Like any pet owner, you probably love taking your pooch in the car with you. After all, it is a total adventure for them.
However, driving with your dog does bring up a couple of problems for you.
First, there is the fact that you want to keep your pooch safe at all costs, especially during a sudden stop or collision. Not to mention, it is quite easy to get distracted when your puppy is in the back seat, ambling around. This isn’t just annoying, in certain areas, you could be leveled with a fine.
The solution to both of these problems is a dog seat belt and harness. Unfortunately, while many companies may claim that their seat belts are superior, these aren’t always up to scratch.
This is why we have looked through all the options and models to find the best dog seat belts for you. This article doesn’t just reveal our findings of the top options, it also gives you tips on how to find the right one.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what you should know.
- Features to Consider in Good Dog Seat Belts
- Top 10 Best Dog Car Seat Belt in 2018
- Guide to Buying the Best Dog Seat Belt
Features to Consider in Good Dog Seat Belts
So, before we actually let you in on our findings, we are first going to talk about the factors that we looked at when choosing these seat belts and harnesses:
- Safety: as you can imagine, one of the top requirements for such a system is that it is actually capable of keeping your dog safe during the car trip. This means that the belt and the harness must work well at securing your pooch well so that he or she will not move around.
- Easy to Use: it is unlikely that your pup will remain in one place while you attempt to secure him or her to the seat. This is why it is vital that you are able to quickly slip them into their harness and then attach it to the seat belt lock in the car quickly.
- Durability: there are a few reasons why you want the seat belt and harness to be strong. First, it prevents your dog from being able to chew through it when they get anxious or upset. Secondly, it will determine how well the belt will hold your pooch in place during an accident.
Top 10 Best Dog Car Seat Belt in 2018
This seat belt has definitely been designed with safety in mind. See, it attaches to the crease in your backseat, ensuring that the belt is directly fixed to the vehicle frame. Due to this construction, you can be quite sure that your pooch is tethered to something strong and secure. This provides them with a greater base of support, particularly if you were to brake too hard.
In the same vein, the other thing that adds strength to this safety belt is the carabiner. It is made from aviation aluminum and has a max force tension of 400 grams. So, what does this mean for you? Well, it indicates that your dog will not be able to tug loose, no matter how hard he or she tries. It also means that in the case of an accident, your dog will not break away from the seat. The carabiner will ensure that the pooch will be held in place.
Unfortunately, it can’t be guaranteed that the strap will behave in the same way. While it is made from durable nylon, it can easily be frayed or even broken if your dog decides to chew on it. Due to this, it is difficult to discern just how well it will perform when it has to withstand a great deal of force.
This safety belt can be adjusted from 16 – 26 inches, giving your dog as much freedom as you want them to have. At the same time, the belt has been designed to prevent your pup from getting tangled up in the strap.
If you are trying to clip a wriggling pooch into place with this seat belt, you will be relieved. The mechanism of the safety belt ensures that you will be able to clip them in and release them in just a few moments.
As you have probably already experienced, there is very little that your pooch is not going to try and chew through. This is why one of the biggest reasons for dog seat belts failing is the pups gnawing through the material until it snaps.
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to worry about such a thing with this particular car seat restraint. This is because it isn’t made out of any old fabric. Instead, the strap is actually constructed out of strong, nylon coated steel rope.
So, there is absolutely no chance that your pet is going to be able to get through that strap. Of course, this also provides you with another advantage. It means that the restraint is more than capable of holding strong in the case of an accident. This ensures that your pooch will remain exactly where they are supposed to at all times.
What makes this particular restraint stand out, though, is the lengths that are available. Now, the strap isn’t adjustable – there is simply one length per seat belt. However, you can choose from 16 to 36 inches, depending on the size and the breed of your dog.
However, it isn’t just the length of the strap that has been taken into consideration. Rather the clips have also been attached according to the presumed size and weight of your pooch. For instance, the Small seat belt comes with a lighter clip so that it isn’t a burden for smaller animals.
Similarly, you get an additional locking mechanism for the extra-large model which will work to keep bigger and more powerful dogs restrained properly. All of this means that regardless of the size of the dog that you have, this seat belt should work for them.
If you don’t already have a harness that is suitable for most doggy seat belts, you can simply get the whole package like with this SlowTon harness. This improves the chance the harness and the strap will work well together.
There is no denying that there are many dogs out there that simply don’t like wearing a harness. It can feel too warm or constricting for them which is why they tend to kick up a fuss. Well, this isn’t something that you have to be concerned about with this harness.
Why? This is an incredibly comfortable harness for your pooch. It has been designed to put very little pressure on your dog’s chest, ensuring that they stay cozy and relaxed, without feeling like they are being squeezed.
At the same time, the vest is made from a breathable material which allows better circulation of air, making sure that your pup feels cool. Also, it is made to absorb sweat so that there is no slickness against your dog’s fur.
So, how does this harness hold up in terms of safety and durability? As far as the clasp and the seatbelt buckle is concerned, this is a topnotch strap. They are made from durable metals that are able to withstand the movement of your dog or sudden jerks from the car.
Where the strap does fall short though, is the material of the strap. It is quite easy for your pup to chew through so if they are left to their own devices, there is a good chance that they will chew it in half, rendering it useless.
Fortunately, there are more advantages than disadvantages with this seat belt. The harness and the strap are easily adjustable, which means that you can use it for puppies and medium to large dogs. It is also incredibly easy to clip and remove, taking just a moment to work.
If you don’t take your dog around with you very often, you don’t really want to keep the seat belt in the car at all times, do you? In this case, you need one that can be easily attached and then detached when you are taking your pooch out.
Well, this is just the seat belt for you, then. See, it fits neatly into your seat belt clip holder in your rear seats which means that all it really takes is one click to secure your pup. Furthermore, the tab is two centimeters which allow it to be compatible with a number of vehicles.
Unfortunately, the clip can also be a bit of a hindrance. We noticed that it can actually be released far too easily, particularly if your pooch was to accidentally step on the seat belt buckle holder. Due to this, it isn’t a great option for dogs that tend to get quite hyper during road trips.
Speaking of hyperactive pooches, this is not a great strap for your dog if he or she has a tendency to chew through things. While the strap is quite wide, it isn’t very thick. So, it will not take too long for your dog to get through this leash.
Apart from this, the rest of the leash, particularly the swivel snap is made from a zinc alloy which ensures that it is durable and corrosion-free as well.
There is no denying that you are getting great value for your money with this seat belt. This is because you get two different straps, each with their own adjustable lengths. It will be an absolute piece of cake for you to strap dogs in of various sizes, knowing that there will be a snug fit.
As with safety belts that have seat belt clips attached, the Vastar safety leads are very easy for you to use. You are able to have your dog secured with a click and it is just as easy to get them out of their restraints as well.
While this certainly has its perks, it can prove to be a bit of a lost cause with dogs that either move around a lot or are quite heavy. See, simply by stepping on the part that is fed into the seat belt clasp, the belt can come undone. This compromises the security of the belt.
However, the good news is that this clip is compatible with a wide range of vehicle models so it is quite likely that it will fit yours. What’s more, you actually get two belts for the price of one. They are both adjustable to various lengths, making them suitable for dogs of different sizes. At the very least, you can use each one in a different vehicle.
The varying lengths mean that you can decide how much slack to give your pooch, depending on how big or small they are. The shorter strap works better for smaller dogs while the longer one will prove to be more comfortable for larger breeds. You may find though that this is a better fit for medium to large sized dogs rather than toy dogs.
This is definitely a sturdy belt which is what makes it a lot more difficult for pups to chew through. This also increases the chance that the strap will not snap where there too much pressure to be placed on it. So, if you are looking for a seat belt that will last you a while, this is the one for you.
One of the things that really stands out about this dog seat belt is the ruggedness of it. This is largely thanks to the carabiner. Not only is it made from strong materials, it has also been built to remain hooked onto your dog’s harness, no matter what.
So, if you are worried about your pup lunging forward and managing to free himself from the seat belt, then you can have your peace of mind. There is, however, a risk that your pooch will manage to free themselves if they have a tendency to move around a lot during car rides.
Due to the seatbelt-like mechanism of this safety belt, it is easy to get your dog unhooked from it. While this is a positive quality for you, it also means that your dog can do the same thing, should they step on the seat belt button.
The other point of contention regarding this seat belt is just how compatible it is with various vehicles. If you drive a Volvo or a Ford truck, you may have to look elsewhere as the buckle may not fit into your seat belt slot.
Fortunately, the seat belt is compatible with numerous other car models. Also, the strap is easily adjustable allowing your pup to move around as much as they need to, depending on how little or big they are. If your pup is on the smaller pup, you may find that this belt suits him or her well.
You will also be able to rest easy knowing that you are purchasing a good quality seat belt. The manufacturer offers up a lifetime warranty which means that you can easily replace any belt that isn’t working the way that it is supposed to.
Without a doubt, this Paws n Claws model can be declared one of the best if not, the best dog seat belt tether. This is due to the rather ingenious design that it relies on. It has been constructed so that it is more effective at keeping your pooch in place.
The way that the tether works is that each loop can be slung over a headrest. The loops, in turn, are attached to a strap. The great thing about this tether is that it ensures that your dog can’t move around too much without feeling as though they are being tied up too much.
This tether will prove to be especially useful with pups that are quite hyperactive and tend to move around quite a bit. The special design will ensure that there is no way that they can get loose but there is still no chance of them getting entwined with the strap.
Of course, one of the flaws here is that this tether isn’t suitable for every vehicle out there. There may be some headrests that are placed too far from one another for such a design to actually work in your favor.
One of the other perks of this tether is just how easy it is to set up. All of the parts and pieces can be put together incredibly quickly, allowing your pup to be safely secured in the back seat within minutes.
The tether is adjustable which makes it a good length for medium to large sized dogs. While it may be suitable for some small dogs, it may be a tad bit heavy for very tiny breeds. Also, the length may be too much for tinier dogs as well.
If your dog isn’t all that happy to be encased in a harness, he or she may feel slightly better with this one. This is because it is a bit smaller than other models, meaning that it doesn’t press against their chest as much. It simply secures your pooch rather than making them feel constricted.
Now, much of the harness and strap is made from a high-grade material which makes it less likely to wear out from continuous use and friction. Fortunately, the vest portion of the harness is made from lightweight and breathable material. This will work to keep your pup cool during the entire car ride.
Now, let’s move onto the strap – it is adjustable and wide enough to withstand some serious pressure. It can be inserted into the seat belt slot easily, which allows you to have your pup all secured in a matter of seconds.
This does mean, however, that the harness and strap will only work if it is compatible with certain car models. So, if it doesn’t line up with your vehicle, it is a bit of a lost cause for you.
One thing that sets this harness apart from others is all of the size variations that are available. You will be able to find pup neck sizes from 14 inches onwards all the way up to 28 inches for the neck and 44 inches for the girth. Each size of this model is adjustable.
This means that you will easily be able to fit most medium and large dogs. If you have a toy breed though or a rather young pooch, you may find that this harness doesn’t fit them as well or will be too long.
The Pawaboo safety harness stands out because it offers a great deal more padding than other brands. For instance, the chest plate on this model is especially well-padded, ensuring that your pooch is well-protected at all times.
It has also been designed in such a way that it protects your dog in the event of an accident. See, the wide structure of the vest means that the forces are dispelled throughout. This way, your pup’s body will not have to take the brunt of any strong forces.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to worry about your dog feeling too constricted in this seat belt. It has been constructed so that it is tight in the appropriate places and loose in the others.
The harness is also made from tough oxford material that means it will not give out easily, even with continuous wear and tear. At the same time, the vest also has just enough mesh to make certain that your pup remains comfortable at all times. The mesh allows air to circulate to prevent your dog from overheating.
One of the only criticisms of this vest is the way it is held together. On the one hand, it is adjustable which means that it is built to fit a variety of dogs. Unfortunately, it is just a little too easily adjustable. This means that if your pooch struggles quite a bit, there is a good chance that it will widen enough for them to wriggle out.
Another perk with this harness and seat belt is that it can be installed quite easily. It simply involves you placing the clip into the slot like you would with any other seat belt. Due to this, it takes just moments until you are ready to hit the road.
Then there is the fact that you get to choose from a large number of adjustable sizes. Unlike many other harnesses, this option actually has sizes that will fit smaller dogs.
Perhaps what makes this is a wonderful harness and strap is the fact that you can trust what you are buying. See, this harness has actually been crash-tested in labs. Now, it is true that there is no guarantee that it will keep your pooch completely safe during a collision. However, it certainly does improve the odds in their favor.
The harness is complete with additional padding, which doesn’t just make it safer for your dog, but also ensures that they are more comfortable. So, even if they strain against the harness, you can be certain that they aren’t hurting themselves.
It isn’t just the harness that is impressive, the strap works well too. One of the things that set this leash apart is the fact that you are able to attach it to the seatbelt slot in your car in a number of ways. So, depending on your dog’s size and movements, you will be able to figure out the right combination.
Now, all of this additional protection can make the harness a tad bit difficult for you to use. See, it can be tricky to work all of the clips and bits, making it hard to work on a dog that keeps moving around.
There is also the fact that if your pooch likes to chew on things, this harness may not be a good choice for them. The straps aren’t all that thick which means that they will fray quite easily if your dog has a go at them.
However, if you have a smaller dog, you will find that this harness works really well for you. They will have a good fit, be well-protected, and be unable to jump to the front seat of the car.
Guide to Buying the Best Dog Seat Belt
In this section, we will tackle all the things that you need to know about buying a dog seat belt or harness.
A few things beforehand, though. First things first, dog seat belts and harnesses are never to be used in the front seat. Your dog should only be ever kept in the rear portion of the vehicle. Why? Well, it increases their chance of survival during a crash. Pets kept in the front seat have a much higher chance of flying through the window or the windshield.
Seat belts or Harnesses? That Is the Question
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you want a dog seat belt or a harness. Now, most pet owners tend to have walking harnesses that their dogs are already comfortable with. Because of this, they find it preferable to simply attach a seat belt to it and have the dog secured to the seat.
While this works in most instances, you will often have to determine that the seat belt in question is compatible with the harness you are using. This, typically, though is not a problem.
If you don’t have a harness, then you absolutely need to get a dog harness with a seat belt attached. You should never attach a seat belt to your dog’s collar. If they are pulled or dart forward, the collar will tighten against their neck, making it difficult for your pup to breathe.
Types of Dog Seat Belts and Harnesses
There are a number of ways that seat belts and harnesses differ from one another. The easiest way to distinguish them, though, is to consider their attachment points and how they are fixed to the dogs and the vehicles.
Latch Bar Attachment
These seat belts and harnesses are attached to the vehicle through the latch bar that is present within the creases of the seat. The main benefit of such a device is that you can ensure that your pup will remain secure at all times, regardless of how much force is generated against the belt. Also, your pooch will not be able to get out of this design.
However, this can mean that it is a little more difficult to secure the seat belt and your dog to the seat. So, you can expect it to take a little longer.
Seat Belt Clip Attachment
This is perhaps one of the more popular designs. Here, the end of the belt looks like a regular seat belt clip. All you have to do is just clip the end into the slot and you are good to go. This is a favorite because it is so easy to set up.
At the same time, this type of design tends to unclip itself quite easily. In fact, it is not uncommon for hyper dogs to do this themselves. For this type of clip to truly work, you will need a cover that goes over the seat belt slot.
There is also the fact that the clip has to be compatible with the slot in your car. Unless it is a universal clip, this can be difficult to discern ahead of time.
Then there are belts that are looped around the headrests. What’s great about this design is that it works more efficiently to keep your pooch in place. This works well for dogs that strain to get in the front seat.
The only real disadvantage is that the loops aren’t always well-suited to various car seats and headrests. So, you may need to improvise with the setup.
The Safety Features
So, undoubtedly, the most important feature of any dog seat belt or harness is its safety level. After all, the main point of such a device is to keep your pooch safe, particularly if you brake hard or are involved in a collision.
The thing about dog seat belts and harnesses, though, is that aren’t universal standards that manufacturers have to reach. This is why you often have to rely on a brand’s reputation and the reviews of previous users.
That being said, the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) has begun to issue certifications. Harnesses and belts that have passed muster will be provided with their seal of approval. Unfortunately, this is still not a widespread practice so you will be hardpressed to find a belt with this rating.
This doesn’t mean, though, that manufacturers don’t do their own kind of testing. There are many companies that try to figure out how their seat belts would hold up in a collision. To get a peek into such a procedure, check out this video:
There are several things that you can consider when attempting to identify the safety features of a particular seat belt or harness. For one thing, just how well is it attached to the seat or the frame of the vehicle? Once the strap has been fastened give it a few good tugs to determine just how much force it can withstand.
The other thing that you should check is that the strap isn’t too long. While your pup should be able to walk around, it is important to choose a strap that ensures that they can’t go any further than the seat. This is where the adjustment feature comes in – you should be able to adjust the length according to the size of your dog and the width of the seat.
Getting the Right Fit
When it comes to harnesses, the main concern is often to get the right fit for your dog. Now, most people tend to go with sizes such as Small or Medium when trying to figure out what size to get. Or, they consider the weight of their dog.
However, if you want a proper fit, you need to instead look at the size chart provided with each harness. This will give you information on how the harness will fit your pup around their neck and their waist. Measure your dog in these areas so you can make a much more accurate assumption.
Finding a Durable Seat Belt and Harness
While the metal parts of most seat belts and harnesses last long, it is the fabric portion that you need to worry about. See, pet owners have lost many a seat belt simply because their pup has chewed through it while they weren’t paying attention. If this is something that your dog is guilty of, you should consider getting a strap that has a metallic core but is wrapped in fabric.
This concludes all the things that you should be aware of when choosing a dog seat belt.