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.
- Consider combining pet safety options. For example, PawSafe has a dog seat belt that pairs with harnesses.
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.
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.