Cocker Spaniel best dog car harness and bag
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Best Dog Car Harness and Travel Bag For Cocker Spaniels

My spouse and I travel extensively with our Cocker Spaniels, so having the best dog car harness and travel bag are must-haves. A car harness is important because unlike a canine seat belt, a car harness can help keep your dog secure in the event of a motor vehicle crash.

Crash-tested crates and crash-tested car harnesses are the best and safest ways for your dog to travel in a moving vehicle. Not all car restraints are made equally, and they are not all designed for the same shape and size dog.

You should never transport your dog in the open section of a vehicle whether the dog is crated, tethered, or not. Several states ban unrestrained dogs from being transported in the open section of a vehicle, including Oregon, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut as of this writing.

Sadly, there are currently no federal laws that require pets to be restrained inside a vehicle. In the United States, the only state presently recognizing driving with loose pets as an animal cruelty violation is New Jersey.

“My dog sits still most of the time and does not need a car restraint when traveling.”

“My dog would never allow me to restrain him in the car.”

“I don’t go on long trips, so I don’t need to buckle my dog up when traveling.”

Do any of the above statements sound like something you’d say? If so, this article will help you decide if a car harness is important for your dog and which one is the best choice.

According to The New York Times, ” In a typical 30 mile-an-hour head-on crash, a 50-pound dog flies forward with an impact force of 1,500 pounds.”

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am also an Etsy and Chewy affiliate.

I am being compensated by Sleepypod for an honest review of the products in this article. Sleepypod is not responsible for the contents of this post. Fidose of Reality only recommends products to our readers that we have tested and use with success.

What To Look For In A Dog Car Harness

First and foremost, the car harness should be approved by the Center for Pet Safety, which puts harnesses through rigorous testing.

A proper fit is most essential so that the harness is not too tight but snug enough to prevent your dog from escaping while allowing your dog to breathe comfortably.

Make sure your dog has some freedom of movement and isn’t completely tethered so there is no mobility. The harness should be comfortable and properly padded to prevent chafing.

Versatility is important if you want a car harness that doubles as a walking harness. Busy pet parents will appreciate not having to switch out between a regular walking harness and the car harness.

Secure attachment points are important so that the harness performs when you need it most. Your vehicle’s seatbelt should easily pass through the harness straps.

Ease of use is crucial for pet parents. No one has time to fiddle with complicated straps and buckles. Once you find a perfect fit for your dog, you won’t have to worry about setting it up again.

Washability is important, and most high quality dog car harnesses are able to be wiped down and treated with mild detergent if needed.

An S-clip that comes with the harness prevents the seat belt from retracting and locking in place. You are able to pre-set your dog’s ideal seat belt length with a S-clip.

PRO TIP: Never leave your dog alone in a car, but should you do this, unbuckle your dog from the harness. Your dog can become tangled in the harness or seat belt and injure themselves.

dog car harness features of Sleepypod
The Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness easily slides through your vehicle’s seatbelt, as Alvin models.

Why a Crash Tested Dog Harness Is Important

I met the founder of the Center for Pet Safety, Lindsay Wolko, at a pet bloggers conference, where she talked a lot about dog harness and safety in moving vehicles.

Lindsay’s interest in pet safety began when her dog Maggie was injured by a safety harness in 2004 a mission began that lead to eight years of consumer and pet products industry research.  In 2011, after completing a ground-breaking pilot study, she founded the Center for Pet Safety,(CPS) a registered 501(c)3  research and consumer advocacy organization working on behalf of pet owners around the globe.

Wolko cautions consumers to investigate claims that a pet travel product has been crash-tested. Is there a video you can watch? If so, does the video show the entire crash sequence: acceleration, impact and the impact’s aftermath? If you can’t find that information, don’t believe the claims.

Of note, the Center for Pet Safety does not certify travel seats. Walko is concerned a dog may be ejected from the seat and can be injured from glass shards.

If you are in car accident, your dog becomes a projectile with high potential to be harmed, killed, or cause harm. If your dog is thrown through a window and survives, he will likely have injuries or may run away in fear and confusion.

The CPS crash-tests dog car seats and harnesses to make sure they have the proper safety features and fits dogs properly. The program is voluntary. If CPS certified, the manufacturer shows a commitment to meet independently developed safety standards.

Always look for the CPS Center for Pet Safety logo on products and learn more about CPS requirements.

Here’s the Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness being tested with a 45-pound stuffed test dog:

How We Tested The Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness

I’ve used three different in-car harness on my Cocker Spaniels over the past 30 years. The one that is most reliable and outperforms all others is the Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness.

I reached out to Sleepypod and told them how much we love the car harness, which doubles as a walking harness if desired. They asked if I’d like to write an honest review of the harness, Go Bag, and give some products away.

best dog car harness for cocker spaniels
Alvin is road trip ready.

To formally test the Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness we:

  • Gradually introduced the car harness to our 16-month-old Cocker Spaniel, Alvin, because he had been using a large crate prior to this. To acclimate our dog, we kept the harness on him in the house for an hour each day, walked him on it in our neighborhood, and sat in the car with him wearing it a few times.
  • Once Alvin was comfortable and used to the harness (he couldn’t care less about it), we embarked on a family vacation to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, home to Elvis Presley.
  • I sat in the back seat of the car while my wife drove. I wanted Alvin to feel comfortable, I love having him by my side, and I was able to work on my laptop thanks to the Sleepypod Go Bag, but more about that shortly.
  • Alvin wore the Sleepypod harness for potty breaks, short walks, and while in the car. The entire trip took 20 hours, but we broke it up with one overnight stay.
  • On arrival to Graceland, we kept the Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness in the car for all of our day trips.

Our Cocker Spaniel is used to wearing a harness, but if your dog is not, I recommend using it as a walking harness before transitioning to the car to prevent travel anxiety.

PRO TIP: Be sure to read our dog-friendly travel article if your dog is fearful of road travel or you’d like to learn how to have a safe road trip with your dog,

Pros and Cons of the Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness


1. Certified by the Center for Pet Safety through rigorous testing and evaluations, earning a 5-star rating.
2. Easily attaches to a vehicle’s seatbelt system.
3. Multiple points of adjustment.
4. Comfortable and secure.
5. Doubles as a walking harness with a D-ring on the back.
6. Available in multiple colors and sizes to accommodate most dogs.
7. Designed to spread impact force throughout your dog’s torso.
8. Available with a buckle shield for maximum comfort and an S-clip for adjustability.
9. Features an infinity loop that combines seat belt grade straps, stress-tested buckles, and a luggage-grade padded vest.
10. Reflective strips for nighttime visibility on walks.
11. Allows some freedom of movement while safely secured.


1. Straps can be a bit tricky to adjust initially.
2. Not designed for deeper-chested breeds like Whippets, Salukis, Greyhounds, Afghans, and Borzois.
3. Designed for dogs between 18 and 90 pounds, so not an option for extra large dogs.
4. A bit pricey.
5. Some pet parents complained about finding the perfect fit for their dog – specifically dogs with unique proportions or body shapes.

Cockers in their Sleepypod dog car harness
Michelle Ream’s dogs, Buster Brown and Owen, in their Sleepypod Click It Sport Harnesses

What Other Cocker Owners Say About The Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness

I asked members of my Club Cocker Facebook group why they use the Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness on their Cocker Spaniels when traveling. Here’s what they had to say:

“I use the Sleepypod Click It Sport harness for Owen and Buster Brown for walking especially on trips and then hook it through the seatbelts,” says Michelle Ream. “After doing a lot of researching I feel it’s the best harness to keep my boy safe on the market.”

Colleen Keough travels to sporting events and dog shows with her Cocker Spaniels. She says there is not enough room for a crate in her vehicle. Instead, she uses the Sleepypod Click It Harness and a seat protector.

dog car harness
Gotham is road ready in his Sleepypod Click It Sport Harness.

Trent Todd has a word of caution for fellow Cocker parents.

“When Kirby was a puppy we were on our way to an emergency veterinary,” Todd explains. “He ate some carpeting and I found a staple near where he vomited it up. On the way, someone ran a stop sign and I had to dodge her vehicle. Kirby ended up flying into the glovebox door and onto the floor. He was whimpering but was okay. He has not been in the truck without being in his safety harness and belted in.”

FAQs About Our Choice of the Best Dog Car Harness

Where Can I Purchase the Sleepypod Click-It Dog Harness?

Amazon is the best place to get the Sleepypod Click-It Dog Harness.

What size does Sleepypod Click It Harness Does My Cocker Spaniel Need?

Most adult Cocker Spaniels will need a small or medium sized Click It Sport Harness. My current Cocker Spaniel, Alvin, is the smallest Cocker I’ve owned to date. He takes a small. However, my Dexter was a bit taller and used the medium.

Can I Use The Sleepypod Click-It Car Harness On A Puppy?

A small dog less than 17-18 pounds tends to have more fragile bone structure, so might be better protected in a carrier in the event of a collision. Check out Sleepypod’s crash tested carriers

What If My Cocker Spaniel Is In Between Sizes? Do I Size Up or Down?

For dogs that are not yet fully grown and within 1 inch of the highest setting, consider sizing up.  Make sure the harness fits tightly before using. 
If your dog is full grown, consider sizing down. The fit should be tight, not loose, and fit only three fingers laid flat under the buckles once adjusted correctly.

Can I See An Instructional Video?

Yes, watch the instructional video on YouTube for step-by-step easy-to-follow instructions.

Who Can I Contact With Specific Questions About This Product?

Sleepypod is located in Pasadena, California. Call 626-421-6818 or email them at for further information and assistance.

How To Choose A Dog Travel Bag For Your Cocker Spaniel

Anyone who travels with their dog, especially a Cocker Spaniel, needs a sturdy, reliable, easy-to-clean travel bag. I took the Sleepypod Go Bag on our Graceland excursion to test it out.

Here’s what you should consider when choosing a dog travel bag for your Cocker Spaniel:

  1. Size and Capacity: Will the bag hold everything you plan to take with you?
  2. Durability: What is the travel bag made of and is the material durable?
  3. Comfort and Design: Is there a comfortable handle or straps? Is the design appealing to you?
  4. Security: Does the travel bag securely close and prevent items from falling out?
  5. Storage and Organization: Look for travel bags with multiple compartments to keep everything organized for ease on the go.
  6. User Reviews: What do other dog moms and dads have to say about the travel bag?
  7. Color Selections: Some pet parents prefer a certain color, so determine if this is important to you and if the travel bag comes in multiple color choices.
  8. Airline Compliance: If you plan to fly with the bag, be sure it meets safety and size requirements.
  9. Water Resistance: What if you get caught in the rain with the bag or something splashes on it? Is the bag water resistant?
Cocker Spaniel with dog travel bag
Alvin says, “Mom, can I pack extra treats?”

Pros and Cons of the Sleepypod Go Bag


1. Versatility to pack my dog’s items and my own. It is touted as “built for pet travel but clever enough for human travel.”
2. Available in multiple color selections, many which match the Sleepypod Click It Sport Car Harness.
3. Comes with two mini packing cubes and an insulated food pouch that folds neatly.
4. Features two gusseted side pockets for water bottles, umbrella, etc.
5. Interior lanyard to attach keys or other items.
6. Exterior utility ring for a leash, a flashlight, etc.
7. Inner padded pocket able to fit most laptops, phones, or tablets.
8. Shoulder strap is adjustable and contains comfort padding.
9. Several inner pockets to organize various items on the go.
10. Generous but streamlined size of 16″ tall x 14″ wide x 5″ deep.
11. Easy to clean with a damp cloth or mild detergent.
12. Made of tear-resistant and stain-resistant luggage-grade ballistic nylon.
13. Water-resistant polyester interior.
14. Doubles as an emergency bag for all your pet’s supplies.


1. The bag is on the pricey side.
2. May not be big enough to handle all your dog’s essentials for a lengthy period of time.
3. Not available in many stores online.

Where Can I Purchase the Sleepypod Go Bag?

The bag is available on Amazon or from

BONUS TIP: I placed my Cocker’s water bottle and cooked meat in the insulated pouch when traveling. I then unpacked it at the hotel and the Sleepypod Go Bag became my shopping and travel pouch when I visited Graceland.

Enter Our Sleepypod Giveaway: Giveaway is CLOSED

Sleepypod is awarding one grand prize valued at approx. $249 to one lucky Fidose of Reality fan consisting of:

  • A Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Harness
  • A Sleepypod Power Leash
  • A Sleepypod Go Bag

The winner gets his or her choice of color and size where applicable — dependent upon availability (if the item in the color/size combination is out of stock, the winner can select an item that is in stock or wait for the item to come back in stock).


How to Enter

Reply below in the comments with the name of the dog who would be using the prize pack from Sleepypod.

Must be 18 or older and reside in the USA. Read all rules and regulations. Randomly selected winner will be notified by email provided. Must respond in five business days or a backup winner will be drawn.

Giveaway closes July 7, 2023 at 11:59 am ET. Winner notified within 24 hours of giveaway closing.

One entry per person/email. Good luck!

best dog car harness for cockers


  1. If we win, the prize pack would be used by either my Nini or Capri, and I would buy another for my other girl!

    1. If won sally May or remy could use ! I would love to keep them safe when in car ! They say thank you very much for keeping us safe !

  2. If we won, the prize pack would be used for my Cockers Snickers or Coco. I would be interested in purchasing another for the other one

  3. If I won the Sleepypod harness it would be for our 9 month old Charlie. I am familiar with the advantages of having a Sleepypod because our Beauregard went through 2 of them.They are truly wonderful pieces of travel equipment.

  4. Were we to win the Sleepypod prize package, Molly (my chocolate and white parti-color American cocker spaniel would be the true recipient. Molly accompanies me on my long drive (about 1000 miles!) from Lexington, South Carolina up to our family’s summer cottage in Kennebunkport, Maine.

    1. Brady would be the proud recipient of this fabulous package. He is the best traveler ever and we are constantly on the go.
      Thank you

  5. I have been wanting to try one of these for a couple years. If I won it would be used for Jordon. However if I liked the product I also would order 8 more for the rest of my pack.

    1. If we were lucky enough to be randomly chosen, we would use the Sleepypod harness and bag to transport our sweet Tess on more adventures right here in Texas!

  6. If we won it would be used by Apollo! He’s fairly good in the car, but he always likes fun stuff.

  7. This would be for Tressa or Harley, since they weigh almost the same. I love Sleepypod products, I have the round crate, that look like a large hatbox, and i have one of the travel bags from years ago. It is so convenient, has some wear and tear from traveling with the girls. but it is great, place to put water, food, some essentials. all in one place. I could use one for each dog. It is very well made, but after years of use, it is starting to show its age. I wish they made a larger crate for dogs. It is great for cats and small dogs. Alvin is becoming the best model, He does a great job for showing products.

  8. Always wanted one of these for my Max. So it would be lovely for my new puppy in the very near future!

  9. If I won, this would be for Finley. He’s my walking buddy and we love to get in the car and drive to local places for walks.

  10. Maddie loves car rides & we’ll soon be traveling. She’d love to win & be safe while in the car!!

  11. If we won this would be used for my dog, Willow. She’s a service dog and goes everywhere with me. The harness would be so helpful and necessary while traveling on the paratransit bus and in the car to help keep Willow safe. Thank you Carol for your expertise!

  12. Gus and Miss Riley travel everywhere with me. They would love to have this harness. Thank you 🙂

  13. This will be for my girlie girl dog KiKi Petals. She’s just a medium, slim tan dog with a proud strut and a curled-up tail. Some young children had 3 puppies in a basket that their parents said they had to find homes for. My friends took the other ones. All are fine and greatly loved to this day. I believe I was put there to get her.

  14. I would definitely use this for Sasse! Since she is so well behaved in public, we love to take her to dog-friendly wineries and restaurants!😃

  15. Daphne would be the one to use all the prizes from Sleepypod if we won, but Daphne’s Mommy (Heather) would be THRILLED for a new harness, leash and “go bag” !!

  16. I was just searching last week for car restraints for my girls and read your article Carol about Sleepypod although I hadn’t yet made a purchase. If I won the drawing, it would be for either Katy or Koko.🐾🐾

  17. The Sleepypod harness will be used for Kylie Rose. We take her almost everywhere we go, errands, day trips, travel. She’s currently using a crate in the van. Thanks for all the great info!

  18. I have been having difficulty finding a harness my Boomer can not slip out of so, I would definately use the harness for Boomer. He is my Houdini dog!!

  19. I’m hoping either of my Boston Terriers, Solaire and Drakula, will fit in the travel bag. Thank you for such a thorough review, I was just talking about buying the sleepypod harness.

  20. If I were to win this harness I would use it for my Owen. We travel in the car a great deal and I want to keep him safe!

  21. I would love to win this travel package for my girl Sparkplug. My auto mechanic husband named her.

  22. Trish would love such a harness.. Since her back surgery, I am very afraid when I bring her in the car anywhere..

  23. Belle is a great traveler. If we win she will be as safe as she is happy to be with us in the car! Thank you for the opportunity to win this useful prize!

  24. If I were selected, my cocker Lincoln would get the honor of this harness. But I do see future purchases for the rest of our cocker spaniel crew!

  25. This would be great for my cocker girl Murphy to use when we carpool to her therapy dog visits.

  26. Zoey needs to upgrade her harness to one that keeps her safe on walks and traveling in the car, while still keeping her cool and giving her the mobility she needs!

  27. I hate to admit that this article was clearly meant for me to see. My sweet Bella would be in need of this harness. We occasionally take road trips but in light of the fact that most accidents happen close to home, it is needed no matter where we go. Thank you for the extensive article.

  28. It’s a tough call which of our three cockers would wear this harness but I believe Miss Brinkli would be the winner as she is true to her variety and always the Parti animal! Then I would need to purchase two more for Pink and our new puppy, Kenzie!!

  29. My very favorite cowboy, Rip will be the lucky boy to use these products if we were to win.
    He currently travels in a crate, because we need to upgrade our older seatbelt harness system I had for our other cockers. Rip would love to be able to sit up closer to us!

  30. Charlie and I make many road trips and I would love to have him super safe during our travels if we win! Thank you!

  31. If I was fortunate enough to win the Sleepypod prize I would happily use it for my 7 year old rescue cocker Libby who weighs 25 lbs.

  32. If I won it would be great for keeping Tiffany or Barbie safer when traveling to cocker dog shows and for taking them to the breeder for correcting my grooming mistakes I typically crate in the car but since Tiffany has seizures would rather have her where I can see her with a secure harness

  33. Missy says she would like one. When she rides with Ma-Ma, she rides in her kennel, but Pa-Pa likes to just let her run free in the car. Ma-Ma thinks she would feel safer if Missy had a harness like this when riding with her Pa-Pa!

  34. Wow! This looks amazing! I’m on my 3rd Cocker Spaniel and this is my first one using a doggie seatbelt. We just bought a cheap one, but would love to upgrade to a safer harness seatbelt for our Sweet Suzie. ♥️

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