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.
Be a Responsible Pet Owner and Spread the Word About Pet Auto Safety
Last but not least, a pet auto safety belt shows you to be a responsible and caring pet owner as well as a responsible driver. Friends and strangers will be impressed with your thoughtfulness and foresight. They in turn, may consider getting a pet safety restraint for their own dog. You can be indirectly responsible for saving another dog’s life.
As you can see, all ten reasons are excellent reasons for your dog to wear a pet safety restraint. Any argument against it are easily outweighed by the examples above. Some dogs may not care for a pet safety restraint but practicing pet travel safety is best for you and your pet.
The Comfort of a Pet Auto Seat Belt
A pet auto seat belt can actually be quite comfortable once the dog gets used to it. Dogs can have a difficult time laying down in the seat of the car because of the turning, speeding up, slowing down, and stopping movements. With a pet auto seat belt, a dog can stand, sit, or lay down comfortably and not have to worry about bracing themselves against car maneuvers.
Laws Regarding Pet Auto Safety
While it is not against the law to have your dog unrestrained in the vehicle, you can be ticketed for unsafe driving or for anything which an officer deems as a potential distraction which could lead to unsafe driving. Also, while it is not currently the law to have your dog wear a pet safety restraint in the car, it might soon be. California is coming close to such legislation. Purchase a pet safety restraint now and avoid those businesses that might raise their prices to take advantage of the law requirements.
Easier for Emergency Personnel to Help Your Dog
Many dogs will run or even bite if frightened. What if you and your pet happen to be in a serous auto accident? Your dog is going to be terrified. If there is a means of escape, the dog may get out of the car and run. And where are they most likely to run? It would be a terrible thing to survive an auto accident only to get hit by a car or get lost. Even if there is no way for the dog to escape, he may need medical attention. An injured dog may react defensively by tying to bite someone who is actually trying to help them. A dog that is wearing a pet safety restraint, however, is easier to muzzle and therefore, easier to attend to.
Airbags are Dangerous for Dogs
A dog should be in the back seat away from airbags. Airbags are not safe for children and they are not safe for dogs. Keep your dog in the back seat with a dog car seat belt or other pet safety restraint.
For more information, check out our previous article, Dogs and Airbags do not Mix.
Keep Your Dog from Jumping Out the Window
Not only will the dog not be able to put their head out the window, they won’t be able to get their body out either. Dogs are instinctive creatures and if something catches their attention, such as another dog, a squirrel, or other animal, they may go after it without a thought. Perhaps your dog is too smart to do this, but why take the chance?
I had a dog about 15 years ago who jumped out the car window while we were on a dirt road and passing a bunch of cows. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt. I was going slow because I was on a dirt road. It was a short time after this when I bought pet safety restraint products for the first time.
This is reason #5 about why your dog should wear a pet safety restraint. See previous blog posts for the first four, then stay tuned for the remaining five.
Don’t Let Your Dog Put His Head Out the Window
A dog wearing a pet safety restraint won’t be able to put his head out the window. Did you know that even a tiny spec of flying debris can do serious damage to the dog’s eye or nose? Many dogs love to put their heads out the window, but it can be an equally pleasant experience if they are sitting in a pet safety restraint by an open window. They won’t be able to put their heads out, but they can still get a whiff of the multiple odors zipping by. Also, a dog with his head out the window is subject to choking or to getting thrown out the window should you have to suddenly swerve your car or make a sudden stop.
Keep Your Dog from being a Distraction to the Driver
The dog won’t be able to distract the person driving the car. Distractions can be very dangerous to the driver. Some dogs are naturally well-behaved in the vehicle but many dogs have to be trained car-riding decorum. Why not train them in a dog car seat belt or other pet safety restraint instead?
If people are more likely to survive a car accident if they wear a safety restraint, wouldn’t the same apply to our pets? Dogs may be even more prone to injury due to their smaller size and inability to brace themselves. Your dog could be injured by something as simple as a sudden stop or swerve. But keeping your pet safe isn’t the only reason your dog should use a pet safety restraint in the car. We have ten great reasons. Here is the first:
Keep Your Dog from being Hurled Onto the Dash
If your dog is wearing a pet safety restraint, sudden unexpected stops or swerves won’t cause the dog to fly forward into the dash, the back seat, or onto the floor. Dog’s noses are very sensitive. Hitting their nose on the dash or back of the seat can be a very painful experience. Your dog could also break his teeth or even his jaw on the dash in a sudden stop or car accident.
We will be posting the other nine reasons your dog should wear a pet safety restraint through the end of November and throughout December. Stay tuned!