If you didn’t like car travel, you’d simply avoid it. And if the day came where it was absolutely necessary, then curling up in a safe enclosure from start to finish may be appealing to you. However, you may love car travel. You like to see the world whizzing by in a flurry of tangled trees, billboards, the odd flash of sunshine, and countless other mobile metal boxes like yours. So too, may your dog.
If your dog adores car travel too, you’ll want to keep them safe and restrained, but may find it hard to sentence them to the confines of a dog carrier or cage on the seat or in the boot. And if you have a Newfoundland, it may very well not fit in such a thing without looking like a mass of hairy playdough bursting through the cage slats.
Fortunately, car harnesses for dogs are on hand to address the issue of safety for car-loving dogs of all sizes. With a harness, your dog can enjoy the views and your company while also adhering to Rule 57 of the Highway Code that states dogs and pets must be suitably restrained in a moving vehicle.
Best dog car harnesses
1. Kurgo Trufit Smart Harness
This dog car harness has been tested to the US safety standard for child restraint systems. Kurgo is an American company based in Massachusetts that specialises in gear for dogs. Their Impact Harness passed that test according to the Calspan report from 2018. One of the great things about buying from a specialised company is that they possess a passion about what they do. Its product page on this particular harness, for example, features crash test information, and videos on how to measure your dog for harnesses. Because this particular harness is designed specifically for car travel, it is not so suitable for walks, though you can use it as such if you wish.
2. EzyDog Drive Harness
Naturally, you have to take claims about crash-tested items with a grain of salt. Crash-tested perhaps, but passed? This harness might be on the pricey side but the manufacturer claims it has been tested and adheres to Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 16 regarding restraint systems from 2007; US FMVSS 213 on child restraint systems from 2002; and Australian Design Rule 69/00 on frontal impact occupant protection from 2006. Thus, you have peace of mind that this harness is thoroughly engineered. The way it connects to the seat belts is very simple: merely pass the seat belt through the handles on the harness and fasten it as normal. It comes in three different, adjustable sizes, so there should be one that fits your dog.
3. RAC Car Harness
The RAC Harness is a straightforward, yet very competent option. The harness goes around the neck, down the chest, and under the front legs. Meanwhile, the seat belt simply feeds through the loop on the back. It's a quality option for those who wish to stick to a budget. This large size is for dogs with a 51 to 76cm stomach. There will be one to fit your dog because it also comes in jumbo and medium sizes.
4. SlowTon Dog Car Harness
The SlowTon harness comes in six sizes and a wheel of colours, if not with the official crash test approval. However, it is still a very secure and comfortable design that has a male buckle that clips directly into the car's female buckle. There are a few car models whose buckles are not compatible with Slowton's, but even if that is the case, it will still work by looping the seat belt through the harness connector.
For those of you who already have a harness but want a connector to fasten straight into the seat buckle, there are plenty available. Our pick is this two-pack:
Ezee Paws Dog Seat Belt
Connect at one end, click at the other. It couldn't be more simple. And for the price, it's a steal. With 25mm nylon strapping and a metal clip, you aren't skimping on quality.