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2013 Comparison of Dog Car Seat Belts

Author: MayaAndPierson
October 14, 2013
Compare Five Dog Seat Belt Brands

Dog seat belt brands listed left to right, top to bottom: ClickIt Utility, Ruff Rider Roadie, Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Kurgo Go-Tech.

The study that evaluated the safety of canine car harnesses completed by the Center for Pet Safety has made it much easier for us to determine which brand really is the best. But the best may not always be the right one for you and your dog. So here are some other comparisons for you to consider when looking for the perfect way for your best friend to ride in the car. Please note, our comparison only covers dog car seat belts we currently have available at Pet Auto Safety.

QUALITY
Quality goes nearly hand-in-hand with safety. While most brands appear to be well made, only a couple of them held up in all three crash test weights conducted by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). So when considering quality, consider safety.

SAFETY
The following is a list of the dog car seat belts rating from the safest to the least effective as according to CPS:
ClickIt Utility
– Ruff Rider Roadie
– Bergan
– Kurgo Tru-Fit
– Kurgo Go-Tech
– Pet Buckle
– Guardian Gear (our standard brand)
The Kurgo Go-Tech was not part of the study conducted by CPS (see their full report from CPS here). However, it is very much like the Tru-Fit in style and make. Pet Buckle failed the safety tests conducted by CPS. Guardian Gear was not tested by CPS but we know for a fact that these canine car harnesses have not been tested for safety by the manufacturer. They are primarily used to help prevent driver distractions and to help keep a dog from getting thrown around in a sudden stop or swerve.

PRICE
As would be expected, the price generally reflects the quality and safety. The following brands are listed from most expensive to least expensive:
– ClickIt Utility – $90 – $100
– Ruff Rider Roadie – $43 – $55
– Pet Buckle – $28 – $55
– Bergan – $24 – $35
– Kurgo Go-Tech – $22 – $32
– Kurgo – Tru-Fit – $20 – $30
– Guardian Gear – $13 – $20

EASE OF USE
All these pet safety belt brands seem difficult to put on your dog when putting them on for the first time. Even the second and third attempt can be difficult. But once you get used to it, all of them are easy. I do think, however, with the ClickIt Utility’s three attachment points that securing your dog in the car with this brand takes slightly more effort than the others do. But it is not difficult once you get a hang of it.

HOW THEY WORK
There are three different ways to secure your dog in the car with a pet safety belt:
1.
Use the safety belt of your car and run it through a loop on the harness. This method is used by the Ruff Rider Roadie, Kurgo, Pet Buckle, and is one of the three attachment points used by the ClickIt Utility. The ClickIt, however, doesn’t actually run through a loop. It runs through the harness straps itself.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Tether Loop

The seat belt of your car goes through a loop on the tether of certain dog seat belt brands.

Back of the ClickIt Dog Seat Belt

The seat belt of your car goes through the back of the ClickIt as one of three attachment points of the harness.

2. Connect the harness tether to the latchbar located between the seat cushions of 2001 to newer vehicle models. This method can be used by the Ruff Rider Roadie with their included caribiner clip, Bergan with the caribiner clip on its tether, Pet Buckle if the Kwik-Connect tether is used, and it is the other two attachment points used by the ClickIt.

Kwik-Connect Tether for Pet Buckle

The Kwik-Connect tether clips onto the latchbar located between the cushions rear car seats (2001 and newer models).

Tether of the ClickIt Utility Dog Safety Belt

These two tethers attach to the latchbars located between the rear seat cushions, and in turn attach to the sides of the ClickIt Utility dog safety belt.

3. Connect directly to the seat belt. The Bergan brand does this by clipping the carabiner in between the webbing of the seat belt receptacle. The Kurgo brand has a direct to seat belt connector that is sold separately and buckles directly into the seat belt receptacle. The Guardian Gear brand buckles directly into the seat belt receptacle as well.

3 Bergan Tether Attachment

The caribiner clip of the Bergan tether can clip between the webbing of the seat belt receptacle.

Buckle Strap for Dog Car Harness

The Kurgo direct to seat belt tether buckles directly into the seat belt receptacle.

The ClickIt must use the first two connection methods. The other brands that have more than one possible connection method must use one method or the other.

FITTING
– ClickIt – Adjusts at both the neck and the chest. The vest piece for the extra small and small may be too bulky for smaller dogs with narrow chests or short bodies. It measures 9 inches long and the narrowest part of the vest is 3.5 inches wide. Despite the sizing indications, the extra small and small is not intended for very small dogs.
– Ruff Rider Roadie – Adjusts at the neck and the chest for medium through extra-large sizes. The neck on the small sizes is not adjustable.
– Bergan – Adjusts at both the neck and the chest. The vest piece for the small may be too bulky for smaller dogs. The harness does not fit very small dogs. The extra-large harness is the largest of all our extra-large harness brands.
– Kurgo Tru-Fit – Adjusts at the neck and the chest.
– Kurgo Go-Tech – Adjusts at the chest only. The harness will be loose at the neck for dogs with a really narrow neck.
– Pet Buckle – Adjusts at the chest and neck. The large size can be adjusted to fit medium-sized dogs but is generally too heavy because of the buckles. Therefore, this brand is only suitable for larger small breeds, or larger medium to large breeds.
Guardian Gear – All styles are adjustable at the chest. Some styles may or may not be adjustable at the neck.

Dog car seat belts we did not consider in our comparison but rated well in safety according to CPS include the Allsafe and RC Pet. Allsafe did as well as the Ruff Rider Roadie and RC Pet rated as well as the Bergan. We did not include these brands in our comparison because we have no experience with them.

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7 Responses to “2013 Comparison of Dog Car Seat Belts”

  1. mollie and alfie:

    I’ve got to get Mollie a new seat belt, the one she has is fraying as we use it for walking too and has been washed so many times where she goes in the mud LOL. XXOOXX

    Mollie and Alfie

  2. MayaAndPierson:

    Hi Mollie! 🙂 You definitely need a new dog car harness if the other one is fraying. A friend of mine, Joanne, in the UK sells the Bergan brand – http://www.fleecedogharnesses.co.uk/. I know she wants to sell the ClickIt too but they are out of stock until mid-November so she may wait until next year. By the way, she also has a shop called Happy Dogs in Cockermouth, Cumbria. I’m not sure where you are in the UK so I don’t know if that is close to your or not.

  3. Flea:

    Interesting. I keep saying to myself that when our babies pass we’ll get a smaller dog. And a restraint system. Thank you for reviewing the different types. 🙂

  4. Roxy the traveling dog:

    Good info. I don’t buckle either dog. But i know i need to do something. The problem is we are sometimes in the truck for hours at a time. Torrey is in the back seat and lays down, sits up, changes positions. I can’t see her loving a harness at all. Roxy is either in the back with her, on the middle console, or beside me in the passenger seat. I think one of those center console things might work for her.
    I will have to look into these a bit more.

  5. MayaAndPierson:

    🙂 I bet Roxy would love the center console seat. Maya is not a big fan of the harness either. It is especially no fun when we take that long annual road trip to Texas. The ClickIt is even more restrictive so we will see how it works for her when we visit Texas this December.

  6. snoopy@snoopysdogblog:

    I love that you put all this information up there. I have one of the Kurgo ones and I get secured in every time I go in the car. I don’t mind wearing the harness as I always have one on when I go out. Plus I don’t mind being secured in as I’ve always had some kind of seatbelt since I was a pup.

    It’s hard to find a balance between what us doggies enjoy and what keeps us safe, but Mum and I hope we’ve got it right now 🙂

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  7. MayaAndPierson:

    Thanks for stopping by, Snoopy. I’m so glad you ride safe in the car. 🙂 Maya is a good example of finding balance. Do I give up a little safety so she can be more comfortable? Or do I force her to use the most restrictive harness for ultimate safety? I think for short trips, I will choose the most restrictive. But when we make our annual trip to Texas, I may go with the next best harness that gives her a little more freedom to move around.