Taking dogs along on car rides is convenience and company for us- and a proper treat for them. Whether it’s to the park, on the way to a walk, for a grocery run, or to the dreaded vet, dogs come to love car rides, once they get over their initial fear and disorientation of being inside a moving vehicle.
And while it’s amazing to have a dog who is always up and ready to go on new adventures with you, fact remains that cars aren’t the safest places for dogs. They are enthusiastic and easily distracted little creatures and can jump to the window or out of their seat at the first sign of something exciting happening.
Which is why it is essential to have the right harness in place for them. Seat belts are great for humans, because that’s who they are designed for. Here are some of the best dog car harnesses that’ll make sure that your big pup will have a smooth and safe car ride.
The Top 5 Dog Car Harnesses
The SlowTon harness and seat belt set is a double layered mesh wonder for dogs who like to ride shotgun- or wherever. Made of two overlapping layers of mesh fabric, which is crimped on the corners with flannelette edges. The entire construction makes the harness strong, without putting pressure on your dog’s chest at any point. At the same time, it does not compromise on restraint.
The mesh itself is breathable and has enough ‘give’ in it to allow your dog to shift comfortably, without allowing him too much freedom of movement. Depending on how you attach the harness to your car’s seat belt, the seat belt attachment makes for an extremely efficient binding. The SlowTon set comes with a seat belt included, lets your dog move a little and change position as he likes. If he’s in the back seat, you can adjust the length of the belt to allow him to lie down and sit up.
The mesh harness itself is a comprehensive design that wraps around your dog’s front and back and neck, much like his collar does. The straps attached to it can thus be used to limit your dog’s reach. So, if your pooch suddenly wants to visit you in the front of the car, he’s not going to be able to.
The harness is connected to four PP straps, with which you can adjust the width and length, to suit your dog perfectly. Plus, the straps also absorb sweat, and let air circulate so that your dog doesn’t feel trapped or flustered at any point. The straps of the safety belt, on the other hand, are made of a solid and sturdy elastic nylon mix, which stretches a little and is adjustable to your dog’s size. This attachment goes with the seatbelt slot normally present in most cars.
In fact, your dog doesn’t even necessarily have to ride up front. The length of the seatbelt – a full 53- 74 cm – allows you to have your dog in the trunk of the car as well. The harness strap is equipped with four buttons, which let you give your dog- or even your cat! – the snuggest fit.
As long as your pet is in or near the car, you can use the SlowTon harness as a travel harness. But when you’re not on the road, the seatbelt can be disconnected and the harness doubles up as an easily adaptable regular harness, that you can attach your dog’s walking lead to. It’s suitable for any small to large sized dogs, and even medium sized cats. Plus, the set comes in so many colours!
Large Dog Car Harness
The HOLUCK harness for dogs is a sturdy and solid construction that makes it eminently suited for medium to large sized dogs, but also any dogs that may need a strong grip. Made of a resilient Oxford material, the harness and straps have very strong seams, leaving no chance of fraying. The fabric is strong but breathable, which makeshift easier for your pets to wear it even over longer periods of time. Plus, the design of the harness and straps reduces any chances of there being pressure on your dog’s neck, even if you leave it on your dog throughout the night.
The material of the harness is covered in 3M reflective material, which allows your dog to be seen from a distance away, in the rare case that he is wandering alone near a road or thoroughfare. So not only is he safe with you, but also when you’re not in the immediate vicinity, while hiking or in parks, for example.
The harness vest has a double D ring attached to the front and back, which allows you to alter the amount of traction you want to allow your dog. There are multiple modes available. Plus, you can change how they transmit the pull by adjusting the connection to your car’s seat belt. The clasp is a buckle that comes with a lock, so you can rest assured that your dog’s excited tugging at it isn’t going to make it give way. The snap is perfectly safe, and has a no-pull handle, which makes handling even easier.
Given the size and shape, the HOLUCK harness is suitable for most medium to large breeds, ranging from Retrievers, Labradors, German Shepherds, Terriers, and comfortable even for smaller dogs in the range of spaniels, boxers, and pugs. To give you an idea, the neck grip spans 33-46cm or 40-72cm, and the chest at 43-56cm or 50-94cm, depending on the size you buy.
The harness is very lightweight but not the least bit weaker for it. Plus, the padded material makes it even more easy for dogs to wear for longer periods of time, without feeling constrained. And it’s not just for the car or park. Simply attach your dog’s regular leash to it and you can use it as a harness while walking him as well.
With a radically different design, the MuttStuff car seat cover is more extra seat, less harness. The cover is basically a foldable car seat that you can adjust to be either a small basket with raised walls, in which your dog can comfortably sit or lie down, and when not, you can fold it down to be a cover for the front seat as an extra layer of protection. It’s completely 2-in-1.
The cover itself is quilted and padded, which makes it a very cosy and comfortable little case for your dog, lined completely from the inside. It has a snug and plushy interior, which helps your dog have adequate padding in case of bumps or jerks on the road. In this regard it is especially suited for small dogs, because they can curl up inside the case and even snooze, if they’d like to.
The MuttStuff seat also comes with a free safety belt that is basically a harness for the seat cover to your car’s seat. It keeps the seat cover fixed in place and makes sure that your dog does not get jostled. Additionally, it removes any chance of the seat cover moving off its position on the seat. The whole basket can be fixed with the multiple strap system which attaches the cover to the car seat.
The raised flaps or the walls of the seat cover are firm and sturdy without being stiff. This makes them pliant, so that your dog is safe inside them, without being inside a cardboard or wooden box-like structure, that would not only be uncomfortable, but also risky. A small dog can easily be bruised if thrown around inside a crate like enclosure. The MuttStuff cover, though, keeps your dog snug and happy, as it is made of a heavy 900D Oxford material with extra thick walls.
Not only is the cover hard and resilient, but also very easy to clean. The material is waterproof, which makes it a dream to wash and dry. So, you can take your dogs through every terrain imaginable, whether it’s to the beach, or a hike, or a walk-through slushy weather.
And have no worries of what it’s going to do to the interiors of your car. Your dog can simply curl and sleep on the way home after one of your many (muddy!) adventures together. Plus, in the rare case that you don’t find it to be a perfect fit for your dog, you can always just get your money back with a return!
The opposite of a car seat, the Just Pet Zone car seat belt is all the restraint and none of the shape. Made of bungee cord-like heavy duty elastic leashes, it helps keep your pet bound to the car seat, but gives him enough flexibility of movement to stand up, adjust his position as he likes, look out of the window or the back seat, and generally have a range of independent motion- without the chance of him getting off the seat.
The elastic cord system is adjustable, with both cords lashing your pet effectively in place. In fact, this can even be used for cats, should your cats be comfortable with car rides and going along for drives. The straps can be adjusted between 53-74 cm, to best first your pet. Plus, the metal buckles, which are very sturdy and good quality, work on an easy snap and release mechanism. This helps make getting on and off a matter of a couple of clicks. And since the swivel snap can rotate in a full circle, there’s no chance of tangles. Or snapping, for that matter, as the snap is made of a strong zinc alloy material.
The Just Pet Zone cord system makes it an amazing experience for dogs because of the freedom it offers. They are restrained in their seats and safe, but not restricted. However, this is also why it’s better for dogs who are not very rowdy or hyperactive, as this cord system may not be enough restrain for them. But if your dog has a milder temperament- this one is definitely for him!
Small Dog Car Harness
Like the Just Pet Zone belt system, the Inkesi dog seat belt also comes with an adjustable leash system, but with an additional harness as well.
Designed to be the closest fit for your dog, the seat belt comes with a strap that can be adjusted between 42-70 cm, so you can adjust it, depending on how much range of movement you want your dog to have. Since the strap itself is made of high-quality nylon material, it won’t fray or stretch more than a small amount. Plus the accompanying sturdy zinc allow clip allows the strap to twist and swivel without either getting strained, or allowing your dog to feel any strain. This make sure that your dog is safe and fits in his space without any awkward tugs or pulls.
The strap and clip are both made of high-quality material, so the Inkesi cord system is definitely an investment. Your dog can enjoy himself and the ride to the fullest extent without feeling restricted or bound, and is safe at the same time. Also, the connecting system is compatible with almost all car manufacturers.
The only problems that can arise are that the straps can be too narrow for dogs larger than a large-medium range. Also, the straps are not fully tangle proof, so if your dog is restless or jumpy, you should probably consider an option that has a harness with the seat belt system as well. If you are looking for other dog leads check out our round up of the best dog leads.
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