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June 28, 2013

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.

Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock

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.

My Dog Maya is Sad - No Disneyland

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.

My Dogs in Back of SUV

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.

Sleepypod Pet Carrier in Seat Belt

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 naturebydawn@gmail.com.

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! 🙂

This is part of the Follow Up Friday Blog Hop hosted by Heart Like a Dog and Sand Springs Chesapeakes:

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8 Responses to “Follow Up Friday – Pet Travel Safety Questions”

  1. GizmoGeodog:

    Dawn I’m so glad you liked the Invincible Gecko…Sent your comment along to Kyjen…I’m going to look into those hammocks…That might be a great safety solution for us

  2. SephiAndMaya:

    Thanks, Gizmo! 🙂 The Kurgo Wander Hammock is really nice and has a lifetime warranty. It’s pricy, but the value is worth it. The back seat pet travel hammock is less expensive. It is an Outward Hound brand, which is a product of the Kyjen Company (just like the gecko)! So it is less pricy and the quality is decent.

  3. Jodi:

    Wow what a great follow-up. Thank you for joining the hop.

    I really want to get something to secure my dogs when we travel, but they are both large. We have a car where the back seat folds down and they both usually just lie down when traveling for any distance. Hubby and I have been thinking about it and trying to determine what would be the best. Do they make a harness that still provides a little bit of room for them to move around or change positions?

    I’m really torn on the restraints. I know that I don’t want them flying around in the car during an accident but I also worry about them being restrained and still being whipped and breaking their necks or worse.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. SephiAndMaya:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂 Here’s the short answers. I’ve emailed you with the longer answers and may also post the longer answers on next week’s Follow Up Friday.

    The Bergan harness comes with an adjustable tether (adjusts from 1 foot to 2 feet long) while the Kurgo’s tether is short. The Center for Pet Safety says the shorter the tether, the better.

    The harnesses fit around the chest and should not choke your dog.

    An alternative to a dog car harness is to have your dogs ride in separate pet travel crates. Be sure the pet crates are secured in place.

  5. Sue at Talking Dogs:

    Great follow up and congrats on your award! Loved your response to Jodi’s comment above. The more I read about restraints (including the study released this week) the more conflicted about them I feel.

  6. SephiAndMaya:

    Thanks, Sue! Check out my blog post tomorrow. I’m going to talk about that study. It was actually conducted in 2011 and a lot of companies have made improvements since then. And a lot of companies are also consulting with that company for feedback.

  7. Sue at Talking Dogs:

    Made a note to get back here to read your next blog post. Thanks for the email alerting me 🙂 We have three large dogs and I worry that restraints might do just as much harm as good.

  8. SephiAndMaya:

    Traveling with three dogs can be quite a challenge. Let me know if you have questions after reading tomorrow’s post. You can comment on the blog or email me. 🙂