I'll be honest: Merry and I had never tried a car seat, nor a decent car harness. Being urban girls, we don't often travel by car (subways and taxicabs are far more commonplace in our lives), so it's never been a big concern - but I'll also admit to feeling guilty about not taking care of her safety as much as I should have.
Luckily, GW Little's Microsuede Luxury Lookout Pet Car Seat and padded car vest harness were exactly what we were looking for. No sense in sacrificing luxury in the name of safety, darling.
The lookout car seat is covered with buttery soft microsuede (we chose Honey Wheat, but the seat is also available in Parchment or Anthracite to match your car's upholstery), and the inner seat (where your pet actually curls up) is a sherpa-covered pillow. No matter how picky your dog is, they'll love the comfort and luxurious feel of these fabrics.
The car seat is well padded enough to raise your pet a good 8 inches. That's usually enough to let them peek out the window during a drive. The back is notched on both sides, allowing you to secure the rear seat's belly strap over the car seat to hold it in place. The raised sides allow your pet to curl up inside during longer road trips.
The front of the carseat also features a very handy drawer (it slides under the seat itself and hides away under a flap) to hold treats, toys, and your regular collar and leash. This is a huge drawer that runs the length of the carseat, which is fantastic, particularly when you're an incredibly spoiled diva pug who needs to carry your creature comforts with you everywhere you go. Puppy Perrier, anyone?
One of the things we loved best about the Luxury Lookout was its practicality. The entire miscrosuede cover zippers off and is machine washable, and the sherpa pillow is also removable and washable. Particularly during the winter and rainy seasons, that's an important consideration, and one that's much appreciated!
Now, for all its style, the Lookout alone just isn't going to afford your dog all the protection she needs - she'll still need to be strapped in. Luckily, the car seat comes with an adjustable strap that will help you connect your dog's harness to the seatbelt.
The princess has a ton of harnesses, but when it comes to car travel they're not the best for safety. Most experts agree that a good car harness will have more to it, not less - something to safely hold in your pet in the event of a crash.
GW Little's Padded Car Vest Harness did the trick. It's durable nylon but is lined inside with soft faux fur, and the front of the harness is a solid piece that runs the length of your pet's chest. (It also has a D-ring to make it usable for daily walks, too.) It fit well over the chest but had adjustable safety buckles for the narrower or wider furball.
We attached this using the Lookout's adjustable strap right to the seatbelt, and the princess pug was finally safe and ready to head out for an adventure!
It wasn't till Merry was secured properly that I realized just how careless I'd been with the puppy in the past. (Guilt is such a wonderful motivator.) No more. The Luxury Lookout is more than luxe enough for small dogs of all stripes, handy, practical and sturdy enough to last a good long time. When coupled with the Padded Car VestHarness, it provides the kind of protection that every pampered puppy deserves.
(Just be sure to put your prince or princess into the back seat with this setup, unless the front seat of your car allows you to disable the passenger airbag. Airbags can seriously injure or kill your pet.)
You can find out more about GW Little from their web site at www.gwlittle.com.