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Best Dog Car Accessories That will Protect You and Your Dog
Traveling with your dogs can be a tricky thing to do at times. You undoubtedly want to provide them with a comfortable place to sit during car rides, while at the same time ensuring that they (and yourself) remain safe. In order for pet owners to achieve this, they must utilize best dog car accessories for dogs that will keep them as stationary as possible. Of course, one must also consider the breed and size, taking into consideration that younger dogs will grow significantly over a short period of time. Let’s plunge into choosing the best dog car accessories.
Car Safety Accessories for Dogs
- Dog Car Barriers
- Car Travel Crate for Dogs
- Car Harnesses and Seat Belts for Dogs
- Car Seats and Booster Seats For Dogs
- Dog Cargo Covers, Seat Covers, Hammocks
- Dog Car Door Protector
- Dog Assistance – Car Ramps and Stairs
- Pet First Aid Travel Kit
We have selected for you a list of dog car travel gear which will help you to choose those matching perfectly for your pet and car, with Pros and Cons and Buying Guideline. Plus, one BEST in each category.
Best Dog Car Barrier
|rabbitgoo Dog Car Barrier
Best Dog Travel Crate
|4x4 North America Variocage Single Crash Tested Dog Cage
|Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Safety Dog Harness
Best Dog Car Seatbelt
|Urpower Upgraded Dog Seat Belt 2 Pack
Best Car Booster Seat
|K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat
Best Dog Seat Cover
|Urpower Dog Seat Cover
Best Dog Car Door Protector
|K&H Pet Products Vehicle Door Protector
Best Dog Car Ramp
|PetSafe Happy Ride Folding Dog Ramp
Car Safety Accessories in Detail
There are a lot of studies that have been conducted relating to pet owners traveling with their dogs on the road. Both car companies and independent studies have concluded that accidents are much more likely to occur when driving with dogs that aren’t restrained properly, or not secured at all. This could change in the future, although most states have no laws concerning dog safety in cars or they are ambiguous.
The consensus is that you’re much better off with some sort of restraint when traveling as a pet owner. But even then, one must use caution when looking for restraints; some low-quality products will have little effect in the unfortunate event of a car crash. That’s why it’s important to pick from brands that are recommended the most.
Dog Car Barriers
Whatever the reason, securing your dog in the car is not only a relief for your shopping bags, but also a safety requirement.
Things to Pay Attention When Buying a Dog Car Barrier
When buying a dog barrier, the first step is to look carefully at the appropriate type for your car. However, just the brand of car as a reference is usually not enough, because there are often different makes and types of cars, i.e. station wagons, SUV, etc. If the dog barrier does not fit tightly and does not have enough contact points for stabilization, the whole construction is useless and falls over at the very first paw and muzzle push. So please pay attention to the exact designation of your car. For example, some cars have special designs like a panoramic roof. The dog barrier must be compatible with it to provide sufficient support.
Another important point is the material. There are many offers on the market, ranging from inexpensive to high-priced, and made of plastic, sheet metal or steel. Now it depends on how much the barrier should withstand, whereby it is always recommended to choose the most stable material.
Imagine pressure of 65 pounds (30 kg) on a plastic barrier when full braking at the speed of 45 miles (70 km) per hour is necessary
Since your safety and that of your dog’s is at stake, it is worth investing in a steel construction that will last a lifetime at best.
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Types of Dog Car Barriers: Universal VS Customisable
The question of a universal or customisable dog barrier for the car is certainly a question of cost in the first instance. Which of course does not mean that a universal dog barrier is cheap or of inferior quality. However, many manufacturers today offer customised construction and installation, with a corresponding amount of work. This additional investment naturally also has some positive aspects. The main advantage of having an individual or customised dog barrier made for you is that the gate fits 100% into your car and offers reliable safety. You have the possibility to have special wishes realised or to adjust the construction to your needs. For example, a box where additional luggage can be stored, etc. The disadvantage is that once the barrier is installed, you cannot use it for any other car model.
The universal dog barrier, on the other hand, has the advantage that it is height-adjustable and can therefore be mounted in different cars. So if you use several cars, you have better a universal dog barrier. The assembly and disassembly is very easy and does not damage your car. But pay special attention to the car headliner, which should not be scratched or punctured. The disadvantage of universal dog barriers, however, is that they do not always fit exactly into the car and can slip or wobble.
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Car Travel Crate for Dogs
There are different types of pet carriers for dogs, which are intended for different purposes. For example, you will find some that are more suitable for transporting your dog in a car. Others are more suitable for carrying the dog in a train or plane. And there are very simple crates that make it easier to go to a vet. There are also soft-sided carriers that are foldable and lightweight. Metal or plastic crash-tested crates are the best for safe car travelling.
Types of Car Crate for Dogs
Pet Car Carrier
Basically, this is an advantage that especially small and light dogs can enjoy – unless the owner is so strong enough to carry a Labrador in such a box. For small dogs there is a large selection of different dog carrier for cars, in which you can transport the dog comfortably and conveniently.
Metal Pet Car Crate
For larger dogs crates are more suitable. The most durable are metal or aluminum, but there are also good crates, made of plastic or a combination of fabric, plastic and / or metal. In small cars, the crates for dogs can be placed on the back seat, where they can be fastened and stabilized with the safety belts of the car. In larger cars, the crate can also be installed or placed in the boot. Smaller crates for smaller dogs can also be placed in the foot well.
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Things to Consider before Buying a Dog Travel Crate
With the variety of different dog dog car crates and carriers, it may be a difficulty to choose a suitable one. This is of course a very individual matter and should be well thought out before buying in order to find the best dog car travel solutions.
- The size of the dog (there should be enough space to sit and lie down)
- Floor space and height of the crate
- The size of the trunk or back seat (if there is enough space for the dog crate)
- Possibilities to provide your dog with water in the crate (for longer journeys)
- Sufficient air circulation (especially in summer!)
- Opening sides of the box (opening and closing must be possible in the boot or directly on the back seat)
For the travel crate to be really safe for your dog, it must meet the needs and dimensions of your dog
- The size of the dog and its weight play an important role in addition to the intended use and space available. So if you are looking for a travel crate for the car, first look for sturdy metal crates and then get an overview which of them offer enough space for the size of your dog. Make sure that the crate can also withstand the weight of your dog. After that you may choose some extras like color and décor. However, these things should play a secondary role.
- For longer journeys you should also be able to provide your dog with some fresh water and food in the crate. For heavy dogs you can also choose the one with wheels so that you do not have to carry the crate with your dog.
- If your pet experiences stress in a crate, you can also use some calming treats in advance. But here a Vet’s advice is recommended.
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Car Harnesses and Seat Belts for Dogs
Every dog loves to be on the road with his family and enjoys exploring exciting new places. But trips on foot are very limited in the area and then there is often only the car ride as an option. But what about the safety for your companion? The abundance of products for securing the dog in the car often makes the choice not so easy.
Types of Dog Car Safety Harnesses
Harnesses for dogs come in many different types. The most handy and minimalist are those that act only as a connection between the normal dog harness and the buckle – this is simply called a safety belt or restraint. Depending on the harness and belt combination, the dog can be injured by straps that are too narrow. Those with wide straps and stable hooks are better, as they can be anchored in the buckle on one side with a strap. There are also models which can be buckled on both sides and which have thick padding on the straps in the chest area. Also the quality and stability of the processed material differs.
To ensure that you and your dog arrive safely to your destination, it is therefore essential to select a crash-tested, high-quality and suitable car safety harness.
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Purchase Criteria for a Car Dog Safety Harness
The most important factor for the safety of your dog is the length of the harness. Here one should prefer the shortest possible version, as otherwise the pup could injure himself in the front seat or fall into the footwell. The size of your dog also plays a role here: the larger he is, the smaller the distance between him and the front seat. With large dogs it is therefore even more important to choose a short belt.
The Right Harness Size
The length is also an important criterion: if it is too small, it is not only uncomfortable, but can also lead to bruising or abrasions in the event of an accident. Harnesses that are too large carry the risk of dog slipping and thus not distributing the force of the impact properly over the dog’s body. Since the dog is mainly caught by the chest part of the harness during a hard braking, it should be padded as wide and thick as possible – this distributes the pressure best.
Durability of Materials
In addition, one should pay attention to a stable processing of the loops, hooks and seams, because they must be able to withstand enormous forces in an emergency.
Crash Tests of Harnesses
Crash tests clearly show that there is a good reason to secure your pup in the car appropriately. Because in a collision at approx. 30 miles (50 km) per hour the dog would fly forward, hitting the car with about 25 times its weight and thus not only injuring itself, but also becoming a great risk of injury to people in the car.
In an accident, a medium-sized dog of 48 pounds (22 kg) can reach an impact weight of 1100 pounds (500 kg)
Unfortunately 50% of the harnesses tested did not fulfil what they promised: too weakly designed snap hooks broke and the dog dummy crashed into the front seat. More stable harnesses withstood the pressure, but often failed due to a too long belt.
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Car Seats and Booster Seats For Dogs
Travelling with the dog is a great idea to be able to take your pup with you everywhere. However, it is important that the dog is safe in the car when travelling. You can do this with a dog car seat that can accommodate your pet and at the same time be comfortable. Also, make sure that the dog in the car seat is additionally strapped in to ensure maximum safety. So nothing stands in the way of a relaxed holiday and you’re ready to go! Place the dog car booster seat in the space provided. This can be either in the front or in the back – there are no legal requirements as long as the dog is properly secured. But back seat is safer anyway.
If you have already accustomed your dog to the car seat (outside the car), he will certainly jump into his temporary sleeping place voluntarily. As soon as your pet is in his seat, he is secured with a car belt. For this it is advisable to use a dog harness combined with a car seat belt for dogs. The dog harness is attached to the frame of the animal on one side and snaps into the car belt on the other side – just like a normal car belt. Now adjust the length of the car belt so that your dog can move freely in the car seat, but cannot escape in any other way.
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Is a Dog Car Booster Seat Compulsory?
The law stipulates that dogs must be secured when driving in a car. But how you secure your animal is up to you – as long as it is safe. There are numerous ways to secure your pet. Whether it’s the boot, back seat or passenger seat – it’s important that your pet does not become a danger to himself and you if an accident occurs. Of course, a dog car seat is not compulsory, because even without a car seat your dog can still be in the passenger seat or the back seat with its seat belt fastened. A harness and a suitable car belt are used for this purpose. It is up to you whether your dog also sits in a half-height car seat. For your pet, however, this car seat offers a higher degree of comfort and also safety, as soft side parts make it feel more protected while driving – for this alone, a car dog seat (at least for smaller dogs) is important.
Dog Car Seat vs. Dog Travel Crate – Which is Better?
When transporting a smaller dog you can choose, if you want to let the dog ride in the trunk and put him into a crate. Or maybe you prefer to have him strapped in the front or back seat. The fact is that it is not pleasant for every dog to be driven around in a travel crate. Many dogs do not enter the crate voluntarily at all, so they need a comfortable alternative. A car booster seat for dogs is such an alternative, which is additionally equipped with a belt safety device.
Purchase Criteria for a Dog Car Seat
Size is Decisive
When buying a dog car seat it is of course most important that your pet can sit comfortably in it and better also lie down. This means that the size must fit the dog.
You should know the length and width of your pet – both in sitting and lying position. This way you know how many cm are required at least to make it pleasant and comfortable for your pet to ride in the car.
Dog Car Seat Size Dimensions Suitable for
Sample size 1 approx. 20 x 24 x 14 in (50 x 60 x 35 cm) small dogs
Sample size 2 approx. 50 x 60 x 22 in (130 x 150 x 55 cm) medium to large dogs
There are many different variations of a dog car seat, depending on what you like. In many cases, the outer wall of the seat is padded with foam, which is very comfortable for dogs. This keeps the car seat in shape and your dog can lean against it (if it’s not too heavy). Foam also has the advantage of absorbing shocks with bumps in the road. Your pet can continue to sleep in peace and quiet without even noticing the bumps.
Depending on the model of car seat, the mounting is designed differently. There are models that are attached directly to the car using special fixing system. Other car seats are simply placed on top of the seat and there is no extra mounting. These seats are designed like a larger carrier bag. Of course, the car seats for dogs are particularly safe if they are firmly attached to the body of the car.
! Some dog car seats can be secured and fastened with the belt of the car. This means that the seat is not completely free should an accident occur
! Securing a car seat to the vehicle does not (!) replace securing a dog!
Regardless of how you secure a car seat in the vehicle, you must additionally strap your dog while driving. This is done with a harness and a dog car seat belt provided for this purpose.
Often a matching dog leash goes together with a booster seat, necessary for securing the dog. This is usually only about 10 or 20 cm long and completely sufficient. So your dog still has some freedom of movement, but is firmly strapped into the car seat and cannot simply jump out.
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Dog Cargo Covers, Seat Covers, Hammocks
Whether it is a bath in the mud puddle, the last digging adventure or just a walk in the rain, the experienced dog owner knows: if the pup has to get into the car afterwards, the next cleaning is inevitable. If you don’t feel like cleaning your car over and over again and taking care of the interior a little, it is recommended to use a dog seat cover.
Seat Covers, Cargo Covers – What is the Difference?
In contrast to a seat cover, a cargo cover is simple to place. It is used for dogs or transport goods such as leaves, building materials, etc., which can contaminate the boot. If you buy a cargo protector for your dog, I recommend a special one for dogs, because not all other covers are non-slip and waterproof. If you would like to buy such a protective cover for your car, you should think carefully beforehand whether a cargo liner like blanket is sufficient to cover the the boot. Or perhaps the one with high walls would be better, as this also protects the back of the rear seat from dirt and moisture. Since I could already gain some experience with different boot protection covers with my dog myself, I rather recommend high quality products.
Unfortunately, it happened often with us that a “great bargain” did not even last two weeks and we had to buy the next cover after that. Quality and a slightly higher price usually make difference here in any case. On the other hand, however, we should also say: if a cargo cover for the dog is loaded and used very often, it can simply not serve for10 years.
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Cargo Cover Design
- Waterproof. So that the moisture cannot be absorbed by the boot carpet
- Non-slip. With enough grip for a dog
- With side protection. To protect the trunk from the dirt
- With foldable bumper protection. To protect it forn scratches and mud
What To Consider Buying a Cargo Cover For Your Dog?
- Measure the size of the boot of the car (width, depth and possibly also the height to the windows). With the closer selection of the products again pay attention to the measurements and compare them with those of your own car (should not be too short)
- Pay attention to whether the manufacturer provides information on compatible car brands. Assess whether a rather thin cover is sufficient or whether it would be better for your dog to use a thicker / padded protector (for example, if there are hard corners, edges or raised areas in the boot, padding is an advantage. Also in winter)
- Pay attention to how the cover should be fixed (with tapes, glues etc. and if this is possible in your car).
- Check whether the cargo cover has or should have a foldable bumper protection (this is not the case with all products).
- The cargo cover with side wall protectors for dogs is the optimal solution.
After a few mispurchases, I am firmly convinced that a cargo cover with side wall protectors is simply the best option for dog and owner, especially for dogs that get often very dirty and then go with the car. This way you not only protect the floor of the boot, but also the side panels and the back of the back seat of your car.
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Dog Car Door Protector
Car Door Dog Protectors are created to save your inside car door panels from damage of all kinds, including pet hairs, dirt from paws and scratches. They are perfect for the back seat pet passengers that are eager to get some fresh air. And you can’t help but let your dog hang out the window being on the way, especially in hot summer. Durable fabric of the protector allows to keep door panels without being scratched or slobbered. Our testing has shown that K&H Pet Products Vehicle Door Protector is one of the best available on the market.
Dog Assistance – Car Ramps and Stairs
It is not easy for every dog to make a jump up or down. Sometimes because of health, age, or a dog is afraid, or simply too small. There are many reasons to make it easier for the pet to jump up and down. With a dog ramp this is easy. A dog ramp basically works like a normal ramp. It is assembled or already consists of one part and placed at the place where it is to function as a ramp. In most cases this is the trunk, where the dog cage or basket is already waiting for your pup.
Using a Dog Ramp for Small and Larger Dogs
- For a Large Dog to jump into the trunk on its own it is necessary a lot of strength. But their joints or musculus may be damaged. Especially old large dogs are no longer able to make this jump from the ground. Here, dog owners often have to lift a large Labrador or another larger dog breed into the trunk in pairs – this is also not very healthy, because the pet is stressed and the owner also has a lot of trouble.
- If it is a Small Dog, however, it is not at all possible to jump on his own into the trunk. Pet parents always have to help and lift a dog. A dog ramp can also help here, and make it easier on the dog owner’s joints and bones. Small dogs tend to weigh much less, but even simple bending and lifting can be too strenuous or exhausting, especially for senior people.
All these situations can be avoided with a simple dog ramp or stairs. The ramp is placed against the car and the dog is gently, slowly and safely moves into the car. Most dogs get used to it automatically after a few attempts and love not having to make a jump themselves or being lifted in a cumbersome way – they see the ramp as a safe and easy ascent and do not need to be instructed after a short while.
Of course a dog ramp is not only useful for car application. There are many ways to integrate a ramp into everyday life. Some dog owners, for example, place it against the couch to allow their small dogs, puppies or even older dogs to climb up to the couch or bed – without having to put their own hands on it and lift the animal, which is also good for their health
Another common situation where dog ramps are used is the simple stairs to the front door. Many people live in an apartment or a house where the entrance has two or three small stairs. Normally these stairs are not a problem or obstacle for a healthy dog. But what about an older or sick dog? Maybe he has problems with his bones and joints, had an operation and needs to take it easy? Or perhaps it is small dog and the dog owner cannot carry him himself at the moment. Here too, a dog ramp can be a relief and make the ascent possible.
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What Features to Consider When Purchasing a Dog Ramp
When buying a dog ramp there are basically not many selection criteria. Buyers can choose whether the ramp is folded or slided and also the width, length and general material can be selected. But the most important thing when buying is to choose the best size and the safest material for the dog, which also influences the weight of the dog.
Some dog ramps are designed in two parts and can simply be folded up. These ramps are usually relatively thick, but often shorter when they are assembled. On the other hand, if you have a longer boot and are looking for a narrow ramp, you should choose the sliding mechanism. This ramp is not folded but pushed into each other. This means that when pushed together it is thinner and often longer overall (assembled and also extended). This mechanism is also called a telescopic ramp.
The second important criterion is the weight. Each manufacturer indicates the maximum weight that the dog ramp can carry. Pet parents should always adhere to this and should not calculate too “tight” even in the best case. The good thing, however, is that the ramps are constructed very stable, so that only rarely a ramp should not be suitable for the weight of the animal. Stable aluminium ramps, for example, can be loaded with a maximum 265 pounds. And a plastic ramp – the maximum weight is often around 200 pounds.
Length and width
The next criterion that buyers should consider is the length and width of the ramp. The width is primarily based on the pet. Small dogs can also walk on ramps that are very narrow. However, a large dog may not find the necessary balance here and needs a ramp that is a little wider. A width of about 15 inches is sufficient for most larger dog breeds, so that they can climb up safely. The length is less oriented to the dog, but to the general situation. The higher the object on which the dog is to climb, the longer the ramp should be, because it requires a different angle.
If the object is very low, even a short ramp can be sufficient to ensure that the ascent and descent is not so steep. However, if this shorter ramp has to be placed on a high object, the angle will be too steep and the animal may need a lot of force when climbing up and will almost walk upside down when descending. if it is a dog ramp for the car, then the ramp should be at least 3 feet long in its entire length so that the ascent and descent is not too steep. This is especially important if you are looking for a dog ramp for SUVs or other larger cars. Usually they are also higher, so if the ramp is not long enough, the angle will be even steeper.
Of course a dog ramp also gets dirty, especially when the dog is wet and dirty and then gets into the boot. Ramps should therefore be easy to clean. Depending on the material and model, easy cleaning is always possible. Often manufacturers even mention this in their products
The most important feature of a dog ramp is the anti-slip coating. A climbing aid is only useful for the dog if he can climb up and down safely – without slipping or sliding. Actually, therefore, every good dog ramp should be provided with a non-slip coating. Lateral safety rails can also improve the feeling for the dog, as it cannot slip with its claws to the side. If the length is also infinitely variable (which is usually the case with a telescopic dog ramp), it can be used for many different applications. The last advantage is the rubber feet at the lower end, which also has to be non-slip – this ensures that the ramp remains stable when the dog runs away.
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Pet First Aid Travel Kit
We all are lucky if we got safe and sound from one place to another. But unfortunately not everything depends on you on the road. Even if you and your dog are well-prepared, a car accident may happen. To be be on the safe side, always keep a Pet First Aid Travel Kit along with a human one in a car.
Frequestly Asked Questions about Best Dog Car Accessories
Now that you’ve finished the list, Take a moment to go over anything that you may have missed. There where a large number of products, some of which will work best when bought with a combination of other dog accessories. And once you have everything that you need, you’ll be set to make your trips on the road much more pleasant. Safety on the road is important, so everything listed will keep everyone in the car (including your pet)