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Best Dog Car Seats

Improve Rover’s ride with a soft, purpose-built dog car seat.
Written and Tested By:
Will Moore
Written and Tested By: Will Moore Senior Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Will has written for several major auto sites including Motor1 since 2020, logging hundreds of hours researching and testing products ranging from child car seats to torque wrenches. Will is also Certified by Safe Kids Worldwide as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (#T836339).

Last Updated 01/04/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • We think the Bochao Dog Car Seat, Marslabo Dog Booster Seat, BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat, K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster, and Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat are the best dog car seats in 2024.
  • Most dog car seats cost between $30 and $70. Car seats with premium materials and molded designs may cost upwards of $100.
  • It’s important to choose a dog car seat that is safe and comfortable for your pet. You may need to pair your dog’s car seat with a dog seat belt.
Best
Dog Car Seat
Bochao Dog Car Seat

A safe and comfortable dog car seat that will fit most small- to medium-sized dogs.

Check Price
Best
Hammock-Style
Dog Seat
Marslabo Dog Booster Seat

A hanging dog car seat that’s great for pups who like to look out of the car window.

Check Price
Best
Reversible Seat
BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat

A sturdy dog car seat that will keep your pooch comfortable year-round.

Check Price
Best
Standalone Seat
K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster

A heavy-duty dog car seat that’s designed to fit snugly in your backseat.

Check Price
Best
Center Console
Dog Seat
Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat

An innovative dog car seat that sits on top of the center console in your vehicle.

Check Price

Pandemic puppies are a real phenomenon, and many owners face the dilemma of leaving their anxious pooch at home to tear up the house or risk bringing them along and having them damage their car’s interior. The best dog car seat can help ease a dog’s anxiety by providing a safe and comfortable place to sit while you’re on the road.

If your dog doesn’t do well sitting in a car seat, there are other options you can explore. We recommend taking a look at dog car seat covers, and dog seat belts, which improve your pet’s safety on the road.


Dog Car Seat Reviews

Dog in a car seat for a dog in the back seat of the car

To find the best dog car seat, we considered options that were safe, comfortable, and easily washable.

What Is The Best Dog Car Seat?

We named the Bochao Dog Car Seat, Marslabo Dog Booster Seat, BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat, K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster, and Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat as the best-rated dog car seats on the market in 2024.

CostOverall RatingAward

Bochao Dog Car Seat

$50

5.0

Best Dog Car Seat

Marslabo Dog Booster Seat

$30

4.8

Best Hammock-Style Dog Seat

BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat

$40

4.5

Best Reversible Seat

K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster

$75

4.0

Best Standalone Seat

Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat

$60

3.8

Best Center Console Dog Seat

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Dog Car Seat Ratings: Our Testing Process

The dog car seats in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at factors like size, materials, customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices. Our testing team ordered the dog car seats that best met these standards.

Learn more about how we tested dog car seats here.

1. Bochao Dog Car Seat: Best Dog Car Seat

Bochao Dog Car Seat
Bochao Dog Car Seat Best Dog Car Seat

The Bochao Dog Car Seat.

  • Cost: $50
  • Amazon review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 based on more than 3,300 ratings
  • Machine-washable
  • Bite-resistant
  • Wear-resistant

Sized at 22.44 by 21.25 by 12.99 inches (length by width by height), the Bochao Dog Car Seat can accommodate small- and medium-sized dogs with the potential to hold some large dogs. This pet bed is made from high-quality Oxford fabric and claims to be wear-resistant and bite-resistant. The Bochao includes a safety tether with an adjustable buckle design to keep your doggy content and safely secured.

You can see how the Bochao Dog Car Seat performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Safety 5.0
Comfort 5.0
Fit 5.0
Overall Rating 5.0

The internal filling of this dog car seat is made from polypropylene (PP) cotton, which is lightweight yet durable. Although the hooks and buckles won’t detach, it should be noted that this dog car seat is machine-washable. Below are the pros and cons of the Bochao Dog Car Seat:

Pros
  • Machine-washable
  • Bite-resistant
  • Wear-resistant

The Bochao Dog Car Seat is easily the safest dog car seat that we researched or tested due to its non-slip backing and inclusion of safety tethers for dog and seat alike.

Safety

Our review team valued how safe and secure this dog car seat kept our official testing pooch, Beau, during the testing process. The non-slip backing of this chair and various safety tethers ensure both your dog and the seat itself won’t be sliding all over your backseat.

Comfort

In terms of comfort, none of our team members sat in this car seat – so you’ll have to ask Beau. But between the Oxford fabric and PP cotton surrounding and stuffing, Beau seemed quite content sitting in this dog car seat.

Fit

Our review team really appreciated the fit of the dog car seat. Beau had plenty of room to readjust in the seat, while the seat itself lay flat against the backseat and didn’t take up an overwhelming amount of space.

The Bochao Dog Car Seat testing process with our test dog sitting in the car seat of the back of a testing vehicle.

Many reviewers note that they can tell how much happier their dog is sitting in this seat compared to others they’ve bought in the past.

Other reviewers mention having larger dogs who struggle with anxiety in the car and that this dog seat is the first thing that calmed them down. Negative reviews complain about the quality of materials the product is made from.

2. Marslabo Dog Booster Seat: Best Hammock-Style Dog Seat

Marslabo Dog Booster Seat
Marslabo Dog Booster Seat Best Hammock-Style Dog Seat
The Marslabo Dog Booster Seat.
  • Cost: $30
  • Amazon review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 based on more than 6,800 ratings
  • Machine-washable
  • Collapsible metal frame
  • Adjustable leash

The Marslabo Dog Booster Seat features an internal collapsible metal frame that allows the hammock-style dog car seat to be hung from the headrest and supported by the seat below. An adjustable leash clips to the inside of the seat and acts as a car harness of sorts, while an adjustable strap fits around the headrest to anchor the seat and get pets up higher in the car so they can see out the window.

You can see how the Marslabo Dog Booster Seat performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Safety 5.0
Comfort 4.5
Fit 5.0
Overall Rating 4.8

The adjustable leash featured on this dog car seat attaches to a dog’s harness to alleviate feelings of car sickness and ease your dog’s anxiety on car rides. A removable plush liner and double-sided pads make it easy to hand or machine wash. Because the seat hangs from a headrest, it can be placed above any of the back seats and even above your passenger seat. Below are the pros and cons of the Marslabo Dog Booster Seat:

Pros
  • Machine-washable
  • Collapsible metal frame
  • Adjustable leash

In our experience, the Marslabo Dog Booster Seat fit really well in our testing vehicle and was safe as well.

Safety

Although the idea of putting your precious pooch in a hanging basket might not bring thoughts of dog safety to mind, this dog car seat is much safer than you may imagine. Two safety straps meant the basket wouldn’t move at all, and the adjustable leash ensured Beau couldn’t jump out of the basket and was safe during testing.

Comfort

While Beau was a little unsure about the look of this hanging dog seat, he quickly took to it after he realized how stable it was. Once Beau was sitting in the dog car seat, he seemed quite comfortable and relaxed.

Fit

Our review team was truly impressed by the fit of the seat. Beau fit into the basket with ease, while the dog car seat itself didn’t take up too much room. Additionally, due to its hanging design, you can possibly even store things beneath the dog seat.

The Marslabo Dog Booster Seat testing process with our test dog sitting in the car seat of the back of a testing vehicle.

The majority of reviews focus on the metal frame that prevents the pet carrier from collapsing upon itself, making it sturdy enough to hold smaller dogs trying to peer out the window. An individual review notes that this is the first car seat their dog hasn’t managed to hurt itself in. Negative reviews complain about the seat belt tether ripping.

3. BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat: Best Reversible Seat

BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat
BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat Best Reversible Seat
The BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat.
  • Cost: $40
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on more than 7,300 ratings
  • Machine-washable
  • Anti-slip rubber bottom
  • Two-sided cushions

Made from quilted Oxford fabric, the BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat will make for a comfy ride and won’t rip in the washing machine as it’s reinforced with double stitches. Built-in sliding zippers make this seat easy to clean, as its stuffing is packed in separate bags. A sturdy dog seat belt will keep your dog in one place and prevent your pet from jumping out, while an anti-slip rubber bottom prioritizes your dog’s safety.

You can see how the BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Safety 4.5
Comfort 4.5
Fit 4.5
Overall Rating 4.5

An adjustable buckle design means this dog car seat can fit in the front seat or the backseat of most vehicle types. Two storage pockets on the side of this dog safety seat provide a convenient spot to store Scooby Snacks and puppy kibble, amongst other things. Two-sided cushions mean your dog will be content on road trips regardless of the weather, as one side is warm and fluffy while the other is cool and breathable. Below are the pros and cons of the BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat:

Pros
  • Machine-washable
  • Anti-slip rubber bottom
  • Two-sided cushions
Cons
  • Some customer complaints about material quality

The BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat was named the Best Reversible Seat by our review team, as the dual-sided pillows mean your dog will have warm fluff to cuddle up to in the winter and cool, breathable fabric to rest against in the summer.

Safety

This dog car seat was one of the safest options that our team researched or tested. While there were a few car seats that we think would keep your dog even safer, this seat does not have any glaring safety issues.

Comfort

Beau had no issues jumping right into this dog car seat and making himself at home. The sides of the seat were too cushy to allow Beau to prop his head up, preventing it from receiving a perfect score.

Fit

Our testing pooch had no issues fitting in this dog car seat, and he even had room to stretch out. The seat itself fit nicely in the car, but we do wish it had additional straps to keep it more firmly in place.

The BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat testing process with our test dog sitting in the car seat of the back of a testing vehicle.

The majority of reviewers praise the removable cushions and the shell’s machine-washable fabric. An individual reviewer likes the fact that the BurgeonNest seat is the first car seat they could find to fit their dachshund due to its weight-to-length ratio. Negative reviews complain about the quality of the material.

4. K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster: Best Standalone Seat

K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster
K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Best Standalone Seat
The K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster.
  • Cost: $75
  • Amazon review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 based on more than 14,700 ratings
  • Machine-washable
  • Adjustable security tethers
  • Contoured back

The K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster looks unassuming, as your car’s seat belt can covertly hold the seat in place while remaining hidden under the removable booster cushion. Two adjustable security tethers attach to a safety harness or your dog’s collar. Firm foam around the edge of the bed keeps your dog safe and comfortable while on the move.

You can see how the K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Safety 4.0
Comfort 4.0
Fit 4.0
Overall Rating 4.0

The machine-washable fleece liner enhances your dog’s comfort. It also allows dog owners to easily clean up any messes caused by the dog and keep the dog car booster seat smelling fresh. The contoured back is designed to fit snugly against the front or rear seat of any sized vehicle. Below are the pros and cons of the K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster:

Pros
  • Machine-washable
  • Adjustable security tethers
  • Contoured back
Cons
  • Safer options are available

Our review team named the K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster the Best Standalone Seat. Due to its contoured back, it doesn’t need anything else to help keep it in place.

Safety

While we don’t think you’ll have many safety concerns with this dog car seat due to its high retention walls, it is worth mentioning that this seat is prone to movement during sudden stops.

Comfort

Due to the shape of our testing vehicle’s backseat, this dog car seat never really sat completely flat. It rocked back and forth, causing Beau to be slightly skeptical.

Fit

While Beau had no issues fitting in this dog car seat, it should be noted that this dog car seat is notably larger than most other pet seats you’ll encounter.

The K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster testing process with our test dog sitting in the car seat of the back of a testing vehicle.

Reviewers rave over the level of protection it provides their dog, as the high back and sides will keep the dog secure in the event of a sudden stop. An individual reviewer claims she hit an elk on the highway, and while she sustained multiple injuries from the airbags, her two dogs were both unharmed.

5. Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat: Best Center Console Dog Seat

Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat
Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat Best Center Console Dog Seat
The Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat.
  • Cost: $60
  • Amazon review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 based on more than 1,800 ratings
  • Pillows are machine-washable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Waterproof

The Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat is easily the most unique dog car seat that we tested, as it is designed to sit on the center console of the car between armrests. This means that your pet can enjoy the scenery and stay close to its owners, possibly resulting in a less anxious dog. This seat’s material is hypoallergenic, free from toxic chemicals, waterproof, and made from high-strength pure cotton.

You can see how the Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Safety 3.5
Comfort 4.0
Fit 4.0
Overall Rating 3.8

This means your dog should be happy as it has a comfortable place to rest on long car rides, and you’re happy because paws with the potential to scratch fabric remain in the car seat rather than touching your car’s upholstery. A zipper design allows for the car seat to be separated and dismantled for easy cleaning. Below are the pros and cons of the Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat:

Pros
  • Pillows are machine-washable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Only works with very small dogs or cats

In our experience, the Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat is designed for only small dogs or cats, but it is very well-made.

Safety

Due to its positioning in the middle of the car, dog safety isn’t at the forefront of this seat’s design. However, it could work well if you drive slowly and have an exceptionally docile dog.

Comfort

Due to Beau’s size and the shape of our testing vehicle, he couldn’t hop in this seat without help. Once Beau was sitting in the seat, he seemed happier.

Fit

While Beau did fit this dog car seat, he had little room to spare and needed the front flapped down to properly fit. The seat itself fits nicely on the center console between the two front seats of our testing vehicle, but you have to be careful to not hit your dog with a stray elbow.

The Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat testing process with our test dog sitting in the car seat of the back of a testing vehicle.

A large number of reviewers laud how easy it is to clean this pet car seat. Many reviewers note their dogs don’t experience motion sickness because they can see out of the car window. Negative reviews complain that the dog car seat is too small for their dog.


Dog Car Seat Buying Guide

Finding the right dog seat for your pooch can take some time. You may have to try a few options to find the one best suited to your animal. As you try out different options, you’ll want to consider size, safety, and comfort.

You may also consider if a dog car seat is waterproof and/or machine washable, as these features make them much easier to clean and maintain.

Compare Dog Car Seats

Brand/ModelWaterproof?Machine
Washable?
Dimensions
Bochao
Dog Car Seat
NoYes7.64 x 6.42 x 14.92 inches
Marslabo
Dog Booster Seat
YesYes13.30 x 2.83 x 16.65 in.
BurgeonNest
Dog Car Seat
NoYes21.65 x 9.84 x 19.68 in.
K&H Pet Products
Bucket Booster
NoYes18.00 x 16.00 x 18.00 in.
Dotouud
Small Dog Booster Seat
YesNo10.6 x 9.8 x 20.4 in.
Size

Make sure you select a seat that is appropriately sized for your pet. A smaller dog car seat can be positioned in more places and can provide a sense of comfort and security for a little dog.

Safety

Some dog car seats include a harness to tether your dog to your vehicle. It’s always a good idea to secure your pooch with a dog car seat belt any time you take them on the road. If your dog car seat doesn’t include a safety harness, these can (and should) be purchased separately.

Comfort

The only way to figure out which dog car seat is most comfortable for your dog is to dry different options and see what works. The seats we recommend in this article were comfortable for our test dog, but every animal is different.

Materials

As mentioned above, the comfort of your furry friend should be a factor when shopping for the best dog car seat. Plush fabrics can be nice but look for pet gear that has removable cushions and is machine washable. Water-resistant textiles are also helpful for potential messes. 

Types Of Dog Car Seats

Dog car seats are one of several options to keep your dog safe on the go. Below is a list of other dog safety restraints that can be used in a car:

  • Carriers: These are usually covered enclosures that strap in via a car seat belt.
  • Crates: These typically are larger and heavier than carriers.
  • Safety harnesses: Usually used in conjunction with another safety device, these tend to attach to car seats or seat belts.

Best Dog Car Seats: Bottom Line

While the Bochao Dog Car Seat was a standout for our reviews team, we recognize it won’t fit every dog. Pet owners looking for the best car seat for their mutt should seek options that are comfortable, feature a firm but easy-to-use safety belt, and don’t impede car travel for the driver.

  1. Best Dog Car Seat: Bochao Dog Car Seat
  2. Best Hammock-Style Dog Seat: Marslabo Dog Booster Seat
  3. Best Reversible Seat: BurgeonNest Dog Car Seat
  4. Best Standalone Seat: K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster
  5. Best Center Console Dog Seat: Dotouud Small Dog Booster Seat

Best Dog Car Seat: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about dog car seats: 

Which is the safest dog car seat?

In our experience, the safest dog car seat is the Bochao Dog Car Seat. We came to that conclusion after noting its myriad of safety features and physically testing the dog car seat with our testing dog, Beau.

Should a dog be in a car seat?

Yes, a dog should be in a car seat or should have some variation of safety gear while they ride in the car with you. Experts recommend putting your dog car seat in the backseat, as that will be the safest place for your pet in the event of an accident.

What is the best dog seat?

In our experience, the best dog seat is the Bochao Dog Car Seat. This dog car seat is the safest seat we researched or tested, and our testing pup seemed content and comfortable while sitting in it.

What is the best way for a dog to travel in a car?

Unlike safety standards for humans, there are no concrete guidelines for dog car seats. Advocacy groups like the Center For Pet Safety publish a list of approved harnesses, but findings like those aren’t binding for manufacturers. 

The best option for dog car seats is to purchase one that best fits your dog. A larger dog may exceed the weight limit for a harness, so a dog carrier or dog crate is more appropriate. For smaller mutts, a dog bed may suffice. 


Full Dog Car Seat Testing Methodology

A team member tested each product in a car with our official testing dog, Beau – taking note of how safe each dog car seat kept a dog, how comfortable each dog car seat was for our testing dog, and how well the dog car seats fit in a vehicle. Each dog car seat was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

Safety

Arguably the most important aspect of a dog car seat is how safe it keeps your dog while in a moving vehicle. We observed the number of safety measures the seat features, noting their effectiveness.

Comfort

This testing category involved our team members observing how quickly Beau took to each dog car seat and his reaction to being in the seat. As we obviously can’t ask Beau how he feels, we also took into account the material and build quality of each dog car seat.

Fit

This two-fold category of testing involved our team members observing how well Beau fit in the dog car seat and how well the dog car seat fit in the backseat of our testing vehicle.

Note that Beau is a Boston Terrier that weighs roughly 15.0 pounds.

How We Score Products

Every dog car seat we test is given a score between 1.0 and 5.0 stars in each category. Here’s what those star ratings mean in concrete terms:

  • 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating means a dog car seat is among the best in a category.
    • Safety: The dog car seat does not move while driving and is securely strapped into the seat. It also includes straps to secure the dog to the car seat.
    • Comfort: Our test dog displayed no signs of displeasure during testing. The seat is made from soft materials and there are also numerous customer reviews indicating that their pets seem to like the car seat.
    • Fit: The car seat is easily installed and has several means of adjustment to ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a dog car seat performs better than average in a category.
    • Safety: The dog car seat is secured to both the car and includes a safety tether for the dog. However, it may shift some during driving.
    • Comfort: The car seat is comfortable for our test dog and made with soft materials.
    • Fit: The dog car seat fit our test vehicle and can be adjusted, though it may shift some.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a dog car seat, based on our testing experience.
    • Safety: While the dog car seat does feature harnesses for both the vehicle and the dog, it may have some design flaw or unique orientation that we feel makes it less safe compared to dog car seats designed for the rear of the vehicle.
    • Comfort: Our test dog does not seem to mind the car seat, though displays some signs of discomfort.
    • Fit: We were able to successfully install the dog car seat, but it may not be perfectly flush with the seat cushion or seat back.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the dog car seat performs poorer than the average.
    • Safety: The dog car seat lacks either a harness to connect to the vehicle or to keep your dog secured.
    • Comfort: Our test dog did not like the dog car seat and displayed signs of distress or discomfort.
    • Fit: The dog car seat does not fit well or is unable to accommodate small dogs.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the dog car seat performs well below expectations in a category.
    • Safety: The dog car seat does not include any harnesses.
    • Comfort: Our test dog hated the car seat and refused to be seated in it.
    • Fit: The dog car seat is impossible to install, sits lopsided, or is otherwise unusable.

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*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.