Best Dog Car Safety Harness – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Fivebarks is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Putting your seatbelt on is one of the first things you do when you get in your car. This device can save your life in an accident, and you would never think of having your children ride in the backseat without a seatbelt or car seat.

And yet, many pet owners don’t take the same precautions for their four-legged companion. Read on to learn more about the best dog car safety harness and how you can use these products to keep your dog safe when driving.

Comparison Table: Which Best Dog Car Safety Harness Do We Recommend?

Here’s a summary of the products we recommend to help you find the best dog car safety harness for your needs.

IMAGE

Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash Tested Car Safety Dog Harness e1651292964233

BRAND

Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Dog Harness

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: Yes
  • Points of contact: 3
  • Sizes available: 4

Pricing

Kurgo Tru Fit Enhanced Strength Crash Tested Smart Car Dog Harness

BRAND

Kurgo Tru-Fit Car Dog Harness

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: Yes
  • Points of contact: 1
  • Sizes available: 5
Solvit PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Car Harness

BRAND

Solvit PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Safety Harness

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: Yes
  • Points of contact: 2
  • Sizes available: 4
VavoPaw Car Seat Belt Leash Harness e1651067358812

BRAND

VavoPaw Vehicle Harness

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: No
  • Points of contact: 1
  • Sizes available: 4
Sherpa Dog Cat Seatbelt Harness

BRAND

Sherpa Dog Car Harness

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: Yes
  • Points of contact: 2
  • Sizes available: 4
BWOGUE Pet Dog Cat Seat Belts e1651318233614

BRAND

Bwogue Dog Seat Belt

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: No
  • Points of contact: 1
  • Sizes available: 1
EzyDog Drive Dog Car Harness

BRAND

EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: Yes
  • Points of contact: 2
  • Sizes available: 3
Sleepypod Mini for Pets

BRAND

Sleepypod Mini

DETAILS

  • Crash tested?: Yes
  • Points of contact: 1
  • Sizes available: 2

Top Eight Best Dog Car Safety Harness Reviews

The following harnesses meet high safety and quality standards. We think these products are the best dog car safety harness for different situations and we feel confident recommending these products to keep your pooch safe in the car.

1. Harness: Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Dog Harness

Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash Tested Car Safety Dog Harness e1651292964233

Crash-tested with the same standards as child safety restraints

Three points of contact

This car dog harness uses a patented design inspired by child safety restraints. The padded vest does a great job of absorbing and distributing impact forces evenly to prevent injuries.

This harness uses three points of contact with two loops that go through the seat belt and an element that clips into the seatbelt buckle. You can look at this image from an Amazon review to get a better idea of how the harness works.

This system is the best dog car safety harness for restricting forward and lateral movements, which is the best way to protect your dog while driving.

Plus, the manufacturer uses a thorough crash testing process that mirrors the tests used for child safety restraints. It’s a safe product, and it has earned a certification from the Center for Pet Safety.

This harness works for dogs anywhere from 18 to 90 lbs. There is a detailed size guide available on the manufacturer’s website to help you choose between four sizes.

The product uses a lightweight nylon material and features large openings for the front legs. It should fit many sizes and shapes of dogs and feel comfortable, even in hot weather.

PROS

  • Three points of content to anchor your dog safely
  • The vest is padded and comfortable
  • Thorough crash-testing process and safety certification

CONS

  • It costs more than other options
  • Some pet owners say there is a learning curve for using the product

2. Kurgo Tru-Fit Car Dog Harness

Kurgo Tru Fit Enhanced Strength Crash Tested Smart Car Dog Harness

Crash-tested harness

Comfortable padded vest with sturdy steel

This dog safety harness is an excellent choice if you’re shopping for a budget option, for instance, if you will only use the harness occasionally.

The manufacturer has conducted a crash test for this product. However, you should know that the manufacturer tested the harness for speeds of up to 30 mph and dogs of up to 75 lbs. If you do a lot of highway driving, we recommend looking for a product that went through a more thorough testing process.

The manufacturer offers five sizes, with the X-Large size exceeding the weight limit of the test. We recommend this harness for dogs of up to 75 lbs. However, the X-Large size for dogs of 80 to 110 lbs. might not be a safe option for these large breeds.

The harness features a padded chest element that fits comfortably. There is a loop in the back that you will attach to the seatbelt with a study steel carabiner. It’s a secure system, and it will protect your pooch from sudden braking and impacts.

Plus, you can easily adjust the straps of the harness for a comfortable fit, and the harness features two D-rings you can use to walk your dog on a leash.

PROS

  • Best dog car safety harness on a budget
  • A steel carabiner secures your dog to the seatbelt
  • Padded vest for comfort

CONS

  • Not crash-tested for dogs heavier than 75 lbs
  • The steel nest buckles are strong and safe but can pinch fur and skin

3. Solvit PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Safety Harness

Solvit PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Car Harness

Comfortable attachment system for small dogs

Crash-tested harness

The main issue when using a car safety harness for a small dog is that the seat belt can make it difficult for your dog to settle down comfortably since the lead might feel too short.

The design of this harness is fantastic for small breeds and dogs with short legs, making it the best dog car safety harness for dogs under 15 lbs. There is a comfortable padded vest that will distribute impact forces evenly to protect the chest area. You’ll find two nylon straps on the sides that connect to a back piece.

The back piece features two small loops that you will secure to a seatbelt with a sturdy carabiner. It’s a smart design that gives your pup a little extra length so they can sit or lay down comfortably while the harness keeps them safe.

We like the breathable liner and lightweight design of the padded vest. It’s an excellent option for long car rides in the summer.

The manufacturer offers four sizes but only tested three in a DOT-approved facility. We like that the manufacturer used standards similar to the equipment used for humans for impact forces of up to 3,000 lbs, but we don’t recommend the X-Large size since the manufacturer didn’t test it.

PROS

  • The two loops in the back make the harness more comfortable for small and short dogs
  • It’s a crash-tested product
  • The padded vest is breathable and lightweight

CONS

  • The manufacturer didn’t crash test the X-Large size

4. VavoPaw Vehicle Harness

VavoPaw Car Seat Belt Leash Harness e1651067358812

Comfortable harness with adjustable lead

Several ways of securing your dog

We like this dog safety harness because there are different ways of attaching it to a seatbelt or to other elements in your vehicle. It’s the best dog car safety harness if you’re looking for a versatile product. You’ll be able to test different methods of attaching it to see what feels comfortable for your pup.

This harness uses a traditional design with a chest plate that distributes impact forces. You’ll find a wide strap that goes around the neck and a second strap that goes behind the front legs.

There is a back element with a clip where you can attach the adjustable lead. The lead features a carabiner and a seatbelt clip. You can double up and pass the seatbelt through the carabiner before inserting the clip into the seatbelt buckle for added protection.

You can also use the carabiner to attach the harness to a headrest rod or to a latch bar. The headrest rod option is great for larger breeds.

The harness is adjustable, and you can also adjust the length of the lead. There are four sizes and different colors. It’s also a versatile harness you can use for walking, thanks to the D-ring in the back.

Overall, this safety harness is versatile, easy to use, and affordable. The downside is that the manufacturer doesn’t have any information about crash testing. We still recommend this product for short and occasional rides where you won’t drive at high speeds.

PROS

  • Best dog car safety harness in terms of versatility with different attachment methods
  • You can double up by using the carabiner and seatbelt clip

CONS

  • Not the best dog car safety harness if you want a crash-tested product

5. Sherpa Dog Car Harness

Sherpa Dog Cat Seatbelt Harness

Heavy-duty construction

The crash testing process is thorough

There is a lot to like about the Sherpa safety dog harness. While the heavy-duty construction might make it uncomfortable for small dogs, it’s the best dog car safety harness for larger breeds.

The harness features reinforced seams and strong nylon chest and back plates, making it ideal for larger and heavier dogs. We also like the two handles in the back of the harness, which can come in handy if you have an older pet who needs a little help getting in and out of the car.

There are two nylon elements that connect in the back to close the harness safely. You’ll find a robust buckle closure system with a quick-release button, which is a plus in the event of a car crash.

The manufacturer tested this product at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute with the same standards as for children’s car seats, making it the best dog car safety harness for those looking for advanced safety features. 

The potential downside of this product is that the seatbelt goes through the handles in the back of the harness. It’s a great way to keep your dog safe, but it can feel restrictive since the seatbelt can pin your dog back into the seat.

PROS

  • Heavy-duty construction makes this product the best dog car safety harness for large and heavy dogs
  • The crash testing process is extensive and reliable
  • Reinforced seams for extra durability 

CONS

  • Can feel restrictive

6. Best Headrest Restraint: Bwogue Dog Seat Belt

BWOGUE Pet Dog Cat Seat Belts e1651318233614

Adjustable headrest restraint

Great for small dogs

If you have a small pet, the best dog car safety harness could be a headrest restraint. This type of car safety harness loops around a headrest instead of clipping to a seatbelt.

It can be a good way of protecting your pooch since it does an excellent job of restricting their movements, and it’s an option that’s easier to install compared to harnesses you have to clip to a seatbelt.

This restraint comes with a lead that you connect to a dog harness of your choice. We recommend snug harnesses with a padded vest to prevent injuries.

The adjustable lead connects to a loop that closes with a buckle. You can secure this loop around a headrest and adjust its length. There is a quick-release button in case you need to unhook your dog fast.

This pet seatbelt is also a convenient option for two or more dogs since you can attach more than one pet seatbelt around the same headrest.

PROS

  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Great restraint for smaller dogs 

CONS

  • Not crash-tested
  • Might not be sturdy enough for large dogs

7. EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness

EzyDog Drive Dog Car Harness

Reinforced design is great for larger dogs

The product does a great job of preventing forward, and late

This quality safety harness is one of the sturdiest options available with its reinforced construction and large webbed straps. It’s the best dog car safety harness money can buy if you’re looking for a durable product that will last for years.

We like the straps because the material replicates the webbing of a seatbelt for a heavy-duty construction that is ideal for heavier pets.

The cross design on the chest plate is another noteworthy element because it helps distribute pressure if you have to stop suddenly.

The ergonomic fit of the harness is also a plus since it will keep your dog comfortable. It also makes the harness feel snug, which can help if your pooch tends to get anxious in the car.

The manufacturer has put this product through extensive crash tests, and we feel confident about recommending it.

This sturdy harness features two loops in the back. You’ll have to pull the seatbelt through these loops to keep your dog safe. It’s a great design for preventing any forward or lateral movements during a crash, but it can feel restrictive.

PROS

  • Best dog car safety harness for durability with its reinforced design and webbed straps
  • The fit is snug and ergonomic

CONS

  • There are only three sizes
  • The design can feel restrictive

8. Sleepypod Mini

Sleepypod Mini for Pets

Ideal for pets under seven pounds

Crash tested product

Finding the best dog car safety harness for a puppy or a toy breed can be challenging. Harnesses tend to be too large, and attaching a small pet to a seatbelt isn’t comfortable.

The Sleepypod Mini is a must-have travel accessory if you have a toy breed or a small puppy. This product feels like a comfy dog bed, but it comes with all the features you need to keep your four-legged companion safe when you travel.

It’s a contoured dog bed with a lid that you can zip to close it. It provides your pet with a safe space where they can sleep and relax, while the contoured walls will protect your pet from impacts. There is a Velcro strap and a locking element, so this small carrier doesn’t accidentally come open.

The Sleepypod Mini features some mesh panels to provide your pet with plenty of ventilation. Plus, this comfortable accessory features a handle that allows you to loop a seatbelt through it to secure your pet to a seatbelt.

The manufacturer used crash tests to improve this product and create one of the safest carriers around for small dogs.

There are two sizes to choose from and a large selection of colors. Plus, this comfortable carrier is convenient for air or train travel with your pet.

PROS

  • Looks and feels like a comfortable bed
  • Keep puppies and toy breeds safe by securing them to a seatbelt
  • The contoured bed will protect your pet from impacts

CONS

  • Your pet might get restless if they are used to roaming in the car

Buying Guide: How to Keep Your Dog Safe With the Best Dog Car Safety Harness

The best dog car safety harness depends on the size and breed of your dog. However, there are a few additional things to consider.

Why You Need to Choose the Best Dog Car Safety Harness

Boxer dog in the car

Sudden braking or an impact can send your pooch flying, which can result in serious injuries and even death. It’s a tragic scenario that you can easily prevent with a safety harness.

You need to select the best dog car safety harness for keeping your pet anchored to the car seat during an impact or sudden deceleration. The best dog car safety harness should also keep your dog safe after the crash.

A car crash is a scary situation that will likely cause your pet to panic. The last thing you want is a scared dog attempting to exit the vehicle.

Another important consideration when choosing the best dog car safety harness is that your dog can be a danger to yourself or to your passenger in a crash since a pet that isn’t wearing a seatbelt can become a projectile.

Plus, dogs can be a distraction since they tend to get excited during car rides. Using a seatbelt in combination with a screen or net that separates the front and back seat can reduce distractions.

Is There a Law That Says You Have to Use a Car Safety Harness for Your Dog?

There are a few states with laws regarding pet transportation, and Rhode Island and New Jersey even have laws that require pet owners to use a crate or safety harness. Drivers can incur a $200 fine in Rhode Island for failing to secure their dog with a safety harness when driving. New Jersey has steeper fines that can go up to $1,000.

States like Maine and Connecticut have laws against driving with a pet on your lap, which is a very unsafe practice. You’ll also find a few states like Minnesota or New Hampshire with laws against transporting an animal in an open truck bed without a crate, which isn’t a practice we recommend since there is no frame protecting your pet from an impact, even with a crate.

Most states don’t have any laws regarding protecting your dog when driving, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t secure your pet with a car safety harness. Seeing your pet injured or die in a car accident is heartbreaking, and it’s something you can easily prevent.

Different Types of Harnesses and Dog Seat Belts

Dog In Car Seat With Safe Belt

You’ll come across different types of safety harnesses and dog seat belts when looking for the best dog car safety harness:

  • You can find dog harnesses that use straps and carabiners. You’ll typically have to click the seatbelt on and attach the carabiners to the seatbelts, sometimes with multiple points. These harnesses are usually the safest option, especially for larger breeds and they will typically work for the backseat and cargo area.
  • For smaller breeds, a headrest seat belt can be the best dog car safety harness. These dog seat belts attach to a harness of your choice and keep your dog safe by anchoring her to the headrest. It can be a good option for smaller dogs, but it’s not as safe as a safety harness with multiple buckles, clips, or carabiners you can attach to a seat or belt.
  • Some manufacturers also offer dog seat belts that you can clip somewhere on an existing harness and clip into the seatbelt buckle. It’s a convenient option for keeping your pup in place, but it’s not as safe as a harness with multiple connections.

You might also come across sources that recommend transporting your pet in a crate or cage. It’s not a safe option since your dog can bounce around a crate and sustain serious injuries.

Note that some systems provide you with a lead you can clip to a harness to secure your dog to the seat. It’s up to you to find a comfortable harness that is sturdy and durable enough to keep your pet safe. Don’t use a collar with these systems!

Using a collar is extremely unsafe since a sudden deceleration could put a lot of pressure on your dog’s trachea and result in injuries or even strangulation.

Is Nylon a Safe Material?

BWOGUE Pet Dog Cat Seat Belts e1651318233614

Like most harnesses, collars, and leads, nylon is often the go-to material for dog safety harnesses. Manufacturers use nylon because it’s durable and sturdy. It’s easy to clean and safe for your dog’s skin and hair.

However, some dogs can chew through this material. If you have a heavy chewer, make sure to choose a harness with thick leads.

You’ll also come across safety harnesses that use elastic leads and bungee cords. It’s not a feature you’ll find on the best dog car safety harness.

These features can make your pup more comfortable by giving her some room to roam in the backseat. However, a bungee cord or elastic lead isn’t going to restrain your dog if there is sudden braking.

You should also pay attention to the quality of the carabiners, clips, or buckles. Stainless steel is a good choice since it can withstand pressure.

How Should a Dog Safety Harness Fit?

Before buying a dog safety harness, you’ll have to measure your dog. You can use a tape measure around your pet’s neck and directly behind her front legs to find the right fit.

While it’s fine to give your dog a little wiggle room for a harness you’ll use for walks, a safety harness requires a snug fit. You should be able to put one finger between the harness and your dog’s fur, but the best dog car safety harness should deliver a snug fit.

We recommend choosing an adjustable harness so you can get the right fit and find the best dog car safety harness for your pup. You should also pay attention to the length of the lead. You want the lead to be long enough to allow your dog to sit comfortably in the backseat with all four paws touching the seat. However, the lead shouldn’t be long enough to allow your dog to roam in the backseat or fall off the backseat.

Why You Need a Crash-Tested Product

Cars on a Crash Test

Dogs can sustain severe injuries during a car crash, including broken bones, head trauma, lacerations, and internal bleeding.

You need to buy a product you’re confident will prevent these injuries. The best way to find the best dog car safety harness is to look for a crash-tested product.

Manufacturers can use a pet dummy and simulate a car crash to see how well the product would protect an animal in this situation. They’ll typically use the results to improve the product.

A crash test can result in a product that costs more, but a manufacturer that skips this step can’t guarantee that they’re selling the best dog car safety harness.

Remember that there are no regulations like seatbelts or car seats. Manufacturers can sell anything and make any claim they want without any repercussions. It’s best to look for a reputable brand that takes the time to crash test its products, even if it means spending a little more.

You can also look for products certified by the Center for Pet Safety and other nonprofits.

Conclusion

Keeping your dog safe while you drive is easy if you use the proper car safety harness. It only takes a few seconds to attach your pet to a seatbelt, and it could save their life.

We think the Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Dog Harness is the best dog car safety harness money can buy since this product features three points of contact. Using more points of contact is one of the best ways to distribute impact forces evenly and prevent movements in a crash situation.

For puppies and toy breeds, we highly recommend the Sleepypod Mini from the same manufacturer. This product reproduces the feel of a dog bed to keep your pet calm and comfortable, while the contoured design and secure seatbelt attachment will protect your pooch.

For large dogs and giant breeds, we think the EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness is your best bet with its reinforced design and webbed straps. It’s a sturdy harness that will prevent movements in a crash or sudden stop situation.  

Meet our writer

Tammi grew up in the countryside on her parents’ farm where animals, including dogs, always surrounded her. Tammi Avallone is a lifelong dog-lover and the Managing Editor of FiveBarks.com.

Leave a Comment