Choosing a Dog Car Seat: 4 Things to Consider

The perfect dog car seat is one that will keep your dog safe, but that's not all. Here are four things to consider when shopping for pet seating options.

Sizing Up Your Dog for Car Travel

Small dogs feel more at home in booster seats. Booster seats are comfy, cozy and provide stability during car rides. This kind of device attaches right to your car seat and gives your dog a safe place to sit during car trips.

Mid-sized dogs are easy to accommodate with travel seats that fit in the back of cars. A device for the back seat offers enough room for your pet to move around, but still keeps him safe and secure. Be sure you measure your dog to see if he will have enough leg room when he's placed in the device.

Large dogs do well with seating options that have a lot of mechanisms to attach to your car. Find car seats for large dogs with multiple attachment points and adjustable straps that keep the seat firmly in place.

Extra large dogs enjoy sitting in hammock seats. A large hammock seat attaches to the front and back seat headrests of your car. Many come with straps and clips to secure the seat to the vehicle. This design prevents a dog from roaming about the car and interrupting the driver and other passengers.

Consider the Design of Your Car

When selecting a car seat, be sure it can adjust to the design of your vehicle. Sometimes bucket and other types of car seats won't work with the device you choose for your dog's transportation.

Make sure the attachments can correctly hook onto your existing vehicle. Some travel devices are made to snap onto your car's seat belts or strap around the back of the vehicle's front seat. Review the measurement details about straps and other attachments before you make a purchase.

Providing Comfort and Security

If your dog is not comfortable with the material the car seat is made out of he won't sit still. Purchase a travel seat that comes with a cover pad or that is made out of a quality material. Car seats with plenty of foam padding offer safety as well as comfort for fussy dogs.

Let your dog test out the car seat before you buy it to make sure he is comfortable with its design, materials and fabrics.

Today, car seats are made with organic cotton covers and environmentally friendly materials like velcro straps and dye-free substances. This way, if your dog is allergic to synthetic fibers or happens to chew on a strap, he won't get sick.

When a Car Seat Just Won't Work

In some instances, there are dogs who just won't embrace standard seating arrangements. If so, here are additional options for traveling with restless pets.

Collapsible travel kennels provides a safe but unassuming haven for a dog on a road trip. They come with straps that secure to the seat of your car and zippers at the entrance of the carrier. They are not as confining as a car seat or plastic carrier.

  • Pet barrier - excellent for traveling with a large dog in your SUV; many are adjustable according to the size of your vehicle.
  • Seat belt or harness - offers your pet more freedom, but still protects him. Your pet can sit or stand in place and remain safe if you suddenly stop the car.