Last updated: 02 Apr 2020

The Best Dog Car Barriers (Review) in 2020

best choice dog car barrier

Bushwhacker Deluxe Dog Car Barrier

premium pick dog barrier

The ZooKeeper Dog Car Barrier

affordable dog car barrier

Reese Explore Adjustable Dog Car Barrier

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Nicole Ellis
Published 11:21 am

If you’ve ever driven anywhere with your pooch in tow, you’ll know how able they are to weasel their way into the front. This kind of behaviour might be entertaining, but an excitable dog is the last thing you need in the cab when you’re trying to drive. According to a AAA survey, 29 percent of pet owners who drive with their animals admitted to being distracted by them. In 2009, the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 20 percent of all crashes resulting in injury were triggered, at least in part, by distracted driving.

Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom – you can easily improve your focus and reduce the risk of driving for both yourself and your dog by ensuring they’re properly restrained in the car.

One simple but effective solution is to install a dog car barrier. These devices are installed between the front and back seats of your car, or between the trunk and the back-seats, and make sure your canine companion stays put. There are plenty of options on the market right now, and we’ve selected the top 10. We hope that this selection, along with the handy FAQ section, will help you choose an auto pet barrier that’s right for you and your dog.

The Best Dog Car Barriers


bushwhacker dog barrier
Bushwhacker Deluxe Dog Car Barrier

Kicking off our list is Bushwhacker, with their deluxe dog barrier. Featuring a tough, scratch-resistant mesh, the barrier keeps dogs in the back without preventing airflow around the car. The mesh is reinforced by lightweight metal tubing, which holds the device firmly in place.

It can be easily attached to the car via the front seat headrests and seat belt mount or frame. At 56 inches in length, the barrier is best suited for full-sized sedans, trucks, and large SUVs. If you’re driving something a little smaller, Bushwhacker also offer a 50 inch model. Customers agree that even the most determined canines can’t work their way through the durable mesh. Overall, the dog car divider is a great value way to keep your pooch safely where they should be, even on the longest of journeys.

Deluxe dog barrier featuring durable mesh design

Scratch-resistant and durable

Prevents dogs from woking their way into the front seats

Mesh allows heat and A/C vents to keep circulating

Lightweight metal tubing keeps barrier firmly in place

56 inch width is suitable for sedans, trucks, and larger SUVs

50 inch model also available

  • Brand: Bushwhacker
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds


This adjustable pet barrier is the answer to a major conundrum that dog owners face on a daily basis. Not only does it keep dogs safely out of certain areas in a car, but it also ensures the ride is more pleasant for dog owners. With the Jumbl Pet Dog Barrier, users everywhere are sure to get their money’s worth. It is made of high-quality steel wire and features a design that is perfect for almost every car out there. 

This dog barrier is made up of three panels; the main one is located in the middle while the smaller two are on the sides. The side panels happen to be adjustable, ensuring that it lives up to the promise of being a universal fit. 

Designed to fit a variety of cars and SUV’s

It has a main panel as well as  two adjustable side panels

No tools are required for its installation

It is made of heavy-duty steel wire 

Fitted with protective brace pads to guard against scuffing 

It is completely see-through

Aesthetically pleasing 

  • Brand: Jumbl Pet
  • Weight: 6.19 pounds


walky dog car barrier
Walky Guard Adjustable Dog Car Barrier

The next dog guard for car to earn a spot on our list is Walky’s adjustable barrier. The headrest mounted barrier is constructed from high quality powder-coated steel, and features a telescopic design that allows it to fit virtually any car with just a little adjustment.

It’s quick and easy to assemble, with no tools required, and is mounted via the front seat headrests. For smaller dogs who are liable to slip through the gaps, Walky provide an optional mesh attachment to cover the bars. The quality steel is tough enough to stand up to dogs of any size, yet lightweight so as not to weigh down your car. Users say that the barrier is easy to assemble and remove, as well as being strong and sturdy. The clever installation mechanism also spreads the weight of the bars evenly between the two front seat headrests, unlike other, spring loaded models, which put pressure on the floor and ceiling of a car and risk leaving marks.

Adjustable dog guard

Made from durable powder-coated steel bars

Suitable for almost any car

Easy to install through mounting on the front seat headrests

Optional mesh attachment available for smaller dogs


Installation method prevents the barrier from leaving marks in your car

  • Brand: Walky Dog
  • Model: CW101
  • Weight: 1 pounds


MidWest’s pet gate for cars is another product that has impressed us. It’s the first model on our list to keep dogs in the trunk area, rather than the back seats, making it ideal for owners who drive a hatchback, SUV, or van. The simple but effective wire mesh design provides a strong and stable barrier between your pet and your passengers.

The mesh is finished with a black coating that acts to cut glare, improving your visibility while driving. Beneath this surface, the mesh is made from durable wire, while the locking mechanism that holds the barrier in place is made from heavy duty tubular steel. The barrier can adjust its width from 31 to 70 inches, and vary its height from 31 to 50 inches, making it easy to fit into most vehicles. This flexible fit renders it easy to install and remove – simply adjust the width and height so that it becomes wedged against the roof and floor of the car. Customers report that the bars are easy to install, and keep adventurous pooches exactly where they should be.

Adjustable pet gate, compatible with most hatchbacks, SUVs, and vans

Easy to install between the trunk and back seats of your car

Adjustable height; 31 to 50 inches

Adjustable width; 31 – 70 inches

Wire mesh and heavy duty steel bars provide strength and rigidity

Fits securely by being wedged between your car’s floor and ceiling

  • Brand: MidWest Homes for Pets
  • Model: 13
  • Weight: 16.6 pounds


The next pet barrier for cars to earn itself a spot on our list is High Road’s compact and functional mesh frame design. The frame improves your visibility by only blocking the space between your car’s two front seats. The smaller space between the seats and the side of the car is left free, helping you see what’s going on in your rearview mirror. These spaces are too narrow for most medium and large dogs to squeeze through This extra visibility is great for your four pawed passengers, too – its clever design allows them to see the driver, for reassurance. anyway.

The mesh barrier is supported by a sturdy top panel that won’t buckle or fold under the pressure of excitable paws. Around the barrier’s perimeter, a durable steel frame, coated with protective foam bumpers, provide additional stability. The whole barrier is scratch and chew resistant, and can be positioned at various heights on the seatback, by connecting to the front seat headrests with adjustable straps. Overall, it’s an easy to install, easy to assemble solution to keep excitable pooches at bay.

Compact and functional mesh design

Sits between the front seats, allowing visibility between the seats and the doors

Supported by a foam-coated steel frame and sturdy top panel

Easily attaches to the front seat headrests

Height is easy to adjust thanks to staps

Scratch and chew resistant

  • Brand: High Road
  • Weight: 3 pounds


petego car barrier for dogs
Petego Safe Driving Car Barriers for Pets

Another dog gate for cars that has caught our attention is Petego’s. Their universal vehicle pet barrier can be easily fitted to the front seat headrests, creating a firm boundary that keeps four pawed passengers in the back.

It’s constructed from high resistance square steel tubing, with solidly built adjustable clamps for attachment. Its glare-free black coating improves visibility, and helps the bars blend into the background. Despite being subtle, though, these bars are tough – able to stand up against almost any energetic pooch. The device offers all the strength of a permanent barrier, with the convenience of quick and easy uninstallation. Bear in mind that this particular barrier won’t work with Volvo cars; they don’t tend to have vertically adjustable headrests.

Universal pet barrier

Fitted to front seat headrests

Creates a firm boundary between front and back seats

Made from high resistance square steel tubing

Features easy to use adjustable clamps

Black coated bars don’t interfere with visibility, and blend easily into the background

Note: these bars are not suitable for Volvo vehicles

  • Brand: Petego
  • Model: 5060328-701848
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds


zookeeper car barrier
Reese Explore Adjustable Dog Car Barrier

Zoo Keeper’s dog fence for cars boasts a somewhat unusual design. The barrier works through a series of flexible cords that wrap around your car’s front seat headrests. This setup allows seats to move and recline freely without the need to remove the device.

Its carefully engineered design can be fitted to almost any car, and is shaped so as to prevent your dog from squeezing through the usual gaps. Its black-coated steel frame is slim and subtle, so as not to impede your visibility. The device is easy to install, too – you won’t need any tools, and it should take a matter of minutes. Made in the USA, the device comes with a 100 percent satisfaction money back guarantee. Pets and owners alike can benefit from this easy to use and sturdy device.

Painted steel barrier to prevent dogs from escaping from a car’s back seats

Can be easily attached to the car’s front seat headrests with a system of cords

Installation method allows front seats to recline and move without removing the device

Carefully engineered design can fit almost any car

Black-coated steel prevents glare and keeps visibility to the maximum

Easy to install – no tools required

  • Brand: The ZooKeeper
  • Model: ZK-080204
  • Weight: 7.45 pounds


Solvit have made our list thanks to their sturdy and easy to use dog car barrier. Their durable design keeps energetic pets contained in the trunk, so you can focus on the road. Its adjustable setup can easily be expanded from 32 to 49 inches in height, and 33 to 57 inches in width, allowing it to fit virtually any vehicle – including crossovers and SUVs.

Sections of the bars can be removed using Solvit’s unique Connect Clamps, for quick access the the cargo area without having to remove the entire device.

The barrier is easily fitted by being wedged into place between your car’s floor and roof. Rubberized caps on the top and bottom of the installation bars reduce ratting as you drive, prevent slippage, and help reduce the marks that this kind of barrier can leave on your car’s upholstery.

Durable dog barrier keeps energetic pets contained in the trunk

Adjustable design can vary in height from 32 to 49 inches, and in width from 33 to 57 inches

Suitable for almost any vehicle, including SUVs and crossovers

Easily fitted by a simple mechanism

Rubberized caps at the end of the installation bars reduce rattling, prevent slippage, and help prevent marks being left behind

Connect Clamps allow sections of the bars to be removed without taking out the entire device, for easy access to the cargo area on the go

  • Brand: PetSafe
  • Weight: 9 pounds


reese explore adjustable pet barrier
Reese Explore Adjustable Dog Car Barrier

Our next pet cargo barrier is ideal for larger vehicles. Its adjustable floor to ceiling bars can be extended to a maximum of 45 inches in height, while the side bars can slide to a width of 65 inches. The padded braces on the top and bottom of the bars minimise marking to your car’s interior, and help it grip properly, and reduce noise during use.

It’s easy to install behind the back seats of most cars, separating the cargo space – and any canine passengers riding back there – from you and your human occupants. The strategically placed bars ensure maximum visibility in the rear view mirror, without allowing playful pooches to squeeze through. Customers say that the barrier is simple to assemble, and doesn’t budge – a great success, and all at a budget-friendly price point.

Adjustable dog car barrier, suitable for larger vehicles

Padded braces on the top and bottom of the installation bars ensure a snug fit, minimal marking on your car’s interior, and reduced rattling while driving

Installed between seating and cargo area

Perfect for preventing large and medium sized dogs from worming into the cab

  • Brand: Reese Explore
  • Model: 1390800
  • Weight: 7.6 pounds


As an alternative to a wired dog barrier, this product can hold its own against the pressure of a persistent dog. This scratch and tear resistant screen leaves little to no allowance for pets to wiggle through while the car is in motion or otherwise. All in all, the Bushwhacker- Paws n Claws Cargo Area Dog Barrier is fitted with an array of features that will ensure that your pet is safe and secure in cars.

At the core of its design is a metal piping which holds everything in place. So, no matter how large or tiny your pet is, they literally have no choice but to stay in their designated area. When assembled correctly, this is more than just a dog barrier, it becomes a fortress. Additionally, it does not just act as a demarcation, it also ensures that your pet is safe and secure. The fact that it is incredibly easy to install wins an extra point for this functional pet screen.

It is incredibly easy to assemble and install

Made to be both scratch and tear resistant

Fitted with a lightweight metal tubing

It is sturdy and secure

Has a well-built and functional design

Fits perfectly with no gaps for mishaps

A safer alternative to wire options

It is attached to the headrests with straps

  • Brand: Bushwhacker
  • Weight: 3.99 pounds

Best Dog Car Barrier Buying Guide & FAQ

And there you have it – these 10 barriers represent the best you and your pet can get. But which one is right for you? And how can you get the most out of these useful safety devices? We attempt to answer these questions in our handy buying guide below.

What to Look for in a Dog Car Barrier

Which barrier you eventually select will depend very much upon the individual needs of your and your canine companion. Below are a few key factors to bear in mind when picking out the barrier that’s right for you:

  • Your Vehicle

The first thing to consider when buying a dog car barrier is whether it will fit your vehicle, usually by attaching to the headrests. The majority of barriers are adjustable, at least to a certain extent, but it’s a good idea to take a measuring tape to your car before you make a final decision. Manufacturers will be able to provide sizing guidelines if in doubt.

  • The Size of your Dog

Many barriers are more suitable for medium and large dogs than their smaller counterparts. The smaller the dog, the more easily it can worm its way through any barriers. If this sounds like your pooch, we recommend choosing a mesh barrier that covers as large a surface area as possible, such as the first option on our list.

  • Bars or Mesh?

When choosing a dog car barrier, you’ll have two main options to select from: mesh, or bars. Mesh barriers tend to blend into your car’s interior more easily, offer improved visibility, and eliminate even the smallest of gaps. However, the mesh won’t be as rugged as metal bars, and you may find that larger, more powerful dogs can damage it. Bars, on the other hand, are more sturdy, but may leave gaps or affect rear view mirror visibility slightly.

pet berrier for car

Why You Should Use Pet Barrier for Car

Using a car or SUV pet barrier has a number of benefits:

  • The barrier prevents your pet from getting to the driver’s seat and becoming a distraction
  • Pet barriers encourage your pet to stay still during travel, minimising distraction and keeping them safe
  • Using a dog barrier prevents dogs from leaving hair and dirt on the seats
  • Dog barriers are a versatile safety solution

Related Post: Best Car Seats for Dogs

How to Install a Dog Guard for Car

How each barrier should be installed will depend on the make and model, and you should always consult the instructions included.

There are two main installation methods:

  • Via Headrests: Many dog car barriers are held in place with straps, clips, or clamps, that are attached to the headrests of either the front or back seats. Often, these barriers are also secured at additional points (such as the center console or seat belt mount) to maximise their stability.
  • Wedged in place: Other guards are simply wedged in place – usually between the back seats and cargo space. Telescopic tubing extends or retracts to fit the space you’re working with snugly. Often, rubber or plastic caps provide additional friction to prevent any slippage.

Dog Car Barrier FAQ:

Q: What is a dog car barrier?

A:  Dog car barriers are simple devices designed to keep dogs off of the front or back seats of your car. They consist of either a mesh frame, or series of bars or wires, and are either wedged in place or attached to anchoring points such as headrests.

They keep dogs where they should be, and prevent distracted driving. These barriers can be used in isolation, or with additional safety precautions such as a dog cage for car or seat belt harness.

Q: Do vehicle barriers work in any size vehicle?

A: Dog car barriers tend to be a one size fits all solution as far as most cars are concerned. They’re usually adjustable, allowing them to fit:

  • Vans
  • Sedans
  • Hatchbacks
  • Crossovers
  • SUVs

However, you should avoid using these barriers with soft top convertibles – the profile of these cars is often too low to accommodate these barriers. To be sure the barrier will fit your car, get out your tape measure and check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Q: Can any of these barriers be used in an RV or mobile home?

A: For most RVs, no. The space between the driver’s seat and the rest of the vehicle is too large for these barriers to fill, and you’ll need to find another way to keep your dog where they should be on the move.

This solution will likely be a crate or harness. However you travel with your dog, be sure to take regular breaks to keep them comfortable.

Related Post: Best Dog Lift Harness

Related Post: Best Kayak for Dogs

Q: Will barrier leave an indent in my headliner?

A: With barriers that are wedged into place between your car’s ceiling and floor, marks in the headlining are a risk. Many models are designed to minimise this effect, however, with cups or caps that spread the pressure the bars exert more evenly.

If you do find irritating indentations on your hearliner, is can usually be replaced for between $180 and $200.

Q: Can I use the pet barrier with a panoramic sunroof?

A: In short, yes. However, you’ll need to purchase a vehicle-specific model rather than the adjustable versions on our list. This is because non-specific barriers have the potential to put undue pressure on the sunroof, and could even scratch the surface, or fail to grip properly.

Related Post: Best Motorcycle Dog Carrier

vehicle barrier for pets

Our Top Pick

For us, the best one available right now has to be Bushwhacker’s deluxe model. The barrier combines the strength of metal tubing with the aesthetics and improved visibility of mesh, providing an option that truly is the best of both worlds.

It’s easy to attach to front seat headrests, making for quick and simple installation. Additional straps that can be attached to the seat belt mount or car seat frame offer extra security, so you can rest assured your pet won’t be able to squeeze through to the driver’s seat. The barrier is lightweight, simple to install and remove, and can stand up to the assaults of virtually any energetic pet. With this handy device, you’ll never have to worry about your pooch riding shotgun uninvited again.

Related Post:Best Dog Motorcycle Helmets


  1. 10 Car Safety Items for Your Pet - PetMD
Nicole Ellis
Nicole Ellis
Nicole’s demeanour and positive-reinforcement based training helps drive great results for her celebrity pet clients. As a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Nicole is consistent using, testing and evaluating new dog products on the market. Nicole follows the latest trends in pet healthcare and is certified by both the Canine Good Citizen evaluator and the American Kennel Club.
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