If you love taking your dog in the car on quick trips around town, or even longer ones on vacation or long days out, you want the best car harness on the market for your dog’s safety and comfort, and your own peace of mind.
There aren’t real good statistics on dog accidents in cars, but the American Humane Society reports over 100,000 dogs die from riding in truck beds alone.
If we dive into some other statistics, we can estimate about 0.7% (2.38 million) of Americans will be injured, disabled, or killed in a car accident each year. And about 13% of them are driving with dogs, of which 84% use no pet restraint. This gives us a ball park figure of 260,660 dogs in car accidents every year. That’s insane.
With so many to choose, and so many features, allow this buying guide to help you weave your way through the selections to find the perfect one for your pet.
Kurgo Tru-Fit Crash-Tested Dog Harness
If it’s a mid-range price with solid construction and a few unique features you don’t find in other harnesses, look no further than the Kurgo Tru-Fit Crash-Tested Dog Harness.
This modestly-priced harness has a lot to brag about and offer you and your dog. Let’s start with size option. The Kurgo Tru-Fit comes in various sizes, and has a lifetime warranty. Dogs up to 75 pounds can wear it, and it’s passed crash tests designed for a child’s car seat. This harness is adjustable, comfortable, padded, and designed for dogs that have unusual shapes, like greyhounds, Doberman pincers, or dachshunds.
Safety testing: (FMVSS) 213
Seat beat: Safety belt included, but a longer extension is available here.
Perfect for: Those who take mid-size to larger dogs for car rides regularly, those needing an everyday harness. Those looking for a high level of protection or their dog.
What to look for in a dog car harness?
A car harness acts like a seatbelt for your dog, but is actually better than your car’s seatbelt, as a car harness safely and comfortably secures your dog in the seat while traveling.
If an accident occurs, the harness could save his/her life.
We’ve listed below each of the safety tests the each dog harness has passed, as well as whether a seat belt strap is included and which type of dog it’s best for.
Top 5 Car Harnesses for Dogs
We already talked about Kurgo Tru-Fit being our #1 pick, but let’s take a look at a few others we love.
#2 The Load Up Harness by Ruffwear
Not the most expensive dog car harness on the market, but it isn’t inexpensive compared to others.
Made with sturdy materials and hardware, the Load Up is designed for travel that could be a bit rocky—camping, hiking, exploring. It offers lab-tested construction and safety, and is great for outdoorsy trips. This harness can be left on your dog for stops along the way.
Safety testing: (FMVSS) 213
Seat belt: Not included, works with regular seat belt or see Kurgo seat belt here (Kurgo Dog Seat Belt Pet Safety)
Perfect for: Active dog owners and active dogs that take frequent trips and make frequent stops. A good investment for travel and outdoor activities.
#3 EzyDog DRIVE Dog Car Harness
The EzyDog DRIVE Dog Car Harness is a high-quality harness at a price a little higher than others, but it comes in small, medium, and large.
It’s adjustable, and you only have to adjust for size the first time you use it. It’s easy to snap on or off of your dog. You will choose the size depending on the girth of your dog’s body. The girth equals the circumference of the body just behind the front legs
The EzyDog Drive harness has been safety tested, verified by video, and is one of the top competitors in dog safety harnesses due to its reliability. It clicks easily into your car’s seatbelt, and is made of durable, padded material that will stand up to any rough-housing or strain your dog may put on it.
Safety testing: USA (FMVSS 213), Europe (ECE Regulation 16), Australia (ADR 42/04)
Seat belt: Not included, but works with regular seat belt
Perfect for: This harness is perfect for large, strong, or energetic dogs.
#4 Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Harness Seatbelt
From pricey to budget-minded, the Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Harness seatbelt is easy on the wallet.
It’s budget-friendly, but is also limited to the sizes if offers. It only comes in Small, so keep this in mind. Simply constructed and basic protection and comfort, this is the model to choose if you’re going on quick trips, or don’t take your dog with you in the car very often.
Safety testing: Unknown
Seat belt: Included
Perfect for: Small dogs, short trips, dog owners on a budget, gifts for friends who travel with their small dogs.
#5 Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness
To get the biggest bang for your buck, you’ll want to go with the Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness. Priced lower to mid-range compared to other dog car harnesses, but it has all the features you’d want for your beloved four-legged friend.
This minimalistic yet versatile harness comes in four sizes, isn’t flashy, is comfortable yet can withstand the force of an unfortunate collision. The stitching is reinforced but well-padded and made of breathable material. It’s also good for walking as well as riding, and this makes this harness most versatile. It’s also weather-resistant, has reflective stitching for added safety while night-walking.
Safety testing: Unknown
Seat belt: Not included, see it here (Mighty Paw Safety Belt)
Perfect for: Dogs of any size, gifts for family or friends when you aren’t sure which size to pick, dogs that love to walk as well as ride, shoppers looking for an affordable yet dependable product.
Bonus Pick: The Rocketeer by ZuGoPet
Recently featured on Shark Tank we haven’t had the opportunity to do much research on this pet harness, but we thought we’d give you a quick look.
You can read more about it here: https://zugopet.com/
Which one should you go with?
It’s a difficult decision when trying to choose the best dog car harness from such an impressive list, but, given price, versatile features, and overall performance, the Kurgo Tru-Fit Crash-Tested Dog Harness is a choice you won’t regret.
- Dog Travel Statistics, Kurgo
- Road Safety Facts, Association for Safe International Road Travel
- The Statistics: Car Safety and Pets in America, Pet Pro Supply Co.
- 49 CFR § 571.213 – Standard No. 213; Child restraint systems, Cornell Law School
- Regulation No 16 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations, Publications Office of the European Union
- Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 42/04 – General Safety Requirements), Australian Government Federal Register of Legislation