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February 3, 2014

The Center for Pet Safety has tested a number of dog seat belt brands and found the ClickIt Utility from Sleepypod to be the safest. We concur. It is very well made and does a great job at keeping your dog secure. Unlike other brands, a dog wearing the ClickIt will have less side-to-side and forward projection in the event of a car accident. This is great, but there are a few things you need to be aware of:

MORE SECURITY MEANS MORE RESTRICTIVE
Not all dogs will tolerate being so restricted in the car. The ClickIt Utility uses three anchor points to secure your dog. All three anchor points must be used in order for your dog to be secured properly when they are wearing the ClickIt. The first point is with the safety belt of your car. Take the safety belt of the car and put it through the back of the harness. Next, attach the two tethers. One end of the tethers clips onto a metal ring located between the rear seat cushions of all vehicles 2001 model and later. The other end of the tethers clips onto the sides of the harness. Yes, your dog can still lie down, but he won’t be able to stand up.

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.

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 side of the ClickIt Utility dog safety belt.

Not being able to stand up can be very frustrating to some dogs. When they try to stand up, they can’t. And so they may try to chew the straps connecting them. Or they may struggle to get out of the harness and hurt themselves in the process. Some reviews have said their dogs got tangled in the straps because they struggled so much.

Maya ClickIt Utility Dog Seat Belt

Maya can barely move when wearing the ClickIt Utility. She can lay down or sit, but she can’t stand up.

MORE COMPLEX AND SIZING CONCERNS
Other reviews stated that the ClickIt was very complex and difficult to put on and take off. We agree that it is at first. It is definitely more involved than other pet car harness brands. But I think once you get used to it, it is actually pretty easy. Another review stated it was hard to find the right size. We agree. The extra-small is not for really small dogs. It is for larger small dogs. And measuring for the right size is not as simple as it is for other harnesses. And another review said it was difficult to adjust the size. We’ve found this to be the case as well. Luckily, Sleepypod has made a video to show us how to put the ClickIt on and how to adjust the size.

THE MOST COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR DOG
If you’re looking for the best dog seat belt, be sure to take these reviews into account. Remember that the safest is also the most restrictive. Consider what your furry best friend will tolerate. Your dog can be trained to wear the harness without struggling, but this could take time. While other pet car harness brands may not be as restrictive, they are still safer than wearing nothing at all.

CRATING ALTERNATIVES
Your dog can also ride in a secured pet travel carrier. By secured, we mean the carrier should be buckled or strapped into the car so that it can’t slide around. The makers of the ClickIt have stated that smaller dogs are safer in a pet travel carrier.

Carry-Me Pet Travel Crate Buckled In

Be sure to secure pet travel carriers in the car so they can’t slide (or get thrown) around.

OTHER CAR HARNESS ALTERNATIVES
If your dog is calm in the car and doesn’t mind sitting or lying down in one spot for the entire ride, then the ClickIt Utility is the best thing you can do to protect his safety. If this is not your dog, consider other viable alternatives such as the Ruff Rider Roadie or the Bergan.

Dog Seat Belt

Which dog seat belt is right for your pet? I like the Bergan brand for Pierson.

CONCLUSION
This post is inspired by someone who’s tried both the ClickIt and the AllSafe dog seat belts and weren’t satisfied with either. They were too difficult to use, too difficult to fit, and their dog was not comfortable in them. This post is not about bashing the ClickIt. It is a fantastic brand when it comes to providing the ultimate safety. But it is not for everyone and it is not for every dog.

 

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7 Responses to “Why the Best Dog Seat Belt May Not Be the Best for Your Dog”

  1. Lindsay:

    Ace is very calm in the car and likes to sit and lie down. He doesn’t move around much. However, he does stand up sometimes, like when he watches me get out of the car. Do you think the ClickIt Utility would be OK for him? Or do you think I should consider something else since he occasionally stands? I’m thinking he could learn to not stand. He’s not a chewer.

  2. MayaAndPierson:

    Lindsay, If he only stands occasionally, I think the ClickIt would work fine. He may try to stand in it but find that he can’t. It sounds like he won’t struggle to stand, only try briefly, so he’d probably learn pretty quickly that he can’t stand.

  3. Pamela | Something Wagging This Way Comes:

    It is a balancing act between safety and comfort. In the end, everything is a compromise. Because if we wanted to be absolutely safe, we wouldn’t drive at all. 🙂

  4. Lindsay:

    I’m actually thinking about getting him one at some point. I have to say you are the one who convinced me a seatbelt is probably the safest bet for a dog.

  5. Jodi:

    I think the sooner you can start your dog in a seat belt, the better off you will be. We have never used one so when we finally do get one, I know we will be challenged with helping the dogs adjust to it. Thanks for continuing to post about this, one day I will by a safety restraint. 🙂

  6. Dr. Eloise Bright:

    These are great seat-belts, I’ve never actually seen the ClickIt before. I really like the idea of less mobility, particularly when you are talking of long distance travel at high speeds. I will definitely recommend this one to clients.

  7. MayaAndPierson:

    Thank you all, for the great comments. I was a bit worried my title made seat belts for dogs sound too negative. I’m glad I was able to convince you, Lindsay. And I do understand, Jodi. When I first got a seat belt for my dogs, it did take some work and there were times when I felt like throwing the seat belts out the window. Thanks again! You all are the best. 🙂