As dog parents, we know that the desire to take your dog everywhere with you is strong. We mostly get around by driving which means that we want to take our dogs in the car with us. We also know that driving with dogs, especially dogs that are, or think they are, lap dogs can be extremely dangerous. In this article, we will review all of the different dog car barrier options out there so you can be more educated on how to protect yourself and your dog. 

Dog car barriers are an excellent alternative to dog seatbelts. Many dogs get stressed or are uncomfortable being strapped in by a seatbelt. Dog car barriers provide the same level of protection for you and your dog without completely tying them down. Using this article as your guide, you will be able to find the perfect dog car barrier that fits your lifestyle, dogs needs, and car. 

Table of contents


WHy you really do need a car barrier

When we get into a car accident, everything in our car becomes a projectile object. The sudden slamming of breaks or coming to an abrupt dead stop puts you as the driver in danger even if you were the only one in the car. Add to that scenario other passengers, human or canine. All of the sudden you and everyone else involved are in a much more dangerous situation. Restraining your dog behind a dog car barrier helps eliminate some of that danger. 

80% of Americans polled said that they travel with their dog and do not restrain them in any way. If you get in a car accident at the low speed of 25 mph, your dog can be projected at a force up to 40 times its weight. This means that even a small dog only weighing 7lbs will be projected at an upwards force of 280lbs. Larger dogs weighing 65lbs can be projected at an upwards force of 2,600lbs!! That’s enough to be a lethal blow to you, your passengers or your dog. The majority of accidents result in a forward thrust of motion. 

An unrestrained dog, just as a human without a seatbelt, is extremely likely to go flying through the front windshield. This is why it is extremely important for dogs to be restrained, whether by a seatbelt or a dog car barrier. A dog car barrier helps protect your dog without completely limiting their mobility. A barrier will also not tangle around your dog or be limited by what else is in the car like a dog seatbelt would. It is also important to note that many states require dogs to be restrained while traveling by car. So not having a dog restraint is not only dangerous but also against the law. 


Options

Just as there are so many options for cars themselves, there are so many options for dog car barriers. For a dog car barrier to be effective, it needs to fit snugly in your car. Some car barriers are made out of sturdy metal rods. Others are simple, mesh sheets that hook around your front seats. Some dog car barriers also double as a seat protector for your car. If you are looking for dog separators for cars, many of these barriers are just that! In this article, we will review all different types of dog car barriers.

To find a barrier that will work best for you, you need to consider your lifestyle and the personality of your dog. Smaller dogs may not need to be restrained by a heavy duty metal barrier. Dogs who need constant attention may want a barrier that is made out of mesh or has a cut-out for their head. No matter what your dog needs, there is a car barrier that will suit their, and your, needs. 

dog car barrier


Soft Dog car barriers

If you have a smaller or a gentler dog, a soft, fabric barrier might be sufficient to protect your pup. Fabric barriers are also more ideal for smaller cars. Mesh barriers can be easier to set up than a metal barrier. However, because they are fabric barriers, there is a chance that your dog can scratch and tear the barrier. Fabric barriers are more likely to tear, fray, and get stretched out. Nevertheless, if you get the correct one, they can last you a long time, keeping you and your dog safe for lots of car rides. 


goodstore pet barrier

soft dog car barrier

GoodStore makes an excellent, non-obtrusive fabric dog barrier that snaps on in between the two front seats. This barrier is a good buy IF it fits your car. The design of this barrier requires removable headrests to attach the top straps to. Therefore, if your car has a headset that is attached to the seat, this barrier might not work for you. While simple to assemble, this carrier does not come with instructions. However, the barrier is straightforward and you can use the picture to figure it out quickly. This dog car barrier is also not fool-proof. Some dogs may try to climb over the barrier or slide through the side slits. You might have to train your dog to stay behind the barrier. Nevertheless, this is a good barrier at a good price for the value, flexibility, and safety it does provide if your dog stays behind the barrier. 

The GoodStore dog car barrier has lots of valuable features. It is made out of durable yet soft materials. The barrier features a mesh cut out that allows your dog to see you and out of the front window.  This also allows you to keep an eye on your precious canine cargo.

Another wonderful design of this dog car barrier is that it has a net cut out where most cars have a vent in the console. This means that the barrier is not blocking the airflow of the car. The barrier also has pop-up metal framing that prevents the barrier from sagging and allowing your dog to climb over.On top of all these features, the barrier is also easy to clean. Simply wipe it down with a wet cloth and you are good to go! GoodStore’s dog car barrier is one of our top picks for fabric car barriers for a reason! 


HIgh Road wag n ride dog car barrier

If you have a bigger dog or a bigger car, this fabric barrier is the one for you! High Road Wag N Ride dog car barrier is perfect for those dog parents looking for a more durable, soft barrier. This barrier has a steel frame that durable mesh wraps around. The simple yet unique design is super easy to assemble and set up. Simply lay out the steel frame and wrap the mesh around it. The mesh attaches with velcro and straps. Once assembled, the whole barrier attaches to your seats by wrapping straps around two seat headrests. Unlike the GoodStore barrier, this barrier comes with instructions on the website. 

Another plus of this barrier is that it can be used behind the two front seats or in the back of the car to keep your dog contained in the cargo area. The unique design of this dog car barrier makes it extremely adjustable to fit almost any car.

dog car barrier

The best part of this barrier though is that it is completely see through. Your view of your dog and their view of you will never be blocked by this barrier. Some complaints of this barrier are that after a while, the straps can loosen causing the frame to slide down. This means that the top of the frame might slide down and block the view out of your rearview mirror. Nevertheless, this is a quick fix! All you have to do is re-tighten the straps and you should be good to go again! High Road’s Wag N Ride dog car barrier is the perfect barrier to keep smart dogs in back where they are safe.  


Metal dog car barriers

Metal dog car barriers are for those who live a more rugged lifestyle or who want a more permanent solution for protecting their dogs. Car barriers made of metal are perfect for containing large, powerful dogs or multiple dogs. With metal barriers, you don’t have to worry about your dog being able to tear through the barrier. Also, metal barriers tend to be larger which makes them perfect for trucks and SUVs. Another plus of metal barriers is that there is no solid fabric to obstruct your view. If you know that a fabric barrier just won’t cut it, you might want to look into getting a metal car barrier instead.


The zookeeper car barrier

metal dog car barrier

The ZooKeeper dog car barrier is made entirely out of metal. This durable barrier is easy to install as it just uses two straps that wrap around the headrests to secure in place. Because the barrier is made out of metal, it only needs two, maybe three straps to hold it in place. This makes the barrier suitable for almost any size car. The metal bars of this barrier are telescoping. This means that you can adjust the bars to fit both horizontally and vertically to the exact size you need it to be. With the unique design of this dog car barrier, you can use it behind the front seats or in the back of the car. The middle and lower bars block dogs from crawling over the front console. The top two long bars block behind the headrests so dogs can’t crawl over the seats. 

Unlike fabric barriers, this metal barrier won’t slide or become ineffective if you need to move the seats. You can even slide your seat back or tilt it back and the barrier will still keep your dog in the back. Because this barrier has large slits in between the bars, your visibility will never be blocked. There is no fabric to disrupt your view. Another bonus of this particular metal barrier by The ZooKeeper is that there are no vertical poles that dig into the floor of your car. If you need a sleek, metal barrier to make your car rides safer with your dogs, look no further! The ZooKeeper dog car barrier is an excellent choice for you. 


Walky dog rear car barrier

rear dog car barrier

Some of you may only want a dog car barrier that will keep your dog in the rear of your car. If this is you, then the Walky Dog car barrier is for you. Designed to be flexible to fit any sized car, this barrier can extend and contract to fit snugly in any car. This is important because you don’t want your dog to be able to slide through the sides. Made out of heavy duty, powder coated steel, this barrier will be able to contain even the strongest, smartest pup if installed correctly. Unlike many other metal barriers that have long vertical poles that dig into the ceiling and floor of your car, this barrier attaches to the back of two headrests. With no tools required, this car barrier comes with all the pieces you will need to attach it to your headrests.

It is important to note that if your car does not have headrests, this barrier will not work for you. The piece that attaches the dog car barrier to your seat simply slides in between the two headrest poles and screw into itself with a large knob. 

 If you plan on keeping this barrier in your car for long periods of time, it is practical to check and tighten the attachments to ensure continued safety. This dog car barrier has three bars that can be extended vertically and horizontally. The top bar can even be removed if you have a smaller car with a lower ceiling. Designed with passengers in mind, the headrest attachment does not interfere with where your head goes on the front side. Walky Dog’s rear dog barrier is an excellent option for those of us that want to keep our dogs safely contained in the cargo area of our cars. 


Seat protector barriers

If the purpose of getting a dog car barrier is to contain your dog and the dirt that comes along with them, you might want to get a seat protector that doubles as a barrier instead. Many seat protector barriers are most comfortable for dogs. They create a level, smooth surface for dogs to lay on and walk around on. If you are looking for the most bang for your buck dog car barrier option, a seat protector barrier is what you want. 


frontpet backseat dog bridge barrier

FrontPet created an ingenious solution to the problems that come with traveling with dogs. Their backseat dog bridge barrier covers all the bases when it comes to safety, comfort, and practicality. The barrier is made with a hardwood interior that is covered with a comfortable foam. The wood interior creates a sturdy bottom that sits on top of the backseat of your car. With a maximum capacity load of 150 lbs, this barrier should be more than durable for your dog. The sides of the barrier cover the entirety of the seat and the side doors. It attaches to the headrests of the front and back seats, essentially making a large box for your dog to sit in. 

A problem with this barrier is that the front barrier does not go as high as some of the other dog car barriers. You may need to train your dog to not climb over the front flap. Not all dogs will be able to but the creative escape artists may be able to. 

dog car barrier and protector

Another bonus of this barrier is that the front flap has a large, sealable storage pocket for you to store dog treats and accessories. None of the other barriers have pockets like this one. This barrier is simple to install and folds up into a small square to be stored! Doubling as a dog car barrier and a seat protector, this barrier will protect the interior of your car from dog hair and claw scratches. 


4Knines dog seat hammock

4KNines is a company dedicated to quality dog products. They know their stuff and produce only the highest quality products. This product is a multi-purpose item. It can be used to simply protect your car seats. Or it can be attached to the front headrests and act as a barrier and hammock for your dog. Made of durable, quilted fabric, this barrier not only lasts long but it looks good, too! This barrier, similar to the FrontPet barrier, can be easy for some dogs to climb over the front flap. Minimal training may be necessary to keep your pet restrained and safe. 4KNines dog hammock barrier is by far the easiest to install. Simply lay the bottom flat on the seat and loop the four headrest straps around the headrests. This barrier does not require you to have removable headrests either.

Another unique factor of this dog car barrier is that the fabric has holes in it for seatbelts to come through. This means that having the barrier in your car does not restrict you having other passengers as well. All around, this barrier/hammock is the most universal and durable option for protecting not only your dog but your car as well. 


Final thoughts

Whether you are planning a long-distance road trip or just a drive to the store, your pet’s safety should always be a priority. If you think a dog seatbelt may be a better fit for your dog, check out our dog seatbelt reviews here. If you are torn between a seatbelt or a dog car barrier, we recommend a dog car barrier. They are a one-time installation instead of something you have to attach every car ride. Dog car barriers have so many important safety features that are necessary to keep your dog safe. If you love your dog, remember to keep them safe. It is your responsibility as their dog parent.