Driving with an unrestrained dog in your car is not only dangerous for your dog but potentially deadly for anyone in the vehicle. A 60-pound canine can become a 2700-pound missile in a collision. Similarly, a dog that isn’t wearing a dog seat belt and safety harness is a constant distraction to its driver, making them as much a hazard as talking on your phone.
So buckling your pup in while traveling is a no-brainer. But with the amount of dog and puppy car seatbelts available on Amazon, you can be forgiven for not knowing which ones will actually keep your dog safe. Many dog car seat belts and traveling crates are misleading when describing how much their product will really protect your pet.
So to help you out, we made a list of the best seatbelts, safety harnesses, and crates you can buy in 2021 to make sure your dog is safe while traveling.
In this article:
Which states require a dog seat belt and harness?
In some states, choosing a safety harness and seatbelt isn’t only wise; it’s the law. The following states require that dogs be restrained appropriately while driving:
- New Hampshire,
- New Jersey,
- and Rhode Island.
How do you know which dog seat belt and harness to choose?
Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as just picking the best-looking canine safety harness on Amazon. The vast majority of the products available are not actually crash-tested, have failed crash-tests, or have refused to get crash-tested.
In some cases, manufacturers have gotten their own third parties to crash-test their products, with no oversight to make sure the results are legitimate.
But here are Thug Dogs; we care about your pup, so our first order of business was to check that each product passed the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) crash tests and was CPS certified. After all, safety first.
So using CPS’s tested seatbelts, harnesses, and crates, here is our list of top products to keep your canine safe in any vehicle.
The Sleepypod Clickit Sport dog safety harness
The Sleepypod Clickit Sport comes in a handy four sizes (Sm, Med, Lg, XL). This harness is specifically designed to protect your dogs between 18 and 90 pounds in case of collision. It is built to work with your car’s existing seatbelt. So you don’t have to order a specific doggy seatbelt that may not be compatible with your vehicle.
For a tutorial on how to use this harness in the car, you can see this video:
The heavy-duty and durable design helps spread impact across the dog’s front to avoid hurting a specific area such as the neck or chest.
It boasts a padded vest and stress-tested buckles to make this one the safest pieces of gear you can choose for your dog. The only downside is that at $94.99, the harness is a little pricy. Luckily, with its durability, you shouldn’t have to buy more than one or two during your dog’s lifetime.
The Sleepypod Clickit Terrain car safety harness
Although more expensive on Amazon, the Sleepypod Terrain offers a few more safety features than the Sport. It uses metal hardware instead of plastic, making it stronger and more durable. It also uses shock-absorbing sleeves not found on the Sport.
In addition to passing the CPS crash tests, the Terrain has also passed European and Canadian tests. So it’s probably one of the safest products on the market.
The price is deserved when factoring in the large variety of extra safety features. These include quick-release, extra-strength buckles, rear and front reflective patches for night visibility, and that it is also strength tested as a walking harness.
The ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack car dog seat belt harness
One of the problems that sometimes arise with Sleepypod harnesses is that they aren’t always a good fit for small dogs. For that, we have the CPS-certified ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack’s patented design harness.
Image credit: ZuGoPet
Made for dogs that measure 9 to 19 inches from bottom to shoulder, this unique little harness was also reviewed by a veterinary orthopedic surgeon during the research and design phase.
Working something like a children’s car seat for canines, each pack includes:
- Velcro Harness
- Car Seat, Front-pack
- Backpack / Front-pack Straps
- Child Anchors for Rocketeer Pack
- Headrest strap
The only downside to the neat little Rocketeer pack is that it can be difficult to strap in a hyperactive dog. At $175, it is one of the priciest harnesses on the list, although it is still far cheaper than the crates.
Away Pet Carrier
Winning points for stylishness, the Away Pet Carrier both passes the CPS test and scores high for sheer glitz and comfort. It boasts beautiful pastel colors with dark accents, multiple pockets, and water-resistant sherpa lining.
Image credit: Away Travel
Since it can be carried, taken on a plane, or buckled into your car, this is one of the most pragmatic choices for small dog owners; however, at around $273.00, it is a bit costly.
Gunner Kennel G1 series (Small, medium & intermediate)
With five stars from CPS, the Gunner Kennel G1 series is one of the highest-rated travel crates for pet safety. With the price ranging around $450, the cost is a little eyewatering. Still, one look at the Gunners performance against other crates in crash test footage makes it well worth the investment.
Image credit: Gunner
The Gunner Kennel Range is double-wall rotomolded and claims to double the manufacturing process of Olympic-level kayaks. Gunner is so confident in their product, they offer a lifetime warranty.
Other features include stainless steel pins tested not to rip away on impact and a drainage system for easy cleaning.
Lucky Kennel Intermediate & Large with Lucky Strength-Rated Anchor Straps
Like the Gunner Range, the Lucky Duck kennels come with a lifetime warranty and a five-star score from CPS. Unfortunately, at $499.99, it is also with a steep price.
Nevertheless, if safety is a crucial concern for your beloved pet, you can’t do much better than the Lucky Kennel. It is both durable and light, making it easily portable. It also has quick flip doors and a locking paddle latch you can open with one hand.
Other features include:
- Drain channels and holes for easy cleaning
- Powder-coated tie-downs
- Heavy-duty handles
- Non-slip rubber feet
A final word
While there are countless dog seat belts, harnesses, carriers, and crates flooding the market, don’t be duped by flashy products or lured by lower prices.
Bitterly few of the products available are properly crash-tested by a recognized authority. We all want to keep our fur babies as safe as possible, and this should extend to driving and traveling with them. So be sure to do your research before buying something that may not protect your dog in the worst-case scenario.