11 Best Car Pet Barriers: Compare, Buy & Save (2018)

car pet barrier

These days, we have many distractions while driving. Smartphones are often the things taking our attention off the road, whether we’re using them for directions or music (or, let’s be honest, texting). A lot of cars have touchscreen infotainment units now, too, which are as handy as they are distracting. If you’re a pet owner, you have another potential distraction: Your dog or cat (or bird or ferret, etc.) trying to climb into your lap from the back seat.

As I always relate in these articles, I have three dogs, all pix mixes between 50 and 70 pounds. Only one of them respects the rules and remains in the backseat for the duration of any given drive. But even he will sometimes stand on the center console for a better view if given the opportunity. The other two? No chance. My young husky is especially bad at car travel and never sits still. My blue nose can’t stand to be even a foot away from us at any given time, so he would strongly prefer to ride in the front seat.

That means I’ve had to invest in a barrier to corral them. There are several different types out there, each suited to a different kind of dog, vehicle, or lifestyle. If your dog is particularly persistent or destructive, you’ll want to go for something with a metal frame. If your dog is relatively gentle and you just want to keep them safe, something mesh will do the trick.

Sometimes, a seat cover may extend high enough to create a barrier, but generally speaking, that’s not what they’re meant to do. Seat covers tend to be softer and lack the necessary structure that some of these other options provide. To fully outfit your car, you’ll want one of each. Still, though, in the case of small or gentle dogs, you might be able to get away with just the seat cover. For everyone else, read on.

Dog may be your co-pilot, but for safety’s sake, they should ride in the back. To that end, we strongly recommend that in addition to a barrier, you also buy a car harness of some sort. These are leash attachment points that keep your dog safely connected to the back seat. Some attach to the latch bars inside the seat, like this Leashboss option, while others connect to the seat belt receiver, like this Vastar model. We’ll update this in the future with a link to a full post of car harnesses.

Here are the best car pet barriers and dividers to keep your pup where they belong on car rides.


1. MidWest Pet Wire Mesh Car Pet Barrier

MidWest Pet Wire Mesh Car Pet Barrier

MidWest Homes for Pets

If you have your dog in your car all the time, or perhaps often transport animals you don’t know, you’ll want to look into something pretty substantial to perform this job. This model is one of the most common for this purpose, utilizing a mixture of five and nine gauge wire to form a durable metal mesh barrier. The support rods are shipped inside the frame itself, so it’s a relatively quick job to adjust the height to work with your vehicle.

The sides are adjustable as well and will fit the majority of crossovers, hatchbacks, and SUVs. The mesh is finished in satin black to reduce glare while driving. True, it does make your car look a little bit more like a police cruiser than you’d probably like, but you can be sure your dog will remain in the backseat or cargo area at all times.

MidWest also makes the tubular-style barrier, but more on that in a moment.

Price: $43.56 (5 percent off MSRP)

Buy the MidWest Pet Wire Mesh Car Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Widely adjustable to fit more vehicles
  • Rubber molding around exterior protects surfaces of your car
  • Minimal visibility obstruction

Cons:

  • Somewhat tricky installation
  • May not fit all cars perfectly
  • May be incompatible with plastic cargo trays
  • Some issues with rattling

Find more MidWest Pet Wire Mesh Car Barrier information and reviews here.


2. Kurgo Backseat Car Pet Barrier

Kurgo Backseat Car Pet Barrier

Kurgo

This all-purpose option from Kurgo splits the difference on a lot of designs you’ll see both on this list and elsewhere. It’s a fairly large barrier meant specifically to close up the gap between the seats. The large size and long straps mean it will work for a very wide variety of vehicles. As a matter of fact, this is the one I use in my Subaru Crosstrek to contain my three hellions.

Once installed, it’s very easy to live with, though the initial installation took a little bit of figuring out because of those long straps. Though my husky sometimes likes to invite himself into the front either by squeezing through the sides or over the top, this is very rare and has cut down our near-accidents considerably.

There are metal supports around the edges, which is both good and bad; the good part is that it helps maintain shape, though these metal rods occasionally tear free. This should be covered by Kurgo’s warranty, however, and in the year and a half I’ve been using it, I haven’t noticed any such issue. On the whole, I’m happy with it.

Price: $40.49

Buy the Kurgo Backseat Dog Car Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Universal fit
  • Relatively easy installation
  • Flexible enough for varied seat configurations
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Doesn’t extend to the sides
  • Some dogs may climb over it
  • Strap length requires some adjustment the first time
  • Metal supports occasionally rip through material

Find more Kurgo Backseat Dog Car Barrier information and reviews here.


3. PetSafe Solvit Tubular Car Pet Barrier

PetSafe Solvit Tubular Car Pet Barrier

Solvit

As I said above, the tubular style of barriers provides a different solution to the issue of durability with non-metal versions. Unlike the wire mesh, the visibility with these is just a bit better, while the quick disconnect clamps make it easy to remove it when not in use. This particular model expands to fit openings 32 to 49 inches high and 33 to 57 inches wide. This probably won’t do the job in minivans and the largest of SUVs, but should work just find in crossovers and hatchbacks.

Price: $49.28

Buy the PetSafe Solvit Tubular Car Pet Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Sturdy metal construction
  • Rubberized parts cut down on rattling noises
  • Easy to remove
  • Adjustable

Cons:

  • Somewhat tricky assembly
  • May not tighten enough to contain persistent dogs
  • Not large enough for minivans

Find more PetSafe Solvit Tubular Car Pet Barrier information and reviews here.


4. Highland Black Universal Pet Barrier

Highland Black Universal Pet Barrier

Highland

For another take on the tubular design, consider this model. Compared to the Solvit above, it’s a little less complicated and wider overall. It can be adjusted to 45 inches tall and 65 inches wide. If you need it to be taller, you can buy an extension kit. Like the Solvit, though, it won’t stand up to dogs who are determined to push it over, but still makes a nice lightweight option for most dogs.

There’s a very similar Reese Explore option that is cheaper for Amazon Prime members at the time of this writing, but the Highland one has a deeper history of reviews for you to consider before buying.

Need more options? Browse more dog car travel items here.

Price: $39.95

Buy the Highland Black Universal Pet Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Easy assembly
  • Low noise and rattling
  • Larger than other options with an extension kit available
  • Doesn’t hinder visibility

Cons:

  • May not tighten enough to contain persistent dogs
  • Lackluster installation instructions
  • Text here
  • Text here

Find more Highland Black Universal Pet Barrier information and reviews here.



5. Alfie Pet by Petoga Couture Darby Car Net Mesh Barrier

Alfie Pet by Petoga Couture Darby Car Net Mesh Barrier

Alfie Pet

If you have a small or reasonably well behaved dog, you might be able to get by with something very simple — and therefore cheap. This mesh net barrier is very similar to the cargo nets some SUVs come with for groceries. Simply clip the straps wherever they’ll hold and stretch it across the opening between the seats. Super easy to use and worth it if your dog just needs a gentle reminder to stay off the center console.

Price: $10.99

Buy the Alfie Pet by Petoga Couture Darby Car Net Mesh Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Very simple to install
  • Cheap and cheerful option
  • Very flexible and stretchy
  • Likely to provide some benefit in almost any vehicle

Cons:

  • Not enough for most dogs
  • Larger dogs likely to jump over it

Find more Alfie Pet by Petoga Couture Darby Car Net Mesh Barrier information and reviews here.


6. Solvit Front Seat Net Pet Barrier

Solvit Front Seat Net Pet Barrier

Solvit

Another simple and relatively inexpensive solution, this barrier will work best for dogs who just need the visual cue to remain in the backseat. This is very light and can be twisted down for storage, which has the side effect of not being as durable as some other options.

You should consider this one if your dog is well behaved for the most part but occasionally obstructs your view by standing on the center console or sneaking into the front seat. For a lot of dogs, this will be enough, but if you’ve got a bruiser like my boys, you’ll probably want something more substantial.

Price: $19.95 (8 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Solvit Front Seat Net Pet Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • Metal coil frame folds down for easy storage
  • Ample coverage area
  • Text here

Cons:

  • May contain persistent dogs
  • Hinders visibility somewhat
  • Plastic center rod may snap
  • Works best in vehicles with a tall center console

Find more Solvit Front Seat Net Pet Barrier information and reviews here.


7. Bergan Pet Travel Barrier

Bergan Pet Travel Barrier

Bergan

Again for mostly well-behaved dogs, this barrier focuses on maintaining clear line-of-sight for the driver and proper ventilation for the pup. The mesh screens won’t block air conditioning or heating from reaching the back seat as some more full-coverage options might. The top seam can be pulled tight and creates a very effective barrier for the most part. Again, if your dog is destructive, you’ll want to look to the metal options.

This is great for catching your dog during a hard stop and will work perfectly on combination with a harness. For a few dollars less, you could also try this Lifepul option.

Price: $17.99 (13 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Bergan Pet Travel Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • No visibility obstruction
  • Ventilation window
  • Flexible enough for varied seat configurations

Cons:

  • Some dogs will be tempted to go over the top of it
  • Thin mesh sections may be easily torn
  • Not the largest option on the market

Find more Bergan Pet Travel Barrier information and reviews here.


8. Bushwhacker Paws n Claws Deluxe Dog Barrier

Bushwhacker Paws n Claws Deluxe Dog Barrier

Bushwacker

This option offers a combination of the strength of metal with the rattle-free advantages of fabric. This is a full-coverage unit that even provides a barrier on the sides where others might not. A half inch metal bar forms the outside frame, reinforcing the overall strength and preventing dogs from trying to sneak around the edges. The mesh may still tear, but this is certainly an improvement over the mesh-only options.

They make it in both this 50 inch size for most cars and SUVs, as well as a 56 inch model for larger vehicles.

Price: $69.95

Buy the Bushwhacker Paws n Claws Deluxe Dog Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Full coverage for most vehicles
  • Half inch metal tubing frame prevents escape
  • Durable screen material

Cons:

  • Not adjustable
  • Screen can tear
  • More difficult to remove frequently

Find more Bushwhacker Paws n Claws Deluxe Dog Barrier information and reviews here.


9. Travall Guard Pet Barrier

Travall Guard Pet Barrier

Travall

If none of these cheaper, more flexible options will work for your very determined dog, you’ll have to look into something a bit more custom and higher end. Though expensive, these Travall barriers fit perfectly into the space in your specific vehicle, providing no gaps through which your dog can sneak. The all-steel construction means that they can make a hobby of chewing on or clawing at it without causing any damage.

Simply match the model to your model of car and you’ll be good to go. The wire is thin enough that any obstruction to your view should be minimal, although this does have quite a severe cage look. Still, with the custom fit, these look like they came with your vehicle. Most hatchbacks, SUVs, and trucks are covered, but be sure to choose your proper model year when you buy.

Price: $120 to $305

Buy the Travall Guard Pet Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Custom fit to your car
  • Ultra durable steel construction
  • Relatively quick and easy installation
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Pricy
  • Subject to availability for your specific car model
  • Assembly instructions somewhat lacking

Find more Travall Guard Pet Barrier information and reviews here.


10. Zone Tech Pet Car Net Barrier

Zone Tech Pet Car Net Barrier

Zone Tech

This simple option addresses a problem often seen in other net-style barriers: they aren’t tall enough. A lot of them don’t extend close enough to the car ceiling or the floor, which means your dog will find away over or under it. Now, true, this won’t do anything for a dog who wants to just go through it, but it’s a very inexpensive option that will keep your dog from whining directly into your ear as you drive.

It’s very easy to install and remove, of course. It’s basically the polar opposite of the Travall above, but addresses a specific slice of the market just looking for something large enough.

Price: $16.75

Buy the Zone Tech Pet Car Net Barrier here.


Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Full coverage on most vehicles
  • Taller than many options
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Very thin
  • Definitely won’t work on destructive dogs
  • Text here
  • Text here

Find more Zone Tech Pet Car Net Barrier information and reviews here.


11. Zoie + Chloe Car & Truck Window Pet Gate

zoie & chloe car window pet gate

Zoie & Chloe

In addition to a barrier to keep your dog out of the front of the car, you might also want to keep them inside the car when the windows are down. We all know the horror stories of leaving your dog in a car with the windows up in warm weather. This product will alleviate that concern, without causing another issue of either escape or random strangers reaching into your vehicle. Some dogs are relentless about hanging their heads out the window while you’re driving, which is both dangerous and not altogether that good for them.

This is a simple collapsible barrier that fits into your window tracks. It expands to fit most applications, though particularly long windows will results in a relatively small opening. For the average car, though, this is a novel solution that will solve another problem of traveling in cars with dogs.

Price: $9.99 to $10.99

Buy the Zoie + Chloe Car & Truck Window Pet Gate here.


Pros:

  • Great for venting
  • Keeps your dog’s head inside the vehicle
  • Folds up flat
  • Made of sturdy polypropylene

Cons:

  • Must be combined with another option on this list
  • May not work in vehicles with curved windows
  • May be shorter than some windows require
  • Window must still be rolled up most of the way

Find more Zoie + Chloe Car & Truck Window Pet Gate information and reviews here.


See Also:


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