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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 #23

Author: MayaAndPierson
December 20, 2013

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Hello everyone! I hope you all are looking forward to the upcoming holiday. I know I am. We’re heading out to Texas later today. Maya and Pierson are excited about the car ride. They love having their seat belts put on because they know they’re getting to go somewhere fun. The problem is they think we’re going to the park, pet store, or somewhere close by. Their excitement won’t last when they realize it is going to be a long long drive. We will be staying in Oklahoma City overnight at a pet friendly hotel in order to break up the eleven hour drive. So what are you doing this holiday?

I wasn’t initially going to write a Follow Up Friday post this week. But all your wonderful comments on the Meet the Bloggers blog hop inspired me. My packing is done, so why not. Let’s follow up! Thank you to Jodi with Heart Like a Dog for hosting this blog hop.

Last Week’s Follow Up Friday

Donna and the Dogs says, “Great follow up. It WAS fun going on a road trip, [referring to her two day trip to Florida] and surprisingly, Leah and Medi were really well behaved…both in the car..and in the hotels we stopped in going there and back.”

Other than Maya whining for the first 10 to 15 minutes, she and Pierson do really well too.

Hawk with Brown Dog CBR and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs love Maya’s facial expression. Jodi with Heart Like a Dog says Maya looks sad. She’s actually rather bored. I love how expressive she can be, just like a Lab to put on those sad puppy-eyes. I mean seriously, just look at this pathetically cute face:

My Dog Maya is Sad - No Disneyland

Seat Cover Contest

Congratulations to Jason D! He chose the tan paw print cover for the back seat.

How to Adjust the ClickIt Utility

Roxy the Traveling Dog says, “The hardest part I had with Torrey was all her fur. Once I got it done though, it’s good to go. I gave her a hair cut, I think i better adjust it again. I do love this harness though.

LOL! – one of the many facets of having a dog with long hair. When Pierson’s winter coat fills out, I may need to do a little adjusting too.

Meet the Bloggers

Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about you too. It’s so nice getting to know you better. I feel like our community is even closer than before. We have a lot more in common than just our fur pals. 🙂

A couple of you mentioned about how busy I must be with being both an artist and a writer, on top of being a blogger. Yes, I am busy. I like to be busy. But there is not enough time in the world to do all the things I want to do. Besides, I’m an artist. I have to be “in the mood” to do certain things. This means the art and writing are often set aside until an inspiration hits me.

I’ve done four pieced of art work this year, which is more than I’ve been doing since I started PetAutoSafety.com in 2006. And my novels were actually written a decade ago. I’ve written since then, but not nearly as often or as much as I used to. I really want to get back into it. I have another great novel I’ve been working on that is about 1/5 complete.

Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews asked if I would eat head cheese. Yes I would. I don’t care what it is made from. I love food almost as much as Maya and Pierson and am willing to try anything at least once. I can’t wait to try some of your Polish food when we stop by on our way back from Texas. 🙂

Well, gotta go! I still have a little packing left to do before we go. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you all have a relaxing Friday, a great weekend, and a joyous holiday.

To see what other pet bloggers are up to, be sure to check them out on the Follow Up Friday blog hop below:

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December 16, 2013

It so happens that the best dog seat belt on the market seems to be the most involved. Getting it adjusted for the first time has been difficult for some people, including myself. Thankfully, Sleepypod has made a video to help us.

Don’t let the fact that the ClickIt Utility can be difficult to adjust discourage you from buying the best. The good news is that once it is adjusted, you probably won’t have to adjust it again. And once you get used to putting it on your dog and securing him in the car, it’s easy.

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December 2, 2013
Several Pet Travel Safety Products

Pet travel safety products listed clockwise: Snoozer car seat, dog seat belt, car barrier, pet carrier secured w/ kennel straps.

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding what to get for your dog when you want to protect him in the car. It’s not just a matter of selecting the safest product. What might be the best for one person and their pet may not be what is best for you and yours. Here are some things to consider.

SAFETY vs COMFORT

You want your best friend to be both safe and comfortable. However, the safest travel gear is not always the most comfortable. For example, the ClickIt Utility has been deemed as the safest canine car harness in 2013 by the Center for Pet Safety. But it is also the most restrictive, making it uncomfortable for dogs who insist on trying to move around in the car. If your dog is like this, you may want to consider a less restrictive brand. The Ruff Rider Roadie is just one notch under the ClickIt in safety so it still offers protection, and it’s not as restrictive.

Maya ClickIt Utility Dog Seat Belt

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

Dog Lying Down with Ruff Rider Roadie

Dogs can sit, stand, or lie down while wearing the Ruff Rider Roadie

Chew or Escape Proof?
Keep in mind, too, that if your dog is uncomfortable he may try to wiggle or chew out of a car restraint. Car harnesses are not chew proof. And none are entirely escape proof either. Some might be more difficult to wiggle out of than others, but if a dog is determined enough he will break out, or hurt himself trying.

Harness vs Crate
Another safety versus comfort concern is regarding a car restraint versus a crate. Is a safety harness safer than a crate? This has not been officially determined, but it would stand to reason that a secured pet travel crate can keep your dog from being a distraction and from getting thrown from the vehicle, just like a durable seat belt can.

Straps for Pet Carriers

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

Sleepypod Air Pet Carrier Orange

The Sleepypod Air pet carrier is perfect for cats and small dogs. Plus, it has been crash tested.

So when debating whether to get a harness or crate, consider your dog’s comfort. Some dogs won’t like being restrained in a harness while others would hate riding in a travel carrier. And some dogs won’t like either, which means using a car barrier or other pet travel safety product might be ideal for you. These other kinds or products won’t provide as much safety, but at the very least may help to keep your furry best friend in the back seat.

Risk
Thankfully, the chances of you being involved in a collision are small. And if you do get in an accident, be thankful that most accidents are minor. Census.gov reports for 2009 that 0.6% of all car accidents in the US were fatal while 27.6% had nonfatal injuries, and 71.9% had property damage only. Where we may not be badly injured in a fender bender, an unrestrained dog can be. He can break his leg when he gets tossed between the seats, get severe damage to his nose if he hits the dash, get bodily injured when he gets thrown at the windshield, get squished because he is on your lap between you and the steering wheel, or get choked because his head is out the car window. All these possible injuries could be minimized or even eliminated with even the most basic restraint, crash tested or not.

Maya Puppy in Car Wearing Dog Seat Belt

When Maya was a puppy, her first dog seat belt was an untested restraint. It kept her from trying to climb on my lap, which she desperately wanted to do.

TYPE OF VEHICLE

If you have a small car and a big dog, having him ride in a crate may not be feasible. Or if you have an SUV and you want your pet to ride in the cargo area, keep in mind that not all canine car harness brands can be used in the cargo area.

COST

In general, the safest products are also the most expensive. Manufacturers making safety gear have invested heavily in quality materials and testing, thereby making merchandise that might be out of one’s price range. But paying less does not always mean making a compromise on your best friend’s welfare. Bergan has a relatively inexpensive harness which passed crash testing at the small and medium sizes (25lbs and 45lbs). Pet carriers also tend to be more expensive than harnesses, especially larger crates.

PURPOSE

Do you want to keep your dog safe, or do you just want to keep him from trying to climb in the front seat or climb onto your lap? Perhaps you only plan on taking short trips around town and not on the highway. Maybe your dog doesn’t get to go for a ride very often. Safety is important, but your intended use is also an important factor to consider. You may not want to spend a lot of money on the safest seat belt for dogs if you don’t plan on using it that often.

EASE OF USE

What is easy to use and what isn’t is relative. If you’re not used to putting on a harness, a car harness can seem complex. The ClickIt Utility with its three attachment points can seem even more convoluted. A carrier may not be easy either, especially when you consider how you are going to strap it in and secure it in your vehicle. However, whichever method you choose, it gets easier each time.

Put Bergan Canine Car Harness on My Dog

I’ve found the Bergan harness easy to put on, but some have found it difficult.

These are just a few of the factors people think about when they look for a pet travel safety product. Which features do you consider?

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Follow Up Friday #20

Author: MayaAndPierson
November 22, 2013

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Thanks again to Jodi with Heart Like a Dog for hosting another Follow Up Friday. This week’s guest host is Donna from Donna and the Dogs.

I have had a lot of great questions and comments about dog seat belts this week, so let’s jump right in with the recap.

LAST WEEK’S FOLLOW UP

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog asked how to determine the correct size of pet car harness to get. Each brand has a different method, which can make things kind of confusing. So the first thing to do is determine which brand to get.

The Bergan makes it easy to determine what size is needed. All you need to know is the weight of your dog. Kurgo, too, can go by weight, but knowing your dog’s chest measurement also helps. The Ruff Rider Roadie also needs the chest measurement.

Measure your dog’s chest by wrapping a tape measure around the biggest part of his chest. Use the two-finger rule, which means put two fingers under the measure when you do this. The measurement is also called the girth. Maya’s girth is 31 inches. According to Kurgo’s measurement guidelines, Maya would need a large which fits dogs with a girth between 24 and 34 inches. According to the Ruff Rider Roadie, she’d need a medium 2.

Maya's Measurement for Dog Seat Belt

Maya gets her girth measured to see what size of dog seat belt is right for her.

The ClickIt Utility pet car harness requires a different measurement. You have to measure both your dog’s neck and chest in a figure 8. Here’s a video with detailed instructions – Sizing for ClickIt Utility dog seat belts.

ClickIt Harness Sizing

Measuring for the ClickIt Utility pet car harness: Starting at the top, wrap the tape measure around your dog’s chest, then neck, in a figure-8.

Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews compared the use of a pet car harness to when seat belt laws for people first became mandatory. It took a lot of persuasion (and threats of getting a ticket) to convince people to wear them. Today, it still takes some convincing. Perhaps someday, we will all see the benefits for ourselves and our family, including our pets.

Hawk with Brown Dog CBR said, “I need a longer tether for my harness. I prefer my crate, but my size or rather the crate’s size prevents it fitting into the car. I HATE the harness and seat belt! It always get all twisted whenever I need to lay down. The harness fits perfectly, but the tether is WAY too short to allow any movement.” With the recent research that determined all dog seat belts may not be as safe as we like, a lot of people are considering pet travel crates. But you’re right, Hawk. This is not easy to do for big dogs. There is no way Maya and Pierson’s dog crate will fit in my car. Speaking of tangling in the tethers, the brand I’ve found the best is the Bergan tether. It is sold separately so that you don’t have to buy the whole harness. Kurgo also has a direct connect tether – Replacement Tethers for harnesses.

POOP PATROL

Regarding the importance of picking up your dog’s poop when traveling, Roxy with Roxy the Traveling Dog says, “Very true, because we are always traveling, I have bags in the truck, in my purse, sometimes in my pocket. I always pick up the poop.” Me too! I have poop bags in the car and in all my coat pockets. I don’t carry around a purse so my cell phone, driver’s license, and credit cards are always in my pants pockets, along with a few poop bags.

Sugar with Sugar the Golden Retriever noted about how some parks are beginning to restrict dogs to certain areas. This is because people aren’t picking up after their dogs. So it is very important that we show how responsible we can be when it comes to our furry best friends.

FUNNY DOGS CAR TALK ADVENTURES

The first episode of Maya and Pierson’s car travel video is finally finished! If you missed it, check it out below.

Be sure to give it a thumbs up on YouTube! Maya, Pierson, and I would love it if you’d share it too. 🙂

Snoopy with Snoopy’s Dog Blog said, “I loved the video!! It was very informative, but in a cool and fun way – great job! Looking forward to the next videos – Maybe Maya and Pierson will be getting and Oscar for their performances?”

Thanks so much, Snoopy! They might not get an Oscar, but they got a lot of treats for cooperating so well. When Maya said, “Huh?” in the video, it was because I said the word “cookie”. And Pierson really does need bribing sometimes when it comes to getting in the car.

CONTEST GIVEAWAY

I have a bunch of figurines left over from another website I used to run for animal figurines, so I thought I would give some away. Sorry I’m not giving away something as exciting as pet travel supplies this time. But I will in December, I promise! In the meantime, there is still a chance to win a cute dog figurine. If you’re not interested in one for yourself, it might make a good gift. Or if your shelter or rescue group does auctions to raise money, you can give it to them. The contest is open until the end of the month.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Thanks for stopping by! And thank you to Jodi and Donna for hosting the Follow Up Friday blog hop!

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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Follow Up Friday #19

Author: MayaAndPierson
November 15, 2013

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Welcome to another edition of Follow Up Friday hosted by Jodi from Heart Like a Dog. The co-host this week is our favorite Flea from Dog Treat Web for our favorite treats from Jones Natural Chews.

A comment from this past week, but posted on an article from the week before comes from Sue with Talking Dogs. On our Pros and Cons post, she mentioned how securing three dogs that need to move around was a challenge. I can definitely see how trying to secure three dogs in a dog car seat belt can be a challenge. Even though there are three slots in the back, the dogs can get tangled if they move around too much. Is there one dog who doesn’t mind not being able to move around too much? Perhaps use the middle safety belt and one latch bar from each side to secure him or her in the ClickIt Utility. The other two can wear the Bergan, which has an adjustable tether length and can allow the dogs to move around a bit more. With the really secure one in the middle, they can’t get tangled.

LAST WEEK’S FOLLOW UP FRIDAY

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog mentioned she’d like to find a way for the dogs to try a dog car seat belt on Sampson and Delilah in person. I completely understand. It can be intimidating buying some things online without being able to see it, feel it, and try it on. Read on for my response to Ducky’s mom.

Ducky’s Mom with The Golden Life asked if she could try the ClickIt Utility on a trial basis, such as a 30 day money-back guarantee. Absolutely! We have a 30 day return policy. Unless a piece is missing, such as a tether, 100% is refundable. The only thing I don’t have is a way to provide a return shipping label. Ducky’s mom also asked about the canine car harness brands available at PetSmart. I think it has the Solvit, Kurgo, and their own brand, which I’ve recently learned is actually made by the same manufacturer as Bergan. Unlike the Bergan, it is brown. But everything else is the same. Petco generally carries the Kurgo brand.

Lindsay with That Mutt commented on how my mom’s dog Solo resembles my boy Pierson. Solo came from a terrible hoarding situation. She was extremely shy and after bonding with my mom and stepdad became extremely possessive of them. She had been known to try to bite people coming to visit. But when my husband and I met her for the first time, she warmed up to both of us very quickly. My husband, who is not a big dog lover, fell in love with her. After our dog Sephi passed on and we talked about getting another dog, my husband told me he wanted a dog like Solo. So the search for Border Collies began and we eventually found Pierson, a Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix.

Solo and Max

Solo now lives the good life in a loving home. My mom’s cat Max was her best bud, but he passed away a couple years ago.

By the way, we had a good weekend at my mom’s. My mom has recovered from lung cancer very well. My stepdad’s health is not so great though. We really worry about him.

Emma with GBGV Life said she loves her dog car seat belt. Hers is the AllSafe, by the way. And she says that her new sister Bailie is adjusting to it as well. That’s fantastic! Sometimes it can be difficult introducing a canine car harness to our furry friends. It’s best to start when they are young, but puppies don’t necessarily take to them any easier than adults. Emma also mentioned how she didn’t see her comment after she posted it. Sorry everyone, my comments are set up to go through moderation. There are a ton of methods to keep the spammers at bay and I choose the moderation one.

Ann with My Pawsitively Pets says Shiner has a canine car harness, but since she has a small car, Shiner doesn’t get to ride in the car very often. Makes sense. Shiner is a big girl and I can see how a small car could be uncomfortable for her, not to mention crowded for you.

WHY SELECT ANOTHER DOG CAR SEAT BELT BRAND

Lindsay with That Mutt said, “I think you make a good point that in most cases, any type of restraint is going to be safer than nothing.” Thanks, Lindsay! 🙂 I couldn’t agree more. In fact, even though Kurgo didn’t rank as one of the best in the independent study completed by the Center for Pet Safety, they have a wonderful testimonial from a customer who said the Kurgo canine car harness saved their dog’s life.

FUNNY MEMES

There were a lot of compliments on this post. I love making these funny dog captions with photos of Maya & Pierson and am so glad you all liked them. 🙂 Here’s an oldie but goodie:

Maya Pierson Cookietown

FUNNY DOGS PREVIEW VIDEO

The preview video is finally done! Alas, I’m not quite done with the full episode yet. Enjoy this 20 second preview today, then stop by again this weekend for the first full episode, which will be about 3 minutes.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog said this about the 20 second preview video, “I love that Pierson has an Aussie accent. I can’t wait to see the whole video. How did you figure out the video editing? Honestly, I have to learn how to do that!

I bought the movie editing software in March of this year. It has taken a lot of playing around to figure out how to use it and I still haven’t mastered all the features.

Thank you everyone for stopping by and for all your wonderful comments. And thank you Jodi and Flea for hosing the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Have a great weekend everyone!

Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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In a recent study conducted by a nonprofit organization called the Center for Pet Safety, the ClickIt Utility dog seatbelt was determined to be the safest. If other pet car harnesses fell short, what are some reasons you should still consider them?

THE NEED TO MOVE AROUND

The biggest reason to consider another brand over the ClickIt Utility harness is because some dogs will absolutely not tolerate the kind of restriction enforced by the ClickIt. The more a dog doesn’t like it, the more he might struggle. And the more he struggles, the more likely he is to hurt himself. He may also decide to chew through the car harness, making it completely useless.

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. I also have the floor covered with the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.

The ClickIt Utility harness is the safest because of its ability to keep your dog very secure. So if your dog won’t sit still, you may have to compromise some (but not all) safety for comfort by using a dog seatbelt that gives your best friend the ability to move around.

PRICE

Another reason to consider another brand is price. A lot of time and research went into designing the ClickIt Utility, so its price is high. And it is not just high to cover the costs of development, its price reflects its quality.

THERE ARE OTHER QUALITY BRANDS AVAILABLE

There are other quality pet car harnesses that can be considered. Unlike the Center for Pet Safety’s report in 2011, which tested only four brands, the study completed by them in 2013 tested several brands and the study DID NOT equate to 100% failure. A number of brands passed. Consider the Ruff Rider Roadie or the AllSafe brands as your next choice. These are also higher priced than many other brands, but again, this price is reflected in their quality. The Bergan is less expensive and is a good brand to consider for dogs under 75lbs. The Kurgo Tru-Fit or Go-Tech is a good brand to consider for dogs over 25 pounds and under 75 pounds.

Pierson Blue Go-Tech Dog Car Harness

At about 50lbs, Pierson is in good hands with the Kurgo Go-Tech dog car harness.

ANY BRAND PROVIDES AT LEAST SOME SAFETY

Even the brands that failed the Center for Pet Safety’s test provide some safety. For one, your dog is less likely to be a distraction when he is secured in a dog seatbelt. Hopefully, you haven’t been in many car accidents. But how many times have you had to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way of danger? While substandard pet car harnesses may not do any good in a car accident, they may provide some stability in sudden stops and swerving.

Don’t let the media hype about the safety of pet car harnesses keep you from considering the safety of your best friend. Yes, many brands are inferior to the ClickIt Utility. But even the ClickIt has some shortcomings. And many brands still provide some measure of protection.

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Follow Up Friday #18

Author: MayaAndPierson
November 8, 2013

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Wow! Another week has gone by already. Time sure does go by fast. Let’s see what has happened in this week, shall we?

FOLLOW UP FRIDAY #17

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog said, “Oooohhhh… my little mind is excited thinking of the reason you might not have been feeling well. Can’t wait to hear what it is.”

I apologize to all of you for making you guess as to why I was out of the loop for two weeks. I realized later that I might have misled you all into thinking I was expecting. After all, usually when it is a good thing a woman isn’t feeling well it is because she is pregnant. Alas, despite the best efforts of my husband and I, I don’t think that ship will ever leave the harbor. I am almost too old and I have interfering health issues. In regards to health issues, there is hope on the horizon. I shall soon see whether there really is a cure for fibromyalgia.

Hawk with Brown Dog CBR said, “Yep, I chewed through the seat belt strap that snapped into the seat belt thingy. The Humans bought me a new seat belt that fastened to the seat belt itself. I chewed through the seat belt…that was expensive I hear. They bought me a different seat belt, but the strap is too short so my Human is looking for a longer one. Sigh…”

Oh my goodness, Hawk, this is so so common. It is one reason why the ClickIt Utility may not be good for all dogs. Despite its best safety features, some dogs simply will not tolerate being that restricted and will chew through the harness. If you’re worried your dog might, perhaps consider buying a cheaper dog car harness first to train with, then working up to the better one. A cheaper one may or may not hold up in a car accident, but at least it will help keep your dog from being a distraction and from getting thrown forward in a sudden stop. Also, consider this blog post: How to Keep Your Dog from Chewing through His Dog Seat Belt.

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.

PROS AND CONS OF VARIOUS DOG SEAT BELT HARNESS BRANDS

Gizmo with Terrier Torrent, Mollie with Mollie’s Dog Treats UK, and Snoopy with Snoopy’s Dog Blog love that all the pros and cons are listed. Mollie loves the harnesses that can be used for walking too. So does Snoopy. Snoopy uses the Kurgo and is relieved to see the size he wears did not fail in the study conducted by the Center for Pet Safety. Snoopy, however, didn’t care for how loose the Kurgo dog car harness was when he walked with it on. It seemed to fit fine in the car but was loose upon walking. I’m interested to know, Snoopy, is it the Kurgo Tru-Fit you have or the Kurgo Go-Tech?

Callie, Shadow, and Ducky’s Mom with The Golden Life asked, “Curious about the amount of restriction with the Clickit: Callie prefers to lie down on the back seat; and once buckled in, does not move much if at all. Shadow prefers to sit in such a way that she can lean back against the seat facing the window. Would the Clickit allow for my dog’s preferred seating “arrangements”?”

The ClickIt Utility is restrictive but it does allow your dog to sit or lie down in any preferred position. Your dog cannot stand, however. And once they are buckled into their preferred position, it will be difficult for them to move out of it. Despite how terrible being so restricted sounds, it is really the safest way. The more your dog is restricted, the less tossing about that will occur if you get into a wreck. Despite safety, however, the ClickIt may not be ideal for comfort on especially long road trips. I’m still debating whether I will make Maya wear the ClickIt Utility harness or a different brand when we go to Texas this December.

Dog Seat Belt Car Video Clip

Maya & Pierson can’t wait for the video to come out! They’ll be famous. 🙂

MAYA & PIERSON DOG CAR VIDEO PRE-PREVIEW

I’m glad you are all looking forward to the video. I have a preview video which will be just a few seconds long and will hopefully be done this weekend. Then the three minute video of Episode 1 should be ready next week. The only thing I am waiting on is the guy doing the voice for Pierson. He has done most of the voice already (you’re going to love it because he uses an Australian accent), but there are a few corrections I’d like him to make. And there is one correction for Maya’s voice, too, that needs to be done.

Episode 1 is informative but also has a bit of humor so you’re not completely bored. Please keep in mind that it is only the second time I have ever done video editing (my first one was of Maya swimming at a public pool). As indicated in the title, Episode 1, I have ideas for several more videos. While Episode 1 is mostly informative, I hope the following ones will be mostly funny and cute. Stay tuned!

CONCLUSION

Yay! The weekend is almost here again. And it is a three day weekend in which my husband and I will be using to visit my mom and stepdad in Missouri. Maya and Pierson will stay with some friends of ours since my mom’s dog Solo and my Pierson will very likely not get along because they are both very dog aggressive. So I will miss Maya and Pierson, but I will get to see my mom again, which is good. So what will you all be doing this weekend?

Dogs Solo and Rocky

My mom’s dogs, Solo and Rocky, chilling out on the porch in Missouri.

OUR HOSTS

This week’s Follow up Friday is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Emma with My GBGV Life. In case you’re curious, GBGV stands for Grand Basset Griffon Vendeén, a dog breed developed hundreds of years ago in the Vendeé region of France. Cool, right? The best part is both Emma and her new sibling, Bailie, wear the AllSafe dog seat belt, rated next in safety right after the ClickIt. Way to go guys! And thank you for hosting this week’s Follow Up Friday.

 

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November 4, 2013

Here is a simplified but extensive list of the pros and cons of the dog seat belts we currently have available at PetAutoSafety.com:

Maya ClickIt Utility Dog Seat Belt

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt kepy my crazy dog Maya in her seat.

CLICKIT UTILITY CANINE CAR HARNESS

Pro and Con – This harness is very restrictive on your dog. This is a pro because the Center for Pet Safety has concluded that the more restricted your dog is, the safer he is likely to be in a car accident. This is a con because some dogs hate to be restricted. While the ClickIt Utility allows your dog to sit and lie down, it does not allow him to stand. And he cannot move around very easily.

Pros
*
The top rated brand in regards to safety
*
Three point attachment system for ultimate safety
*
Padded vest
*
Vest lies low on the chest to prevent choking
*
Can easily be used for walking as well as riding
*
Keeps your dog on the seat
*
Prevents side-to-side movements, which can be beneficial in an auto accident
*
Comes in three different colors

Cons
*
It can’t be used for very small dogs. The extra small is actually for larger small dogs.
*
It can only be used in the back seat and only if your vehicle is a 2001 model and later. These newer vehicles have latchbars located between the seat cushions and they are necessary in order to secure your dog with the ClickIt Utility harness.
* Your dog will not be able to stand up or move around while wearing this canine car harness
* Can be difficult putting it on and adjusting it for the first time
* Some reported that when dogs try to move around, they get tangled in the securing straps.

*
Expensive

Ruff Rider Roadie Dog Seat Belt

The Ruff Rider Roadie, in business since 1996, is the next best safety brand after the ClickIt.

RUFF RIDER ROADIE

Pros
* The Ruff Rider Roadie is n
ot as restrictive as the ClickIt Utility so your dog can move around a little more
*
Safety rating is better than most other brands tested (except ClickIt)
*
Converts easily into a walking harness
*
Pleated under the front legs in order to prevent chaffing
*
Available for almost every size of dog
* Your dog may be able to sit, stand, or lie down while wearing the Ruff Rider Roadie
*
Can be used with a car seat belt or in the cargo area if cargo rings are present
*
Pressure in a car accident goes on the dog’s chest, not is throat, so no choking
* Made in the USA

Cons
*
No padded vest
*
Tether adjustment is minimal
*
A dog that tries to moves around a lot could get tangled. Using the longer adjustment or using the carabiner to secure your dog instead could help prevent this. But a longer tether decreases safety.
*
Because it doesn’t restrict your dog as much as the ClickIt, there is risk that your dog will launch off the seat or side to side in a car accident.
*
Tether is non-detachable. It can be used as a leash for walking but is not very long.
*
Comes only in one color
*
Pricy (not as expensive than the ClickIt but more expensive than many other brands)

Pierson Wearing Bergan Dog Seat Belt

Pierson looks very handsome in his padded Bergan dog seat belt harness. And he doesn’t get tangled in the adjustable tether.

BERGAN DOG SEAT BELT HARNESS

Pros
* The Bergan canine car harness has a v
ery well padded vest
*
Fits all but very small dogs
*
Depending on if your vehicle has cargo rings, it may be used in the cargo area of an SUV
*
Neck and chest strap is fully adjustable
*
Less risk of tangling with this tether
* Tether is adjustable in length
*
Affordable pricing

Cons
* The Bergan c
an’t easily be used as a walking harness
* The small may be too big for smaller small dogs
* Failed crash testing at extra-large size
*
Padding comes a little higher up the chest. Unknown risk of choking.
*
Because it doesn’t restrict your dog as much as the ClickIt, there is risk that your dog will launch off the seat or side to side in a car accident.
* Can be a challenge when putting it on and adjusting it for the first time
*
Comes only in one color (mossy oak was another color but has been discontinued and only available while supplies last)

Maya Go-Tech Pet Seat Belts

The raspberry Kurgo Go-Tech is the perfect color for my girl Maya. I love the padded chest and how it lies lower and looser around the neck.

KURGO DOG SEAT BELTS

Pros
* Kurgo dog seat belts have a p
added vest
*
Can easily be used as a walking harness
*
Walking leash can be attached at the back or the front of the chest to limit pulling
* Kurgo
Go-Tech style has a low and loose neck to prevent choking
*
Lots of cool colors available
*
Affordable pricing

Cons
*
Tru-Fit style failed at 25lb and 75lb crash testing (passed at 45lbs)
*
It can only be used with the seat belt of the car. It can’t be used in the cargo area.
*
Dogs that like to move around can get tangled in the tether mechanism. The direct connect tether can be purchased separately and can help prevent tangling. However, a longer tether means a decrease in safety.
*
Go-Tech style neck is not adjustable
*
Because it doesn’t restrict your dog as much as the ClickIt, there is risk that your dog will launch off the seat or side to side in a car accident.

Guardian Gear Plaid Dog Seat Belts

These plaid dog seat belts from Guardian Gear are adorable, but consider them as a prevention against driver distraction rather than for safety.

GUARDIAN GEAR / CRUISING COMPANION (STANDARD)

Pros
*
Very inexpensive
*
Lots of cool colors and styles
*
Some are padded
*
No tangling or twisting with the tethers
*
Can be used as a walking harness

Cons
*
Not designed to hold up in a car accident. May help to keep dogs from being a distraction to the driver and may help for sudden stops, but there are no other safety features.
*
Some may come up high on the neck, risking choking
*
Our site has limited colors and sizes available because we are no longer keeping this dog seat belt harness brand in stock.

We hope this list is helpful. If you have any other questions or concerns about our dog seat belt harness brands, please feel free to email us at naturebydawn@aol.com.

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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