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Follow Up Friday #11

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 13, 2013

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Welcome to another edition of Follow Up Friday. This week’s event is hosted by Jodi with HeartLikeADog and Flea from DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews.

Comments from Follow Up Friday #10
Sue at Talking-Dogs.com says, “No dog heads out our windows. Ever. Way too dangerous.” Not many people realize there is a danger. It reminds me of the danger of dogs playing with sticks. The activity is just so fun. It’s hard to believe there is a risk to it.

I suppose there is a risk to everything fun. Heck, just going outside can be dangerous. Think of poisonous snakes or, in Hawk‘s case, gators. We can’t eliminate all risks or life will be no fun at all. But we can avoid or minimize some dangers.

Donna’s mom from WeLiveInAFlat and Sue both enjoyed the Pooch Plunge event that Maya got to go to. I posted a photo on the last Follow Up Friday and directed you to go check out my other blog on Saturday for a video. For in case you missed it, here is that video:

Mr. N with TenaciousLittleTerrier asked about the SleepyPod ClickIt dog seat belt. He wanted to know what sizes the ClickIt will come in. The sizes are large, medium, small, and extra small. The extra small, which is what I’m sure Mr. N will need, can fit a dog with both a neck and chest size measuring a total of 31-36 inches. To measure, use a tape measure to start at the top of your dog’s back between the shoulder blades, wrap the tape measure around your dog’s chest, and then bring the tape measure around your dog’s neck, like a figure-8. This is a bit different than measurements indicated for other dog seat belt harnesses.

ClickIt Harness Sizing

BTW, Mr. N your email subscription button isn’t working. 🙁  I’d love to visit your blog regularly but the only way I will remember to do so is if I can get email alerts. If you get the email subscription button fixed, can you let me know by sending me an email at naturebydawn at gmail dot com?

Mollie and Alfie from MolliesDogTreats.co.uk were really glad Jet was found and reminded everyone to buckle up – “remember CLUNK CLICK every trip.”

Comments from The Center for Pet Safety Update
Carol with FidoseOfReality got to meet with The Center for Pet Safety at Blog Paws. How awesome is that! I’ve talked to them, but have not had the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face.

Lindsay with ThatMutt can’t wait for their new report to come out. I can’t either. 🙂

Another comment is from JJ. I’m pretty sure this was a spam comment since the website link was to a blog that looked more like advertising than content (link deleted). But it was a legitimate question. He asks, ” What about cats?”

Well, JJ. It is no secret that most cats hate riding in the car. It reminds me of a funny photo caption where two dogs in the back seat are excited about the car ride, but the cat has a look of terror on his face and says, “We are all going to die”. 😀 It is also highly unlikely that a cat will wear a dog car harness. So what do you do with your cat if you need to drive him to the vet? How can you protect his safety and not endanger yourself by allowing your cat to roam free in the car?

Ask Glogirly! She has two cats, Katie and Waffles. If you’ve never been to her blog, you should go check it out. It is hilariously fun. The recent video of Waffles chasing the red dot had me laughing so hard that I was crying.

Anyway, Glogirly also has her cats ride in a pet carrier when they are in the car. And not just any carrier, the Sleepypod Air pet carrier. This is a really nice product and it comes in a variety of cool colors. It is perfect for cats and small dogs because it is just the right size for them and it is comfortable. The best part about it, though, is that it can be buckled up in the car and it is crash tested. Although Glogirly did not get her Sleepypod from us, we do have the Sleepypod Air pet carrier available on our retail site (click the red link above). Sleepypod saw Glogirly’s post and is offering to give one away through Glogirly’s site. Visit her website to enter and win one. Hurry! The contest ends on September 16th.

Sleepypod Air Pet Carrier OrangeSleepypod Air Pet Carrier with Seatbelt

Comments from the Paw Prints Pet Seat Covers
There were no comments on the post about the paw print pet seat covers because this was more of a promotional post. I’ve been selling (and using) these covers for some time. Now there is something new and exciting about them – they have a lifetime guarantee! They didn’t always have one. Their warranty used to be for only 30 days. This was really irritating if one happened to break. And one did after 45 days. I replaced it for the customer at no charge, but I had to go back and forth with the manufacturer on my end. I almost stopped selling them at that point. However, I realized that one broken seat cover was just a fluke. It happens on occasion with any product. So I still sell the paw print pet seat covers. And I’m even more enthusiastic about selling it now that it has a lifetime guarantee.

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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September 7, 2013

I am keeping an eye out for the upcoming report on the recent study completed by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). As you may know, they conducted a preliminary test on four dog car harness brands in 2011 and that test did not have promising results. But not to worry, there’s hope. Thanks to some funding help from Subaru, CPS has been busy doing further studies. They will have a full report available in early October.

So what if you want a dog car harness now? After all, having your dog use some sort of restraint is better than not using one at all (see our August 24th post about the dangers of an unrestrained pet in the car). Thankfully, CPS has some great tips for you. Please go visit their page at CenterForPetSafety.org/faqs/ and get answers to questions such as, “How do I find a good harness for my dog?” or “Can I use a longer tether?”

They’ve also answered a couple of questions for us as retailers. Firstly, they strongly advise us not to make claims beyond those of the manufacturer. That stands to reason. I hope you have found our website and blog to be honest and forthcoming.

CPS also advises us that they do not specifically endorse any product. This might mean their October report will only contain information about safety features to look for in a dog car harness. I am hoping the report will also tell us which products they’ve found to be the safest, but that would be a form of endorsement. I guess we’ll see in October.

CPS may not be endorsing specific products, but they will be developing a safety certification seal. I believe the certifications will come out later after the report in October. And the certifications will not be issued unless the manufacturer seeks to obtain the certification and passes the certification requirements. This means there will be some manufacturers who will not seek certification. I hope all the brands we sell will seek certification. If they don’t… well, you might see some changes on our retail site.

As soon as we get new information we will be sure to share it. So sign up to our blog. Also, feel free to comment below with questions, news, or any other information you want to share about pet travel safety.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

P.S. Go visit our other blog to see the video of Maya swimming at the Pooch Plunge event.

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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 #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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June 29, 2013

Dogs Wearing Dog Car Harnesses

Are Dog Car Harnesses Really Safe?

Some of you may have seen the news about the crash test failure of seat belts for dogs. This test was a pilot test completed in 2011 by a nonprofit organization called the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). While the initial pilot test reveals some frightening results, you will be glad to know that a lot of wonderful things have happened and are happening as a result of the test completed by this great organization.

More on the 2011 Dog Seat Belt Pilot Test

This is the test that is making all the headlines and causing a lot of people question whether a seat belt for their dog is really a good idea. Let me make four quick points about this test before moving on to the wonderful news.

1. The pilot test only included four out of dozens of pet safety restraint brands. And CPS does not disclose what those brands were. The results of only four brands should not be applied to all brands.

2. The result of this pilot test has spurred a number of companies to make improvements on their seat belts for dogs.

3. Having your dog wear a pet safety belt still prevents driver distractions.

4. Since there is no standard for testing, reputable manufacturers have done their best to test with the current knowledge and resources available to them.

You can read more on our website at http://www.petautosafety.com/Are-Dog-Car-Harnesses-Safe.

Manufacturers of Dog Car Harnesses Make Improvements

***The following four companies are from the brands that we sell. These do not represent the four brands conducted by CPS in their pilot test.

Kurgo – Shortly after this study was published, Kurgo came out with new dog car harnesses with steel buckles instead of plastic. We also know, from speaking with the Kurgo company directly, that they are working closely with CPS. They not only give them their products for further testing, but they also consult with them on ways to make their products better. Having sold Kurgo products for some time, I know Kurgo is a very innovative company that is greatly concerned about quality. After all, they do have a lifetime guarantee on all their products.

Bergan – Bergan is another brand we sell, so we have also spoken with them about CPS. They met with them earlier this month and are excited about what CPS is doing. They, too, will be paying close attention to what this organization finds in their continued studies, and are open to making any improvements based on study results, if indeed improvements are needed.

Ruff Rider Roadie – Another great product we sell, Ruff Rider has recently published a video showing how their seat belts for dogs have passed the preliminary tests conducted by CPS. View it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7QflhiutYX8.

Pet Buckle – This company has long since been supported by another nonprofit organization, Bark BuckleUP (Ruff Rider has too). I called them and left a message for someone to call me back, but they have not returned my call yet.

It is our understanding that many companies are voluntarily working with CPS, not just the four listed above.

We have been keeping tabs on the Center for Pet Safety since before they released their initial pilot test results. From both a business standpoint and a personal view, we have been both frightened by and excited about what this nonprofit organization is doing. We were worried about the quality of products we sold, but we were also happy to see there is finally an organization that will make it easier for us to determine what safety standards are best for our furry friends. Knowing that Bergan, Kurgo, and Ruff Rider are working with CPS makes us very happy and we worry no more.

As both a business and a consumer, we are in full support of the Center for Pet Safety. We will continue to keep tabs on what this nonprofit organization is doing. Be assured that whatever the results are, we will react in a way that benefits you and your pet the most. After all, our dogs wear dog car harnesses too and we want nothing but the best for them.

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The Center for Pet Safety is an independent organization which has done testing on a few dog car harness brands. Their report has been completed. All four brands tested have failed to some degree. And three of the four brands tested claim to have already tested their dog car harnesses. Read more about this report HERE.

Unfortunately, the Center for Pet Safety is not allowed to tell us or any consumers what four brands were tested. However, Pet Buckle has reviewed the report and determined based on the designs shown in the four videos that their dog car harness was not one of the ones tested by the Center for Pet Safety. Kurgo responded with their own video which concludes that their harnesses do not break. Bergan has replied back and confirms their testing holds up to the V9DT standards. These standards indicate that the harnesses can withstand a lot of pounds of pressure (800lbs for a small, 1,500lbs for a medium, 2,500lbs for a large, and 4,400 for an extra large). All three of these companies are continuously testing their products and making improvements.

So if this test did not have favorable results for dog car harnesses, why should you buy one? For one, having some safety in place is better than none. Not only is it still possible that your pet has some form of protection in a car accident, but it may also keep your dog from escaping the car after a car accident. Most dogs will try to run away from what hurt them. And if they are unrestrained, they may escape out of a broken window. They could then get lost, hit by another vehicle, or die from the injuries because no one was able to get them medical attention.

At the very least, a dog car harness keeps your dog from being a distraction to the driver. At the most, it is possible that a dog car harness can protect your dog in minor collisions. Any protection has got to be better than none at all. Seat belts for people have been proven to save lives depending on the severity of the car accident. A seat belt for dos is likely to increase your pet’s survival as well. You can also consider keeping your pet safe in a secured pet crate instead of a dog car harness. We hope this report by the Center for Pet Safety inspires the makers of dog car harnesses to do more research.

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June 30, 2012

This is a question we get asked all the time. But the truth is that we don’t know. Why don’t we know? Because there is no standardization for testing a dog car restraint. As a result, manufacturers hire different companies which may or may not use the same testing protocol. And each manufacturer only publishes the results of their own product.

So, with all the differences, how can you determine which product is safest for your pet? The truth is that the average consumer can’t. And the average retailer (such as ourselves) currently has to rely on the limited information provided by the manufacturers.

However, a non-profit organization called the Center for Pet Safety seeks to change all that by standardizing pet travel safety. They are in the process of testing various dog car restraint brands but have not yet publicized their testing results. We will gladly share it with you when they do, even if it means disclosing unfavorable information. As far as we know, the Center for Pet Safety is the only organization which has independently tested and compared various brands and do not endorse or represent any specific company.

We are hoping that the Center for Pet Safety will soon be able to publish their testing results in detail. Although for legal reasons they probably still won’t be able to tell you which brand is best, the testing results will speak for themselves. Check out an article about them by clicking HERE. And check out their website by clicking HERE. We will follow up with you as soon as they publish their findings.

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