Small Dog Car Safety – Entire Dog Journal


As we described in our review of seat belts for cars in the May 2021 issue, even the best products on the market for medium and larger dogs are limited in terms of the comfort and safety they offer – and none of them can ingests that are less than 11 lbs. Fortunately, there is a very safe and comfortable auto safety product for small dogs (those 45 pounds and less): the PupSaver.

The dog is held in place in the center of the padded seat by a strap attached to a ring on the front / bottom of the harness – lower than a front clip walking harness, but not quite between the dog’s front legs. However, the combination of belt and belt offers only part of the protection; The shape and padding of the PupSaver, supported by the shoulder strap, will help capture and contain the dog if it is thrown by the force of a collision.

For information on how the seat works, see the crash test videos on the PupSaver website ( The website also has links to various videos that show you how to install the seat. We didn’t find it difficult to install, but a friend found it more daunting and reported that the video made all the difference.

Like child seats, the PupSaver offers the highest level of safety when installed in the back seat of a car. Although the seat belts of the car are used regardless of whether they are installed in the front or Back seat, the metal J-hooks of the PupSaver can be used to additionally secure it in the back seat with the LATCH system (lower anchors and retaining straps for children) of the car.


The owner of our tiny test dog, Samson, reckoned that his inability to see over the curved, padded back of the PupSaver would make him feel restricted, especially when installed in the back seat of the car. In reality, Samson relaxed on the padded seat without a fuss. That turned out to be no problem, especially since he could still get up and see out the side window.

As a mother and grandmother with years of experience sitting infant and toddler car seats, I was concerned about installing the PupSaver in the front seat. Rear-facing child seats should never be installed where an airbag could penetrate them and move them and injure the baby on the seat. But because the PupSaver is soft and not stiff, a padded airbag would at most push the padded PupSaver and the dog into the backrest of the car. In fact, a number of testimonials on the PupSaver website describe accidents in which all of the car’s airbags were deployed and the dogs were unharmed.


The PupSaver seat is available in three sizes: PupSaver Petite (for dogs weighing 10 pounds or less); PupSaver (for dogs 10 to 30 pounds); and PupSaver 45 (for dogs 35 to 45 pounds). The price varies depending on the size and type of fabric used for the cover, but is between $ 150 and $ 180.

The PupSaver-compatible straps are sold separately for $ 30. They come in four sizes, from XXS Petite (for dogs weighing 5 to 6 pounds) to Medium (for dogs weighing 30 to 45 pounds).

Does that seem expensive to you? That’s what we did – until we’ve tested the product for the past six months and noticed how easy it is to install and use, how much our test dog liked it, and how well it worked. When you add that small dogs typically live longer than larger dogs (and that allows you to amortize the cost over a longer period of time), it seems like a great investment for us.

On the subject of matching items

Dog Car Harnesses Check out how to use a dog car harness

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