One of the best parts of having a dog is having a steady companion you can take anywhere with you. And, if you’re like me, you love taking your dogs on long walks and on excursions to parks and play areas.
But getting to these areas can sometimes be problematic, if you don’t live close to one already. Being in cities makes this even unlikelier.
So, when you’re looking at how to take your dog along for a car ride safely, I have one answer for you: car seats. Once you pick out the best car seat for you, your dog is strapped in and secure, and comfortably along for the ride. Here are some of the best dog car seats available right now, that I’d fully recommend.
Best Dog Car Seats in the UK
Small Dog Car Seat
A snug little basket shaped dog seat, the Muttstuff & Co seat is basically a seat cover with a quilted, well padded inside lining.
It has two options. You can either directly lay it over your car seat and let your dog stretch out on it, or set it up into a small basket shape that your dog can get into and curl up in. My dog found the latter more comfortable, because he’s small enough to be relatively relaxed even in the basket.
Obviously the Muttstuff car seat works best for smaller dogs, but even medium sized dogs can settle well in it. The material is a heavy duty 900D Oxford fabric that is extremely tough. So if your dog is part of your daily commute, like mine, durability is a very, very welcome feature.
The quilted inner surface is not only soft, but also very cushy. This gives dogs plenty of extra padding and a relenting surface to curl up against, even if your route is dotted with potholes or sudden brakes. The car may bounce but your dog definitely won’t.
It’s not just the padding though. The seat also does with a free safety seat belt. The belt harness buckled up to the seat hammock and keeps them safely fastened and held in place.
And the best part is, it fits almost any car seat just as easily. The seat base can cover standard seat sizes and spreads effortlessly, wherever you fasten it.
The stability also makes a welcome feature for anyone with an older dog. You needn’t wonder if your senior citizen dog ever gets shuttled in place.
An extra bonus is that the Muttstuff Seat is that’ it’s completely waterproof. It doesn’t get dirty easily to begin with. And, even if it does, a mild scrub with a brush will take care of the mess.
That means? Picnics, hikes, or spending as much time with your dog under the sun and in the rain, without a single second thought to the clean up!
Safest Dog Car Seat
Next to the very professional looking MuttStuff car seat, the Legendog car seat looks like the fun, colourful alternative. The legendog car seat is similarly soft and well padded. But the design is a little and commendably different.
The legendog car seat has a hard base, because of a plank-like bottom, with a cushion on top of it. I found that this made sure the seat didn’t sag. And despite the improved ability to hold its shape, it was very comfortable for my dog.
The basket seat itself is made from a very good quality polyester blend, which made for a tough exterior. On the inside though, the seat is covered with a plush, dirt-proof wool lining, which makes for a luxurious cushioning. Both the lining and the cushion can be taken out, which I found super useful during the rainy season.
The seat is rather suitable for smaller to medium sized dogs, and puppies. The weight caps off at approximately 16 kg, according to the seat’s description. Inside this capacity, your dog can sit or curl up inside, as he likes.
The seat basket is very handy in that it also has pockets. I found it much easier to pack my dog’s things directly into the seat, rather than making a doggy bag. The seat has two small pockets in the front and two larger pockets on the side. So everything imaginable from snack treats, water bottles, toys, leashes or muzzles, can be tucked in for whenever you need them.
Plus, the seat itself is foldable. You can take it out of the car and with you, for example, if you’re on a picnic or want to carry your dog back with you over uneven terrain.
The fact that it held its shape so well was a huge plus for me. The seat basket actually has a steel frame inside. On top of that, there’s an adjustable strap, and a back save belt, both of which can be used to strap your dog in and hold him and the seat in place.
The difference between the two styles seems to be only cosmetic. As far as functionality is concerned, both are neatly on the same level.
Medium Dog Car Seat
A car seat on a different level, the PetSafe Solvit seat is a balcony view from the ground floor for dogs. The tagalong seats are booster seats for smaller pets and puppies. They set up a few centimeters off the base of the seat, so that the only view your pets have of the car ride, isn’t a running skyline.
I found the design very neat. No extra hanging straps, no Macrame-style set up necessary. You can basically just clip it onto your car seat, and it creates a balcony style overhang for your dog. And it doesn’t have to be only the front seat, too.
The PetSafe car seat also has a well padded interior, so your pet is never in danger of getting jostled. There’s a full internal lining, and the best part is, it comes out completely. So washing, drying, and replacing it was only a matter of minutes. No sponge and brush scrubbing for this car seat!
The seat also has a leash attachment, as an added safety measure. Because let’s face it, it’s reassuring to know that our pet also has a seat belt of his own.
The strap doesn’t obstruct the view, though. It stayed on the side me to my dog the whole time, and never got in the way of my dog’s running movie reel in the window.
Car seats like the PetSmart seat are optimal for small dogs. They are lightweight, breathable polyester constructs that snap on and off in no time. The seat has a fleece liner, which made my dog even cozier and snug in his little basket. And because the seat belt clips hold the seat supported at all times, he could go to sleep whenever he wanted, with no issues at all. And, given how much like a hammock it is, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wishing you had one for yourself. I certainly did!
Large Dog Car Seat
Here’s a product that’s a departure from the rest.
The AMZPET dog car seat is a full length, wide spreading car seat cover that is ideal for dog owners with larger dogs, or those who are frequently underway with their dogs.
The AMZPET car seat cover is a heavy duty car seat protector. It’s the fabric equivalent of Kevlar for your car seat, a thick, quilted, waterproof spread that fully covers your car seat, as well as raised flaps, in case you want to fix them into a basket like shape for your dog.
The AMZPET cover is literal construction of fabric. It has four layers of PU waterproofing, a lining with material with a 190 GSM rating, and is made without any AZO dyes or heavy metals.
The latches are child safe and the whole thing is water tight, except for the openings. The material affords a certain amount of friction, which allows even the largest dog to roll around on it without it slipping and falling off.
As an additional measure, there’s even anchors on it that hold it to the seat’s surface. Plus side flaps, extra UV protected adjustable straps, and clips to hold everything in place. This particular feature kept it safe through summer days when you’d expect anything in a parked car to melt.
It was really easy to wash, too. The cover is a little heavy but colour fast and washes out pretty easily.
The weight is a little problematic, though. This isn’t a car seat, rather a car seat cover. So it’s very good for people with large dogs, who are okay with consigning the entire back seat to them. It’s very good against dog hair and mud, but setting it up and clean up can be quite a time consuming process. If you have a small dog, a car seat is a more reasonable option for you.
Booster Seat for Dogs
One more option for people looking for a car seat, the Kisspet car seat is a little snug box for a little snug dog. It’s a lovely little small pet seat mat made from an Oxford quilted fabric, and waterproof to boot.
You simply have to lay it out on the seat, zip up the side flaps, slide the plastic into the slot to give it shape, and strap it around the seat. Two minutes, and your work is done.
Once you’ve established which size and strap fits your dog best, fixing the seat becomes even quicker. The strap holds the seat in shape and fixed to the car seat, so that your pet doesn’t get bounced while the car is moving. Plus, the closer you adjust it, the better it fits.
Here is the advantage. You can use it either as a pet seat or as a seat mat, and let your dog lay on top of it. I personally found it more useful as a car seat mat, because the box was too roomy for my dog. But for dog owners with small to medium sized dogs, it’s a pretty good option.
One thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t the sturdiest of car seats. Although a good construction, it’s not meant for daily use. Also, there’s no way to secure your dog into the car seat. So, unless your dog is already trained to be in a car seat, it can be problematic to make him stay in an open basket.
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