Archive for July, 2014
“Help! I just bought this dog seat belt so that I can help keep my pet safe in the car, but he keeps trying to chew it off. What do I do?”
This happens all the time. We spend lots of money to do what is best and our dogs want nothing to do with it. Unless your dog is already used to wearing a harness, adaptation may take a little time. Training your dog to get used to a pet car harness is the best long-term solution. But what if you’re going on a trip soon and you don’t have the time? Try spraying the pet car harness with a chew deterrent spray. One of the best chew deterrent sprays on the market is Grannick’s Bitter Apple. This stuff has been around for over 50 years (developed in 1960). And in most cases, it really works.
There are some instances where dogs actually seem to like the taste, but the average success is 4 out of 5 stars. If you need to keep your dog in his harness so that he is safe, why not try using the Grannick’s Bitter Apple? It is non-toxic and the chances are your dog will hate it more than he hates his safety belt.
If time really is of the essence, a homemade chew deterrent may also work. Try mixing peppermint extract and water in a spray bottle. Or cayenne pepper and water, apple cider vinegar in water, or lemon juice in water. The Daily Puppy has some great recipes.
Remember, results will vary. Long term training is the best solution, but not always feasible if you’re pressed for time. Shorten the time by combining Bitter Apple with training. Simply follow our training tips for getting your dog used to a pet safety belt, but spray the harness with a chew deterrent.
Have you had to use a chew deterrent for your dog? If so, what kind? Did it work?
When you travel with your best friend, you go places, right? If nature trails are one of your favorite destinations, we’ve got a great selection of dog backpacks. There is the Kurgo Wander Pack, the Guardian Gear camouflage pack, and the Outward Hound Excursion packs. Our dog Maya has used Kurgo brand and both Maya and Pierson have recently been able to try out the Outward Hound brand. Here’s what we thought of these great products:
Kurgo Wander Backpack for Dogs
This backpack for dogs is a one-size-fits-all. Well, it doesn’t quite fit all sizes. It is really meant for medium and large dogs, but not necessarily small ones or really big ones. As you can see in the above photo, the Kurgo Wander Pack fits my Labrador Retriever Maya very well. I love Kurgo brand products because they are very well made. In fact, they have a lifetime warranty and a great repair and replacement policy. If Maya were to tear her backpack or get it too dirty to clean, I can send it to Kurgo and pay just $10.00 to get it repaired or replaced. This option does not expire.
Outward Hound Excursion Dog Packs
Outward Hound makes a lot of inexpensive pet travel and outdoor products. They are actually fairly well made for the price. The Excursion backpacks for dogs comes in multiple sizes. This way, even smaller and very big dogs can wear them. I love how they have inner pockets inside the packs. It helps keep some items separate. For example, I can put my keys in one smaller pocket and not worry about Maya’s slobbery dog toy getting it sticky!
Guardian Gear Camouflage Pack
Maya and Pierson haven’t tried this one on yet, but it looks like it has the same quality as the Outward Hound. It seems to have more space in the pouches too. This is great for bigger hardcore hiking dogs! The only issue with this camouflage dog backpack is that we only have it in one size – medium – and only in limited quantities. So get one today before they run out!
Maya and Pierson have only had a little opportunity to use their newest packs. We just moved to Des Moines and have not yet discovered all the hiking places. But we will be looking around and doing a lot of walking this summer. What about you? What are some great hiking places you like to take your dog?
Welcome to the Barks & Bytes blog hop where the greatest pet bloggers join together and talk about their favorite topic – yep, you guessed it, pets. In my case, it’s dogs and dog safety.
In last week’s Bark & Bytes post I shared a cute video of my dogs Maya and Pierson in the car. Thank you so much Jodi and Linda for liking it and sharing it. It has had almost 50 views in just one week! And thank you, Suan and the gang with Life with Dogs and Cats for stopping by for a visit and commenting. You’re right, Lilah and Pierson do look a lot alike. They both have the same cute button noses, pierson eyes, fluffy coat and paws, and fluffy butt and tail. 🙂
PET SUMMER SAFETY
Now on to the important safety stuff. Folks, I’ve been reading a lot of articles today about people leaving their dogs in their car while they run errands! This scares me so much!!! It’s hot out there!!!!! If you haven’t already, please stop by and like this Facebook page for Heat Can Kill Your Pet. Just Think First. It’s not my page, but a page I follow and they have a lot of great information about how dangerous and yet still common this practice is. They also have tips on what you can do about it, like calling the police, asking the store owner to announce it, leaving a flyer from My Dog is Cool, and/or by staying with the car until authorities or the owner arrives. I would not recommend confronting the owner yourself. People get very defensive, especially when that person is not an authority figure. They will only rationalize their actions and not really hear what you’re saying. So let a police officer or an animal control officer handle it. If the dog is truly having a heat emergency, be very careful should you decide to break the car window. It is illegal. I believe there is only one state that says it is legal if you are saving someone or an animal in distress.
We have a new article writer for Pet Auto Safety. Her name is Patrice. I may have introduced her before. She has written a great article on this and other pet summer safety topics titled, 9 Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Travel with Your Dog. Please go check it out and share. She’s a great writer, isn’t she?
Here are some pet summer safety tips from Pet360:
NEW PET TRAVEL PRODUCT
Shortly after writing last week’s Barks & Bytes, I had a woman named Deb call me about her new product, the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat. I’ve talked many times about the Backseat Bridge and the new Pet Dek, but the pet travel flat seat, I think, is even better. It is completely flat and there are far fewer gaps! I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but will be getting it by the end of this week or early next. Deb is an entrepreneur who designed the pet travel flat seat herself. She is working with her family in order to try to get it on the market. So even if this isn’t something you need, share it with your friends! I love helping out the individual business owner, especially when they have such great pet products.
Thanks again for stopping by the Barks & Bytes blog hop! If you still don’t have your pet fix, check out the posts form these other great bloggers:
Even though spring was late in coming this year, there is still time to enjoy the outdoors with your best friend. Bond while boating, have a happy time while hiking, and enjoy a romp at the river. When you go, don’t forget these great pet travel supplies and outdoor dog gear:
-Dog Car Harness – When you go somewhere with your dog, make sure his trip is safe. If your dog won’t wear a pet seat belt, consider a pet travel crate.
-Water and a Pet Travel Bowl
-Walking Harness – The Kurgo Go-Tech Maya is wearing above works as both a car safety belt and a walking harness. It is perfect for the car and for an outdoor hike.
-Backpack for Dogs – Your dog can carry his own water, pet travel bowl, and toys with his very own dog pack, just like Pierson is doing in the top photo.
-Dog Life Jacket – This is great for dogs that like to go swimming. Rip tides, fast water, and waves can be unexpectedly sweep your dog away or under. Make sure he stays afloat with a life vest. And a pet life jacket should definitely be worn when your dog is on a boat, just like our pal Dougie from the UK.
–Pet Cooling Products – Consider a cooling collar or cooling pet mat if your dog is going to be outdoors for a long period. Make sure he can get shade as well.
-Pet First Aid Kit – Never go anywhere without a first aid kit for both you and your family as well as your dog. The Kurgo first aid kit can fit right in your glove box. It includes a first aid guide in order to help with various situations such as heat stroke, animal bites, and CPR instructions. We also have very comprehensive pet first aid kits.
Be proactive in the safety of all your family members, including the furry ones. And have a fantastic summer!
Welcome to Barks & Bytes where we share recent activities at Pet Auto Safety.com. Barks & Bytes is hosted by our favorite dog bloggers, Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs. Be sure to check them out, but not before you see what’s been going on with us!
NEW PET TRAVEL VIDEO
I’ve finally finished the dog video I started several months ago of Maya and Pierson in the car. This is the 3rd video (episode 2) of a series of videos. I’ve only had a little practice editing videos so I’m not sure this one is very good, but we are our own worst critics. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll really like it. And if you do, please hit the like button on YouTube and leave a comment. 🙂
NEW PET TRAVEL PRODUCTS
As you saw from our June Barks & Bytes, we’ve been in the process of adding several new products to our Pet Auto Safety site. One that we mentioned but didn’t have available yet is our dog backpacks. Check out our Outdoor Dog Gear page and see what we have.
The Rein Coat
I also mentioned the Rein Coat. I’m sorry to say that we don’t have it available on our site yet. I’ve asked if I could sell them and the company said yes, but they haven’t gotten back with me with more information yet. I think they forgot about me.
One of my greatest fans for PetAutoSafety saw our FaceBook post about the Rein Coat and asked if her dog Lily could wear it along with her dog car harness. Lily has terrible anxiety in the car and her mom, whose name is Lee, was hoping the Rein Coat could help. Unfortunately, the folks at Rein Coat said that although their product has been known to help dogs with anxiety in the car, it was not designed to be used with a dog seat belt.
The Pet Dek
We wrote a more detailed post about Maya and Pierson’s experience with the Pet Dek, so be sure to check out the July 10th post. As always, we share both the pros and cons of the products we sell so that you have as much information as possible, should you decide to purchase.
We did not talk about the Car-Go in our previous Barks & Bytes post because we didn’t know about it then. But I saw a great review from Oz the Terrier and so called the company that makes the Car-Go to see if they would let me sell it on Pet Auto Safety. I’m happy to say that they said yes! And so the Car-Go Single and the Car-Go Double is now available.
Pet First Aid Kits
This is another new product we didn’t mention on our last post but have added. This pet first aid kit is the most comprehensive first aid kit for dogs that I’ve ever seen. It has been put together by an entrepreneur named Denise. Denise is an amazing woman who teaches pet first aid and CPR and is also an author of a number of books, including Pet First Aid for Kids!
Dog Travel Bowls & Bottles
Yesterday we added two new travel products related to water. The cuee blue paw print water bottle with rollerball tip and the Bottle ‘n Bowl bag with collapsible dog bowl. These two items can be found on our pet travel bowls page.
BELLA & THE KURGO GO-TECH DOG CAR HARNESS
Bella’s mom purchased the Kurgo Go-Tech dog seat belt last year and had some concerns about the looped tether. She said Bella was awfully uncomfortable with the way the looped tether worked so I sent her a Bergan tether. To be honest, I am not a fan of Kurgo’s looped tethers either. In fact, when Maya wore her Kurgo Go-Tech harness, I immediately replaced the looped tether with the Bergan one. It is believed that the more restrictive a dog car harness is, the safer it is for the dog. This may be so, because if you stop suddenly or swerve, you don’t want your dog to get tossed around. But this sort of restriction can be very uncomfortable for dogs. Safety is important, but we need to consider the comfort of our best friend as well.
NEW PET TRAVEL ARTICLES
Last month I mentioned Patrice, our new writer for Pet Auto Safety. She has created another new great article for us that we posted on July 8th. I also have another great article written by Lindsay with That Mutt, which posted on July 15th. Be sure to check out these great pet safety articles and leave us a comment. 🙂
That’s all the Barks & Bytes I have for you this week. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Our friend Lindsay with Ace at ThatMutt.com wrote a wonderful article that we’ve found to be very helpful:
My 70-pound Lab mix Ace loves riding in the car because he associates it with fun places like the dog beach.
While I’m glad he’s eager to go places, one problem with his excitement is his tendency to barge right out of the car as soon as I open the back passenger door.
I’ve learned to anticipate and manage this problem by giving a firm “stay!” command or by physically blocking him. He always wears his leash in the car too, which I can easily grab.
But lately I’ve realized I need to step up my dog’s training (and safety) a bit more. I want my dog to automatically wait patiently in the car until I give him a command to jump out. (I plan to use “OK!”)
I don’t want to tell him “stay” first. I want “stay” to be implied. Even if the door is wide open and my back is turned, I want my dog to learn to wait for my command before jumping out.
There are just too many scenarios where barging out the door could be a small or serious problem.
-Ace could barge right into traffic, even if he’s on a leash. We live in a heavily populated area with a lot of cars.
–He could push the door too hard, causing it to door ding another parked car.
–He could knock or pull someone over, trip someone with his leash or give someone rope burn.
–If we’re ever in a bad car accident, it may not be safe for him to bolt out as soon as a responder opens the door.
–Every now and then, my husband and I will pick up a friend or family member who will ride in the back next to Ace. I can’t have Ace bolting out just because someone else opens the door! (One time he bolted out the door to follow my parents when we dropped them off at their hotel.)
So, you get the point. There are a lot of scenarios where it’s dangerous for a dog to automatically jump out of the car.
Dog seatbelts to safely keep the dog in the car
Before I get to some training tips, an obvious safety tool here would be a dog seat belt.
Not only is a dog seatbelt a safety tool for when the car is moving, but now you can see why a dog seatbelt will safely keep the dog in place even when the car is parked.
Of course, some dogs will still try to bolt out as soon as you unbuckle their seatbelts. But at least the belt will hold your dog in place while you get situated. Read more about dog seatbelts here.
How to train your dog not to jump out of the car as soon as you open the door
The following are my own training tips based on how I plan to train my treat-motivated dog. There are many ways to train a dog, so please share your own suggestions in the comments.
I am training my dog to automatically wait in the car until I say “OK.”
*I drive a four-door car. Ace always sits on the back seat directly behind the driver without a seatbelt.
Here’s what I plan to do:
When I stop the car, I will have a handful of small, highly valued treats ready such as pieces of hot dogs. I will get out, walk to the back door and open it part way, so Ace can’t jump out. Without saying anything, I will pop several yummy treats into Ace’s mouth, being careful to stand close so he won’t jump out. “Gooood boooy.”
If your dog is wearing a seatbelt, this is where I recommend you unclip it – after you have already given him some treats for remaining still. Then, unbuckle the seatbelt and pop some additional treats in his mouth. You want him to learn that the “click” sound of the belt does not signal it’s OK to jump out.
After 30 seconds or so, I will say “OK” and let Ace jump out. I will stop giving him treats at that point because the treats are to reward him when he’s waiting in the car. I will repeat this several times in all sorts of areas, every time we go somewhere.
If he happens to try to jump out before I give the “OK” I will calmly block him with my body and calmly say “no.”
Increasing the challenge
In safe areas that are not too “exciting” I will do the same as above, but I will gradually open the door wider and wider as Ace’s training progresses, over several days and weeks. I will also make a point to stand a bit further from Ace and to wait longer before giving the “OK” to jump out. Giving him treats while he waits in the car will still be important at this point.
With time, I will give the treats less often, especially in “easy” areas where he is not as excited. When we go to the most “exciting” areas like the dog beach I will still have to go back to standing closer to him while he’s still learning.
Other safety tips
-Obviously I’ll have to be aware of the temperature in the car. A parked car is hot, even for a few minutes, and even with the door open. Training sessions will have to be fairly short.
–Once your dog jumps out of the car, you may want to also teach him to automatically sit at your side (rather than straining at the leash like a maniac).
–If your dog does manage to jump out before you give permission, just calmly say “no” and put him back in. Stay a little closer the next time so he doesn’t have the chance to “fail” again.
Of course, there are many other ways you could train your dog to wait in the car, and we are lucky to have so many training tools to help us. For example, perhaps a kennel will make it easier for your dog to remain calm and safe until you’re ready to let him out.
And now I want to hear from you!
If your dog already knows to wait patiently in the car, how did you train him to do so?
Just before we made our big move from Kansas to Iowa this spring, we received and got to try out this new product called the car Pet Dek. And let me just say, it’s pretty awesome. 🙂
I’ve used the Kurgo Backseat Bridge for years. While I still love the bridge, the Pet Dek has some great benefits that the bridge doesn’t. For one, it is much more sturdy. Maya is 70 pounds and Pierson is 50. The Backseat Bridge isn’t guaranteed to hold that much weight (although it has). But the Pet Dek is.
The second benefit of the Pet Dek over the bridge is that the Pet Dek is completely flat. Because of the way the back seat of the car curves, the bridge leaves a raised lip over the seat edge. This raised edge may not be comfortable for Maya and Pierson when they want to stretch out during those long road trips. Since the Pet Dek is flat, Maya and Pierson are free to stretch out with no discomfort problems. And they did just that on our trip from Kansas to Iowa.
The third advantage of the Pet Dek is with how easy it is to install and uninstall in the car. It is heavier than the bridge (12 pounds), but it is super easy to unfold and rest on the seats. The Backseat Bridge require the attachment of four straps around the front seats of the car.
While the Pet Dek has some great advantages over the Kurgo Backseat Bridge, there are a few disadvantages:
Unlike the bridge, the Dek has no divider blocking the center console. So if your dog is not wearing a dog car seat belt, he has easy access from the back to the front seat. This can be a dangerous distraction to the driver. So make sure your dog is buckled in for both your safety and for the safety of your dog. Yes, the Pet Dek does allow you to use the seat belts of your car so that your dog can still wear his safety harness.
Another negative of the Pet Dek is the gaps left around the edges. This is because the seats of the car curve and it was an issue with the bridge as well. The gaps with the Dek, however, are easier to remedy. I simply stuffed a blanket in the gaps where the Dek meets the seat. You may be able to see these in the photo of Maya and Pierson below.
I did have one other issue with the Pet Dek. One of the legs kept coming off. However, by adding a wide washer to the screw that kept the leg on, I was able to fix the problem.
The Pet Dek comes with a waterproof non-slip mat. This adds a little comfort since the Dek surface is hard. The mat is stain resistant and machine washable. It is a great way to keep muddy paw prints off your back seat upholstery.
Maya and Pierson really got to test the Pet Dek when we drove 3.5 hours from Kansas to Iowa. The Pet Dek is more expensive than the Backseat Bridge but it was well worth the value. I am not discarding my bridge but I will be primarily using the Pet Dek from now on, especially for long road trips.
Dogs face many dangers when they are left unsupervised in their owner’s car. The hazard of heat has been well-documented over the past few years, as many dogs have perished or become sick. Inclement weather plays a big role in the threat to a dog’s well-being while left in a parked car, but there are other risks, too. Friendly dogs could become a victim of theft. Your dog could face undue harassment from children or overzealous adults. A well-meaning passerby could assume your dog is in distress. They may break your window, trying to help. With all these perils lurking in the parking lot, it may be safer to leave your dog at home.
Last year, blog.doingsciencetostuff.com tested parked cars to determine the length of time it takes to reach 100 degrees on an 85 degree day. During their experiment, they determined it can take under five minutes for a closed car to reach 100 degrees. That same car reached a boiling 120 degrees in just 30 minutes. When a dog is left in a hot car, these soaring temperatures are dangerous enough to quickly kill a beloved pet.
While it is not talked about as often, frigid cold can pose just as many risks as heat dangers to dogs. Some dogs, like huskies, are more prepared for icy temperatures, but many, like tiny Chihuahuas or puppies, can become hypothermic or get frostbite. If your dog begins to show symptoms, like excessive shivering or lethargy, they should immediately be taken to a veterinary professional for treatment.
The range of harsh weather isn’t the only risk you and your dog face when you leave them in an unattended parked car. There are people out there who use dogs to make money, or simply might think your dog is the cutest they’ve ever seen. According to Dan Billow, of WESH News, in April of 2014, a Palm Bay, Florida man left his two dogs in his car while he made a quick trip to the drug store. Upon his return, he found only one of his dogs was still safe in the vehicle. He and his wife searched for weeks, and finally found their dog with an alleged dog-napper. The family got their dog back, but not all dog-nappings have a happy ending. Many families will never know what has become of their missing furry family member.
Even if the windows are up, with the doors locked, dogs can face pestering from strangers. Some children may not understand not to tap on the glass, or may think it’s funny to entice your dog into a fit of rage. It’s not only children who behave this way. Adults are not precluded from bad behavior, which can lead to the disturbance of your dog. This can be especially problematic for dogs who have anxiety or fear-based behavioral issues, but it may also cause these types of complications in dogs that do not already display them.
Your dog isn’t the only thing in danger when you leave them in an unattended vehicle. According to AnimalLaw.info, there are eleven states that allow law enforcement or government employees to take action to remove an endangered animal from a car. This can include breaking your window and taking your dog into custody. If this happens, you may face charges of animal neglect, which can result in fines or jail time.
Even if safety precautions, such as controlling the temperature and airflow, have been taken, an overenthusiastic dog lover could take action into their own hands. If they assume your dog was left in a hot car, they may break your window, trying to save your pet from the elements. This could cause more harm than just having to head to the window repair shop. Your dog may get cut on the glass, and need a vet visit. Your dog may get scared and bolt, which is extremely dangerous in a busy parking lot. Your friendly dog may even get scared and bite the window-smasher.
Ensure your dog’s safety by letting them lounge at home, especially on days when the weather is extremely hot or cold. Besides, there’s nothing better than being greeted at the door by your best friend, when you return home.
(Article originally published on Newswire Today.
1) Dog distractions which could cause a car wreck:
-Nosing, licking, or otherwise pestering the driver.
-Trying to climb in the lap of the driver.
-Pacing back and forth from car window to window.
2) Injury to the dog or other passengers:
-Injury to your dog’s eyes or nose from flying debris when their head is out the window.
-Broken bones, internal injuries, trauma, or death due to sudden stop, violent swerve, or car wreck.
-If a car wreck occurs, your dog could become a deadly projectile which could kill them and possibly harm other passengers.
3) Escaping the vehicle:
-Jumping out of a moving vehicle causing injury to themselves and possibly causing a wreck from you stopping suddenly or from other cars trying to avoid hitting them.
-A dog that is projected from or escapes from a wrecked vehicle could cause another wreck when he goes into the road.
4) Breaking the law:
-While it may not be against the law in all states to have your dog unseatbelted, if law enforcement sees that your dog is a distraction you may be ticketed for unsafe driving.
5) Stress to your dog:
-Unharnessed or uncrated dogs can get stressed out in a car. Stopping, turning, etc can prevent them from keeping their balance. They don’t understand all the movements and can be stressed by it.
-Dogs can get carsick – especially little dogs who can’t see out the window.
-A stressed dog can vomit or make other types of messes in your car.
-Don’t leave your dog alone in the car, even in mild weather. Heat dangers, stress from being left alone, stress from being harassed by a passerby, danger of being stolen.
Our message does not mean that you shouldn’t take your dog with you in the car. We just want you to think about you and your dog’s safety when they are in the car. Consider a dog car seat belt, keeping them in a crate or pet car seat, or putting up a pet barrier between the front and back seats in order to keep them in the back. For more information on dog car safety, visit our pet travel safety articles page.