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August 31, 2013

Last Saturday, I talked about the reasons why a dog should be restrained in the car. The post mostly focused on the benefits of a pet car harness. But let’s face it, not every dog will wear one. Plus, there are a few legitimate concerns about dog seat belts. So here are some other pet travel products to consider:

Straps for Pet Carriers

This Pet Travel Carrier secured in the car with kennel straps.

Pet Carrier
Have your pet ride in a pet carrier. Make sure the carrier is secured in the vehicle so that if the car goes out of control, the dog crate stays in place. You don’t want it and your dog to be thrown about. Whether a secured travel crate is as safe as a pet car harness is not known. Not much testing has been done on pet travel carriers. However, I imagine that a secured crate is probably just as safe (strictly an opinion). Traveling in this way covers all the reasons discussed last week about why it is better to have your dog secured in the car.

Maya Behind Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier

This is a cloth barrier. A pet car barrier can also be metal or a pet net barrier.

Dog Car Barrier
A dog car barrier can help keep your dog in the back seat and from being a distraction. Depending on the barrier, it may keep your dog from being ejected out the front windshield. However, it can’t keep your dog on the seat and it can’t keep him inside the vehicle if someone opens the door, a window breaks and he jumps out, or he hangs his head out the window and jumps or is thrown out.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

Maya has more room to stretch out on those long road trips.

Backseat Bridge
I can’t tell you how much I really love the Kurgo Backseat Bridge. I have two big dogs and there is no way Maya can stay comfortably on the back seat, even with her pet car harness on. The seat is too narrow and Maya is too big. And she is too energetic to sit still. So covering the floor of the car helps keep her from being thrown onto the floor. If you’ve read some of the news about how dogs should stay on the seat when wearing their dog seat belts, you can see how difficult it would be to restrain a dog to such an extent that he wouldn’t get thrown forward or onto the floor. The Backseat Bridge can help because it covers the floor. The Backseat Bridge also has a barrier that covers the center console area. If your dog is not buckled in, at least the bridge can keep him from getting thrown onto the floor and possibly keep him in the back seat so that he is not a distraction. A dog car hammock has the same benefits as the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.

Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 CarFence.

K9 CarFence
This is a brand new product. There hasn’t been much testing on it yet. But it sure looks promising. The K9 CarFence keeps your dog from being a distraction and it helps to keep him in his seat.

Pierson Breeze Guard Car Window Screens

Pierson is looking out the window fitted with the Breeze Guard car window screens.

Breeze Guard Car Window Screens
This is another product I really love. I used to let my dogs put their heads out the window. After all, they really love it. But one time, Sephi yelped. I think she got hit in the face with something, probably a small pebble. Thankfully, it didn’t hit her in the eye or nose. She wasn’t injured. But it made me think that perhaps letting her have her head out the window wasn’t such a good idea. Also, a friend of mine on Facebook told me about how a friend of hers had her dog thrown out the car window. He was hanging out having a good time when they suddenly had to swerve their car. Their poor dog flew out and ended up getting run over by the rear tire. And, one final story, I had a dog years ago that actually jumped out the car window. Luckily, we were driving slowly down an old dirt road when Huckleberry saw some cows and jumped out to get at them. He was okay. It shocked us both. But all these incidents will never happen again because of my Breeze Guard car window screens. BTW, despite having screens on my windows to allow the breeze in, I never ever leave my dogs unattended in the car.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your pet but aren’t sure about the safety of pet travel products, there are a lot of alternatives to consider. A pet car harness and pet carrier have a lot more safety benefits, but every dog and every situation is different. Consider your various options and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

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Follow Up Friday #9

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 30, 2013

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Time for another Follow Up Friday hosted by HeartLikeADog and Flea with DogTreatWeb! We had a lot of great comments this week. 🙂

ALLSAFE
Jodi with HeartLikeADog pointed me in the direction of a review of a dog seat belt approved for pet car safety in Germany. The seat belt brand is AllSafe. A friend of mine in the UK actually pointed it out to me a couple months ago. I like the v-neck design and they appear to be very comfortable. The website claims to have tested them and they even show a crash test video.

The video and their testing claims looks a lot like the videos and testing claims as our US brands, so I have put aside any final decisions until the Center for Pet Safety releases an updated report on their testing of various dog seat belt brands.

CENTER FOR PET SAFETY
The Center for Pet Safety is a nonprofit organization, so I will be more inclined to trust their test results rather than I will the test results claimed by individual manufacturers. The report is supposed to be released this fall. Hopefully, this time they will be able to disclose the brands (they did not disclose the four brands tested in the 2011 report).

I will keep you posted. I am confident of the brands we have. But if a brand I sell does not do as well as others, I still contend that something is better than nothing. However, we will notate the results on our retail website and phase in the best brands possible.

HIKING SAFETY
Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs commented on the hiking with your dog post last Saturday. She agreed that knowing your dog was important, especially concerning their recall. She also reminded me of safety protection against two-legged predators. Good point! I forget about the unsavory folk because I’ve always had big dogs and they always seem to be a good deterrent. However, I have to remember that Maya loves everybody. She’d probably greet Jason and Freddie like a BFF.

OTHER PET CAR SAFETY METHODS
Kimberly with KeepTheTailWagging.com mentioned she is getting something to keep her dogs in the back seat, to keep them off the floor, and to keep them from putting their heads out the window. This is great! 🙂 A dog seat belt is not for every dog. And if you have a large dog or more than one dog, putting them in a pet travel crate in a small car is not always feasible. So whatever you can do to help your best friend is simply pawsome! I think this Saturday’s theme for Pet Safety Saturday will be about alternatives to dog car harnesses.

BREEZE GUARD WINDOW SCREENS
I replied to Kimberly’s comment about how the products she mentioned resembles the Backseat Bridge and the Breeze Guard window screens that we have. Jodi with HeartLikeADog remembered my recent post about the Backseat Bridge but wanted to know more about the Breeze Guard window screens. The Breeze Guard window screens are a great product made right here in the USA by an entrepreneur like me. Well, not quite like me. I sell what others have made while Sue actually invented and patented her window screens! Click the image below of Maya looking out of her Breeze Guard window screens and find out more information.

Maya Breeze Guard Window Screens

Maya can get a breeze but she can’t put her head out the car window.

MAYA’S BIRTHDAY
OzTheTerrier, Flea with DogTreatWeb, and Snoopy all liked the Wordless Wednesday post about Maya’s birthday. Oz loved the video of Maya playing. Snoopy clearly agrees with Maya’s philosophy about work. And Flea’s comment made me smile:

“Maya is just ADORABLE. Well. Since it’s Maya’s birthday, we won’t talk about Pierson. ;)”

As you may know, Flea has two adorable Aussie mixes, Flash and Patches. She has an extra fondness for the breed which makes Pierson her favorite (shhh, don’t tell Maya).

Maya and New Purple Collar

SAFEST PLACE IN THE CAR?
Snoopy also asked a good question:

“What do you think is safer, being in the trunk or where I currently sit? Which is on the floor behind the driver seat (I didn’t like it on the seat), I’m strapped in with my harness and attached to the seatbelt. I used to sit in the trunk but Dad thought it isn’t safe if someone rear ends us.”

By trunk, do you mean the area in the back of a hatchback or SUV? I don’t think there have been any studies about whether the floor of the car or the cargo area can be a safe place to ride. It probably depends on the kind of car accident you are in. You’re right about the cargo area possibly not being safe in a rear end collision. But what if you’re on the floor and in a front impact collision? Will the front passenger seats get pushed back and squish you? There are so many factors that I honestly can’t tell you which place is the safest. But I do believe that the fact you are wearing a dog seat belt improves your safety no matter where you ride.

Snoopy says he always wears a dog seat belt and he is never allowed to put his head out the window. Yay, Snoopy! 🙂 Your Monday Mischief posts always make me laugh so I can only imagine what kind of mischief you’d be getting into if you weren’t using a safety restraint in the car. Good job!

THANK YOU!
Thank you, everyone, for all your great comments. And thank you for stopping by! 🙂 As always, please feel free to comment and ask questions.

 

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Follow Up Friday #6

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 9, 2013
Dogs Pet Safety Belts

Maya and Pierson wearing a pet car harness. The back seat is also fitted with the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo.

We’ve had a couple of wonderful questions about dog seat belts and the Backseat Bridge this week! Donna with WeLiveInAFlat had an incident where they had to slam on the brakes, causing the dog to get thrown onto the floor. The question was whether there was a difference between a regular harness and a pet car harness.

We were happy to hear that the dog was okay. Scary!!! And all just because of a quick stop! Yes, there is a difference between a harness and a pet car harness. There is a difference in safety. A regular harness might be okay for a sudden stop like the one described. But a dog car harness is designed to fit better and to be stronger in more serious incidents.

We directed them to our site where there was information on safety as well as some videos. One of the videos found was from Kurgo.

Notice the dog still flies off the seat. WeLiveInAFlat had some concerns about this. We agree that a dog would still fly off the seat. Keeping the tether short could help. The Center for Pet Safety is continuing to do more studies on the safety of dog seat belts. The tests are ongoing so there haven’t been any new publications. But I do know that most of the positive testing results they have had were on harnesses with short tethers.

Hawk with BrownDogCBR asks: “A bridge is a good idea. What happens when one front seat passenger has the seat forward and the other has it back and somewhat reclined?”

Our reply: “Very good question, Hawk! It will still work, but there will be gaps and this could be an issue. The Backseat Bridge has a flap that goes up along the back of the front seats in order to try to cover that gap. However, if you are loose in the back seat and step in that area just right, you could get your foot caught. I would try to lessen those gaps or cover them as much as possible. The bridge fits most average sized vehicles, but if your car is wider than most, you could also have those gaps on the sides.”

I would also like to add that the Backseat Bridge could help in the situation observed by WeLiveInAFlat by keeping dogs from getting thrown onto the floor.

Pierson Wearing the Bergan Dog Car Harness

Lindsay and her dog Ace with ThatMutt held a calendar contest this past month. I entered a great photo of Pierson playing in the snow, then I begged for Like votes on Facebook. The contest ended yesterday and I am happy to say that Pierson is a tentative winner! Why tentative? He received enough likes, but Lindsay needs to make sure the photo entry meets all the guidelines. The winners will be officially announced on Monday. In the meantime, go visit her Facebook contest page and go check out the ThatMutt blog.

Thanks again for all the wonderful questions. You all bring out some great points and possible drawbacks of some of the products. Keep them coming. They help people make educated decisions and I’d rather people know what to expect in advance than to find out later. These discussions also help stimulate the manufacturers into continuing to make improvements.

Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend!  🙂

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December 29, 2012

It’s almost time for the new year – 2013! What is your New Year’s resolution? Me, I’m going to try to exercise more and eat healthier. I get plenty of walks with the dogs but I need to do more. My dogs Maya and Pierson want to learn more tricks. Pierson also wants to keep his teeth cleaner so that I will stop brushing them. So what is your New Year’s resolution?

How about keeping your pets safer in the car? Perhaps your dog is good in the car, like my Pierson. Pierson just sits there very quietly. But he is my baby boy and I want to keep him safe for in case I have to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way of something in the road or away from a crazy driver. Pierson wears his Bergan dog car harness and I have the back seat floor covered with the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.

 

Pierson is wearing the Bergan dog car harness. The Backseat Bridge covers the floor of the car.

 

Perhaps your dog is crazy in the car like my Labrador Maya. Maya LOVES to ride in the car. Even if I am taking her to the vet, she is super excited both on the ride there and on the ride back. She wears the Kurgo Tru-Fit smart dog seat belt but uses the Bergan replacement tether. I like the Bergan replacement tether because Maya likes to move around a lot and will get herself tangled in the loop tether provided with the Kurgo Tru-Fit.

 

Maya is wearing a red Kurgo Tru-Fit car harness.

 

If your dog is crazy in the car like my Maya, consider the Bergan brand dog car harness or even the Pet Buckle brand. For a small dog, make sure to get the one with the Kwik Connect tether included. Otherwise it uses a loop tether similar to the one from Kurgo. For a large dog, our large Pet Buckle travel kit comes with both the harness and the Kwik Connect tether.

 

The Pet Buckle dog seat belt and Kwik-Connect tether.

 

If you don’t think your dog will tolerate a dog seat belt, consider a pet travel crate strapped in with the safety tested kennel restraints from Pet Buckle. Or use a pet car barrier. After all, our pets are family. We want to keep them safe like family. And pet travel safety supplies are easier than ever to get and most of them have been safety tested.

 

A pet crate strapped in with kennel restraints helps to protect your dog or cat in the car.

 

So practice pet travel safety and have a Happy New Year with your pets!

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Wordless Wednesday – Dogs & Kurgo

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 29, 2012

Maya & Pierson get to try most of our pet travel products. I say most because they are both too big to try out the pet car seats.

Here is Maya trying out the red Kurgo dog car harness (only the black harness is available on our site).

You can also see the Kurgo Backseat Bridge in the photo below. I love this product because it covers the floor of the car and gives Maya & Pierson more room to move around.

Pierson is wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Both the Kurgo brand and the Bergan brand pet car harnesses have been tested for safety.

For more great pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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The beautiful spring weather makes this time of year the perfect time to go on vacation. Your dogs would love to go too. But to bring the dogs, it means you will probably need to drive to your destination. Long car trips are not all that comfortable for people. We can’t lay down or stretch our legs. But you can help to make your dog comfortable on long car trips. Whether your vacation spot is a few hours away or several hours away, it is good to be prepared.

Keep Your Dog Cool
Spring does tend to get a little hot. Make sure your dog stays cool. Use the a/c in your car. Or put the windows down for a nice fresh breeze that dogs love. Be sure not to let him put his head out the window, though. This can be dangerous – especially in a sudden stop or emergency car maneuver. Road debris is another danger for a dog with his head out the window. The BreezeGuard window screens are great for allowing your window to be down and your dog to be safe.

Another way to cool your dog is with a Cool-It bandana. Or if it is really hot, you can wrap towels around ice packs for your dog to lie on. Make sure lying on the ice packs is an option. You don’t want to make your dog uncomfortable.

Be sure to bring plenty of water for your dog. Pet travel bowls are a great way to water him in the car or at any of the stops you make.

Give Your Dog Room to Stretch Out
If you have a big dog, the back seat of a car may not be that comfortable. Give him more room to stretch out with the Kurgo Backseat Bridge. This product covers the floor area of the back seat so that your dog has a full stretch of space and so that your dog doesn’t fly forward in a sudden stop. The Kurgo Backseat Bridge also has a flap that covers the center area between seats so that your dog can’t stand on the center console or bother the driver.

If you have an SUV and your plan on keeping your dog in the cargo area, consider the Snoozer cargo liner pet pad. This is especially helpful for older dogs who need a little extra cushioning for their joints.

As always, have your dog wear a canine seat belt or use another pet travel safety product. For the back of the SUV, a good canine seat belt is the one from Pet Buckle. Get the one with a Kwik-Connect Tether because it has a clip which allows you to clip it onto a metal ring, generally in the cargo areas of most SUVs. The Pet Buckle canine seat belt can also be used in the back seat of a car.

Make Frequent Stops
The best thing you can do for both you and your dog is to make frequent stops. Stretch your legs and let your dog stretch his too. You can do this at rest stops, gas stations, scenic routes and other points of interest. Keep your dog on a leash and make sure he is always wearing his collar with tags.

We make at least one really long road trip with our two big dogs every year. Frequent stops are a must. With our car and the two big dogs the Kurgo Backseat Bridge is perfect for us. Our dogs also wear the Bergan canine seat belt. They don’t have the most fun ever on these long trips, but they are comfortable. If they weren’t comfortable, they would have no problem expressing it and so could be a big distraction to whoever is driving. A comfortable dog on a road trip is much more pleasant for everyone.

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March 10, 2012

 

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

Are you taking spring break with your dog? If so, don’t forget to keep him safe in the car when you travel. There are a lot of great pet travel products out there that your dog will love. And if he doesn’t love them, well, at least he will be safe.

BreezeGuard Window Screens
The weather is warm so roll down those windows and put your nose to the wind. But keep your pet safe too. The BreezeGuard window screens allow you to roll down the windows and let your dog get a whiff of the air, but they don’t let him put his head out the window. This keeps him in the car in the event of an emergency car maneuver or auto accident. And it also keeps your dog from being hurt by flying road debris. The BreezeGuard window screens are custom made to fit your vehicle and so can take 2-3 weeks to make. It may be too late to get them for spring break but I’m sure you will still be taking your dog for rides in the to the dog park this spring and summer.

Kurgo Backseat Bridge
This is one of my most favorite pet travel products, next to the dog car harness that is. Even though my dogs wear a seat belt for dogs, the tether on their harness is long enough that they can still move around. The Kurgo Backseat Bridge gives them that room by covering the floor of the car and, in a sense, extending the seat. This is an especially great product for long road trips. Plus, your dog won’t get thrown on the floor in a sudden stop.

Seat Belt for Dogs
Since seat belts can save people’s lives in a car accident, they can save your dog’s life too. Fortunately, there are a lot of seat belts for dogs out there on the market. Many have been tested for strength and durability but only one brand, Pet Buckle, has had them crash tested. But if your pet won’t wear a seat belt for dogs, there are other safety pet travel products you can use.

Pet Travel Crate with Kennel Restraints
If your dog doesn’t like to wear a dog car harness, secure them in a pet travel crate instead. Then secure the pet travel crate with kennel restraints. The kennel restraints from Pet Buckle are made from the same strong material as seat belt webbing. Plus they have been crash tested. They work by wrapping around the pet travel crate, then being secured with the seat belt system of your car.

Other Important Things to Remember for Your Pet
Don’t forget your pet’s food, water, leash, pet tags on your dog’s collar, poopie bags, and an emergency kit. It also helps to keep a copy of your pet’s vet records with you and an emergency phone number for your veterinarian. These may not be specifically pet travel products but they are important none-the-less.

Unfortunately, I don’t get a spring break. But the dogs and I will still be taking some trips on the road this spring and summer. Maya and Pierson wear a seat belt for dogs, we use the BreezeGuard window screens and Kurgo Backseat Bridge. What sort of pet travel products does your pet use? Where are you taking your dog for vacation?

(Special note on above photo: My dog Maya is wearing a sea belt for dogs in this photo, it is just difficult to see.)

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January 17, 2012

new-pet-travel-products-in-my-car-004.JPG

I love this product! In the past, I have used a similar product from Outward Hound. When I found out about one from Kurgo, I had to try it out. Kurgo makes very high quality products including the Tru-Fit Smart dog car harness, the Wander Hammock, and the Kurgo Cargo Cape. These products are a bit pricy as compared to similar products but they are far more durable.

The Backseat Bridge has lots of other great features that the one from Outward Hound didn’t have. The flaps that go up from the back of the seats help to keep my dogs from stepping in the crack between the Backseat Bridge and the back of the seat. The barrier in the center of the Backseat Bridge is sturdier and my dogs can’t push it down to get their heads on the center console. The Backseat Bridge is waterproof so that muddy paw prints and other liquids are easy to clean. The Backseat Bridge also matches better with your car’s interior. The one from Outward Hound only came in blue. But the Backseat Bridge is black on one side and khaki on the other, so you can choose which color is best for your car. I chose the khaki and matched it up with a brown houndstooth pet car seat cover.

The Backseat Bridge from Kurgo attaches easily. Simply wrap the top straps around the front seat headrests of your car. Then wrap the bottom straps around the bottom part of your seat, between the back and cushion. When you tighten these straps, anyone sitting in those front seats won’t even notice them.

The Backseat Bridge and other pet travel products from Kurgo and other companies can be found on Pet Auto Safety.com. Stay tuned for reviews on some of our other new pet travel products.

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extendaseat.jpgIn conjunction with the dog car seat belts, I use the Backseat Bridge in my car whenever Sephi and Maya travel with me. The device worked perfectly when we first used it on a four hour trip from Kansas City to St Louis. Sephi and Maya were much more comfortable on this trip because they had more room to move around or lay down and stretch their legs.

What is a Backseat Bridge? The Backseat Bridge is a sturdy device which attaches around the front car seats and headrests in order to cover the floor of the back seat. The Backseat Bridge by Kurgo is slightly padded and designed for dogs over 30 pounds. Sephi is 55 pounds and Maya is almost 70 pounds and the it has shown no signs of weakness or breakage.

How does the Backseat Bridge protect your dog? The most defining feature of the Backseat Bridge is it keeps your dog off the floor of the car. If you have to make a sudden stop your dog could fly forward and crash onto the floor, possibly spraining or even breaking their leg, hip, or back. But if your dog is wearing a seat belt, how could this happen? True, with some dog car seat belts the dog would not crash onto the floor because those seat belts severely limit your dog’s movement. However, other dog car seat belts have an adjustable strap which gives them more freedom to move and sit, stand, or lay down. The Backseat Bridge provides even more space for your dog to move around which can be very comfortable for those long road trips.

How does the Backseat Bridge protect me? The Backseat Bridge has a flap which provides a visible barrier between the front seats. So if your dog is not wearing a dog car seat belt, this flap may deter them from trying to get into the front seat and distracting you while you are driving. The flap is not a complete deterrent, however. The best way to prevent your dog from getting into the front seat while you are driving is to have your dog wear a dog car seat belt.

Are there any drawbacks to the Backseat Bridge? One feature we have noticed is there is a slight gap around the side edges. So it is not recommended for smaller dogs who may be able to slip between those gaps. The straps can be tightened so that the padded base is flush against the back of the front seats. However, if the back of the front seats are not straight, there may be additional gaps. The back of the front seats of my car are not straight. However, since Sephi and Maya have the dog car seat belts with adjustable straps, I make the straps long enough for them to still move around but short enough so they can’t get their foot caught in the gaps.

Is the Backseat Bridge right for my dog? To find out, ask yourself these questions:
1) Is my dog or are my dogs over 30 pounds each?
2) Do my dogs hate being restrained in the car?
3) Will my dog be using a dog car seat belt with an adjustable strap?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then the Backseat Bridge is perfect for your dog!

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