boston terrier sitting in dog booster seat

Best Dog Booster Seat Australia - The Overview

Our #1 Pick

PetSafe Happy Ride Quilted Booster Seat

The Best Value for Money

PetSafe Happy Ride Quilted Booster Seat

  • Three sizes
  • Machine-washable inner liner
  • The lifetime warranty covers manufacturing or material defects

When it comes to car safety, our canine companions are left out of the story way too often. However, just like us, they deserve to be safe and comfortable.

A dog car seat is one of the best ways to achieve this, especially if you have a small or medium size dog. Today’s guide is here to help you find the best (and safest) car seat for your canine buddy.


Is a Car Seat For Dogs the Best Solution?

Car safety for dogs is often not defined by law. The regulations vary between countries and states (some say the dog shouldn’t ride in the front seat, some say that the dog should be restrained etc). In Australia, for example, the RSPCA doesn’t impose any regulations, but they do recommend the dog be restrained and unable to move around the car while you are driving (1).

"Booster dog car seats can work well for securing your dog, provided that the seat belt attachment is adjusted to not allow your dog to move out of the booster seat.” - Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro for PetMD.

She also notes that booster seats are generally more suitable for small dogs. This is because booster seats for dogs are generally designed to let the dog move around comfortably, and for a large and heavy dog, this would not be possible.

For smaller dogs however, booster seats offer a lot of benefits. Not only do they keep your dog safer and more comfortable, but a good seat will reduce a dog’s anxiety by giving them a perfect view out the window. In addition to this, a good car seat that keeps the dog contained will minimise the distractions while driving, which in turn, makes driving safer for both of you.


How to Choose a Dog Car Seat

This is all great, but how do you choose the right seat for your dog? Here is what to consider before settling on a purchase:

Size

Dog vehicle seats are usually categorised based on the weight they can support, and this is definitely the most important metric to look out for. The car seat must be able to support your dog’s weight, otherwise it could do more harm than good.

In addition to this, you should also consider the dimensions of the inside of the seat. Dog seats are not like baby seats, and there should be a bit of space (but not too much) for your dog to move around. Getting your dog all snuggled up in there might seem tempting and safer, but if they can’t stretch out at least a bit, dogs tend to get more nervous.

Design

Dog booster seats are usually made of synthetic materials. Any good option will be able to hold your dog’s weight, but what can really make the difference is the softness of the interior, it’s best to look for seats with thicker padding on the inside.

This is not only more comfortable but also safer for your dog in case of sudden braking or anything else unexpected happening. Additionally, you might want to look for dog seats made of waterproof material - just in case.

Installation

There are a bunch of different set-up options used in dog car seats. Some of them go around the headrest (you need your seat to have a headrest for this), others use the seatbelt and so on.

Before buying a seat, make sure to check how you are supposed to set it up and then check if your car fits the description. A booster seat you can’t set up properly is worth nothing!


Best Dog Booster Seat Australia 2021

Ready to find the perfect seat and let your canine buddy enjoy being treated like royalty? Below, you’ll find a bunch of great options.

PetSafe Happy Ride Quilted Booster Seat

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Three sizes
  • Machine-washable inner liner
  • The lifetime warranty covers manufacturing or material defects

Dogs love watching through the car window. This can be problematic with small dogs since they’ll move around trying to get a glimpse of the outdoors. Their skidding and jumping around is dangerous, for the both of you. But there’s a way to help your tiny buddy enjoy the window view while also riding safely. The key lies in an elevated dog seat, such as the Tagalong Booster seat from PetSafe.

This seat has a simple yet unique design. It features a basket frame covered with a polyester oxford fabric which is durable and stain-resistant. The interior features a soft fleece liner which will keep your pooch comfortable even during long car rides. The light brown colour means dirt and other stains could be visible, but the good news is that the inner liner is machine-washable. The seat comes in three sizes, the largest being sturdy enough to handle a dog weighing up to 11 kg.

The setup easy and can be done in no time. The first strap goes over the headrest, while the other goes around the car seat. Three attachment points allow you to secure the seat in place, so your pooch doesn’t get motion sickness.

One important feature of this option is a safety tether that can be attached to a harness, which prevents the dog from roaming and keeps your furry friend safe. Another nice detail is a storage pocket, where you can put treats or toys.

Verified Review - 7/03/2021
Good Value For Money
"Good quality, not flimsy netting like some of the others. Secure to the seat at top and bottom which is good safety feature."

Pros

Cons

  • Three sizes
  • Only works on cars with headrest
  • Machine-washable inner liner
Cell
  • The lifetime warranty covers manufacturing or material defects
Cell

Good Pet Stuff Travelin' Dog Pet Seat
  • Adjustable seat to your pet’s size
  • Comes with a removable food and water bowl
  • Three-way strapping system secures the dog from moving

This dog seat for a car from Good Pet Stuff looks so sturdy and well-made, you’ll think it costs a small fortune. But, its budget-friendly price is just one of the things that are great about this product.

The seat features foldable legs which makes it adjustable to your canine companion’s size. You can extend the legs and let your dog ride 24 cm above the car seat to look out the window. If your pooch is medium-sized, you can fold the seat legs down and have them sit at a 15 cm height.

This seat won’t move a bit, no matter how fast you drive. The seat belt goes through openings on each side, keeping your dog safe and secure during car rides. For further security during sudden stops, there’s a dependable anchor strap that you can attach to a harness.

This dog seat looks very comfortable too. The seat is covered with a thick layer of foam and finished with fleece. The cushion is so soft, you’ll wish it also comes in human size. There’s also thin padding along the edges of the seat, so your pooch doesn’t get hurt when moving.

Pros

Cons

  • Adjustable seat to your pet’s size
  • If not placed carefully, legs can fold midst driving
  • Comes with a removable food and water bowl
Cell
  • Three-way strapping system secures the dog from moving
Cell

Pet Gear View 360 Pet Carrier & Car Seat
  • 2-in-1 product
  • Easy installation with a seat belt
  • Mesh fabric provides view and ventilation
  • Quick, 1-push button entry

This product by Pet Gear is a carrier and a car seat - all in one. This is one of those pieces of dog equipment you buy when you get a puppy and it lasts a lifetime. Unless your dog outgrows it, that is.

A padded carrying handle allows you to carry your pooch to the vet or inside the mall. Once you place it onto the car seat, place a seat belt through the straps on the back, and your dog is ready for a ride. The installation is done before you say “buckled up!” To make sure your pooch is safe to ride alone in the backseat, there’s an interior tether that can be attached to a harness.

All sides of this dog seat feature mesh fabric, which provides airflow and allows your pooch to gaze through car windows. The bottom is covered with a washable fleece comfort pad. The carrier opens up by a simple push of a button, which you can find on both sides. This opening method is such an improvement from those annoying zippers that most mesh carriers have.

Pros

Cons

  • 2-in-1 product
  • Mesh can easily get ripped by a claw or a fang
  • Easy installation with a seat belt
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  • Mesh fabric provides view and ventilation
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  • Quick, 1-push button entry
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#4: Most Versatile: Pettom Pet Car Seat Carrier

Pettom Pet Car Seat Carrier
  • Versatile carry options
  • Airline approved dimensions
  • Plenty of storage space

Petton takes pet bags to a whole new level. They make backpacks, suitcases, and now they came up with this 2-in-1 carrier and a dog seat. While multi-purpose dog bags are nothing new, this Petton seat and bag combo is a high-quality product that has a reasonable price tag.

When you look at this carrier for the first time you might be confused about its shape. It can be worn as a shoulder bag or a handbag, and you can pick whichever way suits you and your pooch best. It’s also worth pointing out that the dimensions of the carrier allow you to use it as hand luggage in aeroplanes. The product comes in four colours and two sizes, where the latter can hold up to 10 kg.

Setting up this carrier as a dog seat is an easy job. A safety belt goes through the loops on the back of the bag, while an adjustable strap goes over the headrest. Once you do that, unzip the top entry and let your pooch enjoy the ride. The sides of this seat are rather tall, meaning your dog won’t skid around on every road bend.

One thing you can’t overlook about this dog seat is pockets. They are on each side, leaving you with plenty of room to store toys, treats, brushes and any other important dog accessory. Once your road trip is over, this dog seat/carrier can be folded flat for more convenient storage.

Pros

Cons

  • Versatile carry options
  • There might be some odour when first unpacked
  • Airline approved dimensions
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  • Plenty of storage space
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#5: Most Comfortable Pick: NIBESSER Dog 2-in-1 Car Seat Bed

NIBESSER Dog 2-in-1 Car Seat Bed
  • Larger than other products on this list
  • Made of a durable, water-resistant material
  • Can be used as both a seat and a bed
  • Suitable for different vehicle types

This is yet another two-in-one product on this list, but this time, it’s a combination of a bed and a car seat. This product is a dream come true for our canine companions. They love car rides probably as much as they love napping. With this car seat from Nibesser, they can do both at the same time.

This dog seat is the definition of comfiness. It resembles a sofa chair, and it’s just as snug. The seat cover is made of a sturdy oxford 900D fabric. This material is hypoallergenic, waterproof and it contains no harmful chemicals. It’s also abrasion-resistant and rather difficult to bite, which is great to know if you own a teething puppy. The bottom pad has a non-slip finish, which keeps the seat in place.

This seat has a removable cover which is safe for machine-washing. The cushion has two sides, one for summer and the other for winter, both of which are easily cleaned. Just like with other dog seats, there’s a safety buckle that helps your pooch fight gravity. You also get some convenient storage pockets on each side of the seat. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that this bed/seat comes in a beautiful grey-green colour that compliments every car interior.

Pros

Cons

  • Larger than other products on this list
  • Safety metal buckle can be too heavy for tiny breeds
  • Made of a durable, water-resistant material
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  • Can be used as both a seat and a bed
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  • Suitable for different vehicle types
Cell

Legendog Booster Portable Travel Pet Car Seat Carrier
  • Chic colour scheme
  • Waterproof inner base
  • Bottom cushion prevents the bottom sag

This Legendog car seat might look like a basic basket-shaped seat, but this description doesn’t do it any justice. From colour to functionality, everything about this dog seat is well-thought and made with love.

This dog booster seat, just like other squared seats, features two straps - one that goes over the headrest, and the other going around the back of the car seat. Depending on how you adjust the top strap, you can raise your pooch up or down when needed. The inside of this seat is covered with a high-quality fleece that can be washed on a delicate or gentle cycle. Underneath the seat cover, the seat itself is waterproof. This makes it a great puppy car seat, but it’s also suitable for elderly and injured dogs.

The seat has an additional pillow on the bottom which helps your pooch feel comfortable while preventing the bottom from sagging. According to the manufacturer, it can easily withstand dogs under 16 kg. That might be a bit of an overstatement, and we’d probably say that the top limit lies somewhere around 12 kg.

Pros

Cons

  • Chic colour scheme
  • Only suitable for small dogs
  • Waterproof inner base
  • Only for cars with headrest
  • Bottom cushion prevents the bottom sag
Cell

GENORTH Small Dog Car Seat
  • PVC frame is sturdy and easy to set up
  • Useful storage pocket
  • Comes with a flannel fleece blanket

The ever-growing popularity of basket-shaped dog seats finally resulted in manufacturers adding a PVC frame. This new detail assures that the seat doesn’t lose its shape, no matter how restless your pooch might be. This car seat from Genorth features eight PVC bars that can be connected into a sturdy support frame.

The manufacturer claims this seat can hold up to 10 kg. However, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so this weight limit is more of a general idea than a precise estimation. Dachshunds and French Bulldogs can weigh the same, but their body shape is completely different.

Like other dog seats with the same design, this one also features a headrest strap and a safety back belt. It’s a well-proven method of keeping the seat steady when the cars on the move, so we’re not expecting anything new when it comes to security straps.

The front and back side of the dog seat is made of 600D oxford fabric, while the rear sides are covered with a breathable mesh. The seat comes with a premium quality flannel fleece blanket featuring a cow pattern. The seat has a collapsible design, so after you’re done driving your pooch around, disassemble the frame and fold it down so that it takes up little storage space.

Verified Review - 1/04/2021
Good Product
"I do like this car seat. I have had two other seats and my dog tends to wear the front out by leaning on the seats. This one has the pvc sections that make it sturdier when she leans on them. The seat is larger than the others I have had and she moves around more in this one, which has caused her to get out of the side on occasion."

Pros

Cons

  • PVC frame is sturdy and easy to set up
  • Suitable only for dogs under 10 kg
  • Useful storage pocket
  • The headrest isn’t required but it’s desirable
  • Comes with a flannel fleece blanket
Cell

Yitesen Pet Car Seat Deluxe Travel Bed Dog Booster
  • Safe for machine washing and tumble drying
  • Suitable for dogs with joint pains
  • 1-year limited warranty

If a sofa and a lazy bag had a baby, this dog seat would be it. This is a true representation of how comfortable a car seat can be, without losing its purpose. Unfortunately, this comfy car seat is only aimed for smaller dogs. According to Yitesen, the seat is suitable for one medium-sized pooch or two dogs weighing no more than 12 kg each.

Sitting on this car seat feels like floating on a cloud, and here’s why. The bolsters and the cushion are generously filled with a recycled plush poly-fill which provides ultimate comfort. This makes the seat suitable for elderly dogs and dogs with injuries and arthritis.

The outer fabric is a polyester and cotton twill combination. This type of material is hair-repellent. That’s right, you won’t struggle with having balls of dog fur throughout the whole seat outside the shedding period. This fabric doesn’t get dirty easily, but when that happens, simply remove the cover and wash it on a gentle cycle. After that, always remember to tumble dry it, because when air-dried, this material becomes rough and can matt the fur.

Verified Review - 2/01/2020
Easy To Use
"I bought this for our 12 week old Corgi. He does great in it! I’m not sure how it will fit when he is fully grown. It says up to 30 pounds but seems a little small, we will see. It does not boost up like I was looking for but can double as a travel or in home pet bed. We are happy with our purchase, you can buckle it in the back seat or front seat of our truck and is easy to move. I am hoping it will work for the next few years! He’s happy, I’m happy!"

Pros

Cons

  • Safe for machine washing and tumble drying
  • It can take over 24 hours for the seat to fluff up
  • Suitable for dogs with joint pains
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  • 1-year limited warranty
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Final Verdict

A car seat is an essential piece of equipment for all small and medium-sized dogs. And if you make a good decision, your car seat can last a lifetime.

If you are looking for a quick pick: the PetSafe Happy Ride Quilted Booster Seat and the Good Pet Stuff Travelin' Dog Pet Seat are both great options. The first one is more lightweight and easier to store away, and the second one is one of the most stable car seats for dogs we have found. The final decision is yours!

FAQ

Do dogs need car seats?

You don’t necessarily need a car seat to take your canine companion for a ride with you. However, a car seat can make the process easier and more comfortable for both of you. A car seat can really be a game changer for longer rides: you will be free from distractions and you will know your dog is safe and comfortable. That being said, there are other viable options for dog car travel: a dog could stay inside a transporter, or you could use a car harness for restraining your dog.

Where should a dog sit in the car?

The place where dogs should sit in a car is not strictly defined. However, just like with children, the back seat is probably the best option. A dog can also sit in the cargo area, and even on the front seat provided that safety conditions are met.

What is the safest way to transport a dog in a car?

Car safety features are simply not made for dogs. This is why it’s up to you to try and make travel as safe as possible for your dog. There are a couple of options that you can go for, but whatever you do, it’s important to keep the dog restrained, even when inside a car seat for dogs (3). You canine buddy might be very calm and quiet when riding, but that’s not really the issue. A restraint is there to keep your dog flying around the car in case of an accident or any sudden movements, such as sudden braking.

References

  1. “Do I need to restrain my dog when travelling in my car?”. RSPCA. Retrieved January 10, 2021.  https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/do-i-need-to-restrain-my-dog-when-travelling-in-my-car/
  2. “Dog Car Safety: Do You Need a Dog Car Seat, Dog Seat Belt, Barrier or a Carrier?”. December 28, 2018. PetMD. Retrieved January 10, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/dog-car-safety-do-you-need-dog-car-seat-dog-seat-belt-barrier-or-carrier
  3. “Dog Car Seats and Seat Belts: Can They Keep Your Pup Safe?”. January 26, 2018. PetMD. Retrieved January 10, 2021.  https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/dog-car-seats-and-seat-belts-can-they-keep-your-pup-safe
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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