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.

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 Pet Car Barrier, Universal Fit, Trucks, SUVs, and Full Sized Sedans, With Storage Pocket
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 Pet Car Barrier, Universal Fit, Trucks, SUVs, and Full Sized Sedans, With Storage Pocket
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 Pet Car Barrier, Universal Fit, Trucks, SUVs, and Full Sized Sedans, With Storage Pocket
Preview
Frontpet Back seat Extender for Dogs - Backseat Pet Bridge Platform, Water Resistant Pet Car Barrier, Universal Fit, Trucks, SUVs, and Full Sized Sedans, With Storage Pocket
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.

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.

(We may receive a commission if you purchase from these links).

Top Reviewed and Best Rated Dog Bridges for Back Seats:

DogShell® Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover

Best Overall Choice

DogShell® Car / SUV Dog Pet Heavy-Duty Back Seat Cover Extended Platform Bridge
131 Reviews
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.
  • Two replaceable wooden plates support the largest breed of dogs without collapsing.
  • Suspended platform increases the area for comfortable and safe ride.
  • Easily mounted, removed and may be folded to create a seating place for a human.
  • Best American Made Heavy Duty Travel Attribute. Manufactured by DogShell in California, USA.

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

PetDek – Rear Seat Shelf with Non-sliding Carpet

Best Choice for Smaller Seats

PetDek - Vehicle Rear Seat Shelf with Non-Sliding Carpet for Pets
233 Reviews
PetDek - Vehicle Rear Seat Shelf with Non-Sliding Carpet for Pets
  • Installs or removes in under 60 seconds
  • Doesn't block A/C vents in vehicles
  • The PetDek and its carpet can be hosed off for cleaning.
  • Provides a flat comfortable surface for your pet with non sliding included carpet
  • Folds to 24 x 24 to go in trunk

The PetDek brand might be the best bet for a smaller vehicle and also has some great features:

  • Platform is 48″ wide and folds for easy storage
  • It can be installed in 60 seconds
  • It does not block the air vents like some of the fabric covers
  • It’s Made in the USA with a Lifetime Warranty

FrontPet Back Seat Extender for Dogs

Best Budget Cover

Sale
Frontpet Back seat Extender for Dogs - Backseat Pet Bridge Platform, Water Resistant Pet Car Barrier, Universal Fit, Trucks, SUVs, and Full Sized Sedans, With Storage Pocket
676 Reviews
Frontpet Back seat Extender for Dogs - Backseat Pet Bridge Platform, Water Resistant Pet Car Barrier, Universal Fit, Trucks, SUVs, and Full Sized Sedans, With Storage Pocket
  • SAFER TRAVELS FOR YOU AND YOUR PET: The Back seat extender ensures your pet does not slide off of the backseat and fall to the floorboards. The center divider helps prevent your pet from climbing to the driver or front passenger seat. Drive safer and with peace of mind knowing your pet is safe and secure with plenty of room.
  • PROTECTS YOUR VEHICLE'S INTERIOR: The Frontpet Back Seat Pet Bridge features water resistant fabric, a hardwood interior platform and ample coverage to protect your interior from scratches, fur, hair, dirt, mud, slobber, accidents and more.
  • LARGE POCKET FOR TOYS, TREATS, AND MORE: The center console divider not only prevents your pet from climbing up to the front seat, but also features a spacious mesh pockets to store your pet's toys, leash, food, water, and more.
  • OFFER MORE SEATING SPACE FOR YOUR PET: The Frontpet Backseat Pet Bridge Backseat Extender features are rigid platform that provides a safe and secure footing for your pets. The bridge fits backseat areas 22in by 55.5in and larger and supports pets up to 150lbs.
  • MONEYBACK GUARANTEE: Your new Frontpet Backseat Pet Bridge is protected by a no-hassle 100% 1 Year Warranty (defects in materials or workmanship). If you receive a damaged or defected product, contact Frontpet directly for a full refund.

FrontPet sells many different pet products on Amazon and we like this cover as a budget model.

  • Fits seats 55″ wide and pets up to 150 pounds
  • 100% 1 year warranty
  • Made with a section to block the open area over the front arm rest

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.