Archive for June, 2013
Are Dog Car Harnesses Really Safe?
Some of you may have seen the news about the crash test failure of seat belts for dogs. This test was a pilot test completed in 2011 by a nonprofit organization called the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). While the initial pilot test reveals some frightening results, you will be glad to know that a lot of wonderful things have happened and are happening as a result of the test completed by this great organization.
More on the 2011 Dog Seat Belt Pilot Test
This is the test that is making all the headlines and causing a lot of people question whether a seat belt for their dog is really a good idea. Let me make four quick points about this test before moving on to the wonderful news.
1. The pilot test only included four out of dozens of pet safety restraint brands. And CPS does not disclose what those brands were. The results of only four brands should not be applied to all brands.
2. The result of this pilot test has spurred a number of companies to make improvements on their seat belts for dogs.
3. Having your dog wear a pet safety belt still prevents driver distractions.
4. Since there is no standard for testing, reputable manufacturers have done their best to test with the current knowledge and resources available to them.
You can read more on our website at http://www.petautosafety.com/Are-Dog-Car-Harnesses-Safe.
Manufacturers of Dog Car Harnesses Make Improvements
***The following four companies are from the brands that we sell. These do not represent the four brands conducted by CPS in their pilot test.
Kurgo – Shortly after this study was published, Kurgo came out with new dog car harnesses with steel buckles instead of plastic. We also know, from speaking with the Kurgo company directly, that they are working closely with CPS. They not only give them their products for further testing, but they also consult with them on ways to make their products better. Having sold Kurgo products for some time, I know Kurgo is a very innovative company that is greatly concerned about quality. After all, they do have a lifetime guarantee on all their products.
Bergan – Bergan is another brand we sell, so we have also spoken with them about CPS. They met with them earlier this month and are excited about what CPS is doing. They, too, will be paying close attention to what this organization finds in their continued studies, and are open to making any improvements based on study results, if indeed improvements are needed.
Ruff Rider Roadie – Another great product we sell, Ruff Rider has recently published a video showing how their seat belts for dogs have passed the preliminary tests conducted by CPS. View it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7QflhiutYX8.
Pet Buckle – This company has long since been supported by another nonprofit organization, Bark BuckleUP (Ruff Rider has too). I called them and left a message for someone to call me back, but they have not returned my call yet.
It is our understanding that many companies are voluntarily working with CPS, not just the four listed above.
We have been keeping tabs on the Center for Pet Safety since before they released their initial pilot test results. From both a business standpoint and a personal view, we have been both frightened by and excited about what this nonprofit organization is doing. We were worried about the quality of products we sold, but we were also happy to see there is finally an organization that will make it easier for us to determine what safety standards are best for our furry friends. Knowing that Bergan, Kurgo, and Ruff Rider are working with CPS makes us very happy and we worry no more.
As both a business and a consumer, we are in full support of the Center for Pet Safety. We will continue to keep tabs on what this nonprofit organization is doing. Be assured that whatever the results are, we will react in a way that benefits you and your pet the most. After all, our dogs wear dog car harnesses too and we want nothing but the best for them.
We’re joining Follow Up Friday to answer some questions people had on pet travel safety. The questions are not just from this blog, but also from our Facebook page, phone calls, and emails.
Sugar from SugarTheGoldenRetriever.com asked if a pet car barrier really was safe. It is safe for you, but not necessarily safe for your pet. It is safe for you because it keeps your pet from distracting you while you drive. However, there is a type of pet car barrier that may have one small safety feature for your pet. That is the pet hammock. The pet hammock not only blocks the center console area of your car in order to keep your dog in the back, it also covers the floor of the car. So let’s say your dog is in the back seat and not restrained in any way. When you stop suddenly, or even crash into something, what happens to your dog? She flies forward. If the floor is covered, she won’t get thrown on the floor. My vet told me about a dog that was thrown onto the floor in a sudden stop, and the poor dog’s leg was badly broken.
On Facebook, I posted the review from one of our giveaway winners who got to try out the Travel Calm. Someone asked if the calming affect would work on a dog that was reactive towards other dogs. Pierson is leash reactive so I gave it a try. It did not work for this situation.
On Facebook, when I posted the above photo, someone asked how Maya was secured in the car. She’s wearing a Kurgo dog car harness that is tethered to a metal cargo ring in the back.
A phone call from a customer asked which dog car harness brand is the best. Sorry, I do not know the answer to that one. Each manufacturer claims they are the best. The manufacturers of the dog seat belts we sell have provided me with links to their testing information and I have found that Bergan provides the most thorough information with is V9DT standards. Kurgo has not only done crash testing… twice… but they are also consulting with the Center for Pet Safety for more safety information. Ruff Rider and Bergan are too. You can see more about the Center for Pet Safety on our post tomorow.
That same customer asked which dog car harness brand do I prefer. This is my opinion and my opinion only. But I find the Bergan and the Kurgo very comparable. Pierson wears the Bergan and Maya wears the Kurgo. I don’t like Kurgo’s loop tether, but the loop tether is probably the best because it is the shortest. The Center for Pet Safety says the shorter the tether, the better.
Another customer asked about the safety of pet travel carriers. These are a safe way to travel if the pet carrier is secured in the car (say with kennel straps or some other means). Soft crates are a bad idea unless they have been specifically crash tested. The only crash tested soft pet carrier we are aware of is the Sleepypod (pictured above) and this is for cats or very small dogs only. They don’t make big pet travel carriers. Otherwise, use a hard plastic crate. You want the crate large enough for your dog to be comfortable in (perhaps use the airline specifications for size). But you don’t want the crate too large because the larger they are for your dog, the more your dog would get tossed around inside in the event of a car accident.
These are just some of the recent questions people have asked about our products. If you have any questions, please comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, we are so excited about winning the Versatile Blogger Award from Hawk at BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com. This is a PAWSOME honor! Since today’s post is so long, we will tell you more about this award next week, perhaps after the Pet Travel Tuesday post. So stop by and see us again. And thanks, Hawk! 🙂
Travel Calm is a great product that helps dogs who are anxious about riding in the car. It helps dogs like my Labrador Maya who is super-excited about riding in the car. And it helps dogs that are nervous about riding in the car. But riding in the car is not the only stressful situation where Travel Calm can help. Here’s what Danielle has to say about it:
I’m so happy that Sissy is doing so well despite the fireworks! We only have a little time and limited supply of Travel Calm left. Get yours today or tomorrow and we can ship you a bottle via USPS first class, which takes about 3 business days. If you wait until the weekend, we can ship first thing Monday, but it may or may not arrive by Wednesday, July 3rd.
Please don’t use this product as a way to take your dog with you when you go to see fireworks. Please leave your dog at home, inside, and safe during the festivities.
If you’re interested in American history, then you will love Savannah, Georgia. It is rich in American history! Settled in 1733, it was one of America’s first colonial cities. It also survived the Revolutionary War, a couple of devastating fires, an outbreak of yellow fever, and the Civil War. Read more of Savannah’s history at SavannahVisit.com.
Savannah can also be a fun pet travel destination to visit with your pet. According to DogFriendly.com, this city has no less than 50 pet friendly accommodations! That includes the Thunderbird Inn which is featured in this fantastic video below:
Dog friendly historical sites you can visit include Fort Pulaski National Monument, Old Fort Jackson, and Fort McAllister State Historic Park. If you’re still not tired after visiting all these places, go shopping along the Savannah Riverfront area. This area is about 9 blocks long and features parks with statues and huge live oak trees, a great view of downtown from across the Savannah River, street performers, and of course, great places to shop and to eat with your furry best friend.
Despite Savannah’s location near the beach, there were no pet friendly beaches that we could find. The city does have a dog park, the Savannah dog park. Your dog followed you wherever you wanted to go. Now it is his turn to lead the way!
Include your pet in your next vacation plans. Be sure that if you’re driving to your pet travel destination that your dog wears his pet seat belt or rides safely in a secured dog travel crate. And make sure you all have fun!
Oh, and take pictures to share with us. We’d love to see your dog enjoying the family vacation. 🙂
Generally, on Saturdays we feature a pet safety topic. But we have added so many new products this June that we decided to reserve today to show you some of our new and exciting dog travel accessories.
A couple of our new products are dog travel bowls. The weather is getting hot and even though I know you’re not leaving your dog alone in the car, your dog still needs a cool drink. So take that ride to the dog park, then open up a collapsible dog dish and add water. These bowls can be folded into a small compact shape and they are relatively inexpensive.
Our favorite new product is the Kurgo direct to seat belt tether. The Kurgo dog car harness currently uses a loop tether where the seat belt of your car goes through it. This restricts your dog’s movement, which is a good thing, but can be very uncomfortable for a dog that likes to move around a lot (like my Maya). The direct to seat belt tether buckles directly into the seat belt receptacle of your car and makes movement for your dog much easier.
Another new product we have from Kurgo is the mud dog towel. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when Maya goes to the dog park, she manages to find a mud puddle to play in. I don’t really want a muddy dog in my car, so this towel from Kurgo would come in very handy.
And yet another new product from Kurgo is the kennel straps. We used to have a similar product, but replaced it with this one from Kurgo. Kurgo makes some very high quality products and this one is no exception.
We have also added a new pet cargo liner. For the longest time, we’ve only had a choice between two different pet cargo liner brands. This one from Guardian Gear makes it three.
And for those of you who have dogs that are crazy in the car or that get stressed out about car rides, we have added a new dog anxiety treatment. It is some pet calming tablets from Total Pet Health. These are great for cats too, because sometimes your cat has to ride in the car.
And still another new product that we’ve added is another Bergan dog car harness. We’ve had all sizes in the aqua color available for some time now. A few months ago we added the medium and large mossy oak color. And now we’ve just added the extra-large size in mossy oak.
Look for even more new dog travel accessories in July. Some new products to look for are some single seat covers, a new bench seat cover from Kurgo, and some new colored dog car harnesses from Kurgo! So be sure to stop by our website and check them out. You can also keep up to date on our Twitter and FB pages (links to the left).
It is almost celebration time, and that means fireworks. I love fireworks. They are beautiful and fun. It’s great being able to get together with family to enjoy this spectacular event. For me, family includes my dogs Maya & Pierson. But this is one family event where they are not allowed.
Last year, a friend of ours found a dog that had run off from her owner’s yard because the neighbors were shooting fireworks. Her name was Shiera and she was lucky. She had run a long distance and crossed many streets in her haste to get away from the frightening noises of fireworks. Luckily, she didn’t get hit by a car. And thankfully, she found my friend who enlisted my help.
Shiera was not wearing any identification so we had no way of knowing where she belonged. The next morning I had her scanned for a microchip and found nothing. Thankfully, Shiera’s owner and I found each other through our posts on Craig’s List. You can read the full story HERE.
Shiera’s owner learned a valuable lesson about fireworks. Shiera’s fate could have been far worse. So to keep this from happening to you and your best friend, we suggest the following pet safety tips:
– Before the fireworks start, take your dog for a long walk to tire him out and let him do his business.
– Leave your dog at home, inside, and in a secure place. A secure place can be his dog crate or a room.
– Even if indoors, make sure your dog is wearing his tags. I’ve heard of dogs breaking out screens or even glass windows in order to get out and away.
– Turn on something loud to disguise the noise. Consider calming music like “Through a Dog’s Ear”. My dog Sephi liked to hide in the bathroom so I would turn on the fan in order to help cover the noise.
– If you are home, play with your dog while fireworks going on. This may help your dog associate fun with the noise.
– Talk to your veterinarian about a dog anxiety treatment.
Nothing will ruin the fun festivities of fireworks more than losing your best friend because of them. The above tips are simple things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable and safe. So practice pet safety and go have some worry-free fun!
What do you do for your dog during these celebrations? We stay home. Maya, being a Lab, isn’t concerned about loud noises. Pierson barks, but he seems to take his cue from Maya that there is nothing to be concerned about. I will probably have him wear his Thundershirt.
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Look what we won! No travel destination today. But we do have a great calendar from GoPetFriendlyBlog.com with lots of great photos of their dogs Ty and Buster at great pet travel destinations.
The calendar is titled “Travels with Ty & Buster”. This month for June, Ty and Buster are pictured at Bar Harbor, Maine. It’s a great photo of them chilling out on some nice lush green grass in front of the scenic harbor. There are also photos of them in Stowe, Vermont, Stone Mountain, Georgia, and Newport, Rhode Island.
Another thing I love about the calendar is that in many of the photos, Ty and Buster are wearing their Kurgo dog car harnesses!!! It’s so great seeing these guys traveling safe as they visit so many wonderful pet travel destinations across the continent.
Do you want a Ty and Buster calendar? You can win one too. Just enter the Friday Photo Challenge which is held EVERY Friday on GoPetFriendlyBlog.com. This week, enter HERE. Then visit their blog regularly for other photo challenges.
Traveling in a pet crate or dog seat belt would be safer for your best friend. But some dogs just don’t like riding in them. We advise training them to get used to it, but we understand that is not always so easy. And sometimes you just need a short term solution until you can get them used to it. That’s where a dog car gate can come in handy.
The best safety feature of pet car barriers is that they can help keep your dog from being a distraction to the driver. Your dog can no longer stand on the center console. And a dog car gate will deter your dog from trying to climb over and into your lap.
Pet car barriers may provide some protection in a car accident. With a dog car gate in place, your dog won’t fly to the front seat and hit you or crash into the windshield.
We have three different kinds of pet car barriers. There is a metal dog car gate. This tends to have the most coverage, but they are installed with pressure mounts which may leave indentations on the ceiling and floor. Small dogs may be able to get through the bar gates. And the wire mesh gate is not a universal fit so there may still be some gaps for your dog to go through on the sides.
The next type of divider we have is called The Pet Net Brand. It is durable yet flexible, which means if your dog flies forward into it, the pet net will absorb some of the impact. But this divider does not go all the way to the top or the sides. So a determined dog might be able to climb over it or find a way over on the sides.
The third type of divider is the cloth dividers. This is the simplest, and oftentimes the least expensive, of the pet car barriers to install. They only cover the center console area, though. So a determined dog can climb over it, just like with the pet nets.
If your dog doesn’t like riding in the pet crate or hates wearing a dog seat belt, consider one of the three different kinds of pet car barriers. A metal dog car gate generally works best in SUVs while the pet net and cloth dividers will work in both cars and SUVs. The metal ones generally work best for larger dogs while the net and cloth ones are better at keeping smaller dogs in the back seat. Take the size and the temperament of your best friend into account. Think about which product would work best for your vehicle. And, as always, have happy and safe travels.
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Do you know Maya and Pierson? The beautiful yellow Labrador pictured at the top of this blog isn’t just some random puppy. That is my Maya! She’s been pictured on this blog a number of times, along with my Australian Shepherd mix Pierson. They aren’t just models for pet auto safety products, they have other talents too. Check out some non-travel pet photos of them below:
Do you want to get to know Maya and Pierson even more? Sign up for our other blog – http://americandogblog.wordpress.com/. At the top right of our blog is where you will find the email sign up. We post about twice a week. Check out today’s post for Wordless Wednesday to see how Maya and Pierson help out at work. Then check us out on Saturdays where we post about dog training, Maya and Pierson antics, pet health, or other fun dog topics.
For more fun pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.
Eureka! I think I’ve found a great and relatively nearby pet travel destination. I love nature, I love history, and I love a little fantasy. And Eureka Springs, Arkansas has it all!
For fantasy, check out Castle Rogue’s Manor. I called them yesterday and confirmed that friendly pets on leashes are allowed. This is a scenic castle built from the native trees of the Ozarks, including black walnut and Arkansas red cedar. The following photos were taken by our friend Flea at the Jones Natural Chews blog.
For history, check out the following two videos of pet friendly places.
Pea Ridge National Military Park
Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway
For nature… Well, Eureka Springs is situated in the Ozarks. There are nature trails galore! Hike to some interesting rock formations – Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge. Or go check out the Beaver Dam just west of town.
This pet travel destination is only four-and-a-half hours from where I live. Hmmm. Perhaps I should put the dog car harnesses on Maya and Pierson, hop in the car, and go to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. What do you think?