Dog carriers, harnesses and crates

Dog carriers, harnesses and crates

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If you’re a pet parent, there’s a good chance there will come a time when you need to load your dog into the car and take it for a ride. Until now you may have relied on hopes, prayers and the ability to wave your arm out and catch your wayward dog to prevent them from having accidents along the way, but investing in the right dog car seat can ensure both the safety of you and your pet. While your pet won’t be able to clip onto a regular seat belt exactly or ride in an infant car seat, it is dangerous to have them loose in the car, both for their safety and yours, as your pet could be a projectile. to injure other passengers in the car. car, according to the Pet Safety Center (CPS), an independent organization that certifies pet harnesses, crates, carriers and travel seats.

Whether you’re looking for something that doubles as a carrier and car seat, a crate that’s Fido’s home away from home, or a harness that keeps your pet as safe in the car as it is on a walk, the right car protection for your pet is out there. The Good Household Institute regularly research and test pet products to provide you with the safest and best options for your lifestyle: Our engineers and lab analysts regularly test everything from cat litter until cooling dog beds. When it comes to carriers and harnesses, our Lab experts have reviewed over 25 of both over the past two years to find the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle. While we have not personally tested all of the carriers and harnesses in this collection, we have included only those that have been safely tested by CPS.

Our top picks:

At the end of this guide, you can learn more about what to look for when choosing a pet car seat and whether you need one. Looking for something outside the car? View the best carriers and harnesses for the on-the-go dog.

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Best Overall Dog Car Seat


The dog carrier

Available sizes A size
Weight 4.3 pounds
materials Nylon, Leather
Dimensions 18.7″ x 10.8″ x 10.8″
Maximum weight recommendation 18 pounds

Best price dog car seat


Clickit terrain

Available sizes Small – x-large
Weight 12.35 ounces
materials Nylon
Chest dimensions Small: 20.5-25.5″; Medium: 25.5-28″; large: 28-31″; x-large: 31-41.5″
Maximum weight recommendation Small: 25 pounds; average: 90 pounds; large: 90 pounds; x-large: 110 pounds

Best luxury dog ​​car seat


Passenger travel carrier

Available sizes A size
Weight 4.5 pounds
Dimensions 20″ x 10.8″ x 11.5″
Maximum weight recommendation 18 pounds

Best Airline Dog Car Seat


Sleepypod Air

Available sizes A size
Weight 4.3 pounds
materials Nylon, Polyester
Dimensions 22” x 10.5” x 10” but can be scaled down to 16” x 10.5” x 10”
Maximum weight recommendation 18 pounds

Best dog car seat for long trips


Available sizes Small large
Weight 27 pounds
Dimensions Small: 24.5″ x 18.6″ x 20.5″; Medium: 29.5″ x 20.5″ x 24.5″; intermediate: 34″ x 23″ x 30″; large: 40.3″ x 28″ x 34.5″
Maximum weight recommendation Small: 30 pounds; average: 45 pounds; intermediate: 75 pounds; large: 75 pounds

Best dog car seat for large dogs

Lucky one

Lucky Kennel

Available sizes Medium and large
Weight Average: 38 pounds; large: 45 pounds
Dimensions Medium: 32.5″ x 22.5″ x 24.5″; Large: 38″ x 24″ x 29″
Maximum weight recommendation Average: 75 pounds; large: 110 pounds

Best Heavy Duty Dog Car Seat

Rock Creek Crates

Aluminum dog crate

Available sizes Medium – x-large
Weight Average: 36 pounds; large: 47 pounds; extra large: 58 pounds
materials Aluminum
Dimensions Medium: 30″ x 20″ x 22″; Large: 36″ x 24″ x 27″; extra large: 42″ x 28″ x 32″
Maximum weight recommendation Average: 50 pounds

How we chose and tested car seats for dogs

Our team at the Good Household Institute reviews of all kinds of pet equipment, from GPS systems for dogs until dog toys. Each of our picks has been crash-tested by the Pet Safety Center. “CPS partners with a true, independent, third-party testing lab to test pet productsLindsey Wolko, the founder of CPS, explains, stressing that CPS and their third-party lab are both truly independent. “Our organization developed the first instrumented and weighted crash test dogs years ago with the help of a NASA Engineer volunteer. We actively test a variety of products and are in the lab at least once or twice a month to conduct independent certification testing.

“We test pet travel products using a similar method used for child seats and other crash-tested safety products,” says Wolko. “Through our early investigations, we gathered data that allowed us to refer to crash conditions, but adjust the evaluation process and scoring methodology for pet products.” In addition to reading CPS’ test results and research papers, we went through dozens of 5-star reviews and considered a number of factors when evaluating each product, including comfort, safety, ease of use, and materials to provide expert recommendations.

Should your dog use a crash-tested car seat in the car?

Yes. It protects not only your pet, but also you and other passengers. “Pets are just as vulnerable as we are,” Wolko says. “Ensuring they are properly restrained or contained while traveling will help provide protection and prevent distraction.” Another thing that pet parents often overlook is that a stray pet is also dangerous to others in the car. “[Your] uninhibited pet can become a powerful projectile if a crash or sudden stop occurs. We’ve received reports of pets hitting the backs of passenger seats with projectiles during a crash, as well as reports of blunt trauma injuries to both pets and owners,” she explains.

To keep everyone in the car as safe as possible, the best choice is that you and your passengers wear seat belts and that your pets are restrained in crash tests. “Your family’s safety is at risk if you don’t properly secure your pet on road trips,” says Wolko. “CPS certified products have been scientifically tested and proven to protect human vehicle occupants and provide the best possible chance of survival for your pet.”

How else can you protect your pet?

In addition to tying them up on the road, there are a few other things you can do to keep your pup safe on the road. A thing? Roll up that window and keep your pet’s head in the car at all times. “While it’s cute to see those ears fluttering in the wind, road debris that catches the eye, or a stray rock hitting your dog can cause painful and expensive injuries,” Wolko says. “If you’ve ever heard a rock hit your windshield, imagine that rock hitting your dog in the eye.”

Another pet safety tip: Stay away from extra activities with pets in the car. It is best not to let your pet eat or drink while it is in motion and instead make a pit stop to keep them hydrated and nourished. Also, don’t let them play with toys. “Heavier toys can become dangerous projectiles in a crash or sudden stop, and if your dog chews, swallows, or chokes on a toy, it’s a significant distraction that will take your eyes off the road,” says Wolko.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

For decades, the Good Household Institute has provided expert reviews and advice on everything a pet parent needs, including car seats for dogs. Parenting & Pets Reviews Analyst Jamie Spain wrote this guide to list the safest dog harnesses, carriers, and crates on the road. She brings years of product review experience to GH, formerly working in parenting and pets People.

Jamie interviewed pet expert Lindsey Wolkofounder of Pet Safety Center to discuss CPS’s testing methods and tips for keeping your pet safe in the car.

Jamie Spain
Parenting & Pets Reviews Analyst
Jamie (she/her) is a parenting and pet reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institutewhere she spends her time testing, researching and writing about products for pets and families.

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