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Which dog barrier is best?

Dogs are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t. One such place is the front seat of your vehicle. When driving, an unrestrained dog can be a massive safety hazard for both you and your pet. Having to handle your dog while driving is highly distracting and can lead to an accident. Additionally, if your dog is not properly secured in the event of an accident, it could sustain serious injury. That is why installing a quality dog barrier in your vehicle is essential.

The top choice, the Bushwhaker Deluxe Dog Barrier, acts as a strong restraint for dogs, extending from the roof of the vehicle to mid-seat.

What to know before you buy a dog barrier


For a dog barrier to be effective, it must use a material that will fully restrain your dog. Nearly all barrier designs will be sufficient for small dogs and those who don’t chew on fabric.

Individuals with medium to large-sized dogs, especially heavy chewers, should forgo mesh barriers that cover only part of the seat. Since the objective is to keep your pup restrained with no intervention on your part, weaker barriers will not hold up. In instances like these, select a barrier that is plastic or metal. However, larger mesh barriers may still be effective if they are reinforced with plastic or metal.


The height of your chosen dog barrier is another critical consideration. The option you select will depend largely on your dog’s size, the size of your vehicle and where your dog typically rides in your vehicle. 

For example, dogs who ride in the back seat and are persistent in their efforts to jump into the front seat should be contained by a tall barrier that provides ample coverage.

Type of vehicle

After perusing the top dog barrier options, you’ll quickly notice that the type of vehicle you drive matters. If you own an SUV, minivan or another spacious vehicle, the barrier you choose will need to be larger to provide complete coverage. 

Guarantee that you’re ordering the appropriate size by comparing your vehicle’s interior measurements to the measurements of top-rated dog barriers. Trying to guess what size you need based on the product pictures is not always an effective method.

What to look for in a quality dog barrier

Not easily destroyed

Dogs cannot easily destroy quality dog barriers. Whether your dog rattles it with their paws or tries to break loose by chewing it, well-made dog barriers will withstand any challenge.

It is important to note that this is true only when you’ve selected the correct barrier for your dog’s size and needs. Obviously, if you’ve chosen a model suited to small breeds, yet your dog is a Great Dane and over 100 pounds, the barrier will likely break since it is not appropriately sized.

Full containment

Some people hold the misconception that vehicle barriers are meant to contain dogs partially. This is definitely not the case for quality barriers. If you still have to work to prevent your dog from jumping into the front seat, you are still experiencing a potentially dangerous level of distraction. The right barrier will provide complete containment and allow you to keep your eyes and attention on the road.


On top of being resistant to wear and tear from your dog, vehicle barriers are also durable enough to last for years. They do not break or fall apart easily, even with regular use.


If you’re planning to have the same dog barrier for several years, you’ll likely need to use it in multiple vehicles. Adjustable barriers allow you to create the perfect fit across vehicle makes and models.

How much you can expect to spend on a dog barrier

When buying a dog barrier for your vehicle, expect to spend $16-$90.

Dog barrier FAQ

I have multiple dogs. How do I know which barrier is best?

A. If you plan on traveling with multiple dogs in your back seat, always choose a barrier that will hold up to your strongest and largest dog. Buying a heavier duty barrier than what one of your dogs needs never hurts.

Do all dog barriers feature a universal fit?

A. No. While most models fit the vast majority of vehicle styles and sizes, some do not. This is especially true with metal barriers designed for the trunk area of a large vehicle. Always check measurements and sizing recommendations before making your purchase.

What’s the best dog barrier to buy?

Top dog barrier

Bushwhaker Deluxe Dog Barrier

Bushwhaker Deluxe Dog Barrier

What you need to know: This roof to mid-seat barrier makes a heavy-duty barricade that can keep any size dog safe and secure.

What you’ll love: Reinforced with aluminum bars, this full-coverage barrier prevents dogs from jumping into the front seat. It is compatible with most cars, SUVs and other large vehicles. The mesh screen keeps air flowing from the air conditioner and heater vents.

What you should consider: It does not provide a universal fit for all vehicles.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dog barrier for the money

DYKESON Dog Car Net Barrier

DYKESON Dog Car Net Barrier

What you need to know: Simple to install and budget-friendly, the DYKESON Dog Car Net Barrier effectively keeps small to medium-sized dogs in the back seat.

What you’ll love: Designed to fit almost every vehicle make and model, you can install this dog barrier within minutes. It attaches to the front headrests with included hooks. The net uses a thick, dual-mesh design.

What you should consider: Larger dogs can jump and climb over the net.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pawple Dog Car Barrier

Pawple Dog Car Barrier

What you need to know: Providing a universal fit for SUVs and cars, including hatchbacks, this metal barrier creates the strongest barricade available.

What you’ll love: Ideal for dogs who ride in the rear trunk of the vehicle, this incredibly strong and durable barrier can contain dogs of any size. No tools are required to install this model. It is made from steel and you can easily install or remove it.

What you should consider: Some individuals report that the straps exert significant pressure on the headrests.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Valerie Jacobsen writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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