BlogPaws/Pet360 Media Pet Blogger Network
July 27, 2013

You will never believe this, but my dog Maya was involved in her first (and hopefully only) auto accident. Thursday, July 25th, we were on our way to the Lawrence Humane Society for their Mutt Mixer event. I was to have a table of pet auto safety supplies set up and Maya was to model the new Kurgo Go-Tech pet car harness.

Before you get worried about us, we are both okay. I was at a full stop waiting for traffic when I was rear ended. It was on wet street going downhill. The impact was pretty jarring. My boxes of dog seat belts, which I was going to display at the event, went flying everywhere. My rear bumper was damaged. But Maya and I were wearing our seat belts and we were not noticeably injured.

Rear Bumper Car Collision Damage

Rear bumper damage on my car from a rear end collision on July 25th, 2013.

I felt a little sore the next day, especially in the neck and shoulders, but Maya has been her usual happy-go-lucky self. Gotta love the resilient attitude of the Labrador! If it had been my Aussie mix Pierson involved in the car collision, he would have freaked out. And he would never want to ride in the car again.

Bad luck that Maya and I were in an auto accident, but good luck that it wasn’t too serious. Car collisions happen all the time with fender bender collisions being the most common. And even though you might be a safe driver, you never know what conditions or situations might arise that cause an auto accident to occur. This is why everyone in our family including my dogs wears a seat belt.

Be proactive, not reactive. And secure your pet in the vehicle now. It doesn’t have to be a seat belt. You can also use a pet trave crate.

Right Side of Car Rear Bumper Collision Left Rear Bumper Car Collision

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July 12, 2013
Dog Laying Down Pet Car Harness

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

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

We did have two great questions, though:

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

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

Dog Standing in Pet Car Harness

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

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

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

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

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This post is part of the Follow Up Friday blog hop hosted by Heart Like a Dog. Please check out some other great dog bloggers below:

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June 28, 2013

We’re joining Follow Up Friday to answer some questions people had on pet travel safety. The questions are not just from this blog, but also from our Facebook page, phone calls, and emails.

Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock

Sugar from asked if a pet car barrier really was safe. It is safe for you, but not necessarily safe for your pet. It is safe for you because it keeps your pet from distracting you while you drive. However, there is a type of pet car barrier that may have one small safety feature for your pet. That is the pet hammock. The pet hammock not only blocks the center console area of your car in order to keep your dog in the back, it also covers the floor of the car. So let’s say your dog is in the back seat and not restrained in any way. When you stop suddenly, or even crash into something, what happens to your dog? She flies forward. If the floor is covered, she won’t get thrown on the floor. My vet told me about a dog that was thrown onto the floor in a sudden stop, and the poor dog’s leg was badly broken. 

On Facebook, I posted the review from one of our giveaway winners who got to try out the Travel Calm. Someone asked if the calming affect would work on a dog that was reactive towards other dogs. Pierson is leash reactive so I gave it a try. It did not work for this situation.

My Dog Maya is Sad - No Disneyland

On Facebook, when I posted the above photo, someone asked how Maya was secured in the car. She’s wearing a Kurgo dog car harness that is tethered to a metal cargo ring in the back.

A phone call from a customer asked which dog car harness brand is the best. Sorry, I do not know the answer to that one. Each manufacturer claims they are the best. The manufacturers of the dog seat belts we sell have provided me with links to their testing information and I have found that Bergan provides the most thorough information with is V9DT standards. Kurgo has not only done crash testing… twice… but they are also consulting with the Center for Pet Safety for more safety information. Ruff Rider and Bergan are too. You can see more about the Center for Pet Safety on our post tomorow.

My Dogs in Back of SUV

That same customer asked which dog car harness brand do I prefer. This is my opinion and my opinion only. But I find the Bergan and the Kurgo very comparable. Pierson wears the Bergan and Maya wears the Kurgo. I don’t like Kurgo’s loop tether, but the loop tether is probably the best because it is the shortest. The Center for Pet Safety says the shorter the tether, the better.

Sleepypod Pet Carrier in Seat Belt

Another customer asked about the safety of pet travel carriers. These are a safe way to travel if the pet carrier is secured in the car (say with kennel straps or some other means). Soft crates are a bad idea unless they have been specifically crash tested. The only crash tested soft pet carrier we are aware of is the Sleepypod (pictured above) and this is for cats or very small dogs only. They don’t make big pet travel carriers. Otherwise, use a hard plastic crate. You want the crate large enough for your dog to be comfortable in (perhaps use the airline specifications for size). But you don’t want the crate too large because the larger they are for your dog, the more your dog would get tossed around inside in the event of a car accident.

These are just some of the recent questions people have asked about our products. If you have any questions, please comment or email us at

By the way, we are so excited about winning the Versatile Blogger Award from Hawk at This is a PAWSOME honor! Since today’s post is so long, we will tell you more about this award next week, perhaps after the Pet Travel Tuesday post. So stop by and see us again. And thanks, Hawk! 🙂

This is part of the Follow Up Friday Blog Hop hosted by Heart Like a Dog and Sand Springs Chesapeakes:

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Compare Pet Travel Harness Brands

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 16, 2013
Dog Seat Belt

Which dog seat belt is right for your pet?

Since we have now added the Ruff Rider Roadie and are phasing out the Guardian Gear / Cruising Companion brand dog seat belts, we are doing a new comparison. We now have four quality brands of dog car harnesses to choose from:  Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Pet Buckle, and Roadie. Which one is best? They are all great, but each has a different style and feature. Compare them below:

Quality is hard to quantify. All of these four brands are well-made with strong materials. While some or all parts may have been constructed outside the United States, each of the companies that make these brands has strict quality control measures in place to ensure that each and every dog seat belt meets the same high standards.

Since each of these brands has been tested by a different strength and crash test specialist, it is difficult to determine which dog seat belt brand is the safest. We are confident in the safety and crash testing of each of these brands.
* Bergan was tested using the V9DT Pet Safety Durability standard.
* Kurgo Tru-Fit enhanced version was tested by the New Hampshire Materials Laboratory, Inc.
* Pet Buckle was tested by the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE).
* Roadie Ruff Rider was tested by both the Commercial Test Labs and the Allianz Insurance Crash Research Center.

Can dogs get out of them? Yes to all. A determined dog can get out of any pet travel harness. Keeping the seat belt harness too tight will not prevent this and will likely only make a dog more determined to get out of it. So when we look at how it fits, we are looking for any loose spots or any place that doesn’t adjust well.
* Bergan – Fits well and adjustable at both the neck and sides, although the chest piece may be a little long for some dogs.
* Kurgo Tru-Fit – Fits well and is adjustable at both the neck and sides.
* Pet Buckle – Fits well on small dogs or large dogs. It does not fit medium-sized dogs.
* Ruff Rider Roadie – Fits well, and all except the smaller sizes are adjustable at both the neck and sides.

How it Works
* Bergan – Uses an adjustable length tether with a carabiner clip to attach directly to the seat belt webbing of the car.
* Kurgo Tru-Fit – Uses a loop that the seat belt of the car goes through.
* Pet Buckle – Uses a loop tether for the seat belt of the car to go through. An adjustable length Kwik Connect tether may be included. This tether clips directly onto the latchbar between the seat cushions of vehicles 2001 and later.
* Ruff Rider Roadie – Uses a loop tether for the seat belt of the car to go through.

Bergan Tether

How the carabiner clip on the Bergan tether works with the seat belt in your car.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Tether Loop

How the Kurgo Tru-Fit tether loop works with the seat belt of your car. The Ruff Rider and Pet Buckle works in a similar way.

Kwik-Connect Tether for Pet Buckle

How the Kwik-Connect tether of the Pet Buckle works in your car.

Ease of Use
In trying out each of these brands, we have not found one that is particularly easier to put on than the others. All take a little thought when putting them on for the first time, but once you get a hang of it all of them are easy.

Distinguishing Features
* Bergan – Padded chest piece; since no loop tether, tangling is less likely.
* Kurgo Tru-Fit – Slightly padded; enhanced version has steel buckles; allows for harness to also be used as a walking harness.
* Pet Buckle – Metal buckles; if the Kwik-Connect tether is used, tangling is less likely.
* Ruff Rider Roadie – No plastic parts; tested to ensure there is no pressure on dog’s throat; pleated design on straps under dog’s legs to prevent irritation; tether and harness is one piece and tether can be used as a short walking leash.

Listed from least expensive to most expensive:
* Bergan
* Kurgo Tru-Fit
* Pet Buckle
* Roadie Ruff Rider

If you have any questions regarding any other differences in these pet travel harness brands, please email us at We have had the opportunity to use these on our own dogs, including my own:  Sephi wore the Kurgo, Maya wears the Kurgo with a Bergan tether (to prevent tangling), and Pierson wears the Bergan. 🙂

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These aren’t very good photos but it was the best I could do on Tuesday evening. We are leaving at about 5:30am tomorrow so tomorow would not be a good time to post pictures. These two photos are of our rental car. My dogs Maya and Pierson will be riding in the cargo area since there will be four people-passengers in the seats. Since we are renting a vehicle, I have lined the cargo area with a sheet and a car seat cover. I have also put Maya & Pierson’s bed in the back. And I have attached the tethers of their seat belts to the cargo area. Their dog seat belts are lying on the dog bed so that all I have to do in the morning is get them in the back and put the dog car harnesses on.

Our rental SUV since we can’t get four people and two big dogs in our cars.

I made the back nice and comfortable for my pups. And also tried to protect the cargo area of our rental vehicle from dog hair. Otherwise, the cleanup fee would be an additional $50 or more.

I will try to post more pictures of our trip along the way. If I don’t add more by Thanksgiving day, check us out on Saturday! Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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September 15, 2012

We have recently acquired the new and improved version of the Kurgo dog seat belts. How are these pet car harnesses better? They have metal buckles instead of plastic. Kurgo has done more research into the safety of their products. They have completed more safety tests as well.

The enhanced Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harnesses have undergone three important safety tests:

1. Dynamic static line test,

2. Tensile strength test,

3. Crash testing using a sled test.

The tests show that the enhanced harness can withstand 2,250 pounds of force. This improvement is made in part by the new all-metal nesting buckles. What are nesting buckles? They are similar to the buckles used by rock climbers and linesmen.

Our dog Maya is now wearing the new enhanced Kurgo dog car harness (top photo) and she loves it. It fits her well. She is wearing the red one, but note that currently only has the black one available. To get a discount, feel free to use discount code, petfriend, for 10% off.

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The High Cost of Shipping

Author: MayaAndPierson
April 18, 2011


USPS is raising their prices AGAIN!  Other shipping companies are as well.  It is probably due to the poor economy and the rising cost of gasoline.  USPS costs are going up only slightly but I that is the second time this year.

If it seems that the shipping costs on Pet Auto are high, this is why.  But some websites don’t charge shipping at all, you say.  They do, but the cost is built into the cost of the product.  Or you could have the opposite effect on ebay where you are lured in with the low cost of the product but hit with a horrendous overinflated shipping cost.

Pet Auto does neither of those things.  Our shipping cost is as close to the approximate cost to ship as we can get it.  So if the $29.99 hammock says $10 shipping, then it costs us about $10 to ship.  However, sometimes when multiple items are purchased the Pet Auto website inflates the shipping – sometimes.  If that is the case, we refund the difference.  For example, if you order two Pet Buckle dog seat belts, the website will charge you $20 (apx $10 each to ship).  However, since we can ship two Pet Buckle dog seat belts in one medium flat rate box with the post office for just over $10, we generally refund $10 of the $20 charged by the site.

If you purchase from Pet Auto, don’t be surprised with the shipping.  We promise, you are not being cheated.  With rising gas costs, shipping costs are going up all around.  And if our site overcharges you, we will refund the difference.

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Travelin’ for a Country Christmas

Author: MayaAndPierson
December 28, 2010


We drove to Texas to see my dad and step-mom for Thanksgiving so we drove to Missouri to see my mom and step-dad for Christmas.  Dad was a 12 hour drive but mom was just 5 ½ hours.  You would think that because this drive was shorter, it would be easier.  But it was snowing at least half of the way.  Thankfully, the roads were clear for the most part.  We just had to drive a little more cautiously.

Once again, we took Sephi and Maya with us.  And once again, it was a long and boring trip for them.  They wore their dog seat belts, of course.  It was also a little warmer for them since we had the heater on the whole way.  Boy were they thirsty when we arrived in Licking, Missouri.

We had less issue with the dog hair.  But not because it was a shorter trip; I brushed them every day for the week prior to the trip.  By the time we got home, there was hardly any dog hair in the car to clean up.  It was great!

Sephi and Maya loved their time in the county.  They especially loved the snow.  I made a small little snowman which Maya tried to eat.  The photo above is of my mom’s dog, Rocky, and a snowman.

Learned a new trick to keeping dog hair to a minimum, enjoyed playing in the snow, and ate a delicious holiday meal.  All-in-all, it was a great Country Christmas!  I hope yours was great too.  We’d love to hear about your Christmas with your pets.

(One more thing I’d like to say about the trip to Licking, Missouri – Maya did not have her Licking license but that did not stop her from licking!)

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September 6, 2010

Both Sephi and Maya have been wearing their dog seat belts since they were puppies.  For Sephi, that is 9 years (since 2001).  For Maya, that has been 3 years (since 2007).  That is a very long time.

But with Sephi, she hasn’t worn the dog seat belt every time she has been in the car.  In fact, I used to be rather lax about making her wear it.  I generally only made her wear her dog seat belt when I was going to use the highway.  This was a big mistake.  First of all, Sephi was a distraction when she wasn’t wearing her dog seat belt because she would put her front feet on the center console and keep her head right by my head as I drove.  It was very diverting when she sniffed me or licked me or just panted in my face.  Second, Sephi wasn’t safe even when I wasn’t driving at high speeds on the highway.  An emergency push on the brake or a sudden swerve sent her flying.  Luckily, she was never hurt.  But after an incident which left her crying, I decided that Sephi would wear her dog seat belt every time she was in the car, even if I was just going down the street to the bank drive-through.

Well, this tells you why I have Sephi and Maya wear their dog seat belts, but it doesn’t tell you how they like them.  Just check out the above dog video and see for yourself.  As you can see, they get so happy and excited when I get out their dog seat belts.  Despite their excitement, they do pretty well at holding still while I put them on.

Sephi and Maya have been wearing their dog seat belts for so long, that they don’t know what it is like to ride in the car without them.  They have learned to associate the dog seat belts with car rides, so they see dog seat belts as fun.

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August 22, 2010

Recently two popular dog blogs posted articles about how dogs should be restrained when riding in the car.  Check out PawNation and Dogster.  PawNation mentions the Kurgo brand dog seat belts and the Bark Buckle Up website which promotes the PetBuckle brand dog seat belts.  Both brands of dog seat belts are great products and both are available at Pet Auto Check out both the PawNation post and the Dogster Post for great informative information.

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