The Best Car Safety Products for Pets in 2021

We rounded up the top pet travel products to keep you and your furry friend safer on the road.
Best car harness
sleepypod sport harness
Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Restrains pet
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Doesn't fit all breeds
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Certified by Center for Pet Safety
Best car barrier
Bushwhacker Car Barrier
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Contains pet
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Works for all pets
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No certifications
Best for budgets
Pawaboo Car Harness Seat Belt
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Restrains pet
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Fits all dogs
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No certifications
Best convertible carrier
pet carrier on wheels
Coopeter Pet Carrier
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Contains pet
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Not for large breeds
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No certifications
Best eye protection
dog goggles
Petleso Dog Goggles
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Protects eyes
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two sizes available
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No certifications

Traveling with your pet should be a fun and safe experience for both of you. The best car safety products keep your dog (or cat) buckled in and away from the steering wheel.

We like the Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness because it has been proven safe through crash tests. But it doesn't fit small dogs or those with greyhound-shaped chests. To help you find the best product for your pet, we've included a variety of kennels, carriers, barriers, and accessories in our round-up. 



Compare car safety products for pets

Image
Price
Suitability
Certified by Center for Pet Safety
Learn more
Best car harness
sleepypod sport harness

Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness

$129.95

Dogs with >28.5 in. chest

Yes

Best car barrier

Bushwacker Car Barrier

$99.95

Dogs

Not tested

Best for budgets

Pawaboo Car Harness Seat Belt

$13.99

Dogs

Not tested

Best for travel
pet carrier on wheels

Coopeter Pet Carrier

$69.95

Dogs, cats, and other small pets

Not tested

Best eye protection
dog goggles

Petleso Dog Goggles

$25.99

Dogs

Not tested

Best crash protection
gunner kennel

Gunner Kennel G1 Intermediate

$699.00

Dogs, cats, and other pets

Yes

Best booster seat for small dogs
K&H Bucket Booster Pet Seat

K&H Bucket Booster Dog Car Seat

$76.00

1 or 2 small dogs

Not tested

Best back seat cover

Active Pets Back Seat Cover

$45.96

Dogs

Not tested

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Reviews: Best car safety products for pets

1. Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness: Best car harness

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness is one of the most popular car safety devices for pets because it’s been crash-tested and approved by the Center for Pet Safety.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Uses seat belt
Pro Bullet Sturdy nylon
Pro Bullet Crash tested
Pro Bullet Works as a walking harness
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive
Con Bullet Best for calm dogs
Con Bullet Difficult to fit properly
Con Bullet Not suitable for small dogs or thin-chested breeds

It’s made of high-quality ballistic nylon, and it doubles as a walking harness. But customers say this harness is a tricky one to fit, and several customer reviews give accounts of dogs wiggling out of the harness and getting tangled.

Still, we think it’s worth a trial run if you have a calmer dog that isn’t a Houdini impersonator. Just remember to return it within 30 days if it doesn’t work out.

2. Bushwhacker Car Barrier: Best car barrier

Best car barrier

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

If you've ever had your dog nudge you firmly under the elbow, drool on your arm, pant in your ear, or use the front seat as a jungle gym while you drive, you'll appreciate having a car barrier like the Bushwhacker. Its simple but sturdy design keeps your dog in the backseat so you're less distracted while driving.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Reduces distracted driving
Pro Bullet Fits many vehicles
Pro Bullet Fine mesh netting
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Doesn't restrain your pet
Con Bullet No crash protection

The Bushwacker adjusts to fit the width and height of many cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. We prefer this fine mesh fabric instead of the open-net design of other models, which some dogs still try to push through. We also like that it reaches the ceiling, giving you full protection from your four-legged Houdini. 

If you crash, this car barrier won't stop your dog from tumbling around in the backseat. Therefore, it's best to use it in combination with a harness. 

3. Pawaboo Car Harness Seat Belt: Best for budgets

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Pawaboo Harness Seat Belt is a dog harness (great for larger dogs) with a tether attachment that clicks right into your existing seat belt buckle.

The D-ring on the harness makes it simple to unclip your pet from the seat-belt tether and clip a leash to turn it into a walking harness instead. So it’s easy to transition quickly from car to walking and vice versa.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Soft chest pad
Pro Bullet Detachable seat belt buckle
Pro Bullet Low price tag
Pro Bullet User-friendly design
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Chewable material
Con Bullet Unstable straps

The padded pet safety harness can also help absorb impact in case of a crash, and we like that there’s no elastic in the tether because it prevents a slingshot effect.

Keep in mind that this product isn’t designed with strong chewers in mind, so if you have a muncher, you might need to keep shopping. Reviewers also say that the harness can loosen with continuous pulling, so it’s a good idea to check it frequently if you have an energetic dog.

4. Coopeter Pet Carrier: Best for traveling

Best for traveling

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

If your life has you on the go and you want your four-legged friend to keep up, the Coopeter Pet Carrier can take your cat or dog from car to plane with ease. 

This wheeled carrier has a telescoping handle so you can pull it along behind you, or you can use the straps to wear it like a backpack. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Wheeled design
Pro Bullet Telescoping handle
Pro Bullet Removable base
Pro Bullet Backpack straps
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Uncomfortable straps
Con Bullet Assembly required
Con Bullet Car tethers could be better

For car rides, just loop the strap around the headrest. We wish it also had a lower tether to reduce any rebound or whiplash effect.

If you’re traveling by air, you can remove the carrier’s wheel base, giving your pet a comfortable place to snooze under the seat during the flight.

The Coopeter Pet Carrier requires some assembly, and users say that the removable base can come off easily if not secured. We also recommend adding some padding to the straps, as several reviews mention that it can be uncomfortable to carry as a backpack. 

5. Petleso Dog Goggles: Best eye protection

Best eye protection

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Petleso Dog Goggles protect your pooch's eyes from flying debris when they stick their head out the window. These sunglasses also offer UV protection and help your dog see in snowy conditions.

Their soft, ergonomic, and oversized design means your dog is less likely to try to paw them off. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Oversized design
Pro Bullet Soft material
Pro Bullet UV protection
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet May not fit all dogs
Con Bullet Some dogs may paw it off

The Petleso Dog Goggles come in black and white. The only downside is that they're currently made for large dogs only. For the small dog version, check out the goggles sold by SLDPET.

6. Gunner Kennel G1 Intermediate: Best for crash protection

Best for crash protection

At nearly $700, the Gunner Kennel G1 Intermediate is hands down the priciest car safety product on our list, but it’s also hands-down the safest.

Its sturdy, rotomolded design and escape-proof, key-lock door ensure that your pet will be well protected in case of an accident.

The Center for Pet Safety gave this dog crate a 5-star safety rating after putting it through crash testing. 

7. K&H Bucket Booster Dog Car Seat: Best for small dogs

Best for small dogs

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Most parents probably wish their child’s car seat was as easy to take in and out of their vehicle as the K&H Bucket Booster Dog Car Seat.

This seat is lightweight and simple to install, but it also keeps your pet secure, setting your mind at ease about your pet’s safety while you’re driving.

The seat is buckled into the car using a seat belt, and a tether attached to the seat hooks to your pet’s harness. The slightly-tilted design creates a bucket seat that keeps your pet more stable than a standard horizontal seat, and the slightly curved back helps it fit better into seats contoured for humans.

If you opt for the larger size, it will come with two tethers, which is great if you have two smaller dogs who like to stick together. Keep an eye on the tether straps, though—some customers have said that they’re not chew-proof.

Reviewers also say that it helps to place large, heavy items on the seat next to the booster to stabilize it since it can be a little wobbly going around turns.

8. Active Pets Back Seat Cover: Best seat hammock

Best seat hammock

*Amazon.com price as of 9/20/2021 at 8:50 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

No, we haven't lost our marbles—a back seat cover really is a safety device for pets. The key is to find one with fabric that connects the back seat to the front seats, like the Active Pets Back Seat Cover

This hammock design stops your dog from falling to the floor if you brake suddenly and don't have them restrained. Of course, we do recommend using a harness when possible, but this "seat hammock" is a decent back-up option for dogs who want nothing to do with a seat belt. 

Things to consider before you buy 

When determining the right car safety products for your pets, you should consider your pet’s personality, what they enjoy about rides, and what makes them anxious. Pet booster seats are great for cats and dogs in cars who like to watch the world go by, while an enclosed kennel might be a better choice for pets with high anxiety.

No matter what you choose, it’s important to consider your own safety as well.

  • Properly secure any kennel or bed either with seat belts or tie-down straps, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • Secure your pet to its kennel, seat, or directly to the vehicle using a non-elastic tether. 
  • Avoid suspended zipline-style devices. Since they can actually act as a slingshot in the event of an accident, it’s better to allow your pet to move freely throughout the backseat.
  • Never use collars in place of harnesses when securing your dog in the car with a tether, as the force in a crash on a collar could cause severe injury or even death. Harnesses distribute the pressure more evenly.

Keep in mind that most car safety products for pets are primarily intended for the safety of drivers and passengers, rather than pets. In other words, they’re pet restraints designed to help you keep your eyes on the road, not to protect your pet in the event of a crash.

Unfortunately, very few car safety products have been crash tested, and even fewer have been approved. To learn more about which car safety products for pets have undergone a crash test and been approved, visit the Center for Pet Safety.

Final word

Our top pick, the Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness, is a great choice for safety. But there are other ways to travel with your pet comfortably and confidently. Take time to discover your pet's preferences to make sure car rides remain fun experiences for all involved.

Pet car safety FAQ

The reason we don’t have more stringent standards is simple: pet owners aren’t demanding it. If you’d like to see tighter regulations on pet safety products, contact the Center for Pet Safety to find out how to get involved.

Just like you don’t want your dog wandering around your car because it isn’t safe, there are also areas in your home you may want to block your pet from entering. The best pet gates can keep your pets out of harm’s way. 

If you like going on wilderness adventures with your dog, it’s a good idea to shop for some outdoor safety gear, including safety harnesses and pup-friendly packs. Have a blind furry friend? A halo harness could be just what your bud needs.

It depends on your state. As of this writing, only six states in the US have laws on the books requiring dogs to be restrained while in a moving vehicle. Check your state’s laws to learn more.

How we reviewed the best car safety products for pets

To choose our top car safety products for pets, we read over 80 product reviews to see what customers said about their experiences with each product, including how well each device worked to keep pets restrained in vehicles. We also watched more than 25 videos showing products both in crash tests with dummies and in everyday use with real pets. Our full methodology gives more info about how we rate and review products.

Related articles on SafeWise

Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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