UPDATED February 10, 2022 This piece has been updated to reflect the emergence of new technology

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Christian Mathews Security Writer

Are you a pet dog parent? Do you own a car too? Do you take your dog out often with you for outings in a car? This article is for you. To make sure that your car rides with your dog are not only fun but safe too, we are here to tell you about the best dog car restraints. As useful it is for you to wear a seat belt, your dog needs to wear a dog car restraint as well.

Moreover, as dogs are much more excited when they are in the car, wagging their tail and keeping their heads out of the window, it becomes essential to keep them stable to avoid serious accidents. Here is everything about safety restraints for dogs in cars.

5Car Dog Restraint Law

First things first, let’s know about the car dog restraint law. Yes, there’s a law for that too. Both the UK and the US have dog car restraint laws that forbid pet parents from keeping their dogs in laps or front seats without a seat belt harness, dog cage, pet carrier, or pet guard.

The UK also has a special Rule 57 of the Highway Code dedicated to safe driving when driving along with dogs in the car.

The paw parents should also be aware of the fines they can be levied with if they don’t prefer to harness their dog well while driving. As the percentage of people who restraint their dog in the cars are less than 20%, states have imposed a penalty that could go as high as $1000.

4Crash Tested Dog Car Restraint

If you are looking forward to buying a dog restraint for your beloved pet, we assume you won’t just pick the first one you come across.

It is easy to come across flimsy dog harnesses in the market that will do more harm than good. For this reason, it’s essential to buy the ones that are crash tested.

Some of the best dog car restraints are crash tested to check their viability and strength in minimizing the accident’s effect on dogs.

Okay, so you will even come across dog restraints that are labeled as crash tested. Don’t go for them. They are the ones that have only been crash-tested and not necessarily passed the crash test. Did you see how manufacturers can play with the terminology?

You need to find the ones labeled as *“passed crash test” dog restraint. Also, even this comes with a catch. Most manufacturers may label their dog restraints have passed the crash test without following the standard protocols. They may involve their employees in a crash test and don’t even publish the results in public.

Therefore, find dog restraints that are tested by a third party that is unbiased and has published the details in public. CPC (Central For Pet Safety) is one organization you can trust to find the proper crash-tested dog restraints.

Unfortunately, according to CPC, there are only three harnesses that have passed the test.

3Best Dog Car Restraint System

The best dog car restraint system has some aspects in common:

Dual functionality dog harness

A good dog car restraint system comes with dual functionality. Such a car dog harness can be converted to a regular dog harness. It helps you out when there are multiple stoppages in between.

Easily adjustable

An easily adjustable dog restraint system makes sure the dog is in place no matter the size and shape of the dog. It comes with multiple strap adjustments that help in fixing the dog to the seat very well.

Comfortable wide straps

A dog restraint system must be comfortable to put on to avoid the fussy behavior of the dog. An uncomfortable dog restraint can make the whole car journey unpleasant for your dog as well as for you.

The key to a comfortable dog restraint system is wide straps. Wide straps are reasonably comfortable as they spread out the force equally without hurting your furry friend.

2Best Car Restraints For Small Dogs

If you have a small-sized dog, you will have to be particular when choosing a dog harness for them. A car restraint for a small dog should not be too big and should be comfortable to wrap around your dog’s body. If you have a small dog, we recommend you go for a custom-fit dog harness.

For small dogs, a safety strap belt is enough to keep them stable and enjoy the ride to the max. With the easy latch system, these provide them with easy mobility and at the same time keep them at one place while the car is moving.

If you have a small pup but weighs more, a cushioned car safety seat restraint is also an excellent option to make them feel comfortable.

1Best Car Restraint For Large Dogs

When finding the best car restraint for large dogs, look for something sturdy that can handle your dog’s weight and keep them stable.

The best car restraint that can be considered for large dogs is a booster type car seat dog restraint that elevates the dogs higher so that they can look out of the window and keep them in place with the security leash.

Kennel types large car restraints are also feasible for large dogs as they can withstand more force than ordinary harnesses.

If your large dog doesn’t like to be restrained, a dog car cover is also a great idea to keep him away from trouble while you are driving. 

Having the right car restraint is just one way how to keep your dog safe in the car while you are out and about.