Using a dog car harness is a simple solution to allowing them to ride in the car. Unlike a dog car seat, the harness is low maintenance and far easier to store when not in use. They simply attach to the seat belt, which then secures the dog onto the seat.
The best dog car harness is the Sleepypod ClickIt, which includes multiple sizes with various designs and has been thoroughly crash tested for maximum safety.
Without being properly restrained in the car, dogs can suffer severe injury in the event of a car accident. Not only do they pose a risk to themselves but they can become a distraction and reduce your concentration on the road.
Table of Contents
- Best Dog Car Harness
- Sleepypod ClickIt Dog Car Harness
- Kurgo Dog Harness For Car
- PetSafe Solvit Dog Safety Harness
- Ruffwear Load Up Vehicle Restraint Harness
- Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness
- Dog Car Harness Buying Guide
Best Dog Car Harness
Harnesses that have been designed for dogs have gone under rigorous testing to ensure maximum safety. The Center for Pet Safety carried out their owns tests, which worryingly uncovered that some harnesses weren’t that safe at all.
It is crucial that you take your time to find the best option that has been crash tested. Once you have decided on a dog car harness, you will need to ensure that it will fit your dog comfortably. Most brands will state a neck and chest girth measurement.
Below is a list of the best dog car harnesses that are designed to ensure they remain restrained and protected whilst driving as well as being easy to put on.
Sleepypod ClickIt Dog Car Harness
The Sleepypod ClickIt is a premium dog car harness that has been crash tested and certified by the Center for Pet Safety. This is a unique selling point as many alternatives state they have been tested but have not been certified by the CPS.
Other features of the Sleepypod ClickIt include:
- 3 points of seat belt contact
- 4 sizes that range from 16.5 to 40 inches of chest girth
- 5 different colored designs
- Ballistic nylon construction
- Wide supportive vest that distributes forces evenly
Although the brand have stated the chest girth measurements, this harness is not ideal for Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, Afghan Hounds and Borzo breeds.
The Sleepypod ClickIt is an expensive dog harness for your car but the fact that it’s been crash tested by the CPS makes it worth spending the extra.
Kurgo Dog Harness For Car
Kurgo is a big brand within the dog apparel and accessories industry, which they are know for their build quality. Their dog car harness has been crash tested for dogs up to 75 LBS at the same facility where testing of child restraint systems are held.
One of the main benefits of purchasing from the Kurgo brand is that you receive a limited lifetime warranty, which is highly beneficial.
Other features of the Kurgo Dog Harness for Cars include:
- Sizes to fit chest girths from 12 to 44 inches
- Padded chest area for comfort and protection
- 5 adjustment straps for the perfect fit
- Crash test certified for dogs up to 75 LBS
- Available in red or black
- 2 buckle options to choose
- Includes a seat belt tether
The Kurgo Dog Car Harness is the most popular is the US and ticks every box in terms of performance, safety and value for money. It is one of the best options for those looking for an affordable alternative to the Sleepypod ClickIt above.
PetSafe Solvit Dog Safety Harness
The PetSafe Solvit Dog Safety Harness is one of the cheapest available. Although the crash testing is not completed by the CPS, it was still tested within a DOT-approved facility. This may be an issue for some people but it is far cheaper than alternatives.
Other features of the PetSafe Solvit Dog Safety Harness include:
- Stress tested to 3,000 LBS
- Fully padded vest area for comfort
- Multiple seat belt attachment locations
- Sizes range from 9 to 40 inch chest girths
- Convenient point for leashes to attach
- Weight compatibility from 6 to 125 LBS
Overall, the PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Car Safety Harness is a durable and well-made example of what is available. Compared against the expensive alternatives, it offers excellent value for money too. It is compatible with all cars and you can purchase multiple tethers to have all the cars harness ready.
Ruffwear Load Up Vehicle Restraint Harness
Ruffwear is another big brand within the dog apparel and accessories industry with a large following worldwide. Their “Load Up” dog car harness has been tested in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under specific safety standards.
Features of the Ruffwear Load Up Safety Harness include:
- Uses high strength metal hardware and components
- Chest girth sizes range from 13 to 42 inches
- Hand washable with mild detergent
- Easily attaches to seat belts
- Reflective dark styling
The design of this dog car harness allows for your dog to sit, stand and lie down, which ensures that they can remain comfortable on long journeys.
Overall, the Ruffwear Load Up Safety Harness is an excellent choice for car safety but the main drawback is the cost and lack of colors to choose.
Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness
The Mighty Paw dog car harness is another affordable option with various sizes available. However, unlike the many cheap alternatives available, this harness has been produced by a family owned business in the US.
Features of the Mighty Paw Dog Car Harness include:
- Chest girth sizes range from 16 to 44 inches
- Weatherproof design with breathable padding
- Can be used as a regular harness
- Front or back leash attachments
- All metal hardware for durability
Overall, the Mighty Paw is an excellent all-round dog car harness that offers excellent value for money. It does lack any different style option and there are only three different sizes to choose from. However, in terms of durability and affordability, this harness is the best option.
Dog Car Harness Buying Guide
In the event of an accident, you will want to ensure that everyone inside the car is safe, which includes your dog. One of the best methods of achieving this is by using the best dog car harness you can get your hands on.
Not all dog safety harnesses are manufactured to the same standards. The cheap examples may be tempting but when you buy the premium harnesses, they usually come with various certifications for safety.
Crash testing and safety standards costs the manufacturers thousands and it is the reason why there is a larger price tag.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding dog car safety harnesses.
No matter how fast you have an accident in your car, the amount of force will be huge. The dog car harness that you choose must be able to withstand the force with the weight of your dog inside it.
There are many harnesses available online that have not been tested thoroughly, which is very worrying. The failure of the harness can cause injury to your dog and may not reduce the force whatsoever. None of the failing harnesses have been included within our recommendations.
You may be tempted by some of the cheap harnesses available but we advise that you avoid them. Your dogs safety is paramount and the price of the dog safety car harness should not be an issue.
Measuring Your Dog
The biggest mistakes that most dog owners make is purchasing the wrong sized harness. You will need to measure your dogs neck and chest girth and their weight.
For those requiring additional help measuring their dog, Kurgo have put together an informative guide for guidance.
You will want to ensure that your dog is as comfortable as they can be whilst wearing a harness. Features such as adjustable straps and additional padding can make long journeys far more relaxed.
Attaching the Harness to a Seat Belt
Once you have found the best dog car harness, you will then want to attach it correctly. Not every harness design is the same but the majority will allow you to loop the seat belt buckle through the harness. This will use the arm and waist strap of the seat belt to secure the dog to the seat.
It really is that simple and some brands include a separate leash that attaches from the seat belt to the harness. If you haven’t already protected your interior, we would strongly recommend investing into a durable dog seat cover. Muddy paws and claws can cause permanent damage, which can be easily avoided with a cover.
Standard vs Car Harness For Dogs
Although some harnesses car harnesses be used for use in the car and on the leash, they cannot be used the other way round. The standard harness may have the ability for you to loop the seat belt though but it is not recommended.
The materials used will not be as strong as a dedicated dog car harness, which is designed to withstand much greater force. They will also not use additional padding across the chest area for protection and comfort.
Unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, only use a harness that has been crash tested for use when travelling in the car.
Riding with your dog in the car is great fun and can be completely safe and legal when they are appropriately restrained. However, there are still many people that do not have any safety equipment for travelling with their dog.
All of the recommended dog car harnesses within this article have been crash tested and specifically designed for use in the car. By purchasing one of them, you will have peace of mind that they are protected if there were to be a car accident.