Best Dog Barrier For Cars: Drive Safer With Your Pup

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Best For…
SUVs & Trucks
Bushwhacker logo
Trunks & Cargo Area
MidWest Homes for Pets logo
Sedans & Mid-Size Cars
High Road logo

Does your dog like to explore the vehicle while driving down the road? Your pup probably starts out in the back seat, then meanders to the front seat with you (making sure to whack you in the face with their tail), then wanders to the back and continues this pattern until you reach your destination.

This can be dangerous for you and other drivers on the road because you could get distracted by your dog. We know your dog doesn’t mean any harm, they’re just so excited to be on the road with you. So we recommend using a dog barrier for your car.

Dog Travel Statistics: Why Do I Need A Dog Barrier?

To reiterate how important it is to restrain your dog in the vehicle so you can safely get to your destination, we found these statistics on traveling with dogs from Kurgo.

65% of dog owners admit to driving distracted at least once while driving with their dog. Of those, 23% use their hands or arms to restrict their dog’s movement or hold the dog in place and 19% use their hands or arms to keep your pup from climbing from the back seat to the front seat.

That’s a lot of distracted drivers and a lot of owners trying to hold their dogs back.

Best Dog Barrier For Cars (By Type)

Now that you know the importance of why you need a dog car barrier, here are our top picks for the best options for each type of car and the pros and cons of each.

Best For SUVs & Trucks: Bushwacker Review

Bushwacker Car Barrier

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This Bushwacker car dog barrier has metal tubing around it to maintain its barrier shape. Connected to the tubing is a scratch and tear-resistant pet screen.

The barrier attaches to the front seat headrest and either the car seat frame or seat belt mount. It is 56 inches wide and is best for sedans, trucks and large SUVs. To determine your car’s width, measure the interior of your car just below the headrests. As long as the width is greater than 56 inches, this barrier will work.

However, there is also a 50-inch model available if this is too big.



  • Driver’s and passenger’s seat don’t need to be aligned perfectly
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to install
  • Connects to the headrests
  • Made to go between the front and back seats only
  • Blocks air vent flow in the vehicle
  • Doesn’t fit all vehicles, be sure to measure beforehand


Best For Trunks & Cargo Areas: MidWest Review

MidWest Pet Barrier

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The MidWest car dog barrier is made of wire mesh and fits most cars, SUVs, vans and hatchbacks. The barrier is adjustable and is capable of covering a large area.

The downside is that some people have spent close to an hour installing this barrier, so it’s not as easy to install as the other barriers in this article. Some customers have also used zip ties to secure the barrier and pipe insulation to protect the vehicle’s interior.



  • Covers a large area
  • Easy to adjust
  • Less expensive than our top two
  • Installation takes longer for some
  • Rattles
  • Some customers have used zip ties, pipe insulation or other material to help secure the barrier


Best For Sedans & Mid-Size Cars: High Road Review

High Road Wag'nRide Dog Car Barrier

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The High Road pet barrier didn’t make our top three because the mesh material doesn’t hold back dogs as well as other barriers. If your dog is generally well-behaved, this may be a good option for you, though.

However, dogs who are more rambunctious and don’t mind pushing through things may move this barrier around some. The coverage area is 37″H x 32.5″W.



  • Connects to the headrests
  • Covers the center console area in the front seat well
  • Mesh material isn’t the best at holding dogs back
  • Smaller dogs can wedge their way through
  • Complaints of instructions being unclear or none at all


Other Best Dog Car Barriers

Below is another dog barrier we reviewed that didn’t make our top three list.

Reese Explore Review

Reese Explore 1390800 Adjustable Pet BarrierView on Amazon

Reese Explore’s pet car barrier didn’t rank in our top three because it isn’t as universal as other barriers and it’s not connected to the headrests, which means it may leave imprints on your vehicle’s interior.

However, it does have padded braces, so it shouldn’t scuff your vehicle. It can adjust from 31″ to 45″ high and 39″ to 65″ wide. It fits most SUVs, vans and wagons.



  • Easy installation
  • Sturdy
  • Does not connect to headrest
  • May leave indents on car interior
  • Can’t be used on all vehicles


Video: Dog Fails

We like to share funny dog videos whenever possible, and this time we found the king of funny dog fails. My favorite “dog fail” is of Lucy, who acts like nothing happened, but she obviously got into the trash. Enjoy!

More Tips For Dog Travel

You can choose one of the barriers in this article or consider other restraints like seatbelts. As long as you’re keeping your dog out of your line of vision on the road, that’s all that matters for safety purposes. We also recommend you read our tips for your dog when traveling in a vehicle before you hit the road.

What type of vehicle do you have that needs a dog barrier?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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