Choosing a suitable dog car harness for your pet can be quite a challenging endeavor. There are plenty of things to think about before you make your purchase, and there are hundreds of brands available.
Whether this is you’re your first car harness or not, you might find it overwhelming to dig through all of the options and information on your own.
We have several dogs and a few puppies and the one thing they all like to ride in the car. We try out every brand we come across, and we have chosen ten brands to review for you so you can get a feel for the type of harness you need.
We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we break down the critical elements of a dog car harness to help you see through any hype while you shop.
Please keep reading for our detailed reviews of each brand of dog car harness, where we compare sizing, hardware, adjustability, and durability, to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|XXS, XS, S, M, L-XL||4.9/5|
|S, M, L, XL||4.7/5|
|S, M, L||4.6/5|
|Kurgo||XS, S, M, L, XL||4.1/5|
|Pawaboo||S, M, L, XL||3.9/5|
The 10 Best Dog Car Harnesses – Reviews 2020
1. RUFFWEAR Dog Car Harness – Best Overall
The RUFFWEAR 3060-001S1 Dog Car Harness is our choice for the best overall dog car harness. This harness has been lab-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It’s one size fits most and allows your pet to sit, stand, and lie down, and they can leave it on during bathroom breaks. It features all-metal hardware, and it quickly attaches to your seatbelt.
This harness worked well for all of our pets, and the only problem was that our dogs would sometimes get tangled if we didn’t buckle them in the center of the backseat.
2. PetSafe Car Dog Harness – Best Value
The PetSafe 62404 Car Safety Dog Harness is our pick for the best value, and it has plenty of features that we feel make it the best dog car harness for the money. This harness has been crash-test certified and comes in a variety of sizes to fit any size dog. There’s plenty of padding to provide comfort and protection for your pet in the event of a crash, and multiple attachment options make it easy to find the best way to buckle your pet safely.
The only thing we didn’t like about this harness was that it’s hard to get on, and no matter how many times we did it, it was always a challenge.
The EzyDog Travel Dog Car Harness is our pick for premium choice dog car harness. It’s NHTSA crash-tested and comes in several sizes to fit any dog. This harness uses a durable automotive-grade material that won’t fray, tear, or pull apart. You only need to adjust it to your pet once. After that, putting the harness on is easy, and it quickly locks into place. Make adjustments with aluminum alloy glides that won’t bend or slip.
We enjoyed using this harness with our dogs and are confident in its ability to protect our pets in the event of a crash. It has a lot of thick padding and seemed comfortable enough for long rides. Unfortunately, it is expensive, and we had to send ours back more than once to get the right size.
4. Kurgo Dog Car Harness
The Kurgo K00024 Dog Car Harness is a lightweight general-purpose harness that includes a 10-inch tether seatbelt to help restrain the dog while driving. It’s a lightweight harness that our dogs didn’t mind wearing, and it also included a D-ring to attach a leash for pee breaks or going for a walk.
The downside to this brand is that this harness tested poorly in crash tests. There’s not much padding to protect your dog, and it doesn’t hold them secure. We found it to be a pretty good walking harness, but that’s not what we’re looking for here. It also runs a size small, so be careful when ordering this brand online.
5. Pawaboo Pet Car Harness
The Pawaboo P7823-7414 Pet Car Harness features a lightweight design that is soft and comfortable for your pet. It comes with a detachable seatbelt that clips directly into the seatbelt buckle to help keep your pet safe. When the belt is not needed, you can disconnect it and attach a leash for going for a walk.
We had a difficult time keeping this brand snug on our pets. The adjustable siders loosen if you are not vigilant and continuously adjust them. If they relax enough, the dog can get out and either run or chew up the harness. This harness is not crash-tested, and it’s not very durable. One last problem with this brand is that the seatbelt clip that comes with this harness will not fit all vehicles.
6. SlowTon Dog Car Harness
The SlowTon Dog Car Harness is a lightweight harness that features a breathable mesh fabric to help keep your pet cooler on warm days. It comes with a removable seatbelt that features durable metal attachments. The belt is elastic, which will help prevent tangles and encourage your pet to stay in a smaller area. It comes in several sizes to accommodate most dogs, and the quick release snaps help make it easy to get it on and off your pets.
While we used this brand, we wore out two separate harnesses, so they are not very durable, and they tend to come apart at the seams from the dog pulling. We also noticed that if we went for a longer ride or walk the material would stain our pet’s fur. Out of the four dogs we had this on, one was able to escape in minutes by backing out of it.
7. Lukovee Dog Car Harness
The Lukovee Dog Car Harness is another lightweight brand on this list that features a removable elastic seatbelt. This brand features a breathable mesh fabric to help increase your pet’s comfort level and duel quick-release straps to geet your pet in and out of the harness quickly.
We liked the reflective stitching this brand provides, especially since this harness doubles as a walking harness. We didn’t think that this would make a good vehicle harness, however, because the material is too thin to protect your pets in an accident. It’s not crash-tested and not very durable. The included elastic seatbelt will not fit several vehicles.
8. Easy Rider BLKSML Car Harness
The Easy Rider 06000 BLKSML Car Harness is a durable, crash-tested harness that features all-metal hardware and thick chest padding. This harness connects to either front or rear seatbelts for maximum versatility and for accommodating pets that like to sit in the front seat.
We liked the thick padding on this brand, but the stiff fabric didn’t seem as comfortable as some of the other brands on this list. Also, as the harness begins to wear, some of the stitching can become sharp. It didn’t seem to bother our dogs much, but it made it hard to grab the harness to restrain our dogs. These harnesses seem to run large, and you might want to order a smaller size than you think you need. The oversizing could be the reason two out of four of our dogs were able to escape these harnesses regularly.
9. Mighty Paw Car Dog Harness
The Mighty Paw Car Dog Harness is a weatherproof harness designed for general purpose use. It features breathable fabric with a lightweight padding that is comfortable for your pets to wear on long walks and drives. You can attach a leash to the front or the back of the harness for more versatility and control over your pet. The sliders are easy to adjust, and it can be put on and taken off quickly.
Unfortunately, the connectors and adjusters are plastic and wouldn’t hold up well in a crash. There is no included seatbelt to buckle your pet into the car, so you will need to purchase one separately or use one from another brand if you have one. The material is very flimsy, and we could see signs of wear after just a few uses.
10. DEXDOG Auto Car Safety Harness
The DEXDOG Chest Plate Harness Auto Car Safety Harness is the final brand of dog car harness on our list. This model is easy to adjust and features several adjustable sliders at critical positions. It comes in several colors and features reflective stitching and accents to help everyone see your pet better in low light conditions.
While we were reviewing this model, we had an incredibly hard time keeping it in place. It kept sliding around, no matter how much we adjusted it. All connectors and sliders are plastic, so there’s little chance this brand of car harness will hold up in a crash. It also doesn’t come with a seatbelt attachment, so you will need to purchase one separately or use one you already have on hand to fasten your pet in a vehicle. Part of the sliding-around problem might have to do with these harnesses seeming to be way oversized. Be careful when ordering this brand that you order smaller than you think you will need.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to look for when choosing a dog car harness.
One of the best ways to tell if a dog car harness is up to the task of protecting your pet during a crash is to see if it has undergone any crash testing. Several institutions, like the NTHSA and the Center for Pet Safety, regularly test dog harnesses and publish their results publicly. Most manufacturers that have passed this type of certification will post it on their packaging.
We recommend always looking for indications that a harness received testing before purchase. Many testing facilities have their results posted online and are easy to look up if there is no indication on the packaging.
Standard harnesses made for walking do not usually have a lot of padding, but you want there to be a lot of padding on harnesses that you use in the car. Padding won’t just protect your pet in the case of an accident, it will also make the harness more comfortable on long trips and will provide cushion from the constant vibration and frequent bounces.
Comfort can be a significant concern when you need to travel long distances or need to travel often. Many harnesses can rub and chaff around the front legs in the armpit area. We recommend keeping a constant watch to see if there are signs of rubbing or discomfort while your pet is wearing it and discontinue use if you see problems occurring.
Durability is another primary concern when purchasing a car harness for your dog. Dogs tend to pull whether out for a walk or while riding in the car. Continuous pulling can cause some harnesses to come apart around the seams. Some pets like to twist and turn when fastened in a vehicle, and this can also cause wear to set in around the seatbelt connections.
If the harness comes with an extension seatbelt, we recommend checking it over carefully to make sure it’s compatible with the seatbelt in your car. Look for metal fasteners and D-rings with reinforced stitching.
If your pet is good at getting out of their harness, we recommend purchasing a harness that features an extra set of belly straps to prevent escape. These harnesses are much harder to wriggle out of and they protect your dog better by holding them more secure, especially when in a vehicle.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and feel better about choosing a dog harness for your pet. We recommend our best overall the RUFFWEAR 3060-001S1 Dog Car Harness is crash-tested, features all-metal hardware, and detaches to allow your pet to take a bathroom break. The PetSafe 62404 Car Safety Dog Harness is our pick for the best value and is also crash-tested. This brand comes in multiple sizes and features plenty of comfortable padding.
If your still undecided, we hope our buyer’s guide will help you shop with confidence to find a high-quality harness that’s right for you and your pet. If you have learned something new, please share these dog car harness reviews on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image credit: RUFFWEAR – Load Up Dog Car Harness with Strength-Rated Hardware Secure Vehicle Restraint Universal Seat Belt Attachment, Amazon
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Dog Car Harnesses – Reviews 2020
- 1. RUFFWEAR Dog Car Harness – Best Overall
- 2. PetSafe Car Dog Harness – Best Value
- 3. EzyDog Dog Car Harness – Premium Choice
- 4. Kurgo Dog Car Harness
- 5. Pawaboo Pet Car Harness
- 6. SlowTon Dog Car Harness
- 7. Lukovee Dog Car Harness
- 8. Easy Rider BLKSML Car Harness
- 9. Mighty Paw Car Dog Harness
- 10. DEXDOG Auto Car Safety Harness
- Buyer’s Guide
- Crash Testing
- Escape Proof