Are you partial to heading out on a car journey with your dog?
If so, allowing your dog to roam around in the car unrestrained is a reckless mistake.
While this is not ideal on a short trip across town, if you’re heading on a lengthy road trip, it’s crucial to use some method of containing your furry friend.
Setting the poor option of leaving your dog unfettered, what can you do, then?
Well, you have two main options that make sense:
- Dog harnesses for car travel
- Dog crates and carriers for car travel
Here’s some more information on the best dog crates and carriers for car travel.
For a study of the best dog harnesses for car travel, read on…
Dog harnesses work best for car travel if you have a trained dog capable of towing the line.
If the temperament of your dog is right, you should have no problems making him feel comfy enough in the car while resting confident he is fully secured in the event of any kind of auto accident or incident within the car.
If you’ve asked yourself how a dog harnesses for car travel work, the principle is simple: your dog is restrained just like in a regular harness. The harness is then attached to the car seat or car seat belt ensuring your canine rides safe at all times.
How about if you have a very docile dog perfectly willing to sit still for a long journey? Why do you need to buy dog harnesses for car travel, then?
Well, things don’t always go to plan. Even if your dog is inactive during a long trip, your dog could be in danger and could also endanger all other passengers on board if you crash. A traffic crash can transform a pleasant drive into a tragedy…
When your car is traveling at 25 miles per hour, a strong collision can cause your dog to dash forward with the force of 40 times its weight. Imagine a huge dog slamming into you at force and snapping your neck, at the same time throwing you through the windshield at enormous speed.
Don’t let that happen.
Here are some factors you need to pay attention when choosing to buy dog harnesses for car travel.
- Size matters: As with any harness, you need to start your buying decision by sizing up your dog’s neck and chest in inches. Make certain you get this right and spend the time to read a few user reviews. Check that sizing runs true and there are no highlighted issues here or the harness could end up an expensive mistake
- Design: You should make certain the harness is designed to be safe and escape-proof. Look for front chest pads to give your dog a comfy ride while protecting him in the event of an impact
- Adjustability: Check that any harness you’re considering has sufficient points of adjustability to streamline fit to your dog
- Ease of use: Any harness you use on a regular basis needs to be easy to use and straightforward to get your dog in and out of
- Colors: Think about how much importance you place on the color of the dog harness and choose accordingly
- The law in your state: You should carefully study the laws of the states you will pass through. Some states prohibit dogs in cars and some have regulations stipulating how dogs need to be safely carried
Choose to buy a dog harness for car travel right now and avoid all these problems: check out our 10 picks!
I. The 10 Best Dog Harnesses for Car Travel
1. Our #1 Pick:Kurgo Dog Harness
The Kurgo dog harness is our overall favorite if you’re looking for a safe and easy means of taking your dog with you on your next road trip.
You get everything you need bundled to teach your dog how to head out on a leash without pulling.
Kurgo also throw in all you need to take your hound in the car including a dog seat belt.
Choose from a wide range of sizings from XS through XL. As a benchmark, the large harness is intended for dogs with necks from 18 to 30 inches and chests from 24 to 34 inches.
If you’re still not convinced, the lifetime guarantee should remove any concerns from purchase.
2. Runner-Up: PoyPet No-Pull Dog Harness
If you fancy a brightly colored harness, PoyPet serves you up with a broad bench of striking no-pull harnesses for your furball.
Take advantage of the multiple adjustment points on the straps so you get a snug fit whatever the shape and size of your pug.
The fabric is lightweight and highly breathable but also durable enough to withstand plenty of punishment.
If you often head out at night with your dog, the reflective strips on this ensure you and he both stay safe.
The only real issue with this harness comes from a few owners who have suggested it’s a little scratchy around their dog’s chest area.
3. Lukovee Dog Safety Harness
The sizing of this dog safety harness for car travel is one of the key selling points. Choose from a class-leading 6 variants starting at triple XS for smaller teacup breeds and running all the way up to a much larger harness.
If you have an especially bulky or boisterous dog, this harness is probably not the best fit. While it’s not likely to come apart in use or otherwise let you down, you might nevertheless find it slightly fragile for comfort.
Easy to adjust with buttons, you can guarantee a snug fit for your furball when you’re heading on your next trip.
Once you hit your destination, all you need to do then is hitch up a retractable leash, and you can make use of your harness on the go, too.
4. Blueberry Solid Color Harness
If you’re looking for a harness in just about any color of the rainbow, Blueberry is the obvious choice.
You’ll get a solid construction with this harness made from dense nylon. This is rugged enough to withstand some pretty rough punishment without unleashing your hound.
The choice of sizes is also first-rate with this harness.
One thing to note is that you’re getting only the harness here. The leash and collar and both available separately. This manufacturer also offers personalized collars so you can easily identify
As long as you don’t mind buying a few add-ons, this dog harness for car travel is well worth popping on your shortlist. It’s affordable, colorful, and will keep your pooch safely secured.
5. Mighty Paw Dog Harness
Last but certainly not least, the Mighty Paw dog harness is proudly made in the US allowing you to buy with complete confidence.
Built to stay the distance while also ensuring your furball remains as comfortable as possible, this set-up is lightweight enough not to burden your pup but solid enough to keep him safely contained.
The only real niggle with this harness for car travel is the relative lack of choice when it comes to both sizing and colors. Set that aside and you’ll get a combination of great value, outstanding build quality, and comfort combined with safety. What’s not to love?
6. Kurgo Tru-Fit Dog Harness
Kurgo’s Tru-Fit dog harness comes in 5 sizes to suit most breeds. This is the Large, ideal for dogs with necks from 18 to 30 inches weighing from 50 to 75 pounds.
Perfect for larger dogs of all life stages and breeds, this harness will keep Rover safely buckled in when you’re heading out in the car.
The harness only comes in black or red. You get a seat belt tether thrown in which is compatible with all car seats and can also be used when you’re leash training your dog.
As well as making a great travel companion, this also works as an everyday harness. The robust D-ring prevents your dog from pulling as you walk. This is achieved by spinning your pup around.
Rigorously crash-tested in the United States for dogs to 75 pounds, this harness is not only super-safe but also extremely comfortable for your furball. The large and padded chest plate keeps him comfy on longer trips while you can remain confident he’ll be protected in the event of any impact.
While a few users have complained about this harness being initially awkward to use, it’s a solid and versatile all-rounder from a brand you can trust.
7. Sleepypod Clickit Safety Dog Harness
Sleepypod’s enduringly popular safety dog harness comes in 4 striking colors to brighten up your furball’s day on the road.
Choose from 4 sizes to suit the breed of your dog. This harness is the Medium model intended for dogs with chests measuring from 57 to 71 inches.
Made from a very hardwearing nylon with highly reinforced webbing, this harness is built to withstand some serious punishment.
Your dog will benefit from 3 points of contact with the seatbelt, keeping him securely buckled in so he won’t distract you while you’re driving, and he’ll be safely strapped in if you encounter any problems on the road.
The extra-wide and supportive nature of the chest section means the harness shouldn’t make your dog feel to uncomfy, unlike some of the cheaper and less effective models in this vertical.
Not the best fit for larger dogs, this harness is a smart choice if you have a small or medium breed you need to restrain when you’re traveling. The manufacturer notes that the harness is not suitable for whippets, borzois, greyhounds, salukis, or Afghan hounds. These restrictions set aside, this is an effective harness at a reasonable price point well worth popping on your shortlist.
8. EzyDog Dog Car Harness
The EzyDog harness lives up to its name, giving you a very user-friendly entry point to dog car harnesses.
Made from premium materials throughout, the construction and the hardware are impressive. Webbing is made from vehicle-grade seatbelt webbing, giving you total confidence and your dog a snug, secure fit.
Once you adjust the harness to fit your furball, you’ll then simply need to slip him in each time in seconds flat. Kiss goodbye to fiddling around with intricate closures and hit the road while your fur baby reclines in comfort. Instead, use the simple buckle enclosure to get Rover in and out in no time.
If you are caught in any doubt about sizing with this harness, the manufacturer recommends sizing up.
Safety tested to all relevant standards, you’ll have no nagging doubts about the safety of your fur baby if you end up in a road traffic accident.
9. Solvit PetSafe Deluxe Pet Harness
This Solvit dog harness comes in 4 sizes to fit most breeds. This is the beefiest model, the X-Large for dogs weighing from 75 to 120 pounds and with necks from 18 to 32 inches.
PetSafe is one of the most reputable brands in this space, serving dog owners like you for decades but not charging a fortune for their products.
The harness is padded and shouldn’t burden your dog, even if you’re heading out on a lengthy drive.
As with all the best dog harnesses, you can be confident this model meets all crash testing and safety certification. While a harness doesn’t act as a guarantee your dog won’t be injured in a serious car wreck, it should protect your pup from most accidents on the road, giving you valuable peace of mind at a reasonable price point.
Although the majority of user reviews of this harness are positive, we found some scattered complaints about the overall build quality and lifespan. This set aside, it’s one of the best dog harnesses out there, and it’s pretty reasonably priced, too.
10. Ruffwear Dog Car Harness
Ruffwear is a household name in the pet space with just cause. This dog car harness continues that winning tradition in fine style.
Build, fit, and finish are all commendable. The hardware on this harness is solid and build to last while the dense fabric is durable and should return an excellent lifespan.
Crash tested to all relevant standards, you should keep your furball safeguarded from harm in most incidents on the road. Beyond that, you’ll keep him safely tucked up in his seat rather than roaming around the car distracting you.
This harness is straightforward to put on and use, ideal if you get in and out of the car frequently and don’t want to waste time with fiddly closures.
Of all the sizes available, the XX-Small harness is designed for dinky dogs with necks from 13 to 17 inches.
1) Is it safe to take my dog out in the car?
It is as long as you secure him with a dog harness. Allowing a dog to ride in a car unrestrained is a recipe for potential disaster. Firstly, he is liable to distract you at any time. A dog is unaware that you need your concentration focused on the road and could distract you in many ways. If you end up in a car crash, your dog will be transformed into a potentially deadly projectile, rocketing forward to hit you at great force.
2) What’s the difference between a dog harness and a dog seat belt?
Devices marketed as dog seat belts are little more than leashes that attach to your furball’s collar and then snap into the belt opening. This might serve to keep your dog away from the front seat, but it will do little to protect him in the event of a collision. A dog harness, by contrast, is the much more secure option. These devices make use of chest straps to keep your hound firmly in place.
3) What are the laws concerning dogs in cars in the United States?
Laws vary from state to state. Most states don’t require you to secure your dog with a harness, but you’ll often be prohibited from carrying your dog on your lap in the car, and understandably so. You can be charged for distracted driving in some states for this offense.
4) How can I get my dog ready for his first trip with a car harness?
Start by putting the harness on your dog at home and allowing him to get used to the feel by wearing it around the house. You should then build up slowly by taking your dog out for a very short ride in the car so he can experience the feeling without being restricted for too long. Offer Fido plenty of treats and plenty of positive reinforcement, a crucial element of all dog training and one that should never be overlooked.
5) How should I prepare for a longer car trip with my dog?
Always wait for an hour after your dog has eaten before heading on a lengthier trip. Car sickness can be initiated or inflamed by a full stomach. Make sure Fido has attended to his business, too. That said, you should stop for plenty of toilet breaks when you’re driving with your dog on longer trips. Don’t make him feel uncomfy. While you should refrain from feeding your dog treats when you’re driving, load him up with treats when you stop.
6) Will a dog harness save my dog’s life?
If your dog is wearing a harness and you are involved in any kind of road traffic accident, you’ll maximize his chances of survival while minimizing the likelihood of injury. Just like when you wear a seatbelt yourself, a dog harness does not act as guaranteed protection, but it will give your dog the best possible chance.
Now, you might have started out today with no real idea about the best dog harnesses for car travel. By now, that should have changed.
Stick with the harnesses we review and you’re in safe hands. Opt for a model we don’t highlight today, and we’d urge you to take our buying guidance in mind. Do this and you should have no problem at all finding a suitable harness for your needs.
Drop us a line and let us know what you feel is better, a harness or a crate for car travel. We also welcome any feedback or suggestions.
Before you head off on your trip, bookmark BarkVA and pop back any time you need some guidance. We’re here to help you with all things canine from tips on training your dog to all the best dog equipment. We have a busy slate lined up for the coming month so head back soon and we look forward to helping you in any way we can.