Best Dog Barrier for Cars: Drive Safer With Your Pup

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Bushwhacker logo
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MidWest Homes for Pets logo
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High Road 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.

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

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.

Bushwacker Review

Bushwacker Car Barrier#1

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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#2

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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

High Road Review

High Road Wag'nRide Dog Car Barrier#3

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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

Other Best Dog Car Barriers

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

Reese Explore

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

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 is acting like nothing has happened but obviously got into the trash — I was seriously crying from laughing so hard – Enjoy!

More Tips For Dog Travel

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. 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 you need a dog barrier for?

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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 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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Lars Tomasson
Are any of these car barriers crash tested? That seems to me to be important. If in an accident, I don’t want the barrier, and whatever is behind it coming at the back of my passengers or my head.
Karen G
I do not find much of this “funny”
Angela
OMG the dog fails video is so entertaining, I completely forgot what I was doing on this website but thoroughly enjoyed! The dog in the car barrier is too funny. Hunter our dog would totally do something like that, luckily none of the ones you recommend allow their snouts to get trapped like that.
Heather
The video is no longer available to watch. 🙁