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 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.
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
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.