Archive for August, 2014
Maya just turned 7! Except for the rain, she’s pretty happy about it. Seven years and still a puppy. 🙂
She’s been promoting safety for dogs in the car with dog travel gear since 2007. Her birthday wish is that all doggies travel safely. And she wants you to use discount code, dogbirthday, on PetAutoSafety.com.
(Please note, the discount code does not apply to some products. It does apply to all seat belts and most travel carriers.)
Since I have big dogs, traveling in the car can be a little uncomfortable for them. Maya likes to stand up when she rides in the car. So even with her dog car harness on, she had a difficult time keeping her front paws on the edge of the seat. If I stopped too fast, she’d slip and her front paws would end up on the floor. If I ever had to make an emergency stop, she could have been hurt. So how did I solve this problem while at the same time giving my big dogs more room to stretch on out long road trips? I’ve done it with seat extenders like the Backseat Bridge, Pet Dek, or Portable Pet Flat Seat.
The Backseat Bridge from Kurgo has been around for a while. I’ve always loved it, and still do. Then the Pet Dek came along and I fell in love all over again. It solved some of the issues with the Bridge. But now there is the Portable Pet Flat Seat. How is one to decide which one is best for them and their dog? Here are some comparisons:
The Portable Pet Flat Seat was so easy to install, I didn’t even have to read the instructions! While the Pet Dek was easy too, I did have a problem with one of the legs that kept coming off. I was able to fix it, but if I hadn’t been handy I might have requested the product be replaced. I probably just had bad luck. If this one had not had this trouble, the Pet Dek would have been very simple to put in the car. The Backseat Bridge has four wrap-around straps, making it just a tad bit more work to set up in the car. Rating installation, I’d say the Pet Dek is #1 for the easiest. The Flat Seat is #2. And the Bridge is #3.
Both the Flat Seat and the Pet Dek can be a little heavy as compared to the Bridge. I’m not sure of the exact weight but if you are a small petite person, the Flat Seat and Pet Dek can be slightly cumbersome. Also, the Bridge folds up nice and small while the Pet Dek only folds in half and the Flat Seat doesn’t fold at all. So for bulkiness, the Bridge is less bulky and I rate it as #1. The Pet Dek is #2. And the Flat Seat is #3.
Flatness & Gaps
Unless the back seat is completely flat, the bridge leaves a bit of a lip that my dogs Maya and Pierson didn’t care for. Although they had more room to stretch out, this lip could be a challenge. Neither the Pet Dek nor the Flat Seat has a lip. They are completely flat. Regarding gaps, however, the Bridge had minimal gaps. But because the Pet Dek is one size only, there tended to be a gap between it and both the front and back seats. I solved this problem by putting stuff between the gaps. You may be able to see it in the photo. Because the Flat Seat is so thin, the gaps are extremely minimal. Rating flatness, I put the Portable Pet Flat Seat at #1, the Pet Dek at #2, and the Bridge at #3. Rating gaps, I put the Flat Seat at #1, the Bridge at #2, and the Pet Dek at #3. By the way, the front seats have to be even with the Bridge. You can’t have one seat further back than the other.
The Backseat Bridge is the least expensive. That is because it is manufactured by a large company (Kurgo) that makes a number of pet products. This allows them to be very cost effective. They even provide a lifetime guarantee and have a great repair and replacement policy to cover normal wear and tear or any other damage your dog might do. Both the Pet Dek and the Portable Pet Flat Seat don’t have these features. They are designed by individual entrepreneurs who only have this one product and are considered small family run businesses. Another thing that makes them more expensive is they are made here in the USA. So in rating costs, the Bridge is #1, the Pet Dek is #2, and the Flat Seat is #3. If you’re all about supporting small US businesses, then the Pet Dek and Flat seat are both #1.
Using Dog Seat Belts
There is no rating on which of these three pet travel products are best when it comes to being able to use your dog seat belt. All three allow for the use of seat belts. However, I will say that as a company both the Bridge and the Flat Seat actively promote buckling up your dog.
No single one of these pet travel seat extenders rated #1 in everything. So consider which features are most important to you. While I love all three of these products, I’ve decided that I like the Portable Pet Flat Seat the most. I think my dogs Maya and Pierson do too.
Thank you for stopping by again everyone! As you’ve noticed, I don’t do Barks & Bytes every week. That is because I don’t want to inunduate you all with advertising! I have two dog blogs and this one is mostly promotional. What can I say? I’ve got two pampered pups to support! 🙂 (If you’re interested in my non-promotional dog blog about Maya and Pierson, check out my personal blog, http://americandogblog.wordpress.com/)
PORTABLE PET TRAVEL FLAT SEAT
I’ve probably posted about this new pet travel product a dozen times on my social media sites already but that is because I really love it. I’ve always loved its comparable product, the Backseat Bridge, but the Portable Pet Flat Seat is a hundred times better! True it is more expensive too, but you get what you pay for. And I really got my money’s worth. Next week I’ll compare the flat seat with the other two seat extenders I have.
Despite the fact that I’m always on the lookout for new pet travel products, I did not actually find this product. The woman who designed the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat (Deb) found me. She is a dog lover who noticed that her big dog sometimes comes off the seat even though he is wearing his dog car harness, and so designed this product to give him more room to spread out and be comfortable. The black dog in the photo, by the way, is her dog Howie.
Anyway, Deb called me one day while I was walking Pierson and asked if I would advertise her product on my site. Just advertise, I asked? What if I try to sell it too? She had never heard of dropshipping and so I explained it to her. And a relationship was born. In exchange for some graphic designs (because I am an artist too) I received a Portable Pet Flat Seat of my very own. Here is a video of me installing it for the first time.
As you can see, the installation took me less than 10 minutes. It might have taken me less time if I had read the instructions first! 😮
Maya is featured in the video. And just so my dog Pierson wouldn’t be left out, I took some photos of him on the pet travel flat seat as well.
What do you think? Isn’t he handsome? Silly question, right? Of course he’s handsome!
PET TRAVELER’S COMMENTS
Thank you Jodi, Linda, and Lindsay (with That Mutt) for being regular commentors on my pet travel blog. I really appreciate your feedback. And I want to also apologize to Jodi for the fact that her comments do not always get posted right away. For whatever reason, Jodi, your comments are going to my spam folder! I have no idea why. It shouldn’t be doing that for people I have approved comments for in the past. And so it took me three days to notice you left a comment and for me to approve it. Since I don’t have Captcha, I get over 100 comments in my spam folder a day. If I don’t check my spam comments every day, they can build up fast. Luckily, Jodi, I found both your comments on the Barks & Bytes #8 post through the 500 or so spam comments that had built up. I’m sorry it took me so many days to find. And I’m sorry comments have to go through moderation. But I’d rather search through 100 or more comments a day than utilize Captcha.
PET TRAVEL SAFETY ARTICLES
My new writer, Patrice, has written another great pet travel article for me. Check out Plan a Great Pet Friendly Trip.
Thanks for stopping by for the Barks & Bytes blog hop! Have a great rest of the week and a great tail-waggin’ weekend!
Pierson has actually been using the Ruff Rider Roadie for some time. He actually has several dog car harness brands to choose from, but I’ve been using the Roadie almost exclusively since that report from the Center for Pet Safety came out in October 2013. Besides safety, there are a lot of other reasons why I love this brand. So let me share them with you, along with some opposing features.
The Center for Pet Safety did an independent crash test study of various dog seat belt brands in October 2013, and I’m happy to say that the Roadie did very well. They determined the ClickIt Utility to be the safest and the Roadie and the AllSafe followed 2nd. This information makes me feel better about my boy Pierson’s safety.
One thing about the safest ClickIt Utility brand is that it is also the most restrictive. You dog can’t stand up in it and will have a difficult time moving from the sitting to the laying down position. This restriction is a good thing in safety, but let’s face it, many dogs do not like to be that restricted. One great thing about the Ruff Rider Roadie is that it can allow your dog a little more freedom to move. Its tether has two setting, one that makes the tether very short and one that makes it a little longer. With the longer option, your dog can sit, stand, and lay down with ease. Pierson is good about staying in one place in the car, so I generally use the shorter tether option.
MADE IN USA
Nope, the ClickIt Utility is not made in the USA. Neither is the AllSafe. But the Ruff Rider Roadie dog seat belt is made right here in the United States. And it has been around and continuously improving for 15 years.
FITS ALL SIZES
Pierson is a medium sized dog, so he doesn’t have a problem in sizing. But you should know the ClickIt and the AllSafe are not made to fit very small dogs. The Roadie, on the other hand, does fit little pets.
The Roadie pet car harness is very well made. The material is a very strong webbing, yet not bulky. The size adjusting buckle is plastic, but this buckle is not part of what keeps the harness on your dog. If it breaks, your dog will still be in his harness.
The Roadie does not have a padded chest piece like the ClickIt or AllSafe. But the cross piece is designed to lie low on your dog’s chest so that it doesn’t choke him. Pierson likes it because it’s comfortable without being bulky.
Because the Ruff Rider Roadie pet seat belt isn’t put on with clasps, it can be a bit difficult to put on. Luckily, my Pierson is very cooperative. He’s been wearing dog car harnesses since the day I got him, so he allows me to slip the Roadie on and put each of his legs in the leg holes. If you have a dog that doesn’t hold still well or is likely to resist, then you may have a challenge in putting this one on.
Because the Roadie doesn’t have clasps and because it has to be adjusted loose enough to put on your dog, it fits a little loose. This is actually a good thing. You don’t want a harness that is too tight. If you have a dog that keeps trying to get out of his dog seat belt, a tighter fit is not going to stop him from trying. The tighter it is, the more likely he is to hurt himself when he tries to get out of it. With training, a dog is more likely to get used to a loosely comfortable harness than a tight fitting one.
The Ruff Rider Roadie has seven different sizes. This makes it a bit difficult in determining which size to get your dog. At the same time, because it has so many different sizes, it is likely to fit many more dog breeds than other brands.
When shopping for the right pet car harness for you and your dog, look at safety, but also be aware of the possible cons. The Ruff Rider Roadie is almost perfect because it has such a high safety rating yet only a few cons. It is also very competitively priced. I love the Roadie. And although Pierson is not thrilled with the process of me putting it on him, he is very comfortable in it once it is on.