Dog carriers, harnesses and crates

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If you’re a pet parent, chances are 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 swing your arm and catch your wayward dog to keep it from having accidents along the way, but invest in the right one” dog car seat” can guarantee both your safety and that of your pet. While your pet can’t exactly be restrained in a regular seat belt or in an infant car seat, leaving it loose in the car is dangerous for its safety as well as yours, because your pet can become a projectile that injures other passengers in the vehicle. car, according to the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), an independent organization that certifies travel harnesses, crates, carriers and travel seats for pets.

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 secure in the car as it is on a walk , the right car protection for your pet is out there. The Good Housekeeping Institute regularly researches and tests pet products to give you the safest and best options for your lifestyle: our engineers and lab analysts regularly test everything from cat litter to cooling beds for dog. When it comes to carriers and harnesses, our lab experts have evaluated over 25 of both over the past two years to help you find the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle. While we haven’t personally tested every rack and harness in this roundup, we’ve only included those that have been safety tested by CPS.

Our top picks:

You can read more about what to consider when choosing a pet car seat and whether or not you need one at the end of this guide. Looking for something outside of the car? Check out the best carriers and harnesses for the pooch on the go.

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Best dog car seat

A way

The pet carrier

Sizes available Unique size
lester 4.3 pounds
Materials nylon, leather
Dimensions 18.7″ x 10.8″ x 10.8″
Maximum weight recommendation 18 pounds

Best Value Dog Car Seat


Click on the ground

Sizes available Small – x-large
lester 12.35 ounces
Materials Nylon
Chest dimensions Small: 20.5-25.5″; Medium: 25.5-28″; tall: 28-31 inches; extra large: 31-41.5 inches
Maximum weight recommendation Small: 25 pounds; medium: 90 pounds; large: 90 pounds; x-large: 110 pounds

Best Luxury Dog Car Seat


Passenger Travel Carrier

Sizes available Unique size
lester 4.5 pounds
Dimensions 20″ x 10.8″ x 11.5″
Maximum weight recommendation 18 pounds

Best Airline Dog Car Seat


Sleepypod Air

Sizes available Unique size
lester 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


Sizes available Small big
lester 27 pounds
Dimensions Small: 24.5″ x 18.6″ x 20.5″; Medium: 29.5″ x 20.5″ x 24.5″; medium: 34″ x 23″ x 30″; large: 40.3″ x 28″ x 34.5″
Maximum weight recommendation Small: 30 pounds; medium: 45 pounds; intermediate: 75 pounds; large: 75 pounds

Best car seat for large dogs

lucky duck

lucky kennel

Sizes available Intermediate and large
lester Intermediate: 38 pounds; large: 45 pounds
Dimensions Medium: 32.5″ x 22.5″ x 24.5″; Large: 38″ x 24″ x 29″
Maximum weight recommendation Intermediate: 75 pounds; large: 110 pounds

Best Heavy Duty Dog Car Seat

Rock Creek Crates

Aluminum Dog Cage

Sizes available Medium – x-large
lester Medium: 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 Medium: 50 pounds

How We Choose & Test Dog Car Seats

Our team at the Good Housekeeping Institute reviews pet gear of all kinds, from dog GPS systems to dog toys. Each of our picks has been tested by the Center for Pet Safety. “CPS works with a true independent third-party testing lab to test pet products“, explains Lindsey Wolko, the founder of CPS, emphasizing that CPS and its third-party laboratory are both truly independent. “Our organization developed the first instrumented and weighted crash test dogs years ago with the help of a NASA volunteer engineer. We actively test all kinds 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 methodology similar to that used for child seats and other crash-tested safety products,” Wolko says. “Through our early studies, we collected data that allowed us to benchmark crash conditions, but customize the evaluation process and rating methodology for pet products.” In addition to reading CPS’s test results and research papers, we’ve sifted through dozens of 5-star reviews and considered a number of factors when rating each product, including comfort, safety, ease of use and materials to make expert recommendations.

Does your dog need to use a crash-tested car seat in the car?

Yes. Not only does it protect your pet, but it also protects you and other passengers. “Pets are just as fragile as we are,” says Wolko. “Ensuring they are properly restrained or contained during travel will help provide protection and prevent distractions.” Another thing that pet owners tend to ignore is that a loose pet is also dangerous to others in the car. “[Your] an unrestrained pet can become a powerful projectile in a crash or sudden stop. We have received reports of projectiles from pets slamming into passenger seatbacks in a crash as well as reports of blunt force injuries to both pets and owners,” she explains.

To keep everyone in the car as safe as possible, the best bet is for you and your passengers to wear seat belts and your pets to be strapped into crash-tested restraints. “Your family’s safety is at risk if you don’t properly secure your pet during car rides,” Wolko says. “CPS certified products have been scientifically tested and proven to provide protection for human vehicle occupants and provide the best possible chance of survival for your pet.”

If not, how can you protect your pet?

Besides tying them up on the road, there are a few other things you can do to keep your pup safe while on the road. A thing? Roll up this window and keep your pet’s head inside the car at all times. “While it’s adorable to see those ears flapping in the wind, road debris landing in the eyes or a stray rock hitting your dog can cause painful and costly injuries,” says Wolko. “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 additional pet activities while you’re in the car. It’s best not to let your pet eat or drink while in motion and instead make a pit stop to keep them hydrated and nourished. Also, avoid letting them play with toys. “Heavier toys can become dangerous projectiles in the event of an accident or sudden stop, and if your dog is chewing, swallowing or choking on a toy, it’s a major distraction that will take your eyes off the road. “, says Wolko.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute has provided expert advice and guidance on everything a pet owner needs, including dog car seats. Parenting & Pets Reviews analyst Jamie Spain wrote this guide to reflect on the safest harnesses, carriers, and crates for dogs on the road. She brings years of product review experience to GH, previously working in parenting and pets at People.

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

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