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September 25, 2013

On Sunday, Maya and I went to the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event at Crystal K9 in Lawrence, Kansas. I had one table there for our pet travel supplies and Maya came with me to show off her Kurgo Go-Tech dog safety seat belt. The event was the first one ever held by Crystal K9 so it was a small event. But it was a lot of fun. There were several enjoyable activities, some of which Maya got to participate in. And there were other local pet supply vendors. Here are some photos I took of the event:

Adoptable Dog Responsible Pet Owner's Day 2013

There were adoptable dogs at the event, including this sweet girl.

Berger Picard Responsible Pet Owner's Day

This is the Wynn Dixie dog breed, the Berger Picard. This adorable guy is about 5 months old. Just look at those ears!

English Setter Responsible Pet Owner's Day

This is the first English Setter I have ever seen in person. Isn’t he gorgeous?

Havanese Responsible Pet Owner's Day

I think this guy is a Havanese. Sorry, I can’t remember for certain. I met so many adorable dogs at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event.

Keeshond Responsible Pet Owner's Day

I learned how to say Keeshond properly when I met this beautiful girl and her bigger fluffier brother at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event.

Dog in Purse at the Responsible Pet Owner's Day

This little guy belongs to the exectutive director of the Lawrence Humane Society. He loves to stay in his purse and he was quite comfortable there too.

Maya in the Way Responsible Pet Owner's Day

My Maya got in the way of a lot of photos at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event.

Maya Making Friends Responsible Pet Owner's Day

Maya loved meeting all the dogs at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event.

Maya Won Dish Responsible Pet Owner's Day

Maya won this dog dish in one of the activities at the event. The activity was a doggie version of musical chairs where the dog who took the longest to sit was out. Maya got 2nd place out of 10 dogs. I’m so proud!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Responsible Pet Owner's Day

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event. He was with a Cardigan Welsh Corgi too, but I didn’t get a good photo.

Responsible Pet Owner's Day Crystal K9

Lots of people and dogs hanging out at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event held out in front of Crystal K9.

Dog Giselle Dog Safety Seat Belt

I think this girl’s name is Giselle. She was adopted from the Lawrence Humane Society a few months ago. Here, she bought the Kurgo Go-Tech dog safety seat belt from me at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event.

Cute Little Puppy Responsible Pet Owner's Day

This cute little girl is named Mia and she was at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event too. Isn’t she just the cutest little thing?

For more great pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below:

 

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August 31, 2013

Last Saturday, I talked about the reasons why a dog should be restrained in the car. The post mostly focused on the benefits of a pet car harness. But let’s face it, not every dog will wear one. Plus, there are a few legitimate concerns about dog seat belts. So here are some other pet travel products to consider:

Straps for Pet Carriers

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

Pet Carrier
Have your pet ride in a pet carrier. Make sure the carrier is secured in the vehicle so that if the car goes out of control, the dog crate stays in place. You don’t want it and your dog to be thrown about. Whether a secured travel crate is as safe as a pet car harness is not known. Not much testing has been done on pet travel carriers. However, I imagine that a secured crate is probably just as safe (strictly an opinion). Traveling in this way covers all the reasons discussed last week about why it is better to have your dog secured in the car.

Maya Behind Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier

This is a cloth barrier. A pet car barrier can also be metal or a pet net barrier.

Dog Car Barrier
A dog car barrier can help keep your dog in the back seat and from being a distraction. Depending on the barrier, it may keep your dog from being ejected out the front windshield. However, it can’t keep your dog on the seat and it can’t keep him inside the vehicle if someone opens the door, a window breaks and he jumps out, or he hangs his head out the window and jumps or is thrown out.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

Maya has more room to stretch out on those long road trips.

Backseat Bridge
I can’t tell you how much I really love the Kurgo Backseat Bridge. I have two big dogs and there is no way Maya can stay comfortably on the back seat, even with her pet car harness on. The seat is too narrow and Maya is too big. And she is too energetic to sit still. So covering the floor of the car helps keep her from being thrown onto the floor. If you’ve read some of the news about how dogs should stay on the seat when wearing their dog seat belts, you can see how difficult it would be to restrain a dog to such an extent that he wouldn’t get thrown forward or onto the floor. The Backseat Bridge can help because it covers the floor. The Backseat Bridge also has a barrier that covers the center console area. If your dog is not buckled in, at least the bridge can keep him from getting thrown onto the floor and possibly keep him in the back seat so that he is not a distraction. A dog car hammock has the same benefits as the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.

Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 CarFence.

K9 CarFence
This is a brand new product. There hasn’t been much testing on it yet. But it sure looks promising. The K9 CarFence keeps your dog from being a distraction and it helps to keep him in his seat.

Pierson Breeze Guard Car Window Screens

Pierson is looking out the window fitted with the Breeze Guard car window screens.

Breeze Guard Car Window Screens
This is another product I really love. I used to let my dogs put their heads out the window. After all, they really love it. But one time, Sephi yelped. I think she got hit in the face with something, probably a small pebble. Thankfully, it didn’t hit her in the eye or nose. She wasn’t injured. But it made me think that perhaps letting her have her head out the window wasn’t such a good idea. Also, a friend of mine on Facebook told me about how a friend of hers had her dog thrown out the car window. He was hanging out having a good time when they suddenly had to swerve their car. Their poor dog flew out and ended up getting run over by the rear tire. And, one final story, I had a dog years ago that actually jumped out the car window. Luckily, we were driving slowly down an old dirt road when Huckleberry saw some cows and jumped out to get at them. He was okay. It shocked us both. But all these incidents will never happen again because of my Breeze Guard car window screens. BTW, despite having screens on my windows to allow the breeze in, I never ever leave my dogs unattended in the car.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your pet but aren’t sure about the safety of pet travel products, there are a lot of alternatives to consider. A pet car harness and pet carrier have a lot more safety benefits, but every dog and every situation is different. Consider your various options and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

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Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

Maya has more room to stretch out on those long road trips. You can’t see it well in this photo, but she is also wearing her canine car harness.

What is a Backseat Bridge?

The Backseat Bridge is a great product from Kurgo. It neatly covers the floor of the car, the gap between the front and back seats.

The Benefit of a Bridge?

It gives your dog more room to move around. This is great if you are going on a long road trip or if you have a big dog that barely fits onto the narrow back seat. The bridge can also help to keep your dog from getting thrown onto the floor in a sudden stop or car accident. Plus, the Kurgo Backseat Bridge has a divider that covers the area between the front seats so that your dog can’t stand on the center console.

Pierson Wearing the Bergan Dog Car Harness

Notice how flat the Kurgo Backseat Bridge is and how it covers the floor. Also notice the divider that closes the gap between the front seats.

Use with a Dog Seat Belt?

If a dog seat belt is supposed to keep your dog secure in one place, why do you need the bridge? For a dog like my Pierson, you don’t. This is because Pierson’s tether is really short and he will stay in one spot. But my Maya is a different story. I have to keep the tether on her canine car harness a little longer so that she doesn’t get tangled when she moves around. This means that even though she is wearing her harness, she can still get thrown onto the floor and hurt.

Imagine a 70 pound dog falling into the small gap between seats. Most likely, not all limbs will go at once and Maya could break a leg. The bridge prevents this. When Maya and I were rear ended this past July, Maya’s canine car harness prevented her from being thrown into the front seat. And the bridge prevented the front of her body from being thrown onto the car floor.

The Kurgo Backseat Bridge is very well made. It is made with stain resistant material and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. The bridge is reversible so you can use either the khaki side or the black side. It can hold about 100 pounds, but be careful to not let your dog jump on it when they get in the car. Jumping onto something creates more force so a 70 pound dog like my Maya jumping could generate an impact greater than 100 pounds. In fact, the bridge could have been broken in our collision (but wasn’t). However, the breakage is more like a bending. Maya would not have fallen through, only caved in a bit, which is better than being thrown onto the floor. Perhaps this crude sketch I did will help illustrate.

Sketch of the Kurgo Backseat Bridge

Yes, I know the drawing of the Backseat Bridge is crude. I tried. 😉

If it had been broken in the car accident, Kurgo has a great repair and replace policy. I could have shipped the bridge to them and they would have repaired or replaced it for a small fee, plus shipping. Kurgo also has a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. I LOVE Kurgo products!

Are there any products we have that you’d like to know more about? Are there any products we don’t have that you’d like to see?

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Follow Up Friday #5

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 2, 2013

Follow up from Pet Safety Saturday’s post on Why My Dog Wears a Pet Car Harness:

I was in a rear end collision last Thursday. My dog Maya was with me. I was really sore the following Friday and Saturday but felt much better on Sunday and was 100% better by Monday. Maya seemed not to have been affected at all. She and Pierson were playing as normal on Friday and she has been just as rambunctious on her walks. The auto repair shop told me it is not just the rear bumper that was damaged on my car, but the frame as well. They also told me the cost to repair my car is likely more than my car is worth. So instead of getting my car repaired, I will most likely only receive a 2k check from the other insurance company. My car is a 1998 Ford Contour and doubtedly not worth more than 2k. Makes me wish I had a Toyota instead. 🙁

Follow up on questions received on the blog this week:

Jodi from Heart Like a Dog asks, “How frequently should you stop when driving with dogs?  You should you keep to your regular feeding schedule?  Typically our thought is we stop to let them eat and then when we stop for gas or to use the rest areas, they get a quick walk too.”

That’s a great question, Jodi. When we took a long road trip to Texas with Maya & Pierson we stopped every couple of hours or so. This coincided with the stops we made to get gas, at rest stops for our own potty breaks, and stops we made for food. I would start out with this as your plan. But watch their behavior. If they are generally quiet on the ride but suddenly get restless, it may mean that they need a break. Also, more active dogs may need more frequent stops.

For feeding, it really depends on how your dogs handle car rides. Do you know if they tend to get car sick? Pierson tends to get car sick so I gave him several small meals instead of his normal two big meals.

Hawk, Brown Dog CBR says, “Buying a seat belt really perplexed my Human. I ate one. She bought a different brand and I chewed the seat belt. I prefer my crate but it’s too big to go in the sedan. Now she’s talkin’ about gettin’ a different strap attachment that is longer. Do you think she thinks I won’t find a way to outsmart the dang thing? (smirk)”

LOL! Chewing through harnesses is a common problem. We usually provide a tip sheet for people who buy a pet car harness in order to give some ideas on how to keep a dog from chewing through or escaping from it. One tip is training the dog to get used to the harness. This can take time. A short-term solution is to use a no-chew spray on the harness. And your idea of a longer strap is a good one too. Here’s a link to an article we wrote on the subject a couple years ago – Tips to Keep Your Dog from Chewing on His Dog Car Harness.

Just so you know, there is no such thing as a safe chew-proof or escape-proof pet car harness. The only chew-proof material I can think of is Kong material or metal. I can’t imagine metal being safe. I don’t know how safe a hard rubber one would be. One hasn’t been invented or tested yet, as far as I know. Escape-proof is difficult as well. Imagine if the harness is too tight. This would be uncomfortable for the dog and the dog would be even more likely to try to get out of it if he is uncomfortable. And if he did try to get out of a pet car harness that is too tight, he will be more likely to hurt himself.

Follow up on questions received by telephone or email this week:

Sarah asked whether I like the Kurgo or the Bergan brand pet car harness the best. This is a very common question and it is difficult to answer. I like both of them for different reasons. I like how the Bergan fits Pierson. He has a small frame and both the neck and the chest straps are fully adjustable. I also like the Bergan’s tether for Maya because she likes to move around a lot. I like how the Kurgo fits Maya. The large size is like it was made just for a Lab. But I don’t like the Kurgo tether for Maya. It works well on Pierson and I like how it is shorter and safer for him. But the Kurgo looped tether just won’t work for Maya.

If someone asks how I like the Ruff Rider Roadie, I honestly haven’t tried it on Maya and Pierson yet. I really like how padded the Bergan and Kurgo is. The Ruff Rider isn’t. But the quality if the Ruff Rider Roadie is obvious. It has a lot of features that the Kurgo and Bergan don’t seem to have. It is pleated under the dog’s legs so that it doesn’t cause irritation. The strap can be made short or long. And the strap can be used with the seat belt of the car as well as in the cargo area of the SUV (The Bergan tether can too).

Follow up on southern Florida as a pet friendly travel destination:

Gizmo from Terrier Torrent loves Florida and says his favorite part is the Jupiter dog beach. Flea from DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews has only experience central Florida and was not at all impressed. She says central Florida was not at all dog friendly. Pamela with Something Wagging This Way Comes says that she’s had luck finding dog friendly tours up north, but not dog friendly sailing tours. That’s too bad because I’m sure her dog Sunny would love to go.

Do you have any pet travel safety questions? What about a favorite pet friendly travel destination? Feel free to chime in on the comments below or email us at naturebydawn@aol.com.

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July 26, 2013

We didn’t have many pet travel safety questions this past week. Our dog blog is more of an informational blog and doesn’t inspire a lot of comments. We do have a lot of readers, though. And our readers generally prefer to ask their questions by email or phone.

Which Size Dog Safety Belt Should I Get?

An important question that came up and comes up often is, how do you know what size of dog safety belt to get? This is not always easy since each manufacturer determines its own size standards. Take the recent review on the Kurgo Go-Tech pet seat belt. The medium size should fit most dogs between 25 and 50 pounds, but there are so many different shapes and sizes of dogs within this range that it is impossible for this size to fit them all. Consider a Bulldog, and then consider a Whippet. Both could fit within Kurgo’s medium weight range. But the neck of a Whippet is so small and narrow while the Bulldog’s is thick. I doubt the medium Kurgo Go-Tech would fit the Whippet while it might fit the Bulldog perfectly.

The medium Kurgo Tru-Fit style, on the other hand, might fit both dogs since the neck size is adjustable. The Ruff Rider Roadie also has an adjustable neck size (except smaller sizes). For both the Kurgo and the Ruff Rider Roadie, the most important size measurement is the girth size. The girth size is the measurement around your dog’s chest just behind the front legs. See how to measure your dog’s girth (chest) below.

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 Bergan dog safety belt is the most flexible when it comes to sizing. Both the neck and the chest sizes are fully adjustable. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Italian Greyhound or a Mastiff. It is the weight of the dog that is most important. However, the small Bergan may be too big for really tiny dogs like Chihuahuas. And while the extra-large Bergan is the largest of all the extra-large size brands we have, it still may be too small for really big dogs with a chest (girth) size greater than 50 inches around.

Pros and Cons of Each Brand of Seat Belts for Dogs

Gizmo from Terrier Torrent commented about a recent review we posted on the new Kurgo Go-Tech harness. He liked how the review listed both the pros and the cons. We like it to. What works for me and my dogs may not work for you and yours. There are a lot of factors to consider. Check out our post from February 16th, 2013 where we attempt to list the pros and cons of our four most popular brands – Compare Pet Seat Belt Brands. This post does not yet include the Kurgo Go-Tech since this is a brand new style.

Help us out for the next Follow Up Friday by asking more questions about pet travel safety. Don’t just ask about seat belts for dogs. Ask about other products. And ask us some general pet travel questions too. We’d love to help. 🙂 And we will give you the pros as well as the cons.

Thank you, Heart Like a Dog, for hosting the Follow Up Friday blog hop!

 

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Go-Tech Adventure Harness Review

Author: MayaAndPierson
July 22, 2013

Spaniel Wearing Go-Tech Dog Car Harness

We received some feedback recently regarding the new Kurgo Go-Tech Adventure harness. For the most part, the harness is very well made and designed. However, two negative points to consider are the neck seems too large and the loop tether is not easy to use. This is the full review we received:

This website was easy-order: they followed-up same day with a question on my color selection, shipped next day and product arrived a day later.  My review of the Kurgo Go-Tech Harness is mixed.   Great quality product!  I’ve been looking for a seat-belt harness in several of the national brand and local pet-stores and this is by far the best made product I have seen.  I tried the Kurgo Tru-Fit on my dog at a shop locally and this new Go-Tech is definitely a big improvement over the former version.  The lower neck design is a huge improvement (the Tru-Fit was choking my dog); the harness is easy to get on;  has metal buckles; the overall construction is sturdy at every point and looks like it would protect the dog much better than anything else I’ve seen.  The harness is visually attractive and is the only car restraint I’ve seen that looks like it could actually be used regularly as a walking harness with a front-hook for a leash (several of the other options say they can convert but the most cursory glance shows the reality is you are going to have to take them off and put on a walking harness for anything other than a quick potty stop).  Now the downside.  First negative: the harness does not adjust at the neck.  If it fits your dog, I can definitely see a safety benefit it the way this is designed as a continuous neck support and I’d say “buy it.”  However, it is made for a stocky dog and you need to pay attention to the recommended neck measurements, which unfortunately are not shown on the website.  I bought a medium for my Welsh Springer Spaniel and it is huge around her neck and has to be returned – think cowl-neck sweater.  The box shows a neck range of 16-25 inches (my dog is 14 inches), chest range 18-28 inches (my dog is 23 inches), and weight range of 25-50 pounds (my dog is 34 pounds).  When I clipped the leash on the front-hook the whole thing twisted around upside down and it would need to be at least 3 inches tighter at the neckline for it to be an option for my dog.  Harness overall is wonderful and I do hope Kurgo will expand the product line to include some “tweener” sizes (similar to Easy Walk Harness sizing structure) which accommodate dogs with chest sizes smaller than their barrel size. Second negative: I’m not a big fan of the looped seat-belt tether.  It is sturdy and the D-Ring end clips onto the harness easily.  However, hooking a tether loop around the seat-belt is annoying, awkward, gets twisted when dogs move, and can be destructive to the car.  If you are like me and often leave the park with a wet, muddy, poison-ivy dog, having to buckle my seat-belt over the doggie seat cover and let her soak it in grime defeats the purpose of buying a seat-cover in the first place.  Also, my dog will chew through the car seat-belt to release herself when it is buckled behind her (expensive repair).  The loop makes it difficult to convert the back-seat between human and dog usage quickly in both time and needing to wash down the seat-belt.  If Kurgo would simply make both ends with D-hooks the tether could easily be clipped on directly to the seat-belt webbing at the seat-belt latch point and would greatly improve function and leave the seat-belts safely retracted behind a seat-cover.  I think many people are going to find themselves spending extra to buy a Bergan or Pet Buckle Kwik-Connect tether to replace the one Kurgo includes.

Very informative, and we appreciate the feedback. Let us address it:

Go-Tech Adventure Harness at Neck

Regarding the neck size, it does seem overly large, especially for dogs on the smaller end of the size range. We are asking Kurgo about this, but they are at the national Super Zoo exhibition this week and so won’t hear back from them until next week. Three things to consider, though, about the neck size: 1) The harness is not supposed to go up around the dog’s neck. It is supposed to lie lower around the front of the chest. But as the reviewer demonstrates above, it can still be too big. This harness is in the right place, but it still has three inches to spare. 2) Kurgo may have designed the neck to be loose on purpose. In a car accident, you don’t want the harness to choke your dog. 3) Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so it is difficult to design a harness for every possibility. When Maya & Pierson tried on the large Go-Tech, I did notice it was a bit loose around Pierson’s lower neck, but it fit Maya perfectly. As soon as I hear back from Kurgo, the company who designed the Go-Tech, I will post their response. There may be another explanation as to why it seems so loose around the neck.

Sephi Kurgo Dog Car Harness

Sephi is wearing the Kurgo dog car harness with a loop tether.

Regarding the loop tether, we have found that the tether works great for some dogs but works terribly for others. Take my Aussie-mix Pierson, for example. He is calm and quiet in the car so the loop tether presents no problems for him. I feel that the loop tether is safer because it is shorter and uses the seat belt system of the car. The Center for Pet Safety has conducted a study on the different kinds of tethers and has confirmed shorter tethers are better. Imagine your dog in a car accident. With a short tether, your dog is confined to his seat. With a longer tether, he still gets tossed around, possibly slammed into door and windows and back of seats. But the short looped tether with my Labrador Maya just doesn’t work. I completely agree with what our reviewer is saying about tangling. The more a dog moves around, the more likely this will occur. And so we have disclosed this on our retail site. Kurgo knows about this issue as well so they have designed a new direct connect dog seat belt tether. This tether gives Maya more freedom to move around and she doesn’t get tangled in it. At this time, all Kurgo dog car harnesses come with the looped tether only. The direct connect tether is sold separately.

If you’re considering the Go-Tech Adventure harness, be sure to look at the measurements and compare. We have since updated our site with the correct neck size information. Ask yourself, “Am I okay if the lower neck part is loose and doesn’t adjust?” Also consider your dog’s temperament. If your dog is like my Maya, then you may want to also consider purchasing the direct connect tether.

Buckle Strap for Dog Car Harness

Kurgo Direct to Seat Belt Tether

We are thankful for this information. It is good to know the pros and cons and feedback helps with future improvements. 🙂

 

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I am so excited about the new and improved Kurgo Go-Tech Adventure harness! We got our shipment from Kurgo last week and they are even better than they look in the pictures. They are well made (like all Kurgo products), padded, and come in these great colors. Just check out how adorable Maya and Pierson look in their new pet seat belts.

Pierson Blue Go-Tech Dog Car Harness

Blue looks good on my boy Pierson!

Maya Go-Tech Pet Seat Belts

Raspberry is the perfect color for my girl Maya.

The Go-Tech Adventure dog car harness is a brand new product from Kurgo (released just last month). It is essentially the same as Kurgo’s crash tested Tru-Fit pet seat belts, with a few differences. The biggest difference is the larger padded chest piece. The chest piece is also V-shaped, which I like because it doesn’t come up as high on the neck as Kurgo’s other style.

Front Chest Close-Up of the Go-Tech Pet Car Harness

Front chest close-up of the padded Go-Tech dog car harness.

Another difference is that the back of the harness has extra reinforcement and is designed to protect your dog’s vertebrae. And yet another big difference is the cool colors the Go-Tech dog seat belts come in – Cool Blue and Dark Raspberry. (The Tru-Fit comes in different colors, but only the black and red have steel buckles.)

Back of Go-Tech Pet Seat Belt

Reinforced back of the Go-Tech harness. It also has a handle, which is used to assist your dog, such as in climbing into the car.

Like the Kurgo Tru-Fit, the Go-Tech has steel nesting buckles and includes a loop tether so that your dog can be secured in the car. I found it super easy to put on. It was also easy to adjust. And my dogs look super comfortable in them.

Go-Tech Dog Seat Belt Buckle Close-Up

Close-up view of the Go-Tech steel nesting buckles.

In celebration of this new product, the Go-Tech Adventure dog car harness is available with free shipping at PetAutoSafety.com. You can also use discount code, petsafeblogger, to get an additional 10% off! For the extra-small size, that is $7 in total savings (10% or $2 plus $5 shipping). For the extra-large size, that is $9 in total savings. The discount code applies to all products from our site, except the BreezeGuard Window screens.

Thanks for stopping by for this week’s edition of Pet Safety Saturday. Come back and see us again next week! 🙂

 

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June 29, 2013

Dogs Wearing Dog Car Harnesses

Are Dog Car Harnesses Really Safe?

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

More on the 2011 Dog Seat Belt Pilot Test

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manufacturers of Dog Car Harnesses Make Improvements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 SugarTheGoldenRetriever.com 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 naturebydawn@gmail.com.

By the way, we are so excited about winning the Versatile Blogger Award from Hawk at BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com. 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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June 22, 2013

Generally, on Saturdays we feature a pet safety topic. But we have added so many new products this June that we decided to reserve today to show you some of our new and exciting dog travel accessories.

A couple of our new products are dog travel bowls. The weather is getting hot and even though I know you’re not leaving your dog alone in the car, your dog still needs a cool drink. So take that ride to the dog park, then open up a collapsible dog dish and add water. These bowls can be folded into a small compact shape and they are relatively inexpensive.

Dog Travel Bowl from Guardian Gear

Kurgo Zippy Dog Travel Bowl

Our favorite new product is the Kurgo direct to seat belt tether. The Kurgo dog car harness currently uses a loop tether where the seat belt of your car goes through it. This restricts your dog’s movement, which is a good thing, but can be very uncomfortable for a dog that likes to move around a lot (like my Maya). The direct to seat belt tether buckles directly into the seat belt receptacle of your car and makes movement for your dog much easier.

Buckle Strap for Dog Car Harness

Another new product we have from Kurgo is the mud dog towel. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when Maya goes to the dog park, she manages to find a mud puddle to play in. I don’t really want a muddy dog in my car, so this towel from Kurgo would come in very handy.

Kurgo Mud Dog Towel

And yet another new product from Kurgo is the kennel straps. We used to have a similar product, but replaced it with this one from Kurgo. Kurgo makes some very high quality products and this one is no exception.

Straps for Pet Carriers

We have also added a new pet cargo liner. For the longest time, we’ve only had a choice between two different pet cargo liner brands. This one from Guardian Gear makes it three.

Pet Cargo Liner from Guardian Gear

And for those of you who have dogs that are crazy in the car or that get stressed out about car rides, we have added a new dog anxiety treatment. It is some pet calming tablets from Total Pet Health. These are great for cats too, because sometimes your cat has to ride in the car.

Total Pet Health Calming Tablets

And still another new product that we’ve added is another Bergan dog car harness. We’ve had all sizes in the aqua color available for some time now. A few months ago we added the medium and large mossy oak color. And now we’ve just added the extra-large size in mossy oak.

Extra Large Mossy Oak Dog Seat Belt

Look for even more new dog travel accessories in July. Some new products to look for are some single seat covers, a new bench seat cover from Kurgo, and some new colored dog car harnesses from Kurgo! So be sure to stop by our website and check them out. You can also keep up to date on our Twitter and FB pages (links to the left).

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