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Dog Car Seat Review : PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Bed

Updated: 3 days ago

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Everyone wants their dog to feel comfortable and safe in the car so they're more likely to sit or lie quietly, letting you simply concentrate on the road ahead.

A dog car seat can offer this sense of security through a confined space and if your dog suffers from car sickness it can certainly help to alleviate the symptoms.

Not only that, dog car seats can really help keep your car looking and smelling fresh by containing your dog in one 'easy clean' area of your car.

Many of the dog car seats available are designed for very small dogs and puppies usually under 11kg, so what options are there for a medium sized dog ?

Dog sitting in a PetSafe Happy Ride dog car bed

We test and review the Happy Ride Car Dog Bed from PetSafe. 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.

The question is though, is it a seat or a bed ? Spoiler : We think it's a great combination of both, but for the long answer continue reading.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. PetSafe Happy Ride Car Dog Bed : Fitting

2. Petsafe Happy Ride Car Dog Bed : Design

3. Our Verdict

4. Crash Tested Dog Harness

5. Dog Seat Belt Tether

1. PetSafe Happy Ride Car Dog Bed : Fitting

The PetSafe car dog bed can be fitted to the front or rear seat of your car. In terms of dimensions, it measures 102 cm long, 58 cm wide and the bolsters are 13 cm high.

This bed will fit on the vast majority of car seats including the more sporty bucket seats.

The dog cushion portion is 48 cm deep, which whilst not huge, will easily accommodate a small or medium dog as they can rest their weary heads on the bolster sides.

PetSafe dog car bed adjustable headrest straps

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

Firstly, the headrest strap is strong and by tightening it you can cover your car seat with the back of the bed protecting it from dog hair and mess.

It's constructed with the same pale grey, soft, micro-suede fabric as the base with darker chew-resistant edge piping.

dog car seat safety anchor

Next, the seat anchor simply pushes snuggly between the seat base and back, meaning that the car bed is secure and less likely to slide around whilst you take those corners at speed!

Once the headrest strap and seat anchor are secured, I was surprised that the dog bed doesn't slip, even on leather seats.

The last attachment is an adjustable lower strap which loops round the corner of your seat base.

All three attachment points work together to ensure the car seat is more stable, giving nervous or car sick dogs a smoother, and more enjoyable ride.

PetSafe dog car bed in a car

To keep your dog safe whilst lounging on the dog bed, there are seat belt slits in the base to feed the car seat belt through.

This is ideal for attaching a dog harness tether to your dogs harness for maximum safety.

As the PetSafe booster doesn't include a car seat harness tether you will need to buy one separately.

We recommend a dog harness and a seat belt tether later in this article if you're interested.

Just a couple of gentle reminders - for safety reasons, never attach the tether to your dog's collar always a harness, and if like us you sometimes fit the dog seat in the front, remember to turn off the passenger airbag.

2. PetSafe Happy Ride Car Dog Bed : Design

The plush central bed section is constructed from faux sheepskin, with a zippable pocket for a soft polyester cushion.

With the cushion in place, we were pleasantly surprised by just how cosy and padded it was. You definitely won't need to add a further blanket.

Happy Ride dog car seat with cockapoo in car

The generous side bolsters are wide and firm so perfect for pups who love to rest their paws or head on a raised edge.

What's more, the low wall design means that there is plenty of space for larger dogs who love to sprawl.

Freddie needed no encouragement to jump in and lay down ready for his daily trip to the local park.

It's also worth noting that whilst your dog is slightly confined by the bolsters, they don't block the view so this dog bed would be a great help for any dogs suffering from car sickness.

Constructed from soft, micro-suede fabric, the bolster pillow and seat cushion are removable so the whole car bed is machine washable.

This is a big plus as you can keep your dog bed looking and smelling fresh and clean.

3. Our Verdict

So what did we think ?

We've reviewed lots of dog travel accessories including car seats , car seat covers and dog boot liners at Smart Bark and we think that the PetSafe car dog bed is a perfect combination of comfort and protection.

Cockapoo dog lying on happy ride dog seat

Sitting directly on your car seat, it is perfect for medium sized breeds who are simply too big for the elevated type of car seat.

Unlike other rival car seat covers, it only takes up one car seat so leaves plenty of room for other passengers to sit in comfort.

Crucially, it also offers considerably more padding than basic car seat covers.

The only downsides we could find were a lack of options. Additional colours to suit your car interior would be nice to see.

Also the car dog bed is only available in one size. We think there is an opportunity to offer a larger size to suit bigger dogs.

However, putting the lack of options aside, if your dog likes to snooze on journeys, trust me, this could be dog bed for you. Your dog can relax whilst you get a durable seat protector which keeps your car free from hair and mess.

Dimensions (L W H) :

102 cm x 58 cm with 13 cm high bolsters

Reasons to Buy

+ Sits on your car seat

+ 3 attachments for stability

+ Adjustable headrest strap

+ Cushioned for comfort

+ Integral bolster cushions

+ Machine Washable

Reasons to Avoid

- Only available in one size

- Only available in grey

Buying Options

Not convinced by the PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Bed ? Why not take a look at some of the rival dog car seats available.

Dachshund in an elevated car seat

We review 10 of the best elevated and non-elevated car seats on the UK market.

Top 10 Dog Car Seats

Dog car seats on their own are unlikely to offer much protection in the event of a crash.

So whichever option you choose we would always recommend fitting your dog with a crash tested harness for safety reasons whilst they are in their car seat.

4. Crash Tested Dog Harness

PetSafe Happy Ride dog harness

There are lots of car harnesses on the market, but what sets this harness from Petsafe apart from many of its rivals, is that is fully certified crash tested.

Available in four sizes to suit a wide range of breeds.

A handy sizing guide is 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.

5. Dog Seat Belt Tether

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.

Nasjac dog seat belt tether

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.

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.

We hope our detailed review of the PetSafe Happy Ride Car Dog Bed has given you lots of additional information so you can make that all important decision on the right dog car seat for your four-legged friend.