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Best Dog Barrier for Cars: Ride Safer With Your Pup

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Petego logo
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Bushwhacker logo
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MidWest Homes for Pets logo

Does your dog like to explore the vehicle while you’re driving down the road? Your pup probably starts out in the back seat, then meanders up front with you (making sure to whack you in the face with her tail), then wanders to the back and continues this pattern until you reach your destination. This can be dangerous for your dog, 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. We recommend using a restraint for a dog when traveling in a vehicle.

You can choose one of the barriers in this article or take a look at other types of 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.

Petego Review

Petego K9 Guard Universal Pet Safety Barrier#1

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Petego’s dog barrier is our #1 pick for pet barrier for car. It is made of metal tubing and the height adjusts from 10.5 inches (with the top bar removed) to 16 inches. The width adjusts from 34 inches to almost 58 inches. Petego says it can be used in the front or rear of cars and SUVs but if you have a larger space between the driver’s and passenger’s seats there may be a space above the center console for your dog to squeeze through. The other thing to be aware of is that this does not work on Volvo cars that don’t have vertically adjustable head rests. If the headrest is fixed and you can’t see the chrome adjustable stems this will not work in your vehicle.

Pros

Cons

  • Driver’s and passenger’s seat don’t need to be aligned perfectly
  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy
  • Connects to the headrests
  • Doesn’t leave marks on the interior of car
  • Customers rave about how great this barrier is
  • Potential opening if used in the front seat
  • Doesn’t work on Volvos

Pricing

Bushwacker Review

Bushwacker Car Barrier#2

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This Bushwacker car barrier for dogs 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 see what your car’s width is, 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.

Pros

Cons

  • 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

Pricing

MidWest Review

MidWest Pet Barrier#3

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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 downfall 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 pip insulation to protect the vehicle’s interior.

Pros

Cons

  • 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

Pricing

Other Dog Car Barriers

Below are other dog barriers we reviewed that didn’t make our top three list.

High Road | Reese Explore

High Road Review

High Road Wag'nRide Dog Car BarrierView on Amazon

The High Road car 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.

Pros

Cons

  • 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

Pricing

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 isn’t 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.

Pros

Cons

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

Pricing

Dog Fails

We like to share funny dog videos whenever possible and this time we found the king of funny dog fails. Above in our High Road review we mentioned that the mesh material isn’t great at holding dogs back. To see an example of this, be sure to check around the 3:10 mark in the video. My favorite “dog fail” is of the dog in the shower — I was seriously crying from laughing so hard! Enjoy!

Dog Travel Statistics

To reiterate how very important it is to restrain your dog in the vehicle so you can get to your destination safely, 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 dog 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.

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

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She adopted Sally, a 3 year old hound mix, in 2017 and is loving life as a pet parent.

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