Staycationing in the UK is ideal for many of us who own pets because it means more often than not they can come along on the car journey.
Even if you're not going on your holidays, taking your dog on a long walk or visiting friends means they need to be comfortable and secure in the car so a travel bed is a necessity.
Whether you choose to opt for a dog crate or cage in your car to keep your dog secure, or your boot seats are high enough that your dog can't jump over them, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to a portable dog bed that you can sling in the back of your car.
Can my dog travel in the car?
Yes, dogs are allowed to travel in cars but they need to be secure. It's a legal requirement to make sure your dog is restrained when they’re in the car so they can't distract you while you're driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly.
There are several pet safety travel products you can use to make sure they are comfortably restrained like a seat belt harness or a specially-designed lead that can be attached to a headrest or your car seat belt.
Some may prefer to opt for a dog guard to separate your boot from the seat, a dog car crate, or a dog cage for car travel.
We've selected options that will suit all breeds, whether you're looking for a travel dog bed, a dog booster seat for your car, or a roll-up mat that can double up as a bed for whenever your pooch needs proper rest.
The best travel dog beds
If you're looking for an option to soothe your dog while on a car journey, a travel dog bed is a good pick because it's the closest style to their bed at home.
When it comes to what features to look out for consider a bed that is waterproof or water-resistant, lightweight and easy to clean.
Chuckit Travel Bed
The Chuckit! Travel bed is a pretty popular dog bed and great for popping in your boot for the car journey. It has durable nylon ripstop to prevent any tears from claws and is still comfortable for your dog thanks to its plush quilted top. It is fairly large so has more than enough space for larger breeds, but rolls up and fits in a travel bag for compact storage.
Quilted bed with double sided offset quilted design
Poly suede upper material for comfort with nylon ripstop base for durability
Supplied with a portable stuff sack
Suits small to large breeds
Size: 99.1 x 76.2 x 7.6 cm
Review: "Really pleased with it. A pricier item but it's definitely reflected in the quality - it has the feel of a really good quality plush sleeping bag and our dog slept happily on it (along with her blankets on top) for the last two nights away. Also, the way it packs straight into the carry bag is excellent."
Floral Travel Pet Bed
Your dog will travel in style in this floral print travel dog bed from Joules. Even though it will mostly be for the back of your car boot, you may end up needing to use it on location, so it doubles up perfectly as a portable bed.
One side hardwearing canvas
One side soft fleece
Suitable for all breeds
Size: 91cm x 68cm
Review: "This dog bed is perfect for travel, beautiful in design and plush and soft. It can be folded for puppies and spread out on car seats. I love it!"
Ismael Dog Oval Waterproof Softee Bed
If you tend to go on regular muddy walks, this is the ideal bed to store in your boot because it's fully waterproof. It's also covered in a heavy-duty, hard-wearing, 100 per cent polyester waterproof material treated with a water-repellant coating that is easy to keep clean. It's sturdier and a little heavier than the other beds but is relatively easy to swap from the boot to your vacation spot.
Easy to keep clean
Heavy duty hard wearing 100 per cent polyester waterproof material
Thick base cushion is removable for easy separate cleaning
Bonded thermal polyester fibre filling for insulation
Elevated bolster cushion
Size: M 61cm W x 51c m D x 22cm H/ L 76cm W x 64cm D x 24cm H / Jumbo 97cm W x 74cm D x 25cm H
Review: "Lovely olive green colour, perfect size for a medium to large dog, durable fabric that’s water-resistant and very easy to clean, and the cushion is comfortable for the pooch to lay on."
Danish Design Boot Bed Large
A basic dog bed that is designed for the boot thanks to its fold-down flap that helps protect your car. It's also heavy-duty and waterproof, so any dirty pups climbing in the back will be able to get comfy without making a mess.
Heavy-duty waterproof fabric
Removable car bumper protector, with easy fit Velcro fastening
Soft padded base for extra comfort
Simply wipe clean with a damp cloth
Size: 80 x 60 x 17cm / 100 x 78 x 21cm
The best travel mats for dogs
A travel mat is a great portable choice because when it's not in use you can roll them up or stash them away out of sight.
They don't take up much space and easy to transfer to your vacation location or even a picnic.
Petface Outdoor Paws Travel Mat
A roll-up mat is a truly portable option for your dog, as it makes it easy to pop in the carry case and keep in your car when needed. It's also water-resistant and quilted, so won't soak through into the boot of your car. You don't need to break the bank for this budget pick.
Suitable for small, medium and large sized dogs
Manufacturer's 1 year guarantee
Size: H112 x W68 x D2cm.
Review: "Really great quality. Rolls up really neatly making it portable in the little carry bag."
The Picnic Pad Travel Dog Mat
We love this because it's handmade in the UK by a small business; DesignedforDogs. Pick your pattern from tweed, tartan, bee, hare, Dachshund, or dotty and then add your colour choice and your very own Picnic Pad will be on its way to you. It's had rave reviews from happy customers who said the mat is perfect for travelling, whether it's a trip to the pub to sit outdoors, or further afield.
Six patterns and multiple colour ways
Machine wash and line dry
Size: S 17" x 23" / M 20" x 29" / L 23" x 35"
Review: "Fantastic product! The quality is impeccable and the pad is perfect for indoor use too. My puppy definitely needs to grow a bit more but he loves his mat!"
House Of Paws Navy Water Resistant Crate Mat
If you've opted for a crate to go in the back of your boot, this water-resistant crate mat will work perfectly to go inside. However, you can definitely use the mat on its own to pad out your boot as it has plenty of cushioning for your dog for the car journey. It's also durable enough to be used outside.
Size: L 72cm x W 52cm x H 5cm
All For Paws Chill Out Fresh Breeze Mat
It can heat up pretty quickly in the boot of your car in warmer weather, so this cool mat works perfectly to keep your dog chilled out while travelling. It's a springy plastic noodle mattress that allows air to flow through, making it both comfortable and refreshing to lie on.
Removable zip fastened cover which is machine washable in cold water
Size: Medium L 75 x W 50 x H 6 / Small L 36 x W 50 x H 6cm
The best dog bed car seat
A dog booster seat attaches to your car seat rather than in the boot, so likely to suit small to medium breeds that will settle easily.
If a dog seat isn't for you, a seat cover will also protect your car from dog hairs and dirt.
Kurgo Heather Dog Booster Seat
Your dog will be able to watch the world go by in this Kurgo booster seat. They'll be able to look out of the window at their pleasure, as the seat is attached to the car on a slight elevation. It's waterproof and also fleece-lined so still comfortable for your dog to sit in. And there's a fastening so you can secure your pooch via their harness.
Holds up to 30lb dog
Easy and quick install
Metal supports for structural integrity
Collapsible for easy storage
Adjustable seat belt tether easily attaches to all dog harnesses
Machine washable liner with reversible pad to keep the seat clean
Size: H42.55 x W7.3 x D37.15cm
Review: "Easy to fit and really easy to take out and throw in the washing machine. My dog settles so much better in this seat as he can see out of the car windows."
Personalised Dog Car Booster Seat
Take it up a notch with this personalised dog bed that you can customise with your beloved pet's name. It comes in a chic dark grey shade so won't clash with most car interiors and still add a luxury feel. It attaches to the car seat's headrest and has foam-cushioned sides that provide a sturdy base for your pet.
Includes adjustable seat belt
UV protection against fabric fading
Size: Internal 40 cm x 45 cm x 15 cm / External: 50 cm x 55 cm
Kurgo Dog Hammock for Back Seat of Car
Another Kurgo product that comes highly recommended is the dog hammock to cover the back seat of your car. If you're not looking to get an individual dog booster seat, a dog seat cover will protect your seats and prevent hair from getting everywhere. It's also waterproof and made from durable ripstop fabric and has zippered openings for access to seatbelts. It slips over your car seats and has blocks access to the front seats so your dog won't distract you as much while driving.
Durable water and stain-resistant
Nylon ripstop material
Zippered openings for seat belts
Machine wash cold on gentle cycle
Size: W140 x L142 cm
Review: "I originally purchased the regular Kurgo Loft Car seat cover for my other car and when in the market for a second, found this hammock style. The hammock style really makes a difference in preventing my curious, affectionate dog from distracting me while I drive. The clips are strong and secure. The quilted satiny fabric seems durable and the bright blue is refreshing and energising. I recently had a flea infestation and washed everything my dog ever touched - it was a mess and I tossed this seat cover into the wash without even reading the care instructions (don't recommend usually), put this on the allergy cycle and it came out just as nice. I am impressed!"
Pets at Home Car Seat Mat
Keep things simple and opt for a car seat mat that hooks over the headrest and protects your car from dirty paws. You will still need to keep your pet suitably restrained, so fastening the seatbelt to your dog's harness will keep them secure while you're driving.
Fully machine washable to reduce bacteria build up
Hooks around the headrest
Suitable for most car seats
Size: D0.8 x W57 x L140cm
Review: "Fits easily and well. Dog loves it. Can be removed easily to either brush any dirt off or hoover. Would recommend."