Top 8 Best Dog Car Harnesses
By | Last updated: May 18, 2020
best dog car harnesses

We’ll preface this post with the note that your humble author has never, and likely will never, have any canine livestock in his home. But plenty of people do, while continuing to maintain their gearhead status, explaining the presence of today’s list.

Taking young Fido or old Spot with the family unit on a drive is plenty popular, so it’s only natural their owners will want them to be safe while on the road. We’ll leave any and all debate about the type of security is best – harness, crates, or cargo area dividers – for another day.

Here are several options we’ve found to help The Very Good Boy enjoy his day out.

1. Editor's Choice: PetSafe Deluxe Car Safety Dog Harness

Crash-testing these harnesses is a big deal, both to the manufacturers and pet owners. After all, if someone is putting the health and well-being of a family pet in the hands of a device they buy online then it should come with as much goodwill as possible.

This is a true harness, not just a tether that goes clipped on to Fido’s collar, meaning that the dog is held in place more naturally should there be a wreck or sudden stop. This harness is available in sizes ranging from small to extra-large, all of which feature a padded vest area with a breathable liner to keep your furry friend comfortable during travel.

Pros/Crash tested, reasonably priced
Cons/Available in a single color
Bottom Line/This harness won't go to the dogs

2. SlowTon Dog Car Harness Plus Connector Strap

This harness is made of double mesh fabric with a flannelette edge and attached to a polypropylene strap. The seller says this will absorb sweat and feel breathable to the dog, making them more comfortable while they accompany you on a road trip.

The harness wraps around the dog’s body which surely helps them to relax compared to sliding all about the backseat. Twin buckles on the harness make for a quick release when the dog has to go right now in the park at which you just arrived.

Pros/Easy clips, size range, plenty of colors and patterns from which to choose
Cons/Janky ad copy is less than reassuring
Bottom Line/Choose yer size, choose yer color

3. BWOGUE Dog Safety Seat Belt Strap

This product bearing an incomprehensible brand name is a harness that goes attached to something every new car on the road today has several of: a headrest. Made of high-quality nylon fabric to ensure safety, it features a solid zinc alloy swivel snap and quality buckles.

The nylon straps are said to be tangle-free, an assertion some dog owners will take as a challenge. Since the loop that goes over the headrest is adjustable to anywhere between 18 and 30 inches, it’s certainly possible to simply take this thing off the headrest and use it as a leash without ever having to go through the hassle of taking it off the dog.

Pros/Easy-to-use, can double as a traditional leash
Cons/Won't work in your headrest-less 1982 Grand Wagoneer
Bottom Line/A useful two-in-one

4. Vastar Adjustable Dog Seat Belt Safety Lead

Here’s an option that goes clicked right into the seat belt buckle receiver. Hey, if it’s good enough – and tested – for humans it must be acceptable for Pup, right? Adjustable between about 20- and 32-inches, one end of this strap is secured in an existing safety belt latch.

While it is advertised as such, your author doesn’t see images of an actual harness, just a clip or carabiner that goes hooked onto the dog’s collar like a traditional leash. As an aside, that picture of the Saint Bernard with its front paw out the window like a trucker’s arm is worth the cash all by itself.

Pros/Very inexpensive, great reviews
Cons/Not technically a harness
Bottom Line/Buckle up, dog

5. Leash Boss No-Chew Dog Car Seat Belt Restraint

If you have the issue of Skipper chewing through his harness, you might want to check out this product from Leash Boss – at least as a temporary solution. Instead of clicking into the seat belt buckle like our last entry, this unit is clipped to the LATCH system intended for securing infant car seats.

LATCH hooks aren’t always the most convenient things to find but they are an integral part of your car’s safety system, meaning it’ll bear the weight of a frantic dog just fine. I use that descriptor since if your dog needs a restraint through which they cannot chew, there’s a good chance they’re pretty hyper. We weep for your car’s seat upholstery.

Pros/No-chew material
Cons/Needs a separate harness for best safety
Bottom Line/Lack of adjustability may be a concern

6. Sherpa Travel Pet Auto Buckle

Hey, a product named after people who live in the mountainous regions of Nepal must be pretty tough, right? Available in four different sizes, this harness was apparently crash tested at a university testing facility while adhering to child car seat standards. A quintet of adjustment points helps it fit dogs of all sizes.

A dog tether, which is a seat belt loop with an attached carabiner is included in the package. It is compatible with nearly any car seat belt system and can also be used as a lead for training. No-pull D-rings let you whoa up the dog without hurting him while the black-and-silver look of the harness will make Buddy look appropriately macho while showing off at the dog park.

Pros/Useful accessories, crash tested, ample soft material
Cons/Reports of it not holding larger dogs
Bottom Line/Make sure it fits before hitting the road

7. Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness

This harness with an insufferably too-cute name has one of the highest numbers of feedback comments for any dog car harness on Amazon. Its overall rating is 4.4/5, a huge number considering how fussy and picky most dog owners are about accessories for Mootzie (in fairness, they have a point).

With seat belt lead clip, this harness set keeps your dogs under control while still have some range of movement and flexibility. There are fast-release buckles on both sides making it easy to put on and take off. Since the seat belt is detachable, it can be used as part of this harness or as part of a leash system outside the car.

Pros/Very affordable, dual-use belt
Cons/Cringe-inducing branding
Bottom Line/Put a sticker over the brand name

8. PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Zipline

If old Breezer prefers to move around a bit in the back seat, and you trust him enough to do so without causing calamity, this zipline-style product could be just the ticket. It does require the purchase of a separate harness as it isn’t a very good idea to clip this – or any belt – directly to a dog’s collar.

The looks-like-a-ratchet-strap-but-isn’t goes secured between two solid parts of the car, shown here on the back seat roof-mounted grab handles/suit hangers. This will keep the zipline up high and avoid tangling but we wonder if it would also work well clipped to something more stout-like infant seat anchors.

Pros/Let's the dog roam a bit
Cons/Potential to be knocked off by rowdy dogs
Bottom Line/He must be a Very Good Boy for this to work

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

3 Comments on “Who’s a Good Boy: Best Dog Car Harnesses...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    In BC where I live there isn’t a law about loose dogs in the passenger compartment but insurance companies will not cover “property damage/injury” if your pet is loose. There are laws about loose animals in the pickup box. Those are “unsecured load/cargo” laws.
    I don’t tether my dogs in the cab but I do have short tethers if I put them in the box.

    • 0 avatar
      ffighter69

      You are partially wrong. If your pet causes or inhibits some kind of action on your part that leads to an accident or incident you can and should be charged with careless driving.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Thought I’d stumbled on TTAC’s bondage section.

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