The Best Dog Car Harnesses

The first thing you probably do when you get in the car is put your seat belt on, and any kids in your life are likely to have a safe and secure car seat, but what about your dog? Securing your pup in the car is important for his safety, your safety, and the safety of other drivers (because a dog loose in the car could potentially cause you to crash), so it’s vital you choose the right product to do this. A dog car harness not only tethers your canine companion securely, but lessens the chance of his injury should you get into a collision.

We reviewed dozens of dog car harnesses to identify the best of the best, focusing on a range of features, such as size, fit, design, padding, adjustability, and average customer reviews. 

Top Pick
Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness

A sturdy car harness designed with your dog’s safety in mind

$23.99 USD

Comfortable, well-padded, and securely stitched, the Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness stood out to us as the clear winner. What’s more, it’s multifunctional, so it can be used in the car and out on walks. The reflective stitching helps keep your pooch safe on late night walks.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Car Harnesses for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallMighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness4.5
Runner UpCosy Meadow Escape Proof Dog Harness4.2
Best Budget BuyLukovee Dog Safety Vest Car Harness4.4
Best Chest Plate Dog Car HarnessEzyDog Chest Plate Custom Fit Dog Harness4.4
Best Multipurpose Dog Car HarnessKurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness with Pet Seatbelt Tether for Car4.2

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness

It might look fairly utilitarian, but the Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness does the job it’s supposed to do and does it well. As long as you’re not looking for a brightly colored or patterned car harness, this is the one we’d most highly recommend. With a price tag of around $25, it costs more than many of its competitors, but it’s certainly not unaffordable for most.

What we love about this harness is that it’s durable and hard wearing, which is of vital importance in a car harness, as it must be able to withstand the force of a collision. The metal parts are all heavy-duty and the fabric is strong with reinforced stitching. Although the chestpiece is well-padded for comfort and safety, it’s also breathable so your four-legged friend won’t feel too hot.

While it’s primarily designed as a dog car harness, you can also use the Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness on walks. Along with a standard leash attachment point on the back of the harness, there’s also one on the chest piece, which helps to control dogs who pull (without causing any discomfort). One thing to note is that this harness doesn’t attach directly to the seat belt connector point, so you will need to buy a separate canine seat belt.

Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness Key Features: 

  • Reflective stitching for nighttime safety
  • Available in four sizes
  • Weatherproof and easy to clean

Our Runner Up Pick: Cosy Meadow Escape Proof Dog Harness

Runner Up
Cosy Meadow Escape Proof Dog Harness

This quality dog harness comes with a seat belt attachment included

$27.99 USD

Although the Cosy Meadow Escape Proof Dog Harness isn’t designed with the sole purpose of being a car harness, it comes with a seat belt attachment to secure your dog in your vehicle and is a great all-round choice. It comes in four colors and five sizes, from extra-small to extra-large, and costs between $20 to $30, depending on the size and color combo you opt for.

Thanks to its escape proof design, this is the perfect dog car harness for any pooches who’ve taken a page out of the Houdini playbook. With two points of adjustment, it’s both quick and easy to get a good fit. The top of the harness is made from soft, get extremely durable neoprene. The straps are made from a tough nylon mesh, but come with soft sleeves for added comfort.

It’s also suitable for walking and general use, as well as in-car use, and has a range of handy features, including reflective stitching, and a handle that can be used to quickly grab or even lift your dog, in case of an emergency.

Cosy Meadow Escape Proof Dog Harness Key Features: 

  • Easy to put on and adjust
  • Comes with seat belt attachment
  • Soft sleeves help avoid chafing

Best Budget Pick: Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Car Harness

Budget Pick
Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Car Harness

It might be inexpensive, but this is a well-made and comfortable option

$9.99 USD

Looking for a dog car harness that won’t break the bank? Priced between $10 and $15, depending on size and color, the Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Car Harness is suitable for those with a limited budget. If you’re picky about colors, you’re in luck, because you can buy this harness in around 10 shades and patterns. Available in sizes between xxx-small and large, you can find one to accommodate dogs of most sizes.

Each harness comes complete with a safety belt attachments that’s slightly elasticated to avoid jolts and jarring, and has been tested for tensile strength. The body of the harness is made from a strong, comfortable, breathable material that won’t make your dog feel hot and sweaty underneath.

With two buckles on the back of the harness, one each side, it’s easy to get on and off and your dog doesn’t have to step into it, though it does have to go over the head, which some dogs don’t like. It’s also extremely easy to adjust. All in all, it’s a stellar dog car harness, considering the low price.

Lukovee Dog Safety Vest Car Harness Key Features: 

  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Easy to put on and adjust
  • Seat belt attachment included

Best Chest Plate Dog Car Harness: EzyDog Chest Plate Custom Fit Dog Harness

Best Chest Plate
EzyDog Chest Plate Custom Fit Dog Harness

Easily the best canine car harness with a chest plate on the market today

$27.00 USD

With its moldable ergonomic chest plate, made from EVA foam, the EzyDog Chest Plate Custom Fit Dog Harness offers unrivaled comfort and fit. The included seat belt attachment means you can secure your dog in the car without having to shell out on any extras. With a price tag of $25 to $30, depending on the size and color, it’s not the cheapest option, but most buyers state it’s well worth the investment.

While we’re on the subject of colors, this car harness comes in 11 colors and patterns, from basic black to pink camo, so you’re sure to find an option you like. The “cross fit” design is comfortable and makes it simple to get a good fit, plus the harness is quick and easy to get on and off. The welded D-ring leash attachment is strong and secure, which is important for in-car use.

If you plan to walk your do in this harness after dark, you’ll be pleased to know it features reflective stitching throughout.

EzyDog Chest Plate Custom Fit Dog Harness Key Features: 

  • Six size options available
  • Chest plate molds to your dog for a “custom” fit
  • Seat belt restraint included

Best Multipurpose Dog Car Harness: Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness with Pet Seatbelt Tether for Car

Best Multipurpose
Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness with Pet Seatbelt Tether for Car

Go straight from the car to a hike and back again without changing your dog’s harness

$24.99 USD

If you’re in the market for a harness that’s great for walks, hiking, and other canine activities, but can also be used as a dog car harness, the Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness with Pet Seatbelt Tether for Car is an ideal choice. It’s a rugged harness with front and back clips that can stand up to everyday use and comes with the seatbelt tether included.

With one buckle on each side of the harness, it’s a breeze to put on and take off your dog. Simply pop it over her head, secure the buckles around her body, and you’re good to go. It’s also easily adjustable with five adjustment points to get a good fit. Made from strong, well-padded material, your four-legged friend will be comfortable and secure in the Kurgo Tru-Fit.

It only comes in black, but you can select from five sizes, which suit almost all sizes of dogs. At $25, we think it offers good value, considering how versatile it is.

Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness Key Features: 

  • Seat belt tether included
  • Easy to adjust
  • Well-padded

Who Should Buy a Dog Car Harness

If you have a dog who travels in the car with you, even occasionally, you’ll need some sort of a restraint to keep him safe and secure, and a car harness is one of the most popular options. Car harnesses are simple to use and very inexpensive compared to other restraint options. Check out our list of the best dog travel crates if you’re looking for other safe ways to travel with your pet. And to keep your pup comfy on the road, you’ll want a good dog travel bed, too.

Anyone looking an easy car restraint option for their four-legged friend should buy a dog car harness.

Top Pick
Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness

A sturdy car harness designed with your dog’s safety in mind

$23.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

A dog car harness should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a car harness for your dog:

  • Size. Make sure you get the right size dog car harness to fit your canine companion. Most manufacturers have a measuring guide to show you where to measure your dog, then you can compare your measurements to the size chart.
  • Adjustability. A decent dog car harness should be easily adjustable to get a good fit. Some models have five or more points of adjustment, so there’s no chance your dog could slip out.
  • Crash testing. The best car harnesses have been crash tested, or have at least undergone tensile testing to make sure they’re strong enough to stand up to the force of a collision.
  • Seat belt restraint. A dog car harness is just that—a harness. It won’t necessary come with the seat belt restraint to allow you to secure your dog to the seat belt connector. If your chosen harness doesn’t come with a seat belt restraint included, you’ll need to buy one separately.
  • Ease of use. Look for a car harness that’s easy to put on and to secure your dog in place. Some harnesses have a step-in design, others require you to put the harness over your pup’s head, and a handful are designed so that it can be secured without you doing either of these things, which is ideal for nervous dogs.
  • Color. While it’s one of the least important things about a dog car harness, many models come in a range of colors or patterns. We wouldn’t recommend choosing a car harness based on the colors available, but if your chosen model has various color options, you may as well choose your favorite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dog car harness and how does it work?

A dog car harness is a harness that secures around your dog’s chest and sternum, much like a regular walking harness, but specially designed to withstand the force of a collision and help prevent injury to your canine companion. Most dog car harnesses must be used in conjunction with a seat belt restraint, which plugs into the seat belt connection on one end and attaches to the harness on the other end.

Why does my dog need a car harness?

Dogs need a car harness for their own safety, plus the safety of you, your passengers, and other road users. In regards to your dog’s safety, she’s much more likely to survive a serious collision unharmed if she’s wearing a car harness, compared to a dog who isn’t safely restrained. A dog loose in the car is also dangerous to people riding in the car, as well as other people on the road, because he could jump on or otherwise distract the driver, causing an accident. So, for everyone’s sake, a car harness is an important investment.

Do dogs have to be restrained in cars by law?

Whether or not your dog must be restrained in the car by law depends on where you live. In the U.S., only eight states (New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Hawaii) require dogs to be restrained by law, but other states have distracted driving laws that can result in a fine if your four-legged friend is in your lap or otherwise distracting you while you’re on the road.

Is it illegal to have a dog in the front seat of the car?

It’s generally legal to have a dog sit in the front passenger seat of the car, as long as she sticks to her side and doesn’t venture over into the driver’s seat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. An unrestrained dog in the front is likely to be severely injured, or even killed, in a collision. If you insist on having your dog in the front seat of the car while you drive, it’ll be much safer for both your four-legged friend and yourself if she wears a canine car harness. However, it’s worth noting, that you shouldn’t let your dog travel in the front if you have passenger side airbags.

Other Dog Car Harnesses We Reviewed

Top Pick
Mighty Paw Vehicle Safety Harness

A sturdy car harness designed with your dog’s safety in mind

$23.99 USD

We looked at 20 other dog car harnesses. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog car harnesses list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Multipurpose Dog Car Harnesses

Apenglow Solutions No Pull No Choke Dog Vest Harness

Apenglow Solutions No Pull No Choke Dog Vest Harness

This gentle no-pull harness is designed so that it won’t choke, pinch, or otherwise cause discomfort to strong dogs. It’s also suitable for in-car use.

Key Features: 

  • Strong, durable construction
  • Comfortable padding
  • Available in sizes from small to extra-large

Cost: $15 to $20

Canine Friendly Vest Dog Harness V.2, Car Restraint Harness

Canine Friendly Vest Dog Harness V.2, Car Restraint Harness

RC Pet’s Canine Friendly vest dog harness is soft, well-padded option can be used as a walking harness, as well as a car restraint harness. The soft lining is comfortable and reduces the chance of chafing.

Key Features: 

  • Four-point adjustability
  • Made from strong 1680 denier polyester
  • Available in sizes from xx-small to xx-large

Cost: $30 to $50

Easy Rider Car Harness

Easy Rider Car Harness

With its patented design, this car harness is compatible with any car seat belt, plus it’s suitable for use as a walking harness, for easy transition from car to the outside world.

Key Features: 

  • Well-padded and comfortable
  • Fully adjustable
  • Available in five sizes

Cost: $20

MUGENTER Adjustable Dog Safety Vest Harness

MUGENTER Adjustable Dog Safety Vest Harnesses

Although perfectly suited to outdoor use, you can also use this model as a car harness, and it even comes with a seat belt attachment.

Key Features: 

  • Front and rear leash attachments
  • Distinctive colorful design
  • Easy to adjust

Cost: $10 to $15

Tail Up Dog Car Harness

Tail Up Dog Car Harness

It might be marketed as a car harness, but this multifunctional option is also ideal for general walks and hikes. It comes complete with a seat belt attachment, so it’s ready to use out of the box.

Key Features:

  • Available in three colors and four sizes
  • Additional leash attachment on chest is ideal for walking pullers
  • Made from strong, high density nylon

Cost: $10 to $15

Breathable Dog Car Harnesses

Lily Valley Best Front Range Dog Harness

Lily Valley Best Front Range Dog Harness

The padded chest and belly panels maes this a safe and comfortable car harness, but since they’re breathable, they won’t make your dog feel too hot.

Key Features: 

  • Handle on top
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Adjustable at four points

Cost: $20

Slowton Dog Car Harness

Slowton Dog Car Harness

The double mesh chest panel is comfy and supportive, yet cool to wear—the ideal choice for summer car rides.

Key Features: 

  • Wide range of color and pattern options
  • Seat belt connector included
  • Comes in six sizes

Cost: $10 to $15

Sofi’s Dog Car Harness

Sofis Dog Car Harness

Basic and reasonably priced, this mesh dog car harness isn’t hugely feature rich but it’s an adequate option for small pooches.

Key Features: 

  • Comes with seat belt tether
  • Compatible with standard vehicles
  • Three color options

Cost: $10

Reflective Dog Car Harnesses

BIG SMILE PAW Adjustable Dog Harness

BIG SMILE PAW Adjustable Dog Harness

This certainly isn’t the most durable or long lasting car harness out there, but you really can’t argue for the price!

Key Features: 

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Fully adjustable design
  • Reflective stitching for nighttime safety

Cost: $5

DEXDOG Chest Plate Car Safety Harness

DEXDOG Chest Plate Car Safety Harness

With reflective stitching, plus a choice of five bright hues (alongside a black option), your dog will definitely be seen when wearing this harness.

Key Features: 

  • Chest plate design is secure and comfortable for long drives
  • Well-padded
  • Easy to adjust

Cost: $15 to $20

DOGJOG Dog Car Harness

DOGJOG Dog Car Harness

This might be a simple dog car harness, but it’s affordable and comfortable, with reflective stitching for increased visibility.

Key Features: 

  • Seat belt attachment included
  • Two color and four size options
  • Soft, lightweight design

Cost: $10

PETBABA Dog Seat Belt Harness Leash

PETBABA Dog Seat Belt Harness Leash

This escape proof dog car harness comes with a multifunctional leash that doubles up as a seat belt tether.

Key Features: 

  • Comfortable ergonomic design
  • Large reflective stripes
  • Three size options

Cost: $15 to $20

PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness

PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness

This reflective dog harness is ideal for walking, with leash attachments on the front and rear, but is also safe and secure enough for in-car use.

Key Features: 

  • Features easy seat belt attachment
  • Fully adjustable
  • Simple to put on and take off

Cost: $15 to $20

Other Dog Car Harnesses

Bwogue Dog Safety Vest Harness

Bwogue Dog Safety Vest Harness

Different from most other options available, this car harness comes with a tether that attaches to the head rest, rather than in the seat belt connector, though it’s still compatible with other canine seat belts.

Key Features: 

  • Easy to adjust
  • Padded for comfort
  • Four sizes available

Cost: $15

CatYou Durable Pet Dog Car Safety Harness

CatYou Dog Safety Harness

Even the largest sizes of this dog car harness aren’t huge, so consult the size chart carefully when selecting the right one for your dog.

Key Features: 

  • Seat belt attachment included
  • Well-padded
  • Lighweight

Cost: $10 to $15

EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness

EzyDog Drive Safety Travel Dog Car Harness

Yes, it’s expensive, but this fully crash tested dog car harness is extremely strong and will help keep your four-legged friend safe if you get in a serious car accident.

Key Features: 

  • The Mag-Lok Instant Fit system means it’s super quick and easy to put on and take off after initial fitting
  • Crash tested to meet safety standards
  • Three size choices

Cost: $100

Guardian Gear Ride Right Classic Car Harness

Guardian Gear Ride Right Classic Car Harness

This heavy-duty nylon harness might look simple but it’s strong, durable, and does what it’s designed to do: keep your dog safe and secure.

Key Features: 

  • Available in two colors and four sizes
  • Easy to adjust
  • Somes with seat belt strap

Cost: $10 to $20

HDP Dog Safety Car Harness

HDP Dog Safety Car Harness

This highly adjustable car harness is designed to fit dogs with girths between 12 to 28 inches and is available in three color choices.

Key Features: 

  • Universal seat belt attachment included
  • Made from strong nylon
  • Quick release buckles

Cost: $10

PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Car Safety Dog Harness

PetSafe Solvit Deluxe Car Safety Dog Harness

Although it doesn’t come without its flaws, this dog car harness is comfortable, well-padded, and more affordable than most other crash tested options.

Key Features: 

  • Comes with seat belt tether
  • Well-padded for comfort and shock absorption
  • Crash tested

Cost: $25

Sleepypod Clickit Sport

Sleepypod Clickit Sport

This crash tested harness features a wide and supportive chest piece that evenly distributes pressure to help avoid injuries in a collision.

Key Features: 

  • Four size and five color options
  • Shock absorbing design
  • Features seat belt attachment loop

Cost: $70 to $85

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Lauren Corona