If you’ve ever driven a car with your pooch in tow, you know how easy it is for them to weasel their way into the front. While this kind of behavior might be entertaining, an excitable dog is the last thing you need in the cab when you’re trying to drive. Distracted driving compromises not only your dog’s and your own safety, but also the safety of pedestrians and people in other cars. To keep both yourself and your pup safe on the road, a dog car barrier is a must-have. This nifty device will keep your pooch securely and comfortably restrained, helping you improve your focus while driving. To help you identify the best pet barrier for your needs, we reviewed dozens of different models, detailing our favorites down below. We hope that this selection, along with the handy FAQ section, will help you choose a car pet barrier that’s just right for you and your dog.
Kicking off our list is Bushwhacker, with their deluxe car pet 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 this durable mesh, and we wholeheartedly recommend it for those creative escape artists.
Deluxe dog barrier featuring durable mesh design
Scratch-resistant and durable
Mesh allows for proper air circulation
Lightweight metal tubing keeps the barrier firmly in place
56-inch width is suitable for sedans, trucks, and larger SUVs
This sturdy and adjustable pet barrier is the answer to a major conundrum that dog owners face on a daily basis: how to comfortably travel with their dog in tow but remain focused on the road? Made of high-quality steel wire, with a design that is perfect for almost every car out there, the Jumbl Pet Dog Barrier is sure to keep your pup safe in the cargo area, and give you and your passengers a piece of mind.
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. Importantly, the barrier doesn’t squeak and rattle while you drive as it stays tight to the headrests.
Designed to fit a variety of cars and SUV’s
Main panel with two adjustable side panels
Made of heavy-duty steel wire
Fitted with protective brace pads to guard against scuffing
It is completely see-through
The next dog guard for car to earn a spot on our top list is Walky’s adjustable barrier. This 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 as no tools required, so even the first-time buyers should no issues installing it. For smaller dogs who are can 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 both 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 headrests, unlike other spring-loaded models that put pressure on the floor and ceiling of a car and risk leaving marks.
Adjustable dog guard suitable for almost any car
Made from durable powder-coated steel bars
Easy to install through mounting on the front seat headrests
Optional mesh attachment available for purchase for smaller dogs
Installation method prevents the barrier from leaving marks in your car
MidWest’s pet gate for cars is another product that has really impressed us. This model keeps 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.
With a black e-coated finish that acts to cut glare, the barrier improves 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.
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; 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
The next pet barrier for cars to earn itself a spot on our list is High Road’s compact and functional mesh frame cover. Sturdy, secure and easy to set up, this is one of the best pet barriers for persistent escape artists. Because it features see-through mesh, the barrier blocks the front seats without blocking the view, improving your visibility and allowing your dog to see you from the back, reducing stress associated with riding.
The mesh barrier is supported by a sturdy metal 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 provides additional stability. The whole pet barrier is scratch- and chew-resistant, and can be positioned at various heights on the seatback by connecting to the headrests with adjustable straps.
Compact and functional mesh design that improves visibility
Supported by a steel frame and sturdy top panel
Easily attaches to the front headrests
Height is easy to adjust thanks to staps
Scratch and chew-resistant
The Dykeson dog car barrier is a comfortable, space-saving barrier choice for active puppy parents. By using a soft mesh barrier, you save yourself the hassle of setting up and taking down a cage on a regular basis, as well as saving yourself the trouble of storage. Where cage barriers can be more hardwearing, they are also bulky and can take up quite a bit of space. Whereas this design folds down nice and small and can be stored in the glovebox.
This is also a multi-functional design, with the dual-layered mesh acting as a storage space for loose items that like to roll around, such as bottles, snacks, and CDs. The ideal storage for a road trip, with easy access to your belongings without taking up any footwell space. It is made from a durable mash that can be stretched to fit a wide range of vehicles. The Dykeson dog car barrier is also quick and easy to install, without the need of any tools, simply the hooks and instructions provided.
A durable dual-mesh design for a soft but strong barrier.
A stretchable barrier design to fit a wide range of cars.
Includes hooks for easy and quick clip-on installation.
Dual-mesh design can also be used as storage between or on the back of the seats.
Space-saving with no bulky cages, and can be folded down small and put away.
PetSafe have made our list thanks to their sturdy and easy to use Solivt pet vehicle barrier. This durably designed gate keeps energetic dogs 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.
Conveniently, sections of the bars can be removed using Solvit’s unique Connect Clamps, for quick access to 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, while the tubberized caps on the top and bottom of the installation reduce ratting as you drive, prevent slippage, and help reduce the marks on your car’s upholstery.
Adjustable design; height from 32 to 49 inches, 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 on car upholstery
Connect Clamps allow sections of the bars to be removed for easy access to the cargo area on the go
For short journeys when your pooch is in the back of your car and you need to keep them out of the driving seat, this easy-to-fit mesh car dog barrier works a treat. Designed to fit most cars, the premise is simple but effective – a strong block net that hangs securely between the two front seats to create a clear barrier to keep your pooch out of the way.
The net is secured using four hooks you attach to the sides of your front car seats and headrest poles, and it stretches across the console gap. The mesh barrier is also pet safe, with an outer bungee cord covered with a protective layer so as to not hurt or catch on your dog’s mouth or claws. Plus, as the mesh is double-layered, it can also be used as a pocket for mobile phones or water bottles. Lightweight and easy to store when not in use, this is a handy pet gadget to have in your car when you need to be focused and your car-loving canine safely secured behind you.
See our round-up of the Best Dog Water Bottles.
Screens off the gap between your front seats
Made from soft yet durable mesh and bungee cord
Easily secures using four hooks attached to the seats
Double-layered mesh can also be used for storing items
Easy to remove and stow away
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, reducing 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 rearview mirror, without allowing playful pooches to squeeze through. Importantly, the barrier doesn’t budge once set up, making it the best option for pet parents on a budget.
Adjustable dog pet 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
Adapts to fit most SUV’s and vans
If you’re looking for an alternative to wired pet barriers, we recommend this mesh gate by Bushwhacker as it can definitely hold its own against the pressure of persistent pooches. Its scratch and tear-resistant screen leaves no room for pets to wiggle through while the car is in motion or otherwise.
At the core of this pet barrier’s design is a metal piping that 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. Since this is a mesh screen, there is plenty of air circulation for your pup to be comfortable during those long rides. The fact that it is incredibly easy to install wins an extra point for this functional pet screen.
Scratch and tear-resistant mesh barrier
Sturdy aluminum tubing frame
Fits perfectly with no gaps for mishaps
A great alternative to wire options
Attaches to the headrests with straps
And there you have it – some of the best pet barriers you can currently find on the market. But which one is right for you? And how can you get the most out of these useful safety devices? We answer these and many more questions in our handy buying guide below.
Which pet barrier you eventually select will depend very much upon the individual needs of you and your canine companion. Below are a few key factors to bear in mind when picking out the barrier that’s right for you:
The first thing to consider when buying a car dog barrier is whether it will fit your vehicle properly. 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.
Many pet 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 type of a barrier. 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 or last option on our list.
When choosing a pet barrier, you 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 for escape artists. 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 rearview mirror visibility slightly.
Using a car or SUV pet barrier has a number of benefits:
You may also like our guide on the Best Car Seats for Dogs.
How each barrier should be installed will depend on the make and model, and you should always consult the instructions included with the product. That said, there are two main installation methods:
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.
Pet barriers keep dogs safely and securely away from the front seats, helping prevent distracted driving. They can be used in isolation, or with additional safety precautions such as a dog cage for car or seat belt harness.
A: Pet 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:
However, you should avoid using pet 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.
A: For most RVs, no. The space between the driver’s seat and the rest of the vehicle is too large for the barrier to fill, so you’ll need to find another way to keep your dog where they should be on the move. This solution will likely be a pet crate or a dog harness. However, you travel with your dog, be sure to take regular breaks to keep them comfortable.
Read here our guides on Dog Crates for Truck Beds, and Portable Dog Fence for RV.
A: With pet 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 minimize this effect, however, with cups or caps that spread the pressure that the bars exert more evenly.
A: In short, yes. However, you’ll need to purchase a vehicle-specific model rather than some of the adjustable versions on our list. This is because non-specific pet barriers have the potential to put undue pressure on the sunroof, and could even scratch the surface, or fail to grip properly.
Take a look at our guide on the Best Motorcycle Dog Carrier.
While all pet barriers featured on our list are excellent products, our top has to be the 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. The barrier is 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 in the front uninvited again.
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.