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March 10, 2015

Highlight on Crash Tested Pet Travel Products

Lucky Maya Green Kurgo TruFit Dog Car Harness

Do you like taking your dog with you when you travel? I know our family vacations tend to be planned around our dogs. We generally travel by car to places within driving distance. If our destination is hours away, we stay over at pet friendly hotels to break up the trip. And just like for ourselves, we don’t count on luck to protect the safety of our dogs. We use crash tested pet travel products. There are only a few such products out in the market today. Let us give you a highlight of a few.

Variocage Dog Travel Cage for SUVs

Variocage

The Variocage is a pet travel cage that is fitted into the cargo area of an SUV. It is a German engineered product of steel construction and it has been extensively tested to meet or exceed European crash test standards. Unlike similar cages for the SUV, the Variocage has been crash tested for multiple auto accident scenarios. (Many other crash tested cages currently on the market have only been tested with basic techniques.) The Variocage has metal joints rather than plastic. The powder-coated steel doesn’t splinter into dangerous projectiles. The cage has crumple zones to absorb impacts and keep the cage from being crushed into the back of the front passengers. Two cons to consider: 1) Price (which is a reflection of its crashworthiness), and 2) Assembly required.

Sleepypod Pet Carrier in Seat Belt

Sleepypod

The Sleepypod pet car seat is for smaller dogs. The seat is secured using the seat belt of the car, which is more than strong enough to secure a small pet. The Sleepypod is made of soft but highly durable material that absorbs your pet’s inertia in a crash without breaking. The absorption of the material means your small dog won’t hurt himself the way he would if he hit the wall of a plastic carrier. The Sleepypod Air is similar to the regular Sleepypod in all respects except it is rectangular rather than circular. Two cons to consider: 1) For cats or very small dogs only, and 2) Tends to run out of stock frequently.

Pierson Wearing ClickIt Sport Dog Car Harness

ClickIt

The ClickIt Utility and ClickIt Sport dog car harnesses are fairly new pet travel products (from Sleepypod). According to the Center for Pet Safety, they provide ultimate crash test safety by keeping your dog in his seat during a crash. Side-to-side motion is restricted and your dog will not launch off the seat. Two cons to consider: 1) It can be difficult to put on your dog, especially the ClickIt Utility, and 2) It is highly restrictive and probably not ideally comfortable for long road trips. In fact, your dog can only sit or lay down in this harness. He cannot stand.

Maya Labrador AllSafe Dog Car Harness

AllSafe

The AllSafe dog car harness is German engineered and has been used in Europe for over 10 years. According to the Center for Pet Safety, which is a fairly new US testing center, it does not prevent your dog from launching off the seat. But European standards have been in place much longer and have concluded that this not an issue. Also, the AllSafe is not as restrictive as the previously mentioned brand. Your dog can sit, stand, or lay down. Two cons to consider: 1) Price as compared to other crash tested harnesses, and 2) Movement is still restricted, which may not be ideal for hyper dogs. A longer tether can be purchased for the AllSafe, but keep in mind that less restriction reduces the safety.

Pierson on Flat Seat Wearing Ruff Rider Roadie

Ruff Rider Roadie

The Ruff Rider Roadie is a US dog car harness brand (made in the USA) and has been around for several years. It has been crash tested in both the US and in Germany. The tether on this harness can be shortened or lengthened for your dog’s needs. The Ruff Rider is designed to fit almost every size of dog. A con to consider: If the harness is adjusted too small, it can be difficult to put on. Since it is designed to be a little loose, some dogs may be able to back out of it.

Bergan & Kurgo

The Bergan and Kurgo brand dog seat belts have also been crash tested. Although they did not perform as well in safety as the three previously mentioned brands, they do provide some measure of safety and they are reasonably priced. Both have padded chest pads, which help to dissipate pressure. The tether for the Bergan is adjustable. A con to consider for the Kurgo is if dogs move around too much in this harness, they can get tangled in the tethering mechanism.

If you are considering traveling with your dog this spring, don’t count on luck to keep him safe. Consider a crash tested product that will keep your best friend safe in the car for years to come.

Where are you and your dog going to go this spring?

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March 3, 2015

Maya Labrador US Map Car Dog Travel Advisor

There are a lot of great pet travel products out there, so it can be difficult to make a choice. And what works perfectly for one person and their dog may not work as well for you and yours. How can you tell which product to get if all the companies are saying theirs is the best? Our Dog Travel Advisor at Pet Auto Safety can help.

We have a lot of experience with various pet travel products. After all, we’ve been in business since 2006! Our current dog travelers, Maya and Pierson, have tried out almost every single brand of dog car harness as well as many other products. So I think it’s safe to say that we can really help you with our new Pros and Cons series.

In our new Pros and Cons series, we will highlight a specific product and tell you what we found to be great and not-so-great based on our own perspective and the perspective of our customers. This week’s highlight is the ClickIt Sport dog seat belt from Sleepypod. This harness is an improvement on the ClickIt Utility. It is a brand new brand, introduced at the tail end of 2014.

Pierson Wearing ClickIt Sport Dog Car Seat Belt Harness

Pro – #1 Safety
The ClickIt Sport is only dog car harness to date to receive the CPS certification for safety. CPS stands for the Center for Pet Safety. They are an independent non-profit organization that evaluates the safety of various pet products.

Pro – Easy to Use
Unlike the ClickIt Utility, the ClickIt Sport is easy to put on, easy to size, and it is easier to secure your dog in the car with it. To put it on, simply have your dog step in the leg openings, and then pull it up and clip it on. It sizes easily with straps on the sides. To secure your dog in the car, put the seat belt of the car through the back of the harness straps. Please note the con with this method below.

Pro – Quality
This harness is much lighter than its older version. But it is just as strong and durable. The materials are of high quality and the construction is thorough. It should be noted that the harness uses plastic clips to be secured on your dog. However, these plastic clips are not tied into the security mechanism that secures your dog in the car.

Pro – Other Design Features
The ClickIt Sport is well padded and it can also be used as a walking harness. The neck line of the harness is curved so that it sits low and prevents choking.

Con – Securing Your Dog
While the ClickIt Sport is not as difficult to secure your dog in the car as the ClickIt Utility is, it is not the easiest as compared to some other dog seat belts. To put the seat belt of the car through the back of the harness, your dog has to be sitting just right. If you have a hyper dog, this can be a challenge.

Con – Highly Restrictive
To be the safest, a car harness also has to be the most restrictive. Your dog will only be able to sit and lie down with the ClickIt Sport on in the vehicle. He will not be able to stand. This can mean that the harness can be highly uncomfortable, especially on longer road trips. It also means your dog might chew through or try to wiggle out of the harness. If the harness is not used correctly, the safety is diminished.

Con – Won’t Fit All Sizes
The ClickIt Sport does not come in extra-small or extra-large sizes. For smaller dogs, Sleepypod recommends their crash tested pet car seats instead. Sleepypod is still in the process of designing and extra-large harness.

Price
Whether the price is a pro or con depends on your perspective. Compared to other quality crash tested dog car harnesses, the ClickIt Sport is priced relatively low. But it is high compared to car seat belts that didn’t do as well in safety testing or harnesses that haven’t been safety tested at all.

Pierson Wearing ClickIt Sport Dog Car Harness

Despite the few cons, the ClickIt Sport is still an excellent choice. Consider it if your dog isn’t too small or too large, and if your dog isn’t going to mind the restriction. If you find the dog car harness difficult to secure in your car, it just takes a little getting used to. Once you and your dog has a hang of it, it’s easy. The ClickIt Sport is constantly being sold out, so visit our Pet Auto Safety site today and buy yours. Use discount code petsafeblogger for 10% off. (This code applies to all the ClickIts on our site but may not apply to a few of our other pet travel products.)

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January 13, 2015

Pierson Wearing ClickIt Sport Dog Car Harness

In an independent crash test study completed by the Center for Pet Safety in 2013, the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt from Sleepypod was rated as the safest brand out of eleven popular brands. Indeed, upon using the ClickIt Utlity for ourselves, we found it secured our dogs very well. But there were a few inconvenient issues that make people turn away from it. And so, Sleepypod redesigned a better harness called the ClickIt Sport.

MEASURING
The issues with the ClickIt Utility aren’t safety issues, but issues with use. For one, the measuring method is not as simple as with other brands and people were often confused about what to measure. The ClickIt Sport dog car harness has a much easier measuring method. All one has to do is measure around the barrel of the dog’s chest behind the front legs.

SIZING
The ClickIt Utility is also difficult to adjust for size. Despite Sleepypod’s videos, many people had a hard time getting the harness to fit their dog properly. The ClickIt Sport is much easier to adjust so it can fit perfectly without much trouble.

Maya Wearing ClickIt Sport Dog Seat Belt

PUTTING IT ON
Relatively speaking, putting on the ClickIt Utility harness is about the same as putting on any other dog car harness. You basically have to put the harness over your dog’s head and then physically put his front legs through the openings. Some dogs are less than cooperative. The ClickIt Sport is a little easier. Have your dog sit, put the harness under him with his front feet in the leg spaces, then pull it up and buckle it.

SECURING IN THE CAR
A dog wearing the ClickIt Utility has to be secured in three different places in the car. Firstly, the seat belt of the car goes through the back. Then two side straps are connected to the baby seat latch bars. So if someone’s car doesn’t have the latch bars, then they can’t use this car harness. Trying to secure a dog at all three points is difficult and frustrating for some. With the ClickIt Sport, all you have to do is put the seat belt of the car through the back. There are no side straps.

SAFETY
Nothing has changed regarding safety. The ClickIt Sport has passed all the same tests as the ClickIt Utility and has received a CPS Certification authenticating its safety.

If you’re looking for a dog seat belt and are put off by some of the negative reviews about the ClickIt Utility, consider the new ClickIt Sport instead. It’s just as safe, but much easier to use. It is still very restrictive, but this is what makes it so safe.

Pierson Wearing ClickIt Sport Dog Car Seat Belt Harness

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September 2, 2014

ClickIt Sport Dog Car Harness on Dogs

When the ClickIt Utility came out in the fall of 2013, it was rated as the safest dog car harness by the non-profit organization, The Center for Pet Safety (CPS). It is a fantastic seat belt that helps keep your dog very secure in the car. But since it is a brand new design, it has a few drawbacks. One, it is difficult to size and adjust. Two, it is a little bulky for smaller dogs. The company that designed the ClickIt Utility has listened to our feedback and designed the new ClickIt Sport.

LIGHT WEIGHT
The ClickIt Utility dog car harness is heavier and bulkier, which makes it less than ideal for some dogs. The ClickIt Sport promises to be lighter in weight but still have the same safety durability.

EASIER TO USE
The ClickIt Sport still has three points of contact and so will still be very restrictive. However, it is easier to connect these three points on the ClickIt Sport than it is on the ClickIt Utility. It no longer requires the latchbar connections so it can be used in older cars.

EASIER FIT
The sizing is more adjustable, allowing it to fit a larger range of dog shapes and sizes.

CPS CERTIFIED
Not only did Sleepypod, the company that designed the ClickIt Sport, crash test this pet travel product themselves, they also had it tested by an independent nonprofit organization called The Center for Pet Safety (CPS). If you recall, CPS did an extensive crash test study on 11 dog seat belts in 2013. They have since streamlined their studies and offer a CPS certification to any company who wants their dog seat belts tested. This is a voluntary service and the tests are rigorous. As of the date of this post, the ClickIt Sport is the only dog car harness to have received the CPS Certification.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES
A new infinity loop design (patent pending) reduces the pressure on a dog in a car accident and eliminates the need for metal hardware. It is now easier to attach a leash to the ClickIt Sport for walking. And the harness now has added reflector strips.

COMING THIS FALL
We don’t yet know when in fall the ClickIt Sport will be available, but we are staying on top of it and hope to have them in no more than a week after Sleepypod releases them. So stay tuned!

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August 5, 2014

Pierson Pet Flat Seat Ruff Rider

Pierson has actually been using the Ruff Rider Roadie for some time. He actually has several dog car harness brands to choose from, but I’ve been using the Roadie almost exclusively since that report from the Center for Pet Safety came out in October 2013. Besides safety, there are a lot of other reasons why I love this brand. So let me share them with you, along with some opposing features.

SAFETY
The Center for Pet Safety did an independent crash test study of various dog seat belt brands in October 2013, and I’m happy to say that the Roadie did very well. They determined the ClickIt Utility to be the safest and the Roadie and the AllSafe followed 2nd. This information makes me feel better about my boy Pierson’s safety.

COMFORT
One thing about the safest ClickIt Utility brand is that it is also the most restrictive. You dog can’t stand up in it and will have a difficult time moving from the sitting to the laying down position. This restriction is a good thing in safety, but let’s face it, many dogs do not like to be that restricted. One great thing about the Ruff Rider Roadie is that it can allow your dog a little more freedom to move. Its tether has two setting, one that makes the tether very short and one that makes it a little longer. With the longer option, your dog can sit, stand, and lay down with ease. Pierson is good about staying in one place in the car, so I generally use the shorter tether option.

Ruff Rider Roadie Dog Car Harness on Pierson

MADE IN USA
Nope, the ClickIt Utility is not made in the USA. Neither is the AllSafe. But the Ruff Rider Roadie dog seat belt is made right here in the United States. And it has been around and continuously improving for 15 years.

FITS ALL SIZES
Pierson is a medium sized dog, so he doesn’t have a problem in sizing. But you should know the ClickIt and the AllSafe are not made to fit very small dogs. The Roadie, on the other hand, does fit little pets.

CONSTRUCTION
The Roadie pet car harness is very well made. The material is a very strong webbing, yet not bulky. The size adjusting buckle is plastic, but this buckle is not part of what keeps the harness on your dog. If it breaks, your dog will still be in his harness.

DESIGN
The Roadie does not have a padded chest piece like the ClickIt or AllSafe. But the cross piece is designed to lie low on your dog’s chest so that it doesn’t choke him. Pierson likes it because it’s comfortable without being bulky.

CONS?
Because the Ruff Rider Roadie pet seat belt isn’t put on with clasps, it can be a bit difficult to put on. Luckily, my Pierson is very cooperative. He’s been wearing dog car harnesses since the day I got him, so he allows me to slip the Roadie on and put each of his legs in the leg holes. If you have a dog that doesn’t hold still well or is likely to resist, then you may have a challenge in putting this one on.

Because the Roadie doesn’t have clasps and because it has to be adjusted loose enough to put on your dog, it fits a little loose. This is actually a good thing. You don’t want a harness that is too tight. If you have a dog that keeps trying to get out of his dog seat belt, a tighter fit is not going to stop him from trying. The tighter it is, the more likely he is to hurt himself when he tries to get out of it. With training, a dog is more likely to get used to a loosely comfortable harness than a tight fitting one.

The Ruff Rider Roadie has seven different sizes. This makes it a bit difficult in determining which size to get your dog. At the same time, because it has so many different sizes, it is likely to fit many more dog breeds than other brands.

When shopping for the right pet car harness for you and your dog, look at safety, but also be aware of the possible cons. The Ruff Rider Roadie is almost perfect because it has such a high safety rating yet only a few cons. It is also very competitively priced. I love the Roadie. And although Pierson is not thrilled with the process of me putting it on him, he is very comfortable in it once it is on.

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Barks and Bytes #4

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 27, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to the Barks and Bytes blog hop where anything goes. I could talk about anything, but you know where you are so you have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to talk about, right? 😉 Barks and Bytes is hosted by two of our favorite dog bloggers, 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

PREVIOUS BARKS AND BYTES

Hawk with BrownDog CBR said, “Hi Y’all! My Human is talking about getting me a longer strap for my car harness. I like the one that goes on the people seat belt ’cause it has some give. On trips I do sit, lay and like to turn around. I’m beyond eating through the restraint. However, I’ve become adept, with either type, unclickin’ the seat belt or strap from the seat! BOL!!! We get where we’re going and when my Human goes to take me out she discovers I’ve freed myself!

Hawk, I have the perfect dog seat belt tether for you. It is the one from Bergan. It doesn’t click into the seat belt exactly, but it does connect to it. It would be highly unlikely that you’d be able to unclick out of it. I also indicated the Angel Guard in a reply. The Angel Guard is designed to keep young children from unbuckling themselves. But it can work for certain dog seat belts too. I would need to see your seat belt tether in order to make sure it will work, though.

Clip the Bergan Tether Between Seat Belt

The Bergan tether clips between the webbing of the seat belt buckle. It can also be clipped onto the latch system located between the rear seat cushions of all vehicles 2001 and later.

Angel Guard to Protect Seat Belt Buckle

The Angel Guard will keep your dog from being able to unclip his seat belt. But it only works for some dog car harness tethers.

Donna with Donna and the Dogs said, “I think it’s great that you share the pros and cons of each product you sell…it certainly makes for easier purchasing!”

Thanks, Donna! I’ve found that telling people everything up front keeps the number of returns down. All the articles out there talking about how the ClickIt Utility is the safest dog car harness out there make people think it is the best. It is a fantastic product, but they get returned a lot because people don’t realize how much some dogs really hate to wear them. Or they get returned because they are so darned difficult to adjust. Telling people these things up front allows them to make informed decisions.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog said, “I see your point about Kurgo, but how does one find out what types of manufacturers a company has hired? For instance, I don’t want to support someone who is funding a sweat shop somewhere that only pays pennies per hour.”

This is an excellent point, Jodi. Keep in mind the quality of the product you are buying. A well-made product like Kurgo requires skilled labor. Unskilled labor is not going to be able to make quality items. Since skilled labor is harder to come by, a manufacturer needs to entice them with higher wages. Another point is that a company with a well-known brand is not going to risk tarnishing their good name by hiring a manufacturer who runs their company like a sweat shop.

GETTING OUT OF A DOG CAR HARNESS

Jodi also said, “Great advice Dawn, I was thinking along the same lines, you can’t just grab a harness and snap your dog into a car and have everything be perfect. Delilah wears a harness sometimes when we walk or train, SO I think she would be more comfortable in the car than Sampson would. Plus she typically just lies down on long car rides. I think it will take some time for Sampson to get used to it, but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

I really think that if Maya hadn’t been wearing a dog car harness since she was a pup, it would be nearly impossible to get her to wear one now. Even though she has been wearing one forever, she is still very unsettled when she wears one. When she was wearing her Kurgo Go-Tech, for example, I had to switch out their loop tether for the Bergan tether because she wouldn’t hold still and would get herself tangled. Thankfully, early and continuous training has made her not-quite-so-impossible.

Lindsay with That Mutt said, “Such helpful advice! The first thing most of us would think of would be to tighten the harness, but you’ve shown us why that’s probably not the best idea.”

A common complaint we get with dog car harnesses is that some dogs can get out of them. So they ask us, “Is there one that is escape proof?” And I say, “I wish!” If I were to claim one to be escape proof, there is most likely someone out there who has a Houdini-dog and will prove me wrong.

Ann with My Pawsitively Pets said, “I never would have thought about this issue with dog seat harnesses before… I’m sure it happens all the time though. I’ve seen plenty of dogs escape from their collar in the past.”

Happens all the time, I’m afraid. We want to keep our dogs safe, but sometimes they don’t make it easy for us. 😉

CONTEST TO WIN A DOG SEAT BELT

There is just one more day to enter a contest to win a dog car harness from us. You can win any of the dog seat belt brands we sell, and we sell the best.

QUICK PET SAFETY TIP

If you have big dogs that like to ride in the car, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo. What I love about it the most is that it gives my two big dogs more room in the back. My back seats are so narrow that Maya especially would be very uncomfortable trying to sit in her dog seat belt without sliding off. Plus, the Backseat Bridge has three safety features to consider: 1) It has a divider to separate the front from the back seat; 2) It covers the floor so that if your dog is not buckled up and you have to stop suddenly, your dog won’t get thrown onto the floor; and 3) If your dog is buckled up but has to use a longer tether because they like to move around a lot, the Backseat Bridge keeps them from getting launched off the seat. Being launched off the seat is what kept some dog car harnesses from getting the top safety rating. Incidentally, the Kurgo dog car hammock has these same features. It has an additional benefit, though, in that it also covers the seat like a seat cover.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

My big girl Maya has more room in the back seat with the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo.

Tan Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock

The Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock covers the seat, the floor, and the back of the front seats.

That’s all the barking and byting I have to do for now. Leave your barks and bytes below?

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February 25, 2014
Compare Five Dog Seat Belt Brands

Dog seat belt brands listed left to right, top to bottom: ClickIt Utility, Ruff Rider Roadie, Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Kurgo Go-Tech.

If you’ve been watching us on Facebook, then perhaps you are aware that we are giving away a dog seat belt in the month of February. The contest is being held on PetsPage.com and it ends February 28th, so there is still time. You can win any brand of dog seat belt we carry including the Kurgo Tru-Fit or Go-Tech, the Bergan, a Ruff Rider Roadie, or even the ClickIt Utility. But the best part is, there are a lot of other businesses giving away prizes as well. You can win a dog collar, pet clothing, toys, beds, books, treats, and even free dog training lessons!

So please go visit PetsPage.com now and enter to win! PetsPage

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February 17, 2014
Pierson & Bergan Canine Car Harness

“I never try to get out of my dog seat belt. But that’s only because it looks so good on me.”

You want your best friend to ride safe in the car, but you’re worried he will try to get out of his dog car harness. Or you already bought one for him, and he DID get out of it. What is the point of your dog wearing one if he WON’T wear it? Fortunately, there are two things that can help.

Don’t Make it Tighter

Making the dog seat belt harness tighter may not be the answer for two reasons.
1. For some dogs, a tighter dog car harness might mean your pal tries harder to escape from it. And such a determined dog will either be able to get out of it, or hurt himself trying. Some harnesses are harder to get out of than others. The ClickIt Utility dog seat belt, for example, is more difficult to escape from. But before you try it, consider your pet’s personality. Is he going to struggle just a little and then give up? Or will he struggle and keep struggling until he either hurts himself, manages to escape, or chews through the straps in order to try to get out?

Maya ClickIt Utility Dog Seat Belt

The ClickIt is the safest dog car harness. One reason is because it keeps Maya so restricted. She can lay down or sit, but she can’t stand up.

2) Second, consider how the safety belt in your car holds you in. It does lock into place in a car accident, but it isn’t tight to begin with. According to How Stuff Works the safety belt catches your inertia, spreads the force across your body so that it is not concentrated in one place, and it stretches a little so that “the stop isn’t quite so abrupt.”

If your pet’s harness is too tight, there is no opportunity for the straps to absorb the inertia. The straps are already tight on him, so a sudden stop will only cut into him more. If the straps are a little loose (but not too loose) then there is that split-second moment where your dog’s body slides into the harness, giving it the opportunity to stretch and absorb the pressure.

Put Bergan Canine Car Harness on My Dog

Make the dog seat belt harness snug, but not tight.

You want the harness to be snug, but you don’t want it so loose that your little pal flies out of it when you stop. But nor do you want it so tight that there is no give. So instead of tightening it, what can you do when he keeps getting out of his dog car harness?

1) Although a shorter tether on the dog seat belt is safer, you have to consider your pet’s personality. It is not going to do any good to have a more restrictive harness if your dog is just going to get out of it, right? So use a tether that is a little longer. Give your dog a little more room to move around. Have him wear a dog car harness that allows him to sit, lay down, or even stand so that he is more comfortable. A comfortable dog is not as likely to try to escape the safety device.

Gracie Wearing the Kurgo Dog Car Harness

For dogs that try to get out of their seat belt, consider one that allows them to sit, stand, or lay down.

2) Train your dog to wear the dog seat belt. This can take some time, but it can save your little pal’s life too. Have him wear it around the house and reward him whenever he ignores it. Play with him while he’s wearing it. Take him for a walk in it. Do fun activities together while he is wearing his harness and he will learn to be comfortable in it. And a comfortable dog is not as likely to try to get out of his dog car harness.

So if you’re frustrated because your dog keeps getting out of the device intended to protect him, a new ‘escape-proof’ dog car harness may not be the right answer. No harness is completely escape-proof. A new one with a longer tether may be a good temporary solution. But training him to wear a harness is the best and longest lasting way.

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Pet Auto Safety Barks and Bytes #3

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 13, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

What’s a bark and what’s a byte? In regards to this blog hop, I’m not entirely sure. So I’m going to say the barks are from the comments shared. Don’t worry, they’re happy barks! 🙂 And the bytes are my little tidbits. The Barks and Bytes blog hop is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs. (You know, if you put all the dogs from these two blogs together, there are actually five! Sampson, though, is probably more tan, but tan is a shade of brown, right?)

LAST MONTH BARKS AND BYTES
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews said, “Pawsome! One thought on the towel over the carrier – really know your dog. Our first dog would have pulled in a towel and chewed it to bits. But it’s great for anxious dogs!”
So true! Know your dog for any product. If you’re going to buy the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt because you’ve heard it’s the safest, it is important that you know it is safest because it is the most restrictive. If your dog doesn’t like the restriction, he might chew through the straps or hurt himself trying to escape from it. So another brand might be best.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog asked if we’ve ever done a comparison of all the dog car harnesses. We’ve done one for the brands we sell. These brands include many of the top products, but not all the top products. It would be unfair for me to tell you about the AllSafe, for example, since I’ve never had the opportunity to use it. We’ve also done a post about the pros and the cons of our dog seat belt brands.

Compare Five Dog Seat Belt Brands

Dog seat belt brands listed left to right, top to bottom: ClickIt Utility, Ruff Rider Roadie, Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Kurgo Go-Tech.

THE BEST IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST FOR YOU
Lindsay with That Mutt says, “Ace is very calm in the car and likes to sit and lie down. He doesn’t move around much. However, he does stand up sometimes, like when he watches me get out of the car. Do you think the ClickIt Utility would be OK for him? Or do you think I should consider something else since he occasionally stands? I’m thinking he could learn to not stand. He’s not a chewer.”
If he only occasionally stands, I’d say the ClickIt Utility would be great for Ace. Look at the measurements, though. I’m not sure if Ace is too big and the ClickIts do not currently come in extra-large.

Pamela with Something Wagging made a wonderful comment, “It is a balancing act between safety and comfort. In the end, everything is a compromise. Because if we wanted to be absolutely safe, we wouldn’t drive at all. :)”
So so true! You definitely seem to have the right of it, Pamela. 🙂

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES
Pamela also said, “I’m also a big Kurgo fan. Although I wish their products were made in the U.S. I just got Honey’s new life jacket from Kurgo and I wish it was summer already so we could try it out.”
I just got some Kurgo life jackets too! One is going to go to Maya. But I plan on selling them too. It is just a matter of building that outdoor dog gear website I talked about as one of my projects to do this year. At least I have the part about finding the right products done.

I do believe it is important to support your local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. As such, the Ruff Rider Roadie dog car harnesses are made right here in the USA. And they are great products as well. Earth Heart, the company that makes the Travel Calm, also has their products made here in the USA. And I believe that most of Snoozer’s products are also made here in the USA.

Emma in the Snoozer Lookout Pet Carseat

Emma in the Snoozer dog car seat. Made in the USA.

Although… I did take an economics course recently that really helped me see things at a different angle. Yes, Kurgo may have their products made overseas but Kurgo is an American company. Kurgo pays their American employees a decent wage… a wage they can afford to give them because they save money by having products made overseas. And a savings they pass on to you by making their products more affordable.

If you’re concerned about the quality of products made overseas, don’t be. Products manufactured overseas no longer have to be compromised in quality. Kurgo products are top-of-the-line and they have a great manufacturer who is just as dedicated to quality.

Kurgo Lifetime Warranty

All Kurgo Products are Guaranteed Built for Life

Another economic trade off, besides saving money on products, is that other countries are hiring American companies for our marketing, managing, and product development skills. Instead of working on an assembly line to make products, we can spend our time inventing products. We can strive for higher paying jobs in the corporate world as managers, sales reps, marketing specialists, and in advertising. Plus, our entertainment industry is HUGE. We are artistic and creative and other countries will pay us money for what we have.

Wow, that was an awful big byte, wasn’t it? Please forgive me if I sound like I’m taking sides one way or the other. I’m not. Realistically, I’d only have a handful of products on my site if I chose to only sell ones made in America. And While I might prefer to buy American made too (especially pet food and treats), I can’t forget it was probably American ingenuity that invented many of these pet travel products to begin with and American companies that built their brands up on American soil.

That’s all for now. If I didn’t scare you off with my economics education course, please come back and visit again! 🙂

Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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February 11, 2014

Yesterday, I talked about my favorite pet travel products from Kurgo. Today I am going to share with you other brands of safety products that I love and use.

Pierson Waiting for Puppy Cup

Pierson wears his Bergan dog car harness as he waits for his puppy cup at Sonic.

BERGAN CAR HARNESS
The Bergan brand dog harness did a little better in safety than the Kurgo. I’ve found the Bergan to be easier to adjust the size and the padding to be very comfortable. I think it is as easy to put on as the Kurgo, although it is put on just a little bit differently. And I absolutely love its tether. It is not a loop tether, so my dogs don’t get tangled in it. And it is adjustable so that I can make it short or long. Pierson still wears the Bergan safety harness.

Two drawbacks that people have reported are 1) the chest piece is sometimes a little too long, and 2) it doesn’t have a size to fit teacup sized dogs.

Maya ClickIt Utility Pet Seat Belt

For Maya, safety means having to sit still in the car, not being able to put her head out the window, and wearing a seat belt. But she’s still happy despite her lack of freedom in the car.

CLICKIT UTILITY SAFETY HARNESS
This is the newest canine safety harness, and it has also been deemed the safest by the Center for Pet Safety. This has been the only seat belt that has been successful at keeping Maya in her seat. It is extremely well-made and I love the padded protection. The only problem I have with it, though, is that I can’t use it in my 1998 car because that car doesn’t have the anchors located between the seat cushions. The ClickIt Utility requires that these anchors be used in order for it to be safe.

Even though the ClickIt Utility is the safest brand, there are several drawbacks. Its safety lies in its restriction. But because of its restriction, dogs can’t move around much when they wear it. If they try, they could get tangled and they could hurt themselves. Another thing people have found is that it is very difficult to adjust the size. And because it requires to be attached at three points, it can be cumbersome to secure your dog in the car.

If you want ultimate safety, this is the product to use. If you want something your dog can move around a bit in or if you want something quick and easy to use, then the ClickIt Utility may not be right for you.

Pierson Breeze Guard Car Window Screens

Pierson can’t put his head out the window because it is fitted with the Breeze Guard car window screens. I love these screens! I can put the window down and still keep my dogs safe.

BREEZEGUARD WINDOW SCREENS
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these car window screens. They are very well made, easy to take in an out, and will even allow you to roll your window up and down when they are in place. Even though Maya and Pierson are harnessed in, they can still put their heads out the window. I’ve never felt this to be safe. When I used to allow my dog Sephi to do it, sometimes she’d yelp because something from the road hit her in the face. It could have been something as small as a pebble, but still it hurt. I also worried about her choking herself if I had to make a sudden swerve. The BreezeGuard window screens allow my dogs to sniff the fresh breeze without endangering themselves.

One drawback about these window screens is that they are custom made and will only fit the vehicle year, make, and model they were designed for. They are pricy so if you change vehicles often, this may not be something you want to invest in.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

The car seat cover is the brown houndstooth style from Guardian Gear. This is the cover I currently have in my car. This style is no longer available, but we do have 1 pink houndstooth left.

GUARDIAN GEAR CAR SEAT COVERS
I’ve used several different styles of the Guardian Gear car seat covers over the years. I really like the materials and all the fashionable colors and designs they come in. The first one I used was the soft brown paw prints dog car seat cover. Then I used the blue plaid cover. It was also soft and plush. And I currently use the houndstooth designed brown one. Why do I keep switching out? Dog hair sticks to them. I could clean them, but I am lazy. With all the new colors and designs Guardian Gear keeps coming up with, I like being able to switch out.One drawback is that sometimes they don’t fit the seat of the car. Every vehicle has different sizes and shapes of seats so sometimes the cover is too big or too small. And some people have stated the seat belt holes don’t line up with the corner crease and safety belt buckles.

Gray Dog Car Seat Cover

This is the gray paw print cover. The paw prints also come in brown, black, and tan.

These are my favorite products. If you have smaller dogs, there may be other products that will be better for you. The Kurgo pet car seats, for example. Or the crash tested Sleepypod pet travel carriers. Some people prefer their dogs travel in a pet carrier instead of wearing a dog seat belt. Pet Auto Safety has a lot to choose from so that everyone has the opportunity to find their favorite travel products.

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