Top Rated Dog Car Seat & Booster Reviews – Let Your Pet Enjoy the Ride in Comfort!

(updated: November 30, 2018)

Dogs in Auto

When transporting your dog, it can be somewhat dangerous because they tend to run all over your car, excited to see the world around them. However, your dogs aren’t the only ones that are in danger, your family is as well.

Even a small accident can cause a dog to panic, making them untrustworthy. The best way to ensure pet safety is to purchase the best dog car seat you can.

To do this, you must:

  • Look at the reviews
  • Checks the pros and cons
  • Research accessories
  • Decide on the best pet safety seat

Even more, a dog that is loose in a car can ruin the seats, get into your belongings, and general cause you to not be aware of the road. Dog car seat covers allow you to personalize your seats, so you don’t have to worry about your dog losing some of his or her style. For smaller pets, a booster seat for your vehicle can help them to see out of the window and stay comfortable during the ride.


Jump to reviews of modern devices that help safely transport dogs and puppies of all sizes

Dog Booster Seats
Booster Snoozer 2
for puppies, small, and medium-sized​ dogs
Small and medium sized dogs require an extra layer of protection against hazards in the car. These doggie auto seats help to keep our smallest, more precious dogs safe.
Dog Car Harness
Safety Harness
for strapping medium-sized and​ big dogs to car belts
For bigger dogs, a car harness is the perfect option to keep them comfortable and safe when commuting. They won’t take up any extra room and work just as well as a seat.
protection for vehicle seats
It help to protect your car from your dog’s toenails, paws, teeth, and just general wear from the size of your pet. It can also keep your dog safely on your seats.

There are more than a few models on the market, including different types of harnesses for car belts, dog car seats, and even puppy seats for your car. Each one is design specifically for a different size animal, so be sure to pay attention to that.

Picking a doggie auto seat can be difficult, which is why we have broken it down into individual reviews so that you can choose which models will work for you, your family, and your pet. Since your pet is so important, you really should take your time to choose a dog car seat just like you would any other type of car seat. After all, they are part of your family.


Why it is worth buying a dog booster seat today if you travel together with your pet

Did you know that only 16% of dog owners use a restraint system when traveling

NHTSA - Road Safety

The best car seats for dogs 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.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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.

Transportation of a pet is simple

  • To transport big dogs, using specialized crates that you put in the trunk isn’t always humane, as it can cause the pet to be stressed.
  • Instead, fixing them with a harness will keep them safe. Even better, use a dog car seat protector to cover your trim and seats will keep your car protected.
  • Smaller dogs (up to 40 pounds) prefer a doggie booster seat. Most models allow your dog to comfortably sit or lie down. The fixed booster allows them to see out the window and keeps them safe if you are in an accident.

Top 9 Dog Car Seats in 2018 for maximum safety and comfort

We have tested the Best Booster Seats for Dogs and collected consumer reviews for your use.

Snoozer Lookout I – Dog Car Seat Snoozer Large Lookout II – Dog Seat with Storage Tray Petsfit Booster Seat – Small A4Pet Collapsible Booster Seat for BIG Dogs Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat for Cars with Seat Belt Tether Pettom Pet Car Seat & Carrier Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat (Deluxe) Pet Gear for Cats and Dogs American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat
Snoozer Lookout I – Dog Car Seat
Price: High
Our Rating:
9.8
Snoozer Large Lookout II – Dog Seat with Storage Tray
Price: High
Our Rating:
9.4
Petsfit Booster Seat – Small
Price: Average
Our Rating:
9.3
A4Pet Collapsible Booster Seat for BIG Dogs
Price: Average
Our Rating:
9
Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat for Cars with Seat Belt Tether
Price: Average
Our Rating:
8.9
Pettom Pet Car Seat & Carrier
Price: Average
Our Rating:
8.7
Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat (Deluxe)
Price: High
Our Rating:
8.6
Pet Gear for Cats and Dogs
Price: High
Our Rating:
8.5
American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat
Price: Low
Our Rating:
7.6

Snoozer Lookout I – Dog Car Seat​

Snoozer Lookout I – Dog Car Seat
Check Snoozer Lookout I – Dog Car Seat price
Price: High Our rating:
9.8

The Snoozer Lookout I is a highly-rated dog car seat that will allow your pet to look out the car window as you drive. This dog car seat comes in two sizes: small for dogs (or cats) up to 18 pounds and medium for dogs up to 25 pounds. The faux wool lining keeps your pet warm in winter, but is breathable enough for summer travel.

Go to ReviewRead Our Review of the Snoozer Lookout I

Pros and Cons

Several pet owners have reported this seat has alleviated their pet's carsickness. The faux wool lining and foam frame make this a super comfortable sleeping spot for both home and car. The cover is removable and is machine washable/dryable. It comes in 8 color/pattern varieties on the exterior, each with an off-white faux wool lining.

If you have a dog under 20 pounds that is long and tall, the small size may be too cramped. The material is not waterproof, so any spills will leak through. Some people weren't able to keep the seat from moving around with the seat belt attached, and others felt the safety tether was too loose and allowed their pet to jump out. The food/water rack advertised in the product description is not included and must be bought separately.

Different Models

The Snoozer Lookout II is a pricier than the Lookout I. It comes in small, medium and a large size. The large is for pets up to 35 pounds or can hold 2 smaller pets. A slide-in plastic drawer is built into the front that could hold a small amount of food, treats or toys.

There's also a Luxury Lookout model that is quite expensive with a removable microsuede cover. Like the Lookout II, it has a storage drawer. It comes in small or medium sizes and 12 fashionable colors and has a removable pillow with a washable cover.

Snoozer Large Lookout II – Dog Seat with Storage Tray​

Snoozer Large Lookout II – Dog Seat with Storage Tray
Check Snoozer Large Lookout II – Dog Seat with Storage Tray price
Price: High Our rating:
9.4
Our Choice

Built for pets up 35 pounds, the Snoozer Lookout II is a fantastic dog car seat with some extras that the Lookout I doesn't have. This dog car seat comes in three sizes: small for dogs (or other pets) up to 18 pounds, medium for pets up to 25 pounds and large for pets up to 35 pounds. The faux wool lining is warm in winter, but breathable enough for hot summer days.

Go to ReviewRead Our Review of the Snoozer Lookout II

Pros and Cons

Unlike the Lookout I, the Lookout II has a built-in sliding storage drawer in the bottom front side of the seat. It's big enough to store toys, treats, and covered containers of extra food and water. The cover is machine washable and comes in several different colors.

Some customers didn't like that the cover isn't waterproof. Any spills will soak into the foam frame, likely leading to mold and bad odors. Some people couldn't keep the seat from moving around with the seat belt attached, and others felt the safety tether was too loose to secure their pet. The travel rack mentioned in the product description is not included and must be bought separately.

Different Models

The Snoozer Lookout I is available in both small and medium sizes and in 8 different colors. It does not come with a built-in storage drawer, but is quite a bit cheaper than the Lookout II.

The Luxury Snoozer Lookout II comes in several colors and has removable/washable microsuede covers for both the seat and pillow. It is up to $60 more than the Lookout II, but otherwise has the exact same sizes and features.

Petsfit Booster Seat – Small​

Petsfit Booster Seat – Small
Check Petsfit Booster Seat – Small price
Price: Average Our rating:
9.3

For cats and dogs up to 15 pounds, this booster looks very comfortable. If you have a pet who likes to roam around the car when you drive, this might provide a comfy and secure spot for them to sit while giving them the height they need to see out the car windows.

Pros and Cons

The booster seat straps to your vehicle seat to keep it in place. A plush liner is included that is reversible, removable and washable. For summer, just flip it over to use the cooler nylon side. There's also a short leash attached to keep your pet from getting out of the seat.

Pet parents loved that their dogs could lie down or sit up to enjoy looking out the window. Several people reported that their once-carsick pet was no longer sick while riding in this seat. They also appreciated the storage bag to make storing and carrying the seat easier.

Disadvantages

This seat is pretty pricey compared to others on the market. The biggest complaint was about the attached leash. Some people reported that it was very thin like ribbon and broke easily when their dogs pulled on it. You may want to also secure your pet with a seat harness for backup, especially if they tend to jump out.

Other pet parents said there were no written instructions, just bad pictures, and the information was also not on the manufacturer's website. Some dogs didn't like the feel, and the seat didn't attach well onto some vehicle seats, such as a 60:40 seat.

Different Models

For the price, this Petsfit booster seat is a bit of a risky investment. If you have a pet that gets carsick, it's worth a try. Otherwise, this would be a good try it before you buy it seat if you can find it in a retail store. At the very least, see if you can find people using it in YouTube videos.


Take a Look At These Extended Specialized Editions:

Petsfit Booster Seat - Medium

Petsfit Booster Seat - Medium

This model holds medium sized dogs up to 45 pounds. It's also longer, which makes it good for long breeds such as dachshunds and corgis.

A4Pet Collapsible Booster Seat for BIG Dogs​

A4Pet Collapsible Booster Seat for BIG Dogs
Check A4Pet Collapsible Booster Seat for BIG Dogs price
Price: Average Our rating:
9

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.

Pros and Cons

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.

Different Models

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.

Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat for Cars with Seat Belt Tether​

Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat for Cars with Seat Belt Tether
Check Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat for Cars with Seat Belt Tether price
Price: Average Our rating:
8.9

The Kurgo Skybox Dog Booster Seat is a great seat for dogs up to 30 pounds, according to the manufacturers. It installs easily through the seat belt, so you can move it around your car, even putting it into the middle of the car if need be. Waterproof and strong, it is made for dogs that want to sit up in the car or their journeys.

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.

Different Models

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.

Pettom Pet Car Seat & Carrier​

Pettom Pet Car Seat & Carrier
Check Pettom Pet Car Seat & Carrier price
Price: Average Our rating:
8.7

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.

Pros and Cons

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.

Different Models

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.

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat (Deluxe)​

Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat (Deluxe)
Check Solvit Tagalong Pet Booster Seat (Deluxe) price
Price: High Our rating:
8.6

Made for one or more pets up to 30 pounds, this is a luxurious car seat that lifts your dog and protects them. Lined with flannel and fleece, it will not only keep your dog calm, but the soft properties will keep your dog warm and feeling safe.

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.

Different Models

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.

Pet Gear for Cats and Dogs​

Pet Gear for Cats and Dogs
Check Pet Gear for Cats and Dogs price
Price: High Our rating:
8.5

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.

Pros and Cons

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.

Different Models

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.

American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat​

American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat
Check American Kennel Club Pet Booster Seat price
Price: Low Our rating:
7.6

American Kennel Club is a name that you can trust, which means that it is a seat that many people turn to. This seat holds dogs up to 20 pounds, so it is designed for small dogs. This is a unique construction for a dog safety seat, so make sure if you do get it that you read the instructions and directions carefully.

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.

Different Models

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.


How to Choose the Right Dog Car Seat Among Dozens of Models

Coose

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

History

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.

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

Front and Back Seats

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.

Comments

  1. Blaze says:

    Hello: I’m looking for a high back n Safe one for my pet rabbit. We are going on a 11 hour road trip. He loves driving. I currently have a carseat thats in your suggestion list. But want a more safer n comfy one. The one I have is beige n plaid.

    1. Emma Lachey says:

      Hi Blaze, thanks for your comment. We’re happy your rabbit enjoys traveling. For a long road trip, however, we’d recommend a good sturdy carrier that you can fit behind your front passenger seat. According to an article on the Bunny Approved website, that was determined to be the safest way to transport a bunny. Here’s the article:

      https://bunnyapproved.com/road-trip-transporting-rabbits-in-a-car/

      If your rabbit doesn’t like a carrier like that and can sit still while you’re driving, you could try the Snoozer Lookout 1 in small that fits dogs, cats and other small pets up to 15 pounds or the Petsfit Booster in small that fits pets up to 15 pounds.

  2. Zoe Smith says:

    I’d rather use these in my back seat rather than the front seat as pictured. Is that possible?

    1. Emma Lachey says:

      It depends on how both your dog seat and backseat are designed. Some dog seats like the A4Pet Lookout can work well in the front or back. Others, such as the PetsFit may not work as well unless you have movable headrests in the backseat to which you can attach the strap.

  3. Jan says:

    I’m looking for a car seat that works well in a convertible. I have a converible Karmman Ghia and I want something safe for my puppy that will be a mid size dog.

  4. Theodore says:

    I have a cat who’s kind of skittish when traveling – would any of these be a good choice for her?

    1. Emma Lachey says:

      That will depend on your cat. Several cat owners have used ones like the Snoozer Lookout and said their cats loved riding in it. However, some cats still preferred their crates when riding. If your cat is very nervous while riding, the crate is probably the best option.

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