Dog Car Seats, Dog Car Harnesses Are They Safe|Traveling with a Dog
If you are anything like me (and if you are reading this post, I bet you are), then you want to travel as safely as possible with your dog. I am betting that most of you already take precautionary measures to ensure your dog’s safety while driving and your safety as well. So just how does Fido travel? Do you strap your dog into a car harness for dogs? Do you travel with your dog in a car crate? Did you know that for most pet products, manufacturers do not have to test their products? Is your dog harness or dog crate tested for crash protection, or just labeled to stop distracted driving?
So many questions and they can be daunting and confusing and misleading (shame on those trying to mislead us)! Luckily for us, an independent company is testing doggie car seats, car harnesses for dogs, and travel crates, and sharing their results. The Center For Pet Safety is a non-profit organization stepping up to the plate and trying to find us the answers. I applaud them and applaud them again.
Let’s start by looking at one of their testing videos, which thankfully made headlines and needs to continue to make headlines so they can continue their work. I will warn you, it is a bit disturbing, even though the dogs in the video are models (life weighted). It’s the thought that this could be one of our precious dogs.
So where are they in their studies and what kind of results have the found so far? Here’s the link to the actual 2013 dog harness safety study. Please open it and read their results on the various ways they tested car harnesses, which companies, and their results. I do also want to say, that The Center For Pet Safety has noted that a lot of the companies are trying to improve their product safety, so kudos to those companies!Top results according to their study:
- SleepyPod Clickit Utility Harness: “Center for Pet Safety 2013 Harness Study Report Summary Upon completion of scientific testing of pet safety harness products that claim “testing”, “crash testing” or “crash protection” CPS has determined that the SleepyPod Clickit Utility harness is the top performing pet safety harness brand of the 2013 Safety Harness Crashworthiness Study. The innovative three-point connection prevents the launch and subsequent rotation of the test dog, thus improving human occupant safety and providing the dog the best possible chance of survival in the case of an accident.”
I emailed The Center For Pet Safety to ask a few follow-up questions. They were fast (2 hours) to respond. Boy, I’m really loving this group! My first question was about the testing, how the dogs were always in a seated position. Knowing Dexter The Dog, he would be snoozing during our travels (he always falls asleep in the car). I was curious to know if this would make the results worse or better. The answer was that they tested “worst case scenario,” so if he were lying down, it would not make the crash results worse, and possibly even better. Whew.
My other question was about crate testing. At this moment I have always traveled with Dexter being in a wire crate behind the passenger’s seat, sandwiched between that seat and the back seat to prevent movement. The only video thus far I saw was where a wire crate was in the back of what looked like an SUV and slid around before being crushed. My answer was that they are working on more funding to do extensive testing on crate safety. They have not yet had the opportunity to extend this study out to crate safety. BUT, she did respond, “The only brand we know that has completed ample testing – and they publish their test evidence – is the VarioCage.”
UPDATE: They tested some dog crates! Gunner Kennels passed crash testing.
I was pretty excited to hear that a crate made the cut, but not so thrilled when I saw the crates started at over $700 Gulp! I love the idea of traveling with Dexter in a crate, so I can run into rest stops without him getting into mischief….he can be a stinker pot. Plus I always like to cover the crate when I do go inside so that it’s not obvious I have such a great dog inside! So what is a girl to do? Well, I think I will order the SleepyPod Clickit Utility harness and keep our wire crate also set up in the car to pop Dexter in when I run inside to do my business. This should cover our traveling needs for now.
What you can do to help: As I mentioned, The Center For Pet Safety is a non-profit organization and can use monetary donations to help fund their studies. Every dollar counts and every dollar is going towards OUR dogs’ safety and our peace of mind, knowing we are doing what is best for them. Please join me in donating to their cause and sharing this information. Not only will it help fund their studies; hopefully, it will also increase the likelihood that manufacturers will continue to work up safe and comfortable traveling options for our dogs.
How do you travel with your dog? Tell me in the comments.
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