Best Seat Belts For Dogs

Seat belt for dogs

I had never thought about a seat belt for my dogs until I was in car accidents.  I’ve been driving since I was 16 years old and have been in two car accidents.  One of them very bad and would have cut me in half had I not been in the very large SUV I was in.  Now, I think about my dog all the time, especially in the event of an accident.  So, what are some of the best seat belts for dogs out there?

There are a lot of seat belts for dogs to choose from.  I’ve shopped at several online sites, looking at a ton of videos and, yes, I ordered one some time ago.  Atlas now wears it every time she goes in the car with me to ensure her safety.  Since I bought one and have been using it for a few weeks now, I know what to look for.

First, How Large Is Your Dog?

One thing to think about with the seat belt you choose, is how big is your dog?  If you have a very small dog, then the standard seat belt won’t really work for them.  I have a 2.5lb Chihuahua and I imagine that if I were in a fatal accident, she would most likely fly around everywhere.

Small Dog Booster SeatWhen it comes to small dogs, I think of small children for safety.  In this event, I would want the booster seat that fits almost like a baby seat.  It boosters them up to make them a little higher up and not so close to the seat. It also has a harness that straps them into the booster and attaches to the metal hooks in the seat itself.

If you have children, think back to their child seat or booster seat.  Same concept for the small dogs.

Medium sized dogs, depending on their height, can use either the booster or harness attachment.  The best bet is to be the judge on how secure you think your dog is with the seat belt.

If you have a large dog, then you would want the standard harness seat belt that wraps around their chest.  It’s also padded so that if you’re in a collision, the impact isn’t crushing their bones or chest.  I know, it’s a lot of information and not all of this is fun to think about.  However, you should always plan for the worst case scenario when it comes to your family.Padded Seat Belt Harness

When it comes to how they attach to your vehicle, there are two options.

One Kind Clicks Into The Seat Belt Holder.

Seat Belt for Dogs

The seat belt that I recently purchased has the seat belt tongue attachment.  Meaning, it actually clicks into the seat belt buckle.  It has the tongue on the end so your dog will need their own seat.  I actually like this option because I feel that my dogs are very secure with this option.

It also forces me to place my large dog in her own seat versus letting her sit on my kids laps.  More often than not, in the truck, my kids want the dog on their laps.  I worry about this in the event of any collision.  In an accident, things tend to fly in unprecedented ways.  Limbs will fly around, heads will go back and forth and side to side.  Anything hard can make an impact in a negative way.

In my last accident, which was horrific, the middle console and door handle broke my ribs on both sides.  Anything hard can break bones.  So imagine a very large dog on a child’s lap. Anything devastating can happen in that event, especially bones colliding with bones.

For me personally, my dog gets her own seat now when we ride around.  She may not like it, but it’s the safest way to travel.

Another Dog Seat Belt Uses A Carabiner.

Carabiner Attachment

The other style of dog seat belt uses a carabiner to attach to the seat belt buckle or the metal hook in the seat.  This would be a great option if I didn’t worry about my children attempting to have my dog on their laps.  I believe that they would attempt to attach her spring-style strap to their belt buckle.

Imagine, a very bad collision where the dog flies side to side hitting the children.  Yes, I worry about my dog, but I worry about my kids more.  Dogs heads are very strong and able to withstand a lot of force.  I’m not sure whose heads are harder; though when the kids are in trouble, their heads are pretty tough and thick.  In the case of a collision though, I want to be sure there’s no possible way they can be injured.

If my kids were older and knew more about safety, then the carabiner would be a great option.  I do like the versatility with this one as I could attach it anywhere that’s secure in the vehicle. Especially during long trips.

One thing I do want to note that’s very important, is what the seat belt components are made of.

Choose Metal Over Plastic!

Crash Tested Harness

In looking through a bunch of different styles of harnesses, I noticed that some have plastic clips.  Where the harness buckles over the dog, it’s a plastic attachment.  I know, in any bad collision, plastic is not going to hold.  The plastic will break. If it’s just a minor fender bender, than it might hold.

We all know that accidents are just that, accidents. They can happen at any time and in the blink of an eye.  Taking precautions is just that, precautions.  That way, if something tragic happens, your dog is safe.

The one I ordered for my dog is plastic, but it came with the seat belt tongue that I wanted to attach to a seat.  I ordered another harness separately that is made of metal components and has been crash tested.

I would also choose metal over plastic especially if the dog is very large.  Their weight and size will have an overall impact in the performance of the seat belt.

Final Thoughts – Best Seat Belts for Dogs

I know some of my words have been grim. Sometimes, we have to plan for the worst events that many of us don’t want to think about. Living in Alaska, with icy roads now, it’s safe for me to ensure my dog is strapped in.  Sliding unexpectedly often happens on the roads here.  Especially when we have rain/snow mix and it freezes overnight.

Hopefully you’ve been able to find the best seat belt for your dogs after reading up on what to look for.  I’ve also included some examples in this post of each kind you can purchase.

Clicking on the pictures will take you directly to the site where you can buy them.  Make sure to keep your fur babies safe and buckle up.

Besides, it also keeps your dog in one seat and not jumping all around the vehicle.  Most dogs get very excited to be in the vehicle with you, so naturally they’ll jump around.  You don’t want them hindering your ability to see and drive safely.

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10 thoughts on “Best Seat Belts For Dogs

  1. Thanks for doing the research on this. I have a Labradoodle who is 70 pounds. He rides in the back seat of my Ford F150 Super Cab. There’s lots of room back there but your article helps me think about the danger with lots of room. I don’t expect to get in an accident, but, I wear MY seat belt. It’s time I get one for my dog to keep him, and, any other passengers safe.

    1. Hi Glen,

      I’m glad you found this helpful. I didn’t really think about seat belts either for my dogs until I flew around my truck, even with my seat belt on. Things definitely hurt when you go crashing around. Things can happen at anytime, and while we often don’t want like to think about tragedies, they can happen in the blink of an eye. Up here, there are loads of accidents right now because of winter finally being here. There are usually at least 30-50 car accidents on the first day of snow here in our small city of Anchorage, which was Monday. I couldn’t find the total amount as of yet, the headlines just stated a couple of fatal accidents over the last 4 days. But I’m sure you get the idea of why I think seat belts are so important for dogs. 🙂

      Thanks for reading this!


  2. My doggy was my first baby before my 4 human babies. He went everywhere with me when I had room for him. Unfortunately, he always wanted to hang out of the window. I have heard this is not good for their eyes or nose for drying them out, but I also always worried about him getting hurt in an accident. So I got him a seatbelt. It was very similar to the picture of the standard harness seatbelt you have here. I loved it so much and I felt like it kept him safe and in one spot. I agree sometimes these things we do not want to think about with our fur babies, but the fact is we do have to think about these things. I appreciate you spreading your knowledge about doggy seatbelts in hopes it helps keep other fur babies safe.

    1. Cheyenne,

      I worry about Atlas hanging out the window all the time too for some reason. I know all dogs want to sniff the air, but I worry about people running into me while her head is out the window. Right now it’s too cold to have her head out the window, as of now it’s 25 degrees, but in the summer, she’s always hanging her head out! At some points, I even worry about her jumping out because she’s so far out the window! At least with her seat belt now, I’ll know she can’t jump out! 🙂

      Glad you found this article useful. I’m also glad you already have a seat belt for your pups! 🙂


  3. Hi Katrina,

    I have also never thought about seatbelts for dogs – until right now, thanks to this article. I live in Wisconsin, so – while I’m sure it’s not as bad as Alaska – I’m very familiar with icy roads. I will mention this article to my family members with dogs, though I can’t imagine their dogs putting up with wearing a seatbelt. Hopefully they do, though!


    1. Hi Jade,

      At first, my dog whined as well, but after only a week, she’s used to it now. She sits patiently while I strap her in place and then she doesn’t whine anymore. She also knows when it’s time to move seats when I’m picking someone up, so when I say, “Scoot, Scoot,” she moves over. She’s such a smart dog, I get amazed at every day that I get to spend with her. She means so much to all of us, it’s amazing how in love we are with this precious dog.

      My husband will even sometimes whisper to himself, “I can’t believe how much I love this dog.” I definitely knew I needed to keep her safe.

      Thanks for reading this and I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  4. This is such a great article about the best seat belts for dogs. As fun as it is for dogs to run around the car, it’s very distracting and dangerous. I’ve heard about accidents with dogs in the car and it’s not a good outcome. Seat belts can save lives!!

    I plan to purchase the kurgo seat belt buckle that you suggest here. Can I use my existing harness?

    1. Hi Alyse,

      I’m sure you can! The only thing to watch for is that it has metal buckles vs the plastic that a lot of them have. I’ve seen a lot of variations, even after writing this, so I’d imagine you can just order the spring strap that clicks in the belt buckle.
      I would be devastated if something happened to my dogs through my negligence. I didn’t want to watch any videos with dogs in car accidents since my imagination is already enough to spook me.

      Thanks for reading this one! I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  5. My dogs love to ride in the car with me, and two of them love to stick their heads out of the windows. I always keep the windows rolled up just enough, so they can only stick their noses out, especially when I am on the highway. Your article makes me realize, though, how vulnerable they are if there was an accident. They would just fly around and get badly hurt … It is a good investment to get a dog seat belt.
    I love the option for small dogs, I have a maltipoo, and it would be perfect for her. She is always so good in the car, so I think that she would easily adapt to have a seat belt. I would probably have to teach my other dogs to use a dog seat belt, they get too excited on those car rides. Do you have any tips on how to teach them to get used to wearing seat belts?

    1. Christine,

      I had to give Atlas a ton of treats the first couple of times. Had I had her buckled in up front with me, she would have been fine and not whined the whole time, since she’s used to being up front. However, because I drive my elderly Mom to and from work, Atlas has a tendency to hurt her legs, so I needed her to be okay with riding in the back of the car. I took a whole bag of treats and every time she sat in her seat and didn’t whine, I gave her a treat and told her she was a good girl. Honestly, it only took those 2 car rides for her to be okay with it. But she’s a very smart dog and adapts quickly.
      Now, she already knows when Grandma’s in the car that she has to be in the back, so she jumps back there now and waits for the seat belt. When Grandma gets out, I unbuckle her and she jumps to the front.

      I tighten the seat belt when she’s in the front to as tight as it goes, FYI, so she doesn’t run the risk of hitting the dash in the event something happens. When she’s in the back, I loosen it just enough so she can still barely reach the middle console with her head so I can reassure her it’s okay she’s alone in the back. I did some testing with the different lengths and she wouldn’t hit anything that can harm her either way. It also takes just a quick second to tighten or loosen, so as long as she’s happy and safe, I’m happy and safe.

      Hope this helps! Thanks for reading!


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