Rear Seat Extenders: Best Solid Dog Platforms for Your Car or Truck

back seat dog platform

We are avid campers and, of course, our dogs go everywhere with us.  That’s one of the reasons I think that safe and comfortable transportation for our pets is so important.

Table of Contents

The best back seat bridge for dogs is not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you want to skip reading the article and get right to the meat, here are the top picks:

Best Back Seat Extenders for Dogs – Summary

Title
Made in USA
DogShell® Car / SUV Dog Pet Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover Extended Platform Bridge
Lifetime Warranty
PetDek – Vehicle Rear Seat Shelf with Non-Sliding Carpet for Pets
Excellent Budget Model
Frontpet Back Seat Extender for Dogs – Backseat Pet Bridge Platform, Water Resistant Filler Wedge for Dogs, Universal Fit Pet Shelf, SUV and Full Sized Sedan
Preview
DogShell® Car / SUV Dog Pet Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover Extended Platform Bridge
PetDek - Vehicle Rear Seat Shelf with Non-Sliding Carpet for Pets
Frontpet Back Seat Extender for Dogs - Backseat Pet Bridge Platform, Water Resistant Filler Wedge for Dogs, Universal Fit Pet Shelf, SUV and Full Sized Sedan
Prime Status
Made in USA
Title
DogShell® Car / SUV Dog Pet Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover Extended Platform Bridge
Preview
DogShell® Car / SUV Dog Pet Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover Extended Platform Bridge
Prime Status
Check Price
Lifetime Warranty
Title
PetDek – Vehicle Rear Seat Shelf with Non-Sliding Carpet for Pets
Preview
PetDek - Vehicle Rear Seat Shelf with Non-Sliding Carpet for Pets
Prime Status
Check Price
Excellent Budget Model
Title
Frontpet Back Seat Extender for Dogs – Backseat Pet Bridge Platform, Water Resistant Filler Wedge for Dogs, Universal Fit Pet Shelf, SUV and Full Sized Sedan
Preview
Frontpet Back Seat Extender for Dogs - Backseat Pet Bridge Platform, Water Resistant Filler Wedge for Dogs, Universal Fit Pet Shelf, SUV and Full Sized Sedan
Prime Status
Check Price

DIY Back Seat Dog Platform

My original tow vehicle was a Ford Explorer Sport Trac.  We had a small pop-up camper and that truck was perfect for towing that little thing. 

Sport Trac Towing a Pop Up Camper
My Old Sport Trac and Pop Up Camper Setup

It also had the best design for a rear seat.  Both seat backs folded flat to create one solid platform for our two dogs to travel on.  The seat backs were carpeted and completely covered the footwell areas behind the front seats. 

Explorer Sport Trac Back Seat for Dogs
The Sport Trac had an outstanding back seat design for Dogs

When we upgraded to a larger travel trailer, we also had to upgrade our tow vehicle to a full-size, double cab (crew cab) truck.  I searched and searched for a back seat that would function the same as my old Sport Trac.  It seems that most larger trucks with extended cabs have back seats that fold up from the floor.  This works well for cargo but does not really make a good, solid platform to transport pets.

I ended up purchasing a used 2007 Toyota Tundra and came up with a DIY dog platform for the truck’s back seat.  It is carpeted and splits into 2 sections so one section becomes a step for our older dog.  She’s a little too old to be jumping up into the back of the truck.

This might be a great option if you have a dog with hip problems. If that’s the case there are also a lot of options to help you safely lift a dog with hip dysplasia.

DIY Dog Bed Platform in Toyota Tundra
DIY Dog Bed Platform in My Tundra

At the time, the only products sold for pets riding in the back seat of any vehicle were the soft, fabric dog hammocks that attach between the headrests of the front and back seats.  This is a great option to protect the seats and keep dogs from falling down into the floorboard, footwell area but did not give me the large surface area that a well-designed platform did.

So, my quest began for the best, solid back seat extenders and platforms for cars and trucks.

My Personal Choice:

DogShell® Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover

DogShell® Car / SUV Dog Pet Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover Extended Platform Bridge
  • High quality backseat cover adjustable to fit all cars and SUVs, with 8 adjustable anchor points stability design.

This is the one I own and I love it. I keep it in my Toyota Prius all the time for those last-minute trips to the dog park.

I was able to get it into the small back seat without any modification to the platform and I can comfortably transport my 2 dogs without any problems.

It’s, obviously, made for a much larger seat so the fabric is a little loose. However, being able to move it from my small car to my truck without any modifications is perfect.

The DogShell brand seat platform comes in at the top price in our reviews but has great features that we really like:

  • It’s Made in the USA in California
  • The platform is made of replaceable plywood for a custom fit
  • Made of heavy duty 1200 denier waterproof polyester fabric with easy soap and water clean up
  • The connectors are metal carabiners, not plastic buckles
  • They also sell a piece to cover the gap between the captain’s chairs

Don’t Forget Your Harness

For safety while travelling, it is recommended that dogs be tethered between the seat belt (or other anchor point) and their harness.

If you haven’t seen it yet, we also reviewed harnesses. Click here to see our best dog harnesses.

Here are some additional questions to consider:

What is a Back Seat Extender for Pets?

A dog back seat extender is a product that is designed to increase the amount of space in a car for dogs. It is a device that helps dogs occupy the entire backseat of a car, truck, or SUV. The extender attaches to the back of the front seats and creates a space for the dog to sit or relax.

Dog back seat extenders are often marketed to pet owners who have multiple pets.

These platforms come in various sizes and are typically attached using straps or buckles.

Why Do You Need a Dog Back Seat Extender?

A dog back seat extender is needed to provide a safe and comfortable ride for your dog while driving. The extender will keep your pet from slipping or falling while the car is in motion and will also protect your car seats from being damaged by your pet’s hair and nails.

A dog back seat extender can improve safety for both you and your dog by covering and filling the gap between the front and back seats.

What are the Benefits of Using a Back Seat Folding Dog Platform?

  • It can help to keep your car clean by giving your dog a designated area to sit.
  • It can also help to keep your dog safe by keeping them in the back seat and not distracting the driver.
  • Dog back seat extenders may also provide a sense of security for pets who are prone to anxiety or stress in cars.
  • Dogs can safely ride in a car with a properly fitted dog seat deck.
  • Backseat dog bridges provide extra space for large dogs in cars or trucks.

How Does a Dog Back Seat Extender Work?

These platforms are designed to help keep your pet safe while you are driving. The extender attaches to the back seat of your car and creates a space for your pet to sit that is separate from the main area of the car. This helps to keep your pet safe in the event of an accident.

The extender is usually made from waterproof fabric and includes straps that secure it to the seat.

It is made from durable, heavy-duty material that will withstand use by large dogs.

What are the Different Types of Dog Back Seat Covers?

There are several types of dog back seat extensions, but the most common are the hammock-style and the bench-style.

Hammock-Style Seat Cover

This pet seat cover hangs between the front and back seats and usually attaches to the headrests with buckles and straps.  It is typically made of a soft, flexible material.  It is a secure way for dogs to travel in your truck or car but limits the amount of flat surface they have to stand on.

Bench-Style Seat Extension

This sits on the back seat like a bench.  It is rigid and creates one solid platform that covers the seats and also spans the open space over the floorboards behind the front seats.  This is ideal because your dog has a much larger area to relax on during those long trips.

How to Choose the Best Dog Back Seat Extension for Your Car or Truck

There are a few things you should consider when choosing the best dog back seat extension for your car or truck:

  • The size of your vehicle – Measure carefully!
  • The size of your dog The type of vehicle – Do you have a large crew cab truck or a small hybrid?
  • The type of extension – Do you want a solid platform protecting your back seat or a fabric sling?

Tips for Choosing the Best Back Seat Cover for Your Dog

The best dog back seat extension for your car or truck is a product that covers the back seat footwell and provides ample space for your pet to relax while traveling.

It will be designed to fit most cars and SUVs.

The best dog back seat platform is made with a solid, rigid base that maximizes backseat space, as well as provides a sturdy and secure footing for pets.

Backseat dog bridges should be water-resistant and fit well between seats.

There are a variety of backseat dog bridges available, with different features and prices.  Check around and see what will work best for your vehicle and situation.

Should I Put my Dog in the Front or Back Seat?

The safest place for a dog is usually in the backseat of a car when traveling long or short distances.  Dogs should be placed in the back seat to avoid interfering and distracting the driver in the front seat.  More importantly, the dog can be severely injured or killed during a collision if impacted by the vehicle’s airbag.

If you must keep your dog in the front seat, make sure they are securely tethered from their harness to the seat belt.

Can a Dog Be in the Backseat of a Car?

Dogs can be in the backseat of a car, but they should be restrained in some way. There are specific dog car seat covers that allow for this.

Dog car seat covers should always be used when transporting a dog in the backseat of a car, as they protect the seats from damage, moisture. and debris.

If you transport your dog in the backseat of your car, make sure he has enough room to move around and that he is restrained safely using a safety harness and tether system.

Car Vacuum for Dog Hair

One final thing before you go…

Do you have a car vacuum for all that dog hair? Check out our reviews for the best vacuum.