Like most Americans, we're not doing much air travel these days (thanks, COVID-19). On the bright side, this means we can bring our furry friends along for a road trip instead. Before loading up your pup and hitting the road, however, you need to make sure your travel buddy stays safe in case of an accident or sudden braking. One of the simplest and most affordable solutions is a quality car harness that will keep your dog secure in the backseat and prevent them from becoming a dangerous distraction. We'll cover what to look for in a safe car harness for your dog, and our top choices for your next adventure.

Choosing the Best Car Harness for your Dog

Finding the right car harness for your dog can be a challenge with an overwhelming range of styles and sizes to choose from. To help you narrow down your options, offers some guidelines to find the best harness for your dog.

Just like vehicles are crash-tested to determine safety ratings, some dog harnesses have been crash-tested as shown in the above video by The Center for Pet Safety to ensure they properly restrain and protect your dog in the event of an accident. A harness should clip into your car's seatbelt or a dog seatbelt which may need to be purchased separately. 

To determine the appropriate size for the harness, you should take your dog's chest, neck, and length measurements instead of going by weight alone. Finally, you'll want to factor in comfort in addition to safety, especially for long drives. A high-quality, durable harness with padding in the chest area will prevent chafing and keep your dog comfortable on the way to your adventure.

4 Best Car Harnesses for your Dog

1. PetSafe Deluxe Dog Harness

dog in Petsafe car harness

Whether you're heading on a multiday camping trip, or just across town to your favorite hiking spot, the PetSafe Deluxe Car Safety Harness ($18-$21) will keep you and your dog safer on the road. This harness has been crash-tested in a DOT-approved facility according to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards. It conveniently integrates with your vehicle's seat belt system to give your dog some range of motion but also keep them restrained during a sudden stop. The harness is available in multiple sizes from small to extra large and has a fully padded chest and breathable liner to keep your dog calm, cool, and comfortable on your trip.

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2. Ruffwear Dog Car Harness

ruffwear dog car harness

Ruffwear is known for its high-quality outdoor dog gear, and to make sure dogs get to their adventures safely, the company also offers a car harness ($80) that keeps them safe in case of unexpected braking or sudden movements. The harness was successfully tested for safety at MGA Research Corp (a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contracted test facility) under the conditions outlined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. The Ruffwear harness is made to quickly attach to your car's seatbelts, can be left on your dog during rest stops, and is comfortable enough for long road trips.

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3. Sleepypod Clickit Sport Dog Car Harness

sleepypod clickit

The Sleepypod ClickIt Sport safety harness ($73) has been successfully crash-tested by the Center for Pet Safety with the same dynamic crash tests used to test child safety restraints and has earned the organization's top 5-star rating. The harness features an Infinity Loop design with three points of contact to reduce forward and lateral movement during a sudden stop and features two loops that extend to attach to your vehicle's existing seatbelt. An energy-absorbing vest works with the Infinity Loop to keep your dog safe and comfortable. When you get to your destination, there's no need to take off the harness since it's comfortable enough to double as a walking harness.

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4. EzyDog Travel Dog Car Harness

 EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness

It's no question that dogs are members of the family, and yours may even hold the title of 'favorite family member'. The EZYDog Car harness ($115) will ensure that your dog is just as protected on car rides as the rest of your family thanks to crash tests that comply with global child safety vehicle interior standards. All you have to do is feed your car's seat belt through both handles on the top of the harness, click the buckle into the seat belt, and you're on your way. The harness is designed from high-quality materials to be long-lasting, lightweight, and strong. Your dog will stay comfortable while staying protected thanks to the padded chest plate designed to ergonomically mold to your dog's shape over time.

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