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Car Seats

Best Car Seats for Yorkie Puppies & Dogs

And Why These Are So Important

Andy, at 2 years, 3 months, photo courtesy of Fanya 


If there is any purchase that you make that had a direct impact on your Yorkie's health to the degree of preventing serious injury and even death, it is a car seat.  

It's one of those things that some owners might pass over, thinking that perhaps a toy breed dog does not need; after all, it's just so easy to tuck a Yorkie onto your lap or have him snuggle by your side.

However, not placing your Yorkie in a certified canine car seat can lead to devastating results. 

In addition, if you obtain the right type, car seats play a huge role in helping to prevent motion sickness. 

How the Right Car Seat can Save Your Yorkie's Life

The chances that you'll be in a car accident may surprise you. In fact, it's impossible to say that it can't happen to you:
  • There are over 6,000,000 million vehicle accidents per year in the U.S. (both those that result in injury or fatality). This equates to 16,438 per day and 6,849 per hour. 
  • 25% of drivers are involved in some sort of accident every 5 years
  • Even if you are a great driver, this does not mean that it will not happen. 22% of accidents are due to weather and/or road conditions. This includes everything from fog to wet surfaces to snow and ice. You also have zero control over all of the other drivers around you.
  • And on that vein of thought, dogs allowed to be free in the car are distracting. A survey by AAA and Kurgo found that 23% of drivers that do not use a car seat for their pet regularly have to use a hand or arm to restrict a dog's movement when braking. 
Trying to save an unrestrained dog from impact is just about humanly impossible:

MSG Tech reports that in a high speed accident, 15 to 30 milliseconds after a crash, unrestrained passengers (both humans and dogs alike) impact into the inside of the vehicle. It is 70 to 300 milliseconds afterward that the driver will realize that the accident occurred. 
And pets can suffer terrible injuries or be fatally wounded, even in slow moving accidents.

If a dog is not in a car seat, the force of an accident will throw him (see above bullet point for how it may nearly impossible to hold him yourself depending on the speed) he will be subject to the crash force. 

This is the force at which an object will is thrown. While there are many variables, the basic math of this is force x speed = velocity. 
  • This means that going at 40 mph, a 7 lb. dog will be thrown with the force of a 280-pound object
  • At 50 mph, a 6 lb. dog will be thrown with the force of a 300-pound object
  • At highway speeds of 65, a tiny 5 lb. dog would be thrown with the force of a 325-pound object
And finally, trauma is the #1 leading cause of death for Yorkshire Terrier puppies and the 3rd cause of death for adults. A shocking 10.7% of Yorkshire Terriers die due to trauma, most of which can be avoided. This includes being hit by a car, being fatally injured while in a car as a passenger, being dropped, being stepped on, and more. 
Yorkie dogs in car seat
Jamus and Molly, 1 year old,
photo courtesy of Joann
If you would buckle up your child,
buckle up your Yorkie

Proper Car Seats can Ward off Motion Sickness

A huge factor in how sick a puppy or dog becomes when traveling is how his body and mind perceive the motion of driving. When the body feels movement, but the eyes do not see it (if a dog is huddled on your lap, etc.) this causes an imbalance that leads to feeling nauseous.

For this reason, if you obtain the right car seat for your Yorkie, it will both allow him to have line of sight and to be up closer to windows; these are both elements that can make being in the car much more pleasant and lower the chances of feeling dizzy and nauseous from motion sickness. 

The Best Car Seats for Yorkie Puppies and Dogs

Due to this breed's tiny stature, the same sort of canine car seat is best for both puppies and adults. 

A booster seat is the right choice. Here are some tips on what to look for:
  • Ease of installation - Some seats have the car's lap belt to run through the back of the seat. And most car booster seats are equipped with straps that then connect over and around the car's seat. This keeps it safe and secure. 
It must also have a buckle connector; this is a sturdy strap that goes from inside the seat itself to your Yorkie. Do NOT attach this to his collar, doing so can cause him to choke. It is to be connected to his harness. 
  • Proper sizing - For both safety and to help fend off nausea, you will want the seat to be small enough to offer a feeling of security, but also have room for a small blanket, a few favorite toys and a treat. 
  • Washable material - In case your Yorkie has an accident, makes a mess with treats and for everyday messes that just seem to appear, you'll want a washable cover. 
  • Look for a top-rated seat with high user ratings. While getting a cute one can be part of your plan, you'll also want to be sure that it is reliable and durable. 
  • Be wary of buying used car seats. Used seats often do not come with proper installation instructions, can be out-of-date meaning that they do not pass today's safety standards and may have internal broken parts that render the seat unsafe. 
  • If you have two dogs, you may want to opt for a two-pet bucket seat, so that they can stay together. 

Recommended Car Seats for Yorkies

Below are some top recommended car booster seats that are properly sized, are durable, washable and meet all of the safety standards. If you do not see the images, try a refresh. And on mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4. 

Car Seat Tips

Yorkie in a car booster seat
Sadie, photo courtesy of Gadie Whitaker
1) As mentioned earlier, but worth repeating, do not connect the inner canine seat buckle to your Yorkie's collar. With any sort of impact, this can cause terrible neck injuries or even death. The connector is meant to be clipped to your dog's harness (even if the photo on the product does not show this).

2) The safest spot to place the car seat is in the middle of the back seat. Understandably, many owners want their Yorkie up in front with them. 

If you opt to do that, it is recommended that you move the passenger seat as far back as it can go and that you disable any passenger air bags. Air bag deployment can cause serious injury to death both to small dogs and children. 

3) If your Yorkie is fussy about being in the car (and the car seat will indeed help with that for most puppies and dogs), you may want to reserve some fun toys only to be given when in the car. Just this alone can make a dog look forward to car trips. 

A Final Word

Please take the same safety precautions with your Yorkie that you would with a baby. Your dog depends on you to make the right choices and take all steps to keep him safe. With trauma being a leading cause of death for both Yorkie puppies and dogs, responsible ownership could dramatically reduce those numbers. 

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