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September 16, 2014

My Dogs in Back of SUV

Having your dog wear a dog seat belt in the vehicle is a great way to keep them from distracting the driver. But you also want them to be safe, right? However, if your dog rides in the cargo area of your hatchback or SUV, you need to know that securing them to cargo rings may not be adequate.

The Center for Pet Safety, a nonprofit research facility for pet products, has recently reported that cargo connections may not have the necessary strength to hold your dog. This means the cargo ring can break if your dog is in a car accident, or even if your dog just pulls on it hard enough. Contact the vehicle manufacturer to find out what amount of force those cargo rings can withstand.

When we rented an SUV one year in order to make our annual trip from Kansas to Texas, we looked diligently for an SUV that had metal connections in the cargo area for Maya and Pierson. We did not find any. As a result, we found a way to connect their dog seat belt harnesses to the safety belt housing of the car located under the seat. However, the Center for Pet Safety advises against this as well.

If you need to have your dog ride in the cargo area, you may need to install a more secure connection in the cargo area. You can also opt to have your dog ride in a crate instead. Just be sure the crate can be secured in place.

We will soon have another option for dogs riding in cargo areas. By the end of September, you will see the VarioCage available on our PetAutoSafety.com retail site. The VarioCage is very expensive but it is also extremely durable. It has been extensively crash tested and even real-life situations have shown that the VarioCage remains intact.

Safety for our pets when we travel is very important and vehicle manufacturers are coming to realize this. More and more car commercials show a dog harnessed in the car. So if you have a vehicle with a cargo area and it doesn’t have cargo rings or just has plastic cargo rings, tell the manufacturer that you want this feature. You may not be able to get it this time around, but they will hear you and hopefully install better connections in future models.

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September 9, 2014

Rear End Front End Car Accident

We read a lot of articles about pet travel and have come across more than a few handfuls where a dog involved in a car accident runs away from the scene and is lost for days. We’ve also followed up with many of these articles and have learned the situations where the dog is found. Most of these reunions have elements in common that can help you if your dog escapes from a terrifying situation.

Return to the Scene
Believe it or not, in most cases where a dog runs away after being in a car accident, he is found within less than a mile of the scene. In some cases, he is actually found at or near the area where the wreck took place. If the accident is on a busy roadway, he is probably going to stay some distance back. Look in nearby areas with lots of foliage or other places to hide.

Trauma Makes Dogs Wary
A dog involved in a traumatic situation is very likely to be skittish with strangers, even normally friendly dogs. If you are helping to locate someone’s lost dog, make sure you have their number handy. If the dog moves away from you when you approach, stop approaching them and call for help.

Live Traps
Since traumatized dogs tend to be shy, putting live traps in areas where there have been sightings can help you catch him when you’re not around. A shy dog may also avoid broad daylight. He may hide during the day, and then seek food and water in darker hours. A live trap will help attract the dog and hopefully catch him when people aren’t able to be out searching.

Tell Everyone
Alert nearby neighbors, notify the local animal shelter and animal control, let the police know, and contact local rescue groups for help. Perhaps even call the local news stations. More than any of the others, individuals from dog rescue groups seem to be the people who most often answer the call to help. They can also be a great resource for getting live traps. Contacting local vet clinics is also a good idea for in case someone brings in a dog that needs medical attention.

Social Media Helps
There are a number of Facebook pages dedicated to finding lost pets. Sometimes pages are created by a family attempting to locate their own lost pet. The people who come together to help are amazing. They share posts, thereby spreading the word about a lost pet, they offer personal assistance with looking for the pet, or they may even have other ways to help. If your dog is missing, post it on CraigsList, Facebook, G+, Twitter, community classifieds, and anything else you can think of.

Protect Yourself from Scammers
Because you are posting the information about your dog publicly, there is a chance you will be contacted by scammers claiming to have found your dog but are wanting money before they return him. The most common scam is from people claiming they were traveling when they found your dog and they want money before they make the long drive back. Don’t fall for it. It is a good idea to withhold a very specific trait about your dog when posting public lost ads. Perhaps your dog has a scar somewhere or a specific mark that is not noticeable in photographs. If a person claiming to have your dog is unwilling to verify specific marks, then they probably don’t really have your dog. A person with the heart enough to pick up an abandoned dog is not likely to ask you for money or be difficult about getting the dog back to you. However, if you are convinced that such a person may, in fact, have your dog, insist on meeting them in person and in a public place before giving them money and see if the police will escort you.

Many of these tips can help in other situations, not just a car accident. If you have any additional tips that might help, please comment below.

(This is not an official study. It is merely an observation we’ve made based on online reports. There are probably a number of situations that were not reported and may not fit in these scenarios. If you’ve lost your pet, consider all options and don’t give up.)

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Our friend Lindsay with Ace at ThatMutt.com wrote a wonderful article that we’ve found to be very helpful:

My 70-pound Lab mix Ace loves riding in the car because he associates it with fun places like the dog beach.

Ace the Great Dane Mix 2

“This really is my happy face.”

Ace the Great Dane Mix 3

“Where are we going? I bet it is somewhere fun.”

While I’m glad he’s eager to go places, one problem with his excitement is his tendency to barge right out of the car as soon as I open the back passenger door.

I’ve learned to anticipate and manage this problem by giving a firm “stay!” command or by physically blocking him. He always wears his leash in the car too, which I can easily grab.

Ace the Great Dane Mix 1

“My mom has me wear my leash in the car so that she can grab it in case I try to run out when she opens the door.”

But lately I’ve realized I need to step up my dog’s training (and safety) a bit more. I want my dog to automatically wait patiently in the car until I give him a command to jump out. (I plan to use “OK!”)

I don’t want to tell him “stay” first. I want “stay” to be implied. Even if the door is wide open and my back is turned, I want my dog to learn to wait for my command before jumping out.

There are just too many scenarios where barging out the door could be a small or serious problem.

For example:

-Ace could barge right into traffic, even if he’s on a leash. We live in a heavily populated area with a lot of cars.
He could push the door too hard, causing it to door ding another parked car.
He could knock or pull someone over, trip someone with his leash or give someone rope burn.
If we’re ever in a bad car accident, it may not be safe for him to bolt out as soon as a responder opens the door.
Every now and then, my husband and I will pick up a friend or family member who will ride in the back next to Ace. I can’t have Ace bolting out just because someone else opens the door! (One time he bolted out the door to follow my parents when we dropped them off at their hotel.)

So, you get the point. There are a lot of scenarios where it’s dangerous for a dog to automatically jump out of the car.

Dog seatbelts to safely keep the dog in the car

Before I get to some training tips, an obvious safety tool here would be a dog seat belt.

Not only is a dog seatbelt a safety tool for when the car is moving, but now you can see why a dog seatbelt will safely keep the dog in place even when the car is parked.

Of course, some dogs will still try to bolt out as soon as you unbuckle their seatbelts. But at least the belt will hold your dog in place while you get situated. Read more about dog seatbelts here.

How to train your dog not to jump out of the car as soon as you open the door

The following are my own training tips based on how I plan to train my treat-motivated dog. There are many ways to train a dog, so please share your own suggestions in the comments.

I am training my dog to automatically wait in the car until I say “OK.”

*I drive a four-door car. Ace always sits on the back seat directly behind the driver without a seatbelt.

Here’s what I plan to do:

When I stop the car, I will have a handful of small, highly valued treats ready such as pieces of hot dogs. I will get out, walk to the back door and open it part way, so Ace can’t jump out. Without saying anything, I will pop several yummy treats into Ace’s mouth, being careful to stand close so he won’t jump out. “Gooood boooy.”

If your dog is wearing a seatbelt, this is where I recommend you unclip it – after you have already given him some treats for remaining still. Then, unbuckle the seatbelt and pop some additional treats in his mouth. You want him to learn that the “click” sound of the belt does not signal it’s OK to jump out.

After 30 seconds or so, I will say “OK” and let Ace jump out. I will stop giving him treats at that point because the treats are to reward him when he’s waiting in the car. I will repeat this several times in all sorts of areas, every time we go somewhere.

If he happens to try to jump out before I give the “OK” I will calmly block him with my body and calmly say “no.”

Increasing the challenge

In safe areas that are not too “exciting” I will do the same as above, but I will gradually open the door wider and wider as Ace’s training progresses, over several days and weeks. I will also make a point to stand a bit further from Ace and to wait longer before giving the “OK” to jump out. Giving him treats while he waits in the car will still be important at this point.

With time, I will give the treats less often, especially in “easy” areas where he is not as excited. When we go to the most “exciting” areas like the dog beach I will still have to go back to standing closer to him while he’s still learning.

Other safety tips

-Obviously I’ll have to be aware of the temperature in the car. A parked car is hot, even for a few minutes, and even with the door open. Training sessions will have to be fairly short.
Once your dog jumps out of the car, you may want to also teach him to automatically sit at your side (rather than straining at the leash like a maniac).
If your dog does manage to jump out before you give permission, just calmly say “no” and put him back in. Stay a little closer the next time so he doesn’t have the chance to “fail” again.

Of course, there are many other ways you could train your dog to wait in the car, and we are lucky to have so many training tools to help us. For example, perhaps a kennel will make it easier for your dog to remain calm and safe until you’re ready to let him out.

And now I want to hear from you!

If your dog already knows to wait patiently in the car, how did you train him to do so?

Author Bio:

Lindsay Stordahl maintains the dog blog ThatMutt.com where she writes about dog training, dog exercise, adoption and more. Read some of her most popular training posts here and here.

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January 13, 2014

From a business perspective, 2013 has been a pretty good year for us. There have been some ups and downs, but overall it has been great. 🙂

* 2013 started off with the Subaru campaign. It was great fun seeing those cute Subaru dog commercials. The one below is my alltime favorite. And there were some cool prizes given out. This was the first time we had ever done such a campaign. We wouldn’t mind doing more in the future, so long as it is for a dog product we feel is noteworthy.

* We updated the look on our retail site. Pet Auto Safety.com. Our web host did an upgrade forcing us to change our theme, but it really needed a new look anyway. Many aspects of our retail site became much easier when the upgrade took place.

* In July, I was in a minor car accident with my dog Maya. Fortunately, she was wearing her Go-Tech dog car harness and was not hurt at all.

* In August, I had an interview with the Radio Pet Lady. It went well, although I was pretty nervous. Be sure to go take a listen by clicking the red text. 🙂

* We only did a few pet events this year, all small and local. There were two Mutt Mixer events held at the Lawrence Humane Society. We also attended Responsible Pet Owner’s Day held at Crystal K9 in Lawrence. And we attended the Dogtoberfest event held at South Park in Lawrence. My dog Maya was attended all events to demonstrate her dog car harness. Pierson couldn’t go because he doesn’t like other dogs.

Maya Won Dish Responsible Pet Owner's Day

Maya at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event.

* I started a pet travel destination series on this blog that didn’t work out. I also did a pet safety Saturday theme. I haven’t done this lately, but I do plan on doing more posts about pet safety in general – not just car safety.

* I’ve made quite a few funny dog memes in 2013. Making captions for the cute looks Maya and Pierson give is great fun.

Dog Maya Goofy Grin Kurgo Harness

* We discontinued a few products in 2013. Sadly, the T-Flex pet auto barrier was discontinued by the manufacturer. We’re not sure why because we loved the T-Flex. We also discontinued the Pet Buckle canine seat belt. It was an innovative product when it first came out because it was the only one we knew of that used metal buckles. But other brands have since come out that have been determined to be much safer.

* With that being said, we added several new products in 2013. For seat belts, we added the Ruff Rider Roadie and the ClickIt Utility. Both of these were the top rated in safety during a recent independent study (more on that below). We also added some new Kurgo products, such as the Go-Tech harnesses, the Kurgo towels, and the Kurgo direct connect tether for seat belts. And two new products were added to help dogs who have anxiety when they ride in the car – the Thundershirt for dogs and cats and pet calming tablets from Total Pet Health. And let’s not forget the K9 Car Fence!

Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 Car Fence.

* The long awaited report on the crashworthiness of various canine seat belt brands came out in October 2013. The results of this study were a lot more promising than their previous report. The ClickIt Utility was number one, followed by the Ruff Rider Roadie and AllSafe. Bergan did pretty good, too.

* We finally finished our first funny dog video of Maya and Pierson riding in the car. It was quite a learning curve trying to figure out how to use movie editing software. But I had fun doing it and am happy with the resulting videos.

* We had several people share photos of their dogs with us. These guys and gals are all pretty adorable, aren’t they?

Spud Doodle and Bergan Dog Car Harness

Spud, the GoldenDoodle sports the Bergan dog car harness in style!

Bobo wearing the Bergan Dog Seat Belt

Bobo wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Doesn’t he look handsome!?!

Clover Kurgo Tru-Fit Dog Seat Belt

Clover’s mom says she doesn’t mind wearing the dog seat belt.

Duncan Bergan Dog Car Harness

Duncan is ready to ride in his new Bergan dog car harness.

Bergan dog seat belt.

This is Luna, Hela, and Saba from Poland. Luna and Hela are wearing the Bergan dog seat belt.

Thanks for taking the time to review our 2013 year! Stop by tomorrow to see what our 2014 plans are for Pet Auto Safety.com. 🙂

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Follow Up Friday #24

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 3, 2014

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Welcome to the first Follow Up Friday of 2014, hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. I hope you all enjoyed the end of 2013. 🙂 Ours was quite adventurous. Let me do a quick recap.

MOTEL 6

On our road trip from Kansas to Texas, Motel 6 saved us from having to traverse a dangerous ice storm in Oklahoma.

Sue with Talking Dogs said, “We got hit hard with that same ice storm and I can’t imagine being out on the road!” and “We’ve stayed at Motel 6 when we’ve traveled with our dogs and have always found the rooms to be simple, but clean (and not smelly).”

Ann with My Pawsitively Pets said, “That is so awesome! I too have certain images of Motel 6 in my head. It’s probably all about location and age of a motel too.”

It must be true because Jodi with Heart Like a dog said, “We stayed at one in St. Louis and it smelled musty.”

Even if our room happened to smell musty, I’m still grateful for Motel 6. Our room was under $60 and we had a safe place to stay. I feel bad for Sharon with G8 Canine Dogs. She says, “Here in the UK it is impossible to find motels etc that are pet friendly. Glad you made it safely with your dogs.” That’s awful, Sharon. I always thought the UK was ahead of us in regards to being pet friendly.

WINTER ROAD TRIP

A lot of comments on this post were about how cute Maya and Pierson are when they cuddle. Sephi and Maya did not cuddle. Sephi hated to be cuddled with. She was probably much like Delilah and Sampson from Heart Like a dog. Jodi said, “Sampson and Delilah do not cuddle with each other. In fact, one of them usually growls if the other touches them while their sleeping.” Silly! That’s definitely not Maya and Pierson. They are quite the pair. Here are more cuddle puppy photos.

Maya and Pierson under my desk 2

Maya & Pierson often try to share the small space under my desk.

Maya & Pierson Sleeping Together 4

Maya and Pierson have two of these beds, but they tend to share one.

Maya & Pierson Sleeping Together 3

Most of the photos of Maya and Pierson sleeping together are of Maya with her head on Pierson.

Maya & Pierson Sleeping Together 2

But generally, it is Pierson who lays on Maya.

2013 RECAP

This is just a quick recap. I will do a more detailed one later this month. Pierson had two seizures in 2013. The last one was in May so these seem to be just isolated incidents. Thank Goodness!

I got into a car accident in 2013 with Maya in the car. She was wearing her dog seat belt, of course. The accident was fairly minor, but it caused my car to be considered totaled. I managed to get it repaired, but I felt better about taking our road trip to Texas this holiday in my husband’s car.

The long awaited crash test results for dog seat belts came out in 2013. I was disappointed about Kurgo, but glad we had decided to start selling the Ruff Rider Roadie. We also began selling the safest dog seat belt brand – the ClickIt Utility. It has been consistently sold out and the manufacturer won’t have any more until mid to late January!

I finally finished making a video of Maya and Pierson in the car. This was the first episode and I plan on doing another one very soon.

I’m happy about all our new followers in 2013. Our commenters, subscribers, likes, followers, circles, etc. seem to have doubled this year. And it is all thanks to you!

Vizify made a great video year-end recap regarding Twitter followers.

Thank you everyone, for joining me on the first Follow Up Friday of 2014. I hope you all have a very wonderful 2014!!!

Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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Follow Up Friday #10

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 6, 2013

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Today I am joining Jodi with HeartLikeADog for the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Thank you so much Jodi for inviting me! 🙂

Comments from Recent Follow Up Friday #9
Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews says her dog Patches loves to put his head out the window, probably for the extra bug bonus! 😀

Hawk with BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com says he doesn’t get to put his head out the window. I also noticed on his September 2nd post that Hawk rides in a crate in the cargo area. He’s the perfect dog to show that not all dogs have to wear a dog seat belt in order to ride safe. Give me a high five paw! 🙂

Donna’s mom with WeLiveInAFlat says they had something hit their windshield once when they were driving and it left a dent. She imagined how terrible it would have been if it had hit a dog in the face. Ouch!

Jodi with HeartLikeADog wanted to know if we will let you all know about any new safety test result reports from the Center for Pet Safety. Absolutely! If there are brands they recommend that we don’t currently have, we make sure to get them on our site too. One particular brand that I am super excited about is the new ClickIt from Sleepypod. They are coming later this month. I have already spoken to the people at Sleepypod and they said much of their design is based on information they’ve received from the Center for Pet Safety.

ClickIt from Sleepypod

Coming Soon – ClickIt from Sleepypod

Jodi says she sometimes uses a bar barrier in her vehicle to keep her dogs from getting in the front. She says she is bad about using them, though, and I completely understand. The metal barriers can be a hassle to put up and take down. The Pet Net Brand pet car nets are easier.

The Pet Net Brand Car Barrier

The Pet Net Brand car barrier.

Comments from Pet Safety Saturday – Alternatives to Dog Seat Belts
Mollie from MolliesDogTreats.co.uk says she wears a dog seat belt. Yay Mollie! Hi five paw to you too. 🙂

Jodi says Sampson likes to ride shotgun and will try to sneak up front when the car is stopped. I admit there were a couple of times when Sephi rode in the car and I didn’t put her seat belt on her. She would do the same thing.

Carol with FidoseOfReality thanked us for posting about alternatives to dog seat belts. Thank you, Carol for stopping by. 🙂 And thank you for all the valuable information you have shared on your blog about ACL injuries. I’ve never heard of it before your Dexter. I hear Sherman from MyBrownNewfies has the same injury. It must be more common than I thought.

Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs likes the idea of the Breeze Guard car window screens. And Snoopy with Snoopy with SnoopysDogBlog asks about the Backseat Bridge. He asks if it basically extends the depth of the back seat. Yep, that is exactly what it does. There is more room for a big dog like you to stretch out. Although, if I remember correctly, you feel more comfortable on the floor. 🙂

Kurgo Backseat Bridge

Maya’s Pooch Plunge
After spending a marvelous weekend visiting my mom in Missouri (see my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.wordpress.com), Maya went on her first car ride since our car accident in July. I’m glad the event didn’t scare her from car rides as she was as excited as ever. Where did we go? I took her to the Pooch Plunge here in Lawrence, Kansas.

Every year at the end of summer, the public pools are drained. And the day or so before they are drained our Parks & Rec opens the pool to the dogs. It was just $5 and it was a blast! Here is one photo from the event. For more photos, and hopefully a video too, check out my other blog on Saturday.

Maya Pooch Plunge 2013

Maya at the Pooch Plunge event in Lawrence, KS on September 3rd, 2013.

Recent News Events Involving Dogs in Car Accidents
Three recent news stories brought tears to my eyes. All are about dogs being involved in car accidents. The first one is about a dog named Ily (pronounced Ely). She, her owner, and another dog were involved in a very serious car accident. The other dog was killed. The owner was seriously injured. And Ily ran off in fear. Ily was missing for over two months in the Arizona desert. She lost 25 pounds during the ordeal and was so lucky to have been found.

CBS 5 – KPHO 

The other story is about a dog named Jet. Jet also went missing after a car accident in Pequannock Township, NJ on August 23rd. Jet was found yesterday and is in good spirits. There is an awesome reunion video on a Facebook page for Jet. I’ve also posted it on our PetAutoTravelSafety Facebook page. Be sure you have a tissue handy before you watch it. Also, a Rottweiler named Isa that went through the windshield in a car accident in Howard City, MI has been found safe. The story is covered by Fox17.  

Still missing is a Tibetan Terrier named Monk in Milladore, WI. His story is on the Marshfield News Harold.

That’s all I have for this week. I hope I didn’t forget anything or anyone. Thank you everyone for stopping by. And thank you Jodi for giving me the opportunity to co-hose the blog hop! Dawn with Maya & Pierson.  

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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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Pierson Blue Go-Tech Dog Car Harness

Our Pet Auto Safety pup Pierson demonstrates the Kurgo Go-Tech car harness.

Many pet seat belts are now safety and crash tested. But even if you have one that isn’t, there are still several reasons why wearing a dog safety belt is better than wearing nothing at all.

Distraction – Some dogs, like my Maya, can be a major distraction in the car. If Maya wasn’t wearing her dog safety belt, she’d be jumping back and forth from the front to back seat, putting her nose in my face, and trying to put her head in my lap. Not all dogs are as crazy as my Maya. Some are even well-behaved in the car, like my Pierson. So here are some other reasons why pet seat belts are a good idea.

Keep on the Seat – If you have to make a sudden stop, your dog won’t get thrown onto the floor or into the dash. Getting thrown forward could mean a broken limb or injured nose. In some cases, it could even mean death. This is just for a sudden stop. What about a rear-end collision or a more severe car collision?

Dog Head Out Window Danger

I don’t think the car is moving in this photo. But see that gap under the dog’s neck where the window curves down? If this car was moving and had to stop suddenly, the dog could get his neck caught in that crack and do some serious damage to his throat. It could even kill him, depending on how fast the car was going.

Keep Head Inside the Car – As much as our dog loves to put his head out the window, it isn’t safe. If you have to make a sudden stop, your dog could be choked. Or if you have to make a sharp turn, your dog could get thrown out of the car. Also, flying debris on the road can hit your dog in the eye or in the nose – very painful.

Keep Dog Inside the Car – If your dog sees something that he wants to chase or go after, he might jump out the window. Maybe he won’t do it if the car is not moving (maybe), but what about at a stop light? Remember the movie Marley and Me? It does happen! Also, what about when you pull up to the park? When you open the door, you don’t want your dog to rush out in excitement. If he is buckled up, you can switch from his car harness tether to his leash in moments. Your dog won’t have a chance to rush out and possibly get himself in danger by blindly running into the street or jumping on some unsuspecting passerby.

Car Accident – If your dog is wearing a dog safety belt, he won’t get ejected from the vehicle. Being ejected means he could be more seriously hurt or killed instantly. It also means that if he is able to run away from the scene of the accident, he will most likely try to do so. If your dog isn’t ejected, the terror caused by being in a car collision may make your dog want to escape. If he gets out of the car, he could run into the street and get hit by a car, he could cause another car accident, or he could run off, get lost, and lose out on some necessary medical treatment.

We realize there is a lot of concern about the safety of pet seat belts. There are many manufacturers out there claiming to be the best. They even have safety test results and crash test videos to back it up. But as of yet, there are no established universal pet safety standards. Until then, be assured that most of the brands that have claimed testing have put their heart and souls into their products and truly believe in their safety. Also, consider that something has got to be better than nothing at all. You can also consider the alternative of having your dog ride in a pet travel carrier. Just make sure the crate is secured in the car, i.e. it can’t slide around.

Straps for Pet Carriers

This pet travel carrier is secured in the car with kennel straps.

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Follow Up Friday #7

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 16, 2013

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There weren’t as many questions this week so I’m going to talk about other stuff that has happened on my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com, and things happening for us on other dog websites.

My Dog Pierson is to be on a Calendar!

I’m so happy that my dog Pierson is to be featured in the That Mutt calendar! Thank you to everyone who saw my post on Facebook and voted. 🙂

That Mutt Talks about Pet Auto Safety

Lindsay with That Mutt also talked about pet auto safety on one of her blog posts. Go check it out – Do Dogs Need Seat Belts? The article is well thought out and covers pros and cons. Feel free to comment. 🙂

Dogs Trapped in Cars After Accidents?

One of the questions Lindsay asked me prior to her post threw me off. She said she knew some people who were concerned about a pet car harness or pet travel carrier causing a dog to get trapped in the vehicle in a car accident. Can you believe that in all my years of running this business, no one has ever brought this up before?

Certainly, it can happen. I think this was a concern when seat belts for people first came out. But after years and years of research, statistics have shown that this risk is small and the likelihood of a seat belt saving a life is much greater.

If anything, I would be concerned about an unrestrained dog escaping from the vehicle after an accident. I get Google alerts for dogs in car accidents on a regular basis and so see a lot of news stories about dogs that went missing because they escaped the vehicle and ran off in terror. Think about it, after a car accident your dog is likely to be completely freaked out. His instinct is going to be to get as far away from the terrifying situation as quickly as possible. When a dog runs in terror, he runs blindly. This means he could run into the street, cause another car accident, and possibly get struck and killed by another vehicle.

Here’s a story with a happy ending. The video automatically plays, so I’m sorry about that. I don’t know how to keep it from doing that.

I understand we all have our different fears. The thing about a car accident is that it is unpredictable. You never know when you will be in a collision, let alone what kind of collision. What may be perfect for one situation may not be for another. Just consider the odds. While the above situation happens all the time, heroes like this aren’t always around to help.

SleepyPod’s New ClickIt Pet Car Harness

Sleepypod is coming out with the new ClickIt pet car harness soon and this design is also based on recommendations from the Center for Pet Safety! They are going to be expensive, but worth it. Keep posted here on this blog and I will let you know as soon as they are available.

My Interview with the Radio Pet Lady

I had an interview about pet auto safety on the Radio Pet Lady Dog Travel Experts show. Paris with Dog Tipper was there too! The show aired last night but will be archived at this link soon. Be sure to check it out. I think Gizmo with Terrier Torrent will be interviewed next week to talk about the fun of geocaching.

Bad Poetry Day

Hop on over to the AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com for Pierson’s Bad Poetry Day contest entry. Seriously, it will make you laugh! 😀 Maya will feature her bad poetry tomorrow.

Where is the Pet Auto Safety Car?

As you may have read, Maya and I were in a rear end collision on July 25th. It was bad enough that the insurance company considered my car as totaled, but not bad enough to cause serious injury. Even though the car is considered totaled, I am working with the repair shop to still have it fixed. Hopefully, they can get used parts instead of new and be able to fix it for the check amount the insurance company gave me. But as of today, I still don’t have my car back!!!

How is it that a car can be considered totaled for just a fender bender? First of all, it is a Ford. That should be enough explanation, but in case you’re wanting more… My car is a 1998. Why in the heck would I want to keep such an old car? Believe it or not, it only has 87,000 miles on it and it is still running well. Also, it was more than just the bumper that was damaged. It turns out the frame is bent too, and other stuff.

K9 Car Fence

A lot of you commented on what a great idea the K9 Car Fence is. Pierson didn’t think so, but I thought it was brilliant too! I wish I had thought of it. 😉

Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 Car Fence.

Questions or Comments?

As always, if you have any questions about pet travel, feel free to ask them by commenting below or by emailing me at naturebydawn@aol.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Join the Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by and reading my long-winded post today! Follow Up Friday is hosted by Heart Like a Dog and co-hosted by Flea with JonesNaturalChews so be sure to go check them out. Other dog blogs participating in Follow Up Friday can be found in the blog hop links below.

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July 12, 2013
Dog Laying Down Pet Car Harness

Maya can lie down when she wears her pet car harness.

Surprisingly, we didn’t have too many questions on pet travel safety during these past couple of weeks. Everyone must be out having some great summer fun. I know we are! 🙂

We did have two great questions, though:

1. “Does my dog have to sit down when he wears it?” Kathy asked us this question when she called us last week. And she is referring to the dog seat belts. The answer is no. Your dog can also lie down while wearing it. Depending on the length of the tether, your dog can also stand up while wearing it. My Maya is almost always standing when she wears her pet car harness.

I should also inform you that the Center for Pet Safety has determined that the shorter the tether, the better. A long tether means your dog will get tossed around more in an emergency car maneuver or car accident. I try to keep Maya’s tether as short as possible, but she is the kind of dog that can’t sit still. I have to balance her safety with her comfort, so I keep her tether a little longer than I keep Pierson’s.

Dog Standing in Pet Car Harness

Maya can also stand when she wears her pet car harness. Generally, I keep her tether shorter than this.

2. “Do you ship outside the US?” Sorry, but generally no. There are three main reasons for this. First, our website is not set up to charge the extra fees involved in shipping outside the US. Even some places in Canada can cost twice as much to ship. The second reason is because of import fees. Import fees are what you pay to your country’s customs before you can pick up the package. This makes the over-all cost for the products much more expensive. The third reason we don’t ship outside the US is because it is difficult to honor the return policy. Since international shipping fees can be high and the paperwork sometimes complicated, it makes it difficult for someone to return a product. And our return policy states that any returns for reasons other than a product defect do not get refunded for shipping.

I do have a contact in the UK for the Bergan pet car harness brand. Her name is Joanne and she is the owner of FleeceDogHarnesses.co.uk. Joanne and I have been supporting each other’s businesses for years. In fact, she was the one who first informed me of the Bergan dog seat belts! And if you go check out her site, you will find pictures of my dogs Sephi and Maya at the very top. 🙂

Do you have any questions about pet travel safety? Please comment on this blog, comment on our Facebook page, or email us at naturebydawn@aol.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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