Whether its a quick ride down the road to the supermarket or a longer trip, there are many occasions where you’ll want to (or need to) bring along your four-legged friend in the car. Your dog no doubt looks forward to the opportunity to go on a bit of an adventure and spend some more time with you. It’s no wonder they get extra excited when they see you reaching for their leash and hear the jingle of your car keys.
One other thing you should always reach for before every car trip with your dog is a dog car harness. A dog car harness is an crucial item for any car ride as it prevents accidents by safely restraining your dog. While it is vital to use one that does the job well, unfortunately, there are many subpar options on the market.
To help you find a high-quality one, we reviewed dozens of dog car harnesses to track down the best of the best. We compared a variety of factors, including safety features offered, material, comfort, and average reviews from existing customers.
The Kurgo Crash Tested Dog Car Harness is without a doubt our top pick. Not only is it crash tested and highly durable, it’s also super comfortable for your dog to wear. Keep reading to learn more about it and discover our other recommended options.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Best Dog Car Harnesses
|Best Dog Car Harness Overall||Kurgo Crash Tested Dog Car Harness||4.3|
|Best Chest Plate Dog Car Harness||DEXDOG Chest Plate Harness Auto Car Safety Harness||4.3|
|Best Budget Dog Car Harness||Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Harness with Seatbelt||4.5|
|Best Crash Tested Dog Car Harness||EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness||4.0|
|Best Breathable Dog Car Harness||SlowTon Dog Car Harness||4.5|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Dog Car Harness Overall: Kurgo Crash Tested Dog Car Harness
When it comes to dog car harnesses, it’s hard to beat the Kurgo Crash Tested Dog Car Harness. The harness features a comfortable padded chest plate and a no-pull D ring that minimizes pulling by your dog. It’s easy to pinpoint the perfect fit for your dog as it comes in 4 sizes (X-small, small, medium, and large) and has a whopping adjustment points. Moreover, it’s compatible with all car seatbelt systems.
Notably, the harness has been crash tested for dogs up to 75 lbs using a procedure developed by the same facility that maintains the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for child restraint systems and conducts car seat performance tests for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More than 4000 customers have given this harness an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Many have commented that Kurgo’s harness fits incredibly well, is easy to put on and take off, and offers optimal security to dogs on drives.
Kurgo Crash Tested Dog Car Harness Key Features:
- Crash tested certified
- Has a no-pull D ring
- 5 adjustment points for customizable fit
- Includes a dog seatbelt tether
Best Chest Plate Dog Car Harness: DEXDOG Chest Plate Harness Auto Car Safety Harness
Thanks to the high-quality chest plate that features in the DEXDOG Chest Plate Harness Auto Car Safety Harness, your dog will be able to enjoy a “safe, secure, and comfortable” journey each and every time you’re together in your car. You won’t need to worry about your pooch wriggling uncomfortably about in this harness as its padded and layered with a dog-friendly, breathable material.
Other great features include its adjustable and reflective straps. The harness comes in 6 different sizes (XX-small, X-small, small, medium, large, and X-large), as well as 6 bold colors (black, blue, green, pink, purple, and turquoise). We also can’t rave enough about the fact that DEXDOG is so confident that you’ll love their harness that they’ve thrown in a generous 365-day money-back guarantee. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t comes with a seatbelt attachment.
DEXDOG Chest Plate Harness Auto Car Safety Harness Key Features:
- Padded and layered chest plate
- Adjustable with sliding clips
- 6 different sizes
- 365-day money-back guarantee
Best Budget Dog Car Harness: Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Harness with Seatbelt
If you’re wondering whether the Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Harness with Seatbelt genuinely competes with more expensive options in terms of safety, comfort, and design, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Similar to pricier dog car harnesses, this one features breathable mesh fabric, which has even been tested for harmful substances. It also conveniently comes complete with a seat belt.
The elastic bungee band is another nice touch dog owners will find useful, as well as the two chest buckles for easy fitting on and off. Customers have commented that they love how secure and stylish it is, in addition to offering the perfect width and length. Personally, we appreciate the good choice of size and color options.
Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Harness with Seatbelt Key Features:
- Material tested for harmful substances
- Mesh fabric
- Tensile tested
- Reflective properties
Best Crash Tested Dog Car Harness: EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness
It’s ideal if a dog car harness has passed a crash test, as this means that it has been found to provide a high level of protection to dogs in the event of an accident. If you’re after a dog car harness that has proven itself to be among the best of the best in protecting dogs in the car, consider buying the EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness. This harness not only conforms to and has passed American safety standards (FMVSS 213), but it has also done so for European (ECE Regulation 21) Australian (ADR42/04) safety standards.
One of the reasons Ezydog’s harness is able to provide such amazing protection is that it’s made with high-quality materials. From aluminum alloy tri glide fasteners to vehicle-tested seatbelt webbing, it’s easy to tell that no corners were cut in the choice of materials. Another reason is that it features a strong padded chest plate that’s contoured to conform to your dog’s body.
EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness Key Features:
- Passed crash tests
- Easy to put on and take off
- 3 sizes available
- Chest plate included
Best Breathable Dog Car Harness: SlowTon Dog Car Harness
One of the most attractive features that make the SlowTon Dog Car Harness an excellent choice for dog parents is its breathable, double mesh fabric with a flannelette edge. Its designed to absorb sweat and relieve pressure from your dog, so they won’t end up feeling hot and sticky soon after you take off in your car.
The harness includes a seatbelt and a number of adjustable elements so you can better fit it to your dog’s particular body shape. It comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, with “Starry” and the red and white gingham pattern being our top picks. “There aren’t any notable downsides to this harness, although be sure to note that not its not suitable for use in all car models.
SlowTon Dog Car Harness With Breathable Mesh Fabric Key Features:
- Breathable mesh chest vest harness
- Material absorbs sweat
- Easily adjustable to fit your dog’s body
- Comes in a variety of patterns and colors
Who Should Buy a Dog Car Harness
Anyone who ever drives their car with their dog in tow should buy and use a dog car harness. The reason it is so crucial for your dog to wear a dog car harness while you’re driving in your car is because it can be a danger to everyone in the car, as well as to other drivers and pedestrians, if your dog isn’t securely seated in your car.
Car safety is not something you should gamble with. Considering there is an easy and inexpensive means to ensure your dog won’t cause any problems while you’re driving, you should definitely take advantage of it.
Important Features to Consider
There are a number of features you should look out for when shopping around for a dog car harness. Here are the most important ones to keep in mind:
- Safety. Needless to say, finding a dog car harness that is built for safety is non-negotiable. It should include safety-enhancing features that will help to make them as secure as possible in the car. One feature you should keep a keen eye out for is if its is crash-tested. While not all high-quality options have been crash-tested, those that are will give you additional peace of mind.
- Quality of materials. Like anything you buy for your dog, you want it to stand the test of time. Be on the lookout for options that are made with the durable, high-quality materials. It’s well worth it to choose a dog car harness that’s well-made as not only will it won’t easily tear or break, it will also be more secure.
- Fit. Even the best designed dog car harness won’t give your dog the protection they need if it fits incorrectly. Before buying, be sure to take note of any instructions and the size chart that the manufacturer has provided about the harness’ fit. Don’t be afraid to get the measuring tape out to be sure you buy the right size and shape for your unique dog.
- Comfort. If the dog safety harness you choose is uncomfortable for your dog to wear, there’s a good chance that they’ll try to wiggle their way out of it. As that will defeat the whole purpose of wearing one, it is essential that you buy a harness that’s equally built for safety and your dog’s comfort in mind. Look for comfortable features like padding and other materials that won’t snag on their skin and fur. Wider straps may also be more comfortable for some dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog car harness and how does it work?
A dog car harness is a type of harness that is specially designed to keep your dog safe and secure while you’re driving in the car. It offers dog owners two main benefits. Firstly, by reducing forward and lateral movement, it ensures your dog is securely kept in place even when you’re driving fast or turning your car. Secondly, as it acts a restraint, it helps to minimize the opportunity for your dog to distract you.
This ingenious accessory works by providing a means for your dog’s body to remain securely attached to the car seat for the duration of the car ride. In order to set it up, you will first need to put the harness on your dog. Then, you’ll need to follow the instructions provided to attach it to the seat. You will either need to first attach it to a dog seatbelt and then attach the dog seatbelt to your car seat, or attach it to directly to your car’s seatbelt. The harness will come with some type of clip/s that allows you to effectively configure all of this.
Can you use a regular dog harness in the car?
Using a regular dog harness as a dog car harness may seem like a nifty idea, but it’s unwise to do so. Just take a look at the differences between their appearance and features. A regular dog harness is designed for walking, so it is much more streamlined in its design and features. You certainly won’t find any of the additional—and very necessary—safety features that come standard in dog car harnesses. Don’t tempt fate by using the wrong type of dog harness in your car. You should use one that’s specifically designed for the very purpose of enhancing safety in the car; a dog car harness.
Where should a dog sit in the car?
Legally speaking, many states allow your dog to sit right next to you or on your lap. According to Pew, most states even allow your dog to be unrestrained in the car, although this isn’t without its fair share of controversy. Many dog and safety experts agree that this is just a recipe for disaster. We concur that it’s dangerous—for you, your dog, and other people both inside and outside your car—for your pooch to sit in the front seat.
Not only can they more easily distract you and cause trouble if they’re right next to you or sitting on you, these positions also elevate the risk of them getting injured if you have a car accident. It’s without a doubt safest for your dog to sit in the backseat of your car in some kind of restraint (whether it’s a car safety harness or a well-made dog seatbelt).
How do you put a harness on a dog seatbelt?
If your dog harness needs to be put on a dog seatbelt, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s easy to do, especially after you’ve done it a few times! Generally speaking, you’ll need to clip the harness in some way to the dog seatbelt. For example, a dog harness may come with a carabiner that you first need to attach to the harness and then to the dog seatbelt. Or, you may have to thread the seatbelt through the clips that are attached to the harness.
As dog car harnesses differ in design, it’s vital to always consult each harness’ specific instructions to learn how to properly put it on a dog seatbelt.
Other Dog Car Harnesses We Reviewed
To ensure you have a wide variety of products to choose from, we also looked at 15 other high-quality dog car harnesses. While they didn’t make our 5 best dog car harnesses list, they’re still the best of the rest and each is still a fantastic option for your four-legged friend. Take a read below to discover some more options well worthwhile considering:
Dog Car Harnesses with Seatbelts
Specially designed for small and medium dog breeds, this dog car harness not only includes a detachable seatbelt, but also a broad sponge padded chest plate and fast-release buckles on both sides.
Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Car Harness Key Features:
- Detachable seatbelt
- Fast-release buckles
- Stainless steel snap hook included
While it’s challenging to just pick one stand out feature, it’s hard to look past this harness’ durable safety belt, which is 1″ wide and can stretch from 19″ to 30″ long.
- 1″ wide safety belt
- Multiple sizes
- Adjustable straps
Featuring a high-density strap and a well-padded sponge front, this is one eye-catching option that comes with a fully-functional seat belt.
- Simple to put on
- Extremely strong Oxford fabric
- 4 sizes
After an affordable option that includes a car seat belt that can be configured without a fuss? Try out this one from HANCIN.
- 100% polyester
- 3 sizes
Crash Tested Dog Car Harnesses
Another wonderful crash-tested dog car harness from Kurgo, this one is designed to easily integrate with your car seatbelt system so you won’t need to buy additional accessories like a dog seatbelt, straps or other attachments.
- Comes with a chest plate
- 4 sizes
- Ready to use without additional accessories
Crash tested to 35 lbs. at MGA Research Corp, this dog car harness from Sherpa comes in 4 sizes and doubles as a walking harness.
- 4 sizes
- No-pull D ring
- 5 adjustment points
PetSafe’s stylish, crash test certified offering comes with a padded vest area that boasts a breathable liner.
- Padded vest area
- Multiple connection points
- Breathable liner
With 3 points of automobile seatbelt contact and a tick of approval from crash tests, Sleepypod’s product is certainly commendable. It’s just unfortunate that it’s not suited for greyhounds, whippets, salukis, Afghan hounds, or borzos.
- 3 points of automobile seatbelt contact
- Ballistic nylon exterior construction
- Automotive grade seatbelt webbing
Easy Rider’s crash tested harness is great for dogs and dog owners alike. Dogs will appreciate how comfortable the padded chest strap is, while dog owners will welcome how easy-to-use it is.
- 5 sizes
- Secure metal hardware
- Padded chest strap
The fact that this option is crash tested should be reason enough to consider it. What might really convince you that it’s worth buying is that it’s super easy to keep clean; just hand wash it with mild detergent!
- Streamlined design
- 5 sizes
Other Dog Car Harnesses
Made with long-lasting, weatherproof material, this dog car harness is built with durability in mind. You’ll also be pleased to learn by purchasing this product you’ll be supporting a family-owned business.
- No-pull front leash attachment
- Breathable padding
- Reflective stitching
Designed to make the total process of attaching a dog car harness as easy as possible, this option smoothly connects to your car’s seat belts with its seat belt attachment loop.
- 6 sizes and sizes
- Nickel-plated hardware
- Adjustable neck straps
If you’re looking for a two-in-one harness, this one with a streamlined design works to protect your dog both insider and outside the car.
- Streamlined design
- Medium or large sizes
Made of high-quality nylon, Guardian Gear’s fully adjustable harness will fit most vehicles thanks to its handy universal clip.
- 4 sizes
- Fully adjustable
- Universal clip fits most vehicles
This is a simple dog car harness that’s made from high-quality nylon and steel parts. Its stand out feature is its comfortable padded center strap.
- 2 sizes
- Also functions as a walking harness