the seatbelt system as well as the seat itself.


The Skybox booster arrives pre-assembled and incorporates a range of safety features including a series of integral metal supports for rigidity. It also includes an adjustable dog seat-belt tether so you don't need to buy one separately.


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.


When not in use, this booster collapses flat for easy storage so useful if you want to store it when not in use.


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).


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


The smooth ride, flexible attachment points to suit all cars and the integral safety features means that we consider this 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. Petsafe Happy Ride Booster

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.

Dachshund testing the PetSafe Car Seat
Taking my 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 a dog blanket for comfort.


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


If you would like more information on fitting the car seat and our thoughts on the PetSafe Booster in testing, read our full and in-depth review -

Dog Car Seat Review: PetSafe Happy Ride Booster


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. Legendog Car Seat

Best for storage


It's the design that caught our eye with this car seat from Legendog. Available in black and bright orange or grey with fuschia pink, it would definitely look super stylish on black seats.

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


It features adjustable straps which fit around your car seat for stability, nevertheless the sides of the dog booster can sag slightly as the design isn't quite as rigid as the Petsafe or Kurgo featured.


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 leads, poo bags, water bottles, the list of dog stuff goes on and on...


Whilst the outer cover is waterproof, the inner cosy lining along with the cushion are hand wash only.


Legendog recommended their car seat for dogs up to 16kg, however we would recommend based on our experiences testing dog car seats that it's more suitable for dogs up to 10kg.


Dimensions (L W H) : 41 x 32 x 31 cm

Type: Elevated

Machine-washable: no


Reasons to Buy

+ Stylish colours

+ Multiple storage pockets

+ Waterproof exterior


Reasons to Avoid

- Suitable for dogs up to 10kg

- Slight sagging of walls


You might be interested in.........

If you're struggling with a dog or puppy suffering from car sickness, pour yourself a cuppa and read our article for lots of helpful advice - How to Cure Dog Car Sickness

 

4. Me & My Pets Booster

Cheapest elevated seat


We adore the design and pastel colours of this car seat, so if your dog is squeaky clean and has an aversion to rolling in mud, then this could be for you.

Me & My pets pink and cream dog seat booster

Me & My Pets bucket booster is suitable for puppies and small dogs and available in this beautiful pale pink or beige, grey and black versions.


It's the cheapest of the four headrest elevated car seats featured in out Top Ten.


Suitable for front or rear passenger seats, it secures using two adjustable buckle straps which attach around the headrest and the back or the seat.


The dog car carrier includes an adjustable inner clip to attach to your dog's harness ensuring they remain safely seated.


The thick padded base has a removable cushion, but be aware that this is hand wash only.


Dimensions (L W H) : 44 x 42 x 26cm

Type: Elevated

Machine-washable: no


Reasons to Buy

+ Gorgeous pastel colours


Reasons to Avoid

- Suitable up to 10kg

- Hand wash only

- Not collapsible


Buying Options

 

5. Kurgo Skybox Rear Booster

Best elevated base dog car seat


For those of you that prefer your passengers in the backseat, we recommend the Kurgo Skybox Rear Seat Booster which sits directly on the rear seat.

Puppy in a Kurgo Skybox Rear Seat Booster

Doubtless this will be a popular option for families, as your dog can sit in the rear booster seat safely with the children and you can keep your attention on the road ahead.


As an elevated base booster, it's installed using the existing seatbelt system not your headrests.


The padded base raises your dog and the low walls help with ventilation and better still offer a great view of the road ahead. It's also worth noting that a dog seat belt tether is included with the Kurgo seat.


One of the great features this booster seat offers is the option to collapse it when not in use. It can also double as a dog bed whilst travelling which is a bonus if you're planning on travelling light.


It's design means that it is suitable for slightly larger dogs (up to 13.5kg) than the headrest elevated versions featured.


Dimensions (L W H) : 40 x 32 x 22 cm

Type: Elevated Base

Machine-washable: no


Reasons to Buy

+ Suitable for slightly larger dogs

+ Collapsible for storage

+ 2-in-1 dog bed

+ No headrests needed


Reasons to Avoid

- Not height adjustable

- More expensive

 

6. Amazon Basics Dog Seat

Best budget friendly raised car seat


Our second featured dog seat with an elevated base is from Amazon Basics.

A great 'value for money' bucket-style booster seat designed for smaller dog breeds.

It can be fitted on the front or rear seat of your car by threading the seat belt through the base of the booster.


Once attached the sturdy booster is fixed securely in place.


The slightly raised base means that your dog sits in an elevated position with a better window view.


The cover is made from a quilted flannel for comfort and a durable oxford fabric along the sides and base to protect from wear and tear.


For easy cleaning, the cover can be unzipped and machine washed which ticks a lot of boxes. The seat includes an adjustable seatbelt tether.


Slightly larger than the Kurgo car seat featured above it's worth noting that this doesn't fold away flat for storing.


Dimensions (L W H) : 47 x 45 x 39 cm

Type: Elevated Base

Machine-washable: outer only


Reasons to Buy

+ Cheapest 'elevated base' seat

+ No headrests needed


Reasons to Avoid

- Not height adjustable

- Doesn't fold away flat

 

7. Petsfit Pet Large Booster Seat

Best for two dogs or one very large one


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 dog 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 - with its own integral seat belt buckle, around your car headrests and finally 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.


It's worth noting that you can purchase the previous version from X-Zone Pet, whilst slightly cheaper, it doesn't have the updated safety features.


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

+ Largest dog seat

+ Fold flat for storage

+ Improved safety features

+ Integral storage pockets


Reasons to Avoid

- More expensive

- Not height adjustable

- No room for humans

 

8. PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Bed

Best non-elevated dog seat


We've tested and reviewed this option for a non-elevated seat (or bed) from the PetSafe range of pet travel products.

cockapoo in the PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Bed
Cockapoo testing our PetSafe car seat

Sitting directly on your car seat either in the front or rear, it has bolster style edges so can provide a comfortable and secure space for your small or medium sized dogs.


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


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


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 the PetSafe car dog bed is the perfect combination for comfort and protection.


If you would like more information, read our full, deepdive review - Dog Car Seat Review : PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Bed


Dimensions (L W H) : 102 cm x 58 cm and bolsters 13 cm high

Type: Non Elevated

Machine-washable: yes


Reasons to Buy

+ 3 attachments for stability

+ Adjustable headrest strap

+ Cushioned for comfort

+ Integral bolster cushions


Reasons to Avoid

- Only available in one size

- Only available in grey


Buying Options

 

9. MuttStuff & Co.

Best value non-elevated car seat


If you're looking to keep your dog safe and secure but don't need a raised dog seat then we recommend the MuttStuff & Co car seat.

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

 

10. Fristone Dog Seat

Best padded car seat


The last dog seat to feature in our Top 10 is this non-elevated car seat from Fristone.


It's a great alternative to the MuttStuff and Blomster car seats featured. It offers a safe, contained and flexible space in the front or back of your car.

We particularly liked this seat because it has thick padded sides and a soft base for your dog to curl up and sleep without the need for extra blankets.


Also the high back and low front edge will help with your dog's view from the seat.


The seat has two adjustable fastening straps incorporated into the design. One fits around the headrest and the second around your car seat (either front or smaller side of 40/60 back seat).


The base of the seat is designed using anti-slip matting and it's waterproof to help avoid marking your car seats.


Designed for small to medium dogs, the Fristone car seat also includes a dog seatbelt tether to attach to your dog's harness.


It's available in a wide choice of 8 different colours, including some gorgeous striped designs.


It's worth noting that the Fristone dog seat is soft and doesn't incorporate a rigid frame.


Dimensions (L W H) : 55 x 55 x 24 cm (front edge) 30 cm (back)

Type: Non Elevated

Machine-washable: yes


Reasons to Buy

+ Cushioned

+ Low front edge

+ Lots of colours


Reasons to Avoid

- Only suitable for small dogs

- No rigid frame


 

HOW DO I KEEP MY DOG SAFE IN THE CAR ?



Happy Ride harness from Petsafe

Crash Tested Harness


As mentioned earlier, these car seats are unlikely to offer any protection in the event of a crash. We strongly recommend a properly crash tested harness for any dog riding in a car.

Dog in a crash tested blue dog harness

This Happy Ride harness from Petsafe is fully certified crash tested.


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


A car seat belt tether attaches to the harness and the other end clicks directly into your car seat belt system.




Nasjac Dog Seat Belt

Multiple Attachment options


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.

dog car seat belt tether with ISOFIX points

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!


We tested and analysed the Nasjac seat belt tether which comes in a pack of two.


It's simply a flexible nylon bungee belt but the standout feature is the dual attachment clips.


To keep your dog safe in the car, this Nasjac tether gives you three attachment options :- attaching directly into the ISOFIX point, using standard seat belts or even the D rings in the boot.


It's this multi-functionality which set it apart from the other dog seat belts.

dog seat belt tether with two attachment points

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.


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.


The only downside we could find was the the attachment clip to your dog's harness was quite small, so trickier to fasten onto thicker double D rings.


It's great value and available in a range of bright colours so should be easy to find in the car at night.




HINTS & TIPS FOR INTRODUCING A NEW DOG CAR SEAT


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.


If you are 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.

 

You might be interest in .....

Top 10 Dog Car Seat Covers - 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.



 

Thanks for dropping by and reading our article on The Top 10 Dog Car Seats we really hope you were able to find the right car seat for you and your four-legged friend.


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