A harness is the safest way to travel with your dog, both for their safety and to reduce distractions to you as the driver. There are, however, many things to consider when selecting a harness, such as size, materials, attachment method, and safety standards.
To help you in your search, we’ve analysed the most popular dog car harnesses on the market and assessed them against a range of important criteria. This review and comparison can help you find a safe, comfortable and durable dog harness so you can enjoy travelling with minimal distractions and maximum safety.
Dog Car Harness Comparison Table
|Dog Car Harness||Our Verdict||Material||Weight||Attachment Method||Washable?||Reflective Stitching?||Other||Check Price|
|EzyDog||Most Versatile||EVA Foam & webbing||120g||Straps to seatbelt||No||Yes||Lots of size and colour options||Amazon|
|Kurgo||Most Secure||Webbing, padding & metal buckles||360g||Carabiner to seatbelt||No||No||Crash Tested||Amazon|
|Clix||Best For Smaller Dogs||Nylon||200g||Seatbelt buckle or through seatbelt||No||No||Approved Safety Standard Seatbelt Material||Amazon|
|Zenify||Best Seat Belt||Nylon||75g||Seatbelt buckle||Yes||No||Extendable bungee material||Amazon|
|RabbitGoo||Best Combination||Thick webbing||450g||Seatbelt buckle||No||Yes||Shock absorption||Amazon|
|Zenify Seatbelt||Best Seatbelt On A Budget||Nylon||75g||Seatbelt buckle||Yes||Yes||User-friendly||Amazon|
The EzyDog Harness features an EVA chest plate that provides an ergonomic fit and avoids putting pressure on your dog’s neck. This is important not only for if your dog pulls but also for protecting your dog during sudden braking when in the car.
The walking harness and car harness combo is very convenient as you don’t need to switch your dog’s harness between walks and car rides. This harness comes with a car restraint that is made from seat belt material and simply attaches to your car’s existing seatbelt. This removes the need for a seat belt buckle making it a universal restraint that can be used in any vehicle with existing seat belts.
One thing we noticed with the EzyDog harness is that the chest plate is quite narrow compared to other harnesses which may not be as comfortable for the dog. However, we like that the harness size can be adjusted to provide a good fit and that it can be put on without going over the dog’s nose as some dogs don’t like that.
The D-ring on the harness lets you easily attach the car restraint and is also perfectly positioned to attach a leash for walks. It is quick and easy to attach and is an effective dog seat belt. As the car seat belt attaches to the existing seat belt it leaves enough space for your dog to sit or lay down comfortably while keeping them in one place.
There are many colours to choose from and they all feature reflective stitching to increase safety during nighttime walks. These harnesses are available in sizes from XXS to XXL so finding a good fit is relatively easy.
This is a crash tested dog harness and comes with a seatbelt tether that attaches to the car’s existing seat belt. Rather than attaching to just one of the seatbelt straps like many harnesses, the Kurgo harness requires both the shoulder and waist straps to be attached to the carabiner and connected to the back of the harness to secure your dog. This connection allows the harness to be attached to standard vehicle seatbelts with ease.
This harness has a stainless steel nesting buckle system which makes it very secure but also makes it heavier than other options. The harness weighs 360g which shouldn’t be an issue for large dogs but smaller dogs may not feel as comfortable with the weight.
It is worth taking some time to properly adjust this harness to fit your dog’s body on the first use, this can be a bit fiddly and time-consuming but will help your dog feel comfortable and will prevent them from slipping out of the harness during journeys.
This is an over-the-head harness so it is easy to secure your pet. As it has been crash tested you know it is strong and reliable.
The Clix safety harness has been designed for use in the car and on walks. It is different from the other harnesses listed as it is a continuous loop. This helps to ensure it is strong and remains secure in the event of an accident.
The harness has an X-cross feature over the chest and has neoprene padding on all points of contact to make sure your dog is comfortable wearing it.
This harness does not offer as much adjustment as other options, particularly regarding the size around the neck. This means it is worth measuring your dog before choosing a size.
This car safety harness can be attached either straight into the seat-belt socket or by attaching the seat belt through the handle. It is good to have multiple options so you know the belt will work in different cars. The harness is made from safety standard approved seatbelt material and allows your dog to sit and lie down when in the car.
If you already have a comfortable harness for your dog you may prefer a simple belt attachment rather than a whole new harness. This extendable bungee cat seat belt from Zenify is an ideal solution.
It uses a universal belt attachment to clip into the 22mm standard width car seat belt clip and the length of the cord can be increased or decreased as needed to suit the size of your dog.
The strap is made from tough nylon polyester and it can extend elastically to prevent sudden movements and jerking when travelling.
This strap is made from breathable material and it can be put into the washing machine if it needs a clean. As the leash length can be adjusted from 50cm up to 88cm it is suitable for large and small dogs. You can adjust it to the size needed to allow your dog to sit and stand comfortably in the car.
The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness and Car Leash is a strong, safe, and comfortable combination that is ideal for avoiding pulling and choking.
This is one of the best walking harnesses and it has a chest clip and a back clip as well as a top handle so you have plenty of control options. This is particularly useful if you have a larger dog or your dog tends to pull.
The harness goes on over your dogs head and has 2 quick-release buckles at the sides. It has 4 adjustable straps so you can create a perfect fit for your dog. The harness is made from Nylon Oxford making it durable, breathable and lightweight.
The leash and the seat belt combo is very convenient as it is multifunctional meaning it can be used for walks as well as car journeys. The leash has a bungee design that absorbs shock and pulling to keep your dog safe.
This simple heavy-duty seatbelt is quick and easy to attach. It has a belt buckle attachment so can be clipped in just like a normal seat belt and the other side has a clip to attach to your dogs usual walking harness or safety harness.
The belt is made from nylon and is length adjustable to suit most dogs. This is a low price option that is user-friendly and durable. Just like the Zenify extendable bungee seatbelt, this one is also machine washable.
Dog Car Harness Buying Guide
A high-quality dog car harness and seat belt will keep your dog safe and secure during road trips. There are several factors to consider before you choose a harness for your dog. This buying guide can help you find the best option for your dog.
Harness Size & Adjustability
If you are choosing a dog car harness as well as a seat belt make sure the harness fits your dog perfectly. It should have a padded chest for comfort and be made of breathable material.
When buying a new harness it is best to measure your dog and use these measurements to choose the right size. Many dog harness retailers will include a sizing chart or breed guide that will give you an idea of the different sizes. Always check the specific brand you are choosing as a medium harness from one brand won’t be the same as a medium in another.
The harness should also have a couple of adjustment points to help produce the best fit.
The material of the dog seat belt and harness should be breathable, durable and chewing resistant. Most harnesses are made from nylon and webbing and most dog seat belts are made of seat belt material.
The harness should have a padded chest as this will help reduce the force on your dog in the event of a collision or sudden braking. The padding will reduce the risk of injury while also increasing your dog’s comfort during car journeys.
Ease Of Use
Both the dog harness and the seat belt need to be easy to put on and take off. You don’t want a system that is awkward or fiddly but equally, you want something your dog is not going to be able to escape from. Being able to unhook the car attachment easily is important, it’s even better if it can be done with one hand, particularly if you have two dogs so won’t have both hands free at all times.
Seat Belt Length
The dog seat belt needs to be adjustable so it can provide your dog with enough slack to comfortably sit down, lay down and turn around but not so much that they can jump around and distract you when you are driving.
Ideally, a dog in a car should be on the back seat as this is safer than the front seat. Having your dog in the back is less distracting and reduces the risk of serious injury if there was a collision.
If your dog is travelling in the front then turn off the passenger airbag and make sure the dog seat belt is adjusted to the right size so your dog cannot climb onto your lap and distract you.
Safety Standards & Crash Tested
Many dog car harness models have been created to meet certain safety standards. Some have also been crash tested. Crash tested harnesses are the safest and most reliable options as they comply with all the safety requirements to make car trips as safe as possible.
The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is a good example of an independent crash test certification. The Center for Pet Safety test crates, carriers and harnesses and videos of their certification tests can even be found online.
Rules & Regulations
In Australia, it is an offence to drive with a dog on your lap and for your dog to obstruct your vision or distract you or other drivers. These rules were introduced in 2013 but the rules, demerit points and fines may differ between states. There currently isn’t a specific law about restraining your dog with a seatbelt when in the car but this is the safest way to travel.
Walking Harness Vs Car Harness
Some walking harness models can be used in cars but it is important to check their features/ the manufacturer’s information to ensure they will be suitable for use during car journeys. Not all harnesses are suited to car journeys.
Car harnesses tend to be stronger, feature more padding and may also have a built-in seatbelt loop on the back. A dog car harness will have been made specifically for use in vehicles so have features that improve the comfort and safety of your dog.
A dog harness that can do both is very convenient as you can go for walks and road trips without needing to change your dog’s harness. This also means you remain in full control when stopping during longer journeys.