Most of our 2014 goals were met, so now it is time to make new ones. Besides continuing to provide the best pet travel products on the market, PetAutoSafety will also continue to look for new dog traveling gear. And we have a few other projects we will work on. Check out the ones we are working on at this very moment, and then come visit our blog again to see what else we have planned.
Redesign Our Retail Website
We’ve recently been told politely and bluntly that our retail website is old fashioned and cumbersome to use. It hurt our feelings, but darn it, it’s true. And so we are in the process of redesigning our site. You may have noticed some recent changes. For one, we were told that we needed a powerful and cute photo of a traveling dog. And so we have posted Maya’s picture on the top of our home page. Go check out PetAutoSafety and tell us what you think. Is it cute? Does it reach out and grab your attention? Does it make you want to shop there?
Redesign Our Blog
If you thought our retail website was old fashioned, you do doubt feel the same about this blog. Maya sure is cute on the top header, but it just doesn’t fit what PetAutoSafety is all about. Our blog host provider limits what we can do, so we will do our best to work with what we have.
We sure could use your advice on how we can improve our retail website and blog. Please feel free to comment below. And come back to our blog later in a few days to see what our other exciting 2015 goals are.
Preparing For Your Dog’s First Car Ride
By Suni Miller
Traveling with your dog can be a great adventure. Before you start your travel, there are some things you want to keep in mind when traveling in the car with your pet.
Always remember safety first. Purchasing a dog safety seat will be safer for your dog in case you come to a sudden stop or make a quick turn. Make sure your pet cannot roam around the vehicle freely. There are also pet safety belts that can be purchased. This can ensure that the pet cannot be thrown from the vehicle or into another passenger in case of an accident, sudden stop, or turn. Another option is purchasing a crate. If you ever considered traveling with your pet by plane, then having your pet in a crate is required by the airline. It can also keep your pet out of trouble at a hotel or somebody else’s house. You want to make sure the crate is big enough to allow the dog to stand, turn, and lie down. It should be sturdy with handles and grips. It should also have a leak proof bottom covered with absorbent material. Air should be able to flow through it freely.
In case your dog gets away from you during a trip, it is best to make sure he has identification to increase the chances of a recovery. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar at all times, which have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, a number where you can be reached, and proof of rabies shots. You can consider a more permanent form of identification, such as a microchip. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your dog with you.
The Car Ride
Allow your dog to get used to sitting in the car first without leaving the driveway and then start off by going for short rides, so you and your dog can get familiar with traveling by car together. Don’t feed your dog before traveling. This way you can avoid car sickness. Make the first few trips somewhere fun for your dog, like a park or field. This way he will associate riding in the car as something fun and enjoyable as opposed to just trips to the vet. Make sure to have plenty of water at all times especially during the warmer times. Keep the car well ventilated. However, do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to the potential of an eye injury. Never leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, especially during warmer or colder temperatures. If you do have to leave your dog, make sure someone else is in the car with him. When going on long car trips make sure to bring some of your dog’s favorite chew toys and treats, so he will not get bored. Stop often for exercise and potty breaks and be sure to have something to clean up after your dog.
Traveling by car can be a great experience for you and your pet, but to make sure that it is a great experience following these tips will be helpful. Now you’re ready to ride off into the sunset.
Article Source: Preparing For Your Dog’s First Car Ride
I’m working on a fun project where I need to take a lot of photos of my dogs in the car while wearing their dog seat belt harnesses. I’ve added a caption to two of Maya’s photos. Is she cute, or what?
Can you think of any more funny captions that would go along with Maya or Pierson riding in the car?
In an independent crash test study completed by the Center for Pet Safety in 2013, the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt from Sleepypod was rated as the safest brand out of eleven popular brands. Indeed, upon using the ClickIt Utlity for ourselves, we found it secured our dogs very well. But there were a few inconvenient issues that make people turn away from it. And so, Sleepypod redesigned a better harness called the ClickIt Sport.
The issues with the ClickIt Utility aren’t safety issues, but issues with use. For one, the measuring method is not as simple as with other brands and people were often confused about what to measure. The ClickIt Sport dog car harness has a much easier measuring method. All one has to do is measure around the barrel of the dog’s chest behind the front legs.
The ClickIt Utility is also difficult to adjust for size. Despite Sleepypod’s videos, many people had a hard time getting the harness to fit their dog properly. The ClickIt Sport is much easier to adjust so it can fit perfectly without much trouble.
PUTTING IT ON
Relatively speaking, putting on the ClickIt Utility harness is about the same as putting on any other dog car harness. You basically have to put the harness over your dog’s head and then physically put his front legs through the openings. Some dogs are less than cooperative. The ClickIt Sport is a little easier. Have your dog sit, put the harness under him with his front feet in the leg spaces, then pull it up and buckle it.
SECURING IN THE CAR
A dog wearing the ClickIt Utility has to be secured in three different places in the car. Firstly, the seat belt of the car goes through the back. Then two side straps are connected to the baby seat latch bars. So if someone’s car doesn’t have the latch bars, then they can’t use this car harness. Trying to secure a dog at all three points is difficult and frustrating for some. With the ClickIt Sport, all you have to do is put the seat belt of the car through the back. There are no side straps.
Nothing has changed regarding safety. The ClickIt Sport has passed all the same tests as the ClickIt Utility and has received a CPS Certification authenticating its safety.
If you’re looking for a dog seat belt and are put off by some of the negative reviews about the ClickIt Utility, consider the new ClickIt Sport instead. It’s just as safe, but much easier to use. It is still very restrictive, but this is what makes it so safe.
Top quality. German engineered. Extensively crash tested. There are many dog travel cages on the market, but there is only one that meets the highest safety standards—
The Variocage dog travel cage has had a perfect safety in Europe for over ten years. It is now available here in the US. It is a very high quality cage designed for use in the cargo area of SUVs and some hatchback cars. Because it comes in 4 styles with 14 different sizes, you can find the perfect size. And best of all, no vehicle modification is required.
The safety features of the Variocage include a built-in crumple zone. This will absorb an impact and prevent the cage from being pushed forward into front passengers. This pet safety product also has an “escape” hatch in the back so that if the front door is damaged in a crash, there is another way for your pal to get out. It is made of durable powder coated steel that will hold up in a variety of crash scenarios.
More information on the crash testing can be found on this video:
Wow! It’s no wonder the manufacturer claims the Variocage to be the best crash tested pet safety product in the world. I think my dogs will be safer than me!
Before buying the Variocage, be sure to read all the information regarding how to get the right style and size. You will want to measure your vehicle. And you will want to consider the angle of the closed hatch into account, along with wheel wells that might interfere with how the cage fits, and if the back hatch as a raised sill. You can read all the information about the Variocage dog travel cage at Pet Auto Safety.com.
Pet Auto Safety now has seven dog car harness brands, two with different variations. So how does one decide which of the nine seat belts to buy? Some people want the safest. Others want something safe, but worry their dog will not like the restriction of a safer car harness. A few want something easy to use. And for others, the criteria may be price.
To help you decide which one is the best for you and your dog, check out this .pdf document showing a chart to compare the features of several dog car seat belts. These brands include the ClickIt Utility, ClickIt Sport, AllSafe, Ruff Rider Roadie, Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Kurgo Go-Tech, PetBuckle, and the Guardian Gear/Cruising Companion (G.G. & C.C.) brands. The chart compares safety, quality, price, ease of use, and ten other features.
My Pet Auto Safety dogs, Maya and Pierson, have had a chance to review all but one brand. I like the ClickIts because they keep Maya in her seat, which can be difficult. I like the AllSafe because the quality is so great. I like the Ruff Rider because it is made in the USA and it is lightweight yet still durable. I like the Bergan because it’s padded and because the tether is so easy to use. I like the Kurgo because I like how it fits Maya, and I like the quality of all Kurgo products. And I liked the G.G. & C.C. dog car harness brands because they are stylish and inexpensive.
Which features appeal the most to you?
More and more people are traveling with their pets and thinking of their safety. And as such, 2014 was a great year for new (or new to us) and innovative pet travel products. My dogs Maya and Pierson got to try out a few of them.
Pet Dek – We used the Kurgo Backseat Bridge for years and loved it. But then something better came along. The Pet Dek is flatter and much sturdier.
Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat – Shortly after we got the Pet Dek, a company contacted us about their new seat extender, the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat. Although I love the Pet Dek, I love the Flat Seat more! I think Maya and Pierson do too.
Car-Go Pop-Up Shelter – My dogs Maya and Pierson are too big to try out the Car-Go Pop-Up Shelter, but I love the concept. It’s a great way for smaller dogs to ride in the back seat of the car or in the cargo area of the SUV. The Car-Go can even be used in the home.
Allsafe Dog Car Harness– This is not a new product. It has been around in Europe for years. The AllSafe dog car harness is German engineered and has been crash tested both in Europe and the US. Its quality is phenomenal and I absolutely love it. It looks great on my Maya.
Variocage – This is another German engineered and crash tested product. It has been so well designed and so thoroughly crash tested that no other product on the market can come close to its quality. I don’t have an SUV so I haven’t been able to try the Variocage, but I really want to someday.
ClickIt Sport Dog Seat Belt – Remember the ClickIt Utility? It was rated as the #1 safest dog seat belt by the Center for Pet Safety in 2013. It is still #1 today. But it can be a little difficult to adjust and to use so Sleepypod improved it. The ClickIt Sport came out in December 2014. Doesn’t my dog Pierson look great in it?
These products look great, don’t they? I can’t wait to see what 2015 has to offer in regards to pet travel safety. Happy New Year!
We’re still here and ready to do some more blogging! It’s been an interesting year, for both Pet Auto Safety and for me personally. Let’s talk about Pet Auto Safety first, then I will explain why I haven’t been blogging for a while.
At the beginning of 2014, I told you some of our goals. Let’s see how we did:
More Funny Videos – Maya and Pierson starred in a cute video in 2013. We vowed to make more in 2014. However, we just made one (below). But we also made a couple of pet travel product videos. And we plan on making more videos, funny or otherwise, in the future. See these and other videos of my dogs at www.YouTube.com/naturebydawn.
More Pet Travel Articles – 2014 was a decent year for our article writing. We wrote several articles and also hired a good free-lance writer. The word about pet auto safety is getting gout there, but we need to write and publish many more articles in 2015. And we’d like to publish them in places other than our own websites. So if you know of a blog or magazine who would like to publish an article about dogs riding safe in the car, let us know.
WIPIN – Women in the Pet Industry Network – Thanks to a friend, I became a member of WIPIN in 2014. It is a great place to connect with other pet lovers and share business ideas. However, due to personal life circumstances, I did not take advantage of everything this group had to offer. I am not sure whether I will renew my membership in 2015.
Inc. to LLC – In 2014, we successfully changed the company from a corporation to an LLC. This change made some administration processes easier and I’m glad we did it.
Outdoor Dog Gear – We did not create a new website for outdoor dog gear, but we did set up a new page on Pet Auto Safety for outdoor dog gear. After all, dogs who ride in cars are usually going somewhere. And if they are going hiking or swimming, they can get some supplies from us.
AllSafe Dog Car Harness – We have been wanting the AllSafe dog seat belts for some time, but had difficulty acquiring them. Luckily, the opportunity finally came a few months ago. We now have the AllSafe brand and I couldn’t be happier.
Some of our other new products in 2014 include the Car-Go pop-up shelter, Portable Pet Flat Seat, the Variocages, and the ClickIt Sport.
Pet Auto Safety Infographic – We never did implement our idea to create an infographic. Whether or not we will do so in 2015 is still being debated.
As you can see, 2014 was a success for us in many ways. If we fell short in some areas, it was because of some personal events. If you’ve kept up with this blog and if you also follow me on my American Dog Blog, then you have some idea of what’s been going on.
In mid-2014, my husband transferred to another job in Des Moines, Iowa. Things were in upheaval for Pet Auto Safety as I worked to relocate both our home and the business and to refile all the tax documents in the new state.
Just before this move, I found out my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was progressing rapidly and the doctors were not optimistic that she would live for much longer. She surprised us by making a good recovery a couple months ago. But the recovery was short lived.
My mom passed away just before Thanksgiving. I’ve never lost a parent before and so it is very hard for me. The holidays have been especially difficult. I have still managed Pet Auto Safety’s retail activities, but I took a break from all other tasks, including blogging, article writing, and videos.
While I still miss my mom, it’s time to get back on track. If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, please do so now and look for another post for our Pet Auto Safety 2015 goals. Also subscribe to my American Dog Blog, where I will be making a tribute to the woman who taught me many things, including that dogs are family too and deserve to be as loved and cared for as any other member of the family.
Want to know how a dog car harness secures your dog? You’d think the answer would be simple. In a way, it is. For most, it is as simple as clipping it on and clipping it in. But what makes it complicated is that each brand works differently. Let’s take the top 5 brands and show you how each of them work:
The ClickIt Utility dog car harness has three connection points. This makes it one of the most labor intensive to use, but also the safest. First, put the seat belt of the car through the back of the harness. Then connect the two tethers on either side of the harness to each of the two latchbars located between the seat cushions. All cars 2001 and later should have the latchbars in the back seat.
Please note, the new ClickIt Sport coming out soon will not have the two side tethers.
Ruff Rider Roadie
The Ruff Rider Roadie also uses the seat belt of the car to secure your dog. Instead of going through the back of the harness, it goes through one of two loops on the tether. This tether is part of the harness and is not detachable. To give your dog more room to move, put the seat belt through the loop at the very end of the tether. To secure your dog more for safety, put the seat belt through the loop closer to the back of the harness.
AllSafe Dog Seat Belt
The AllSafe is also takes a bit more work to secure. First, you have to stabilize the seat belt of the car. Buckle it in without your dog. Then use the two red clips included with the harness to stabilize it. If the top part of the shoulder belt is like the picture indicated, then stabilizing is easy. If it is like mine where it comes out directly, then it can get a little troublesome. You have to make the shoulder belt lock, and then apply the red clip. This way the shoulder belt does not pull out when your dog moves. Once you have it stabilized, attach the tether to the seat belt. Once this is done, all you have to do is clip the tether onto the back off the AllSafe dog car harness.
Bergan Dog Car Harness
The Bergan brand is very easy to secure in the car. Either clip one end into the seat belt housing of the car, or clip it onto the latchbar. Then clip the other end to the back of the harness.
Kurgo Dog Seat Belt
The Kurgo Tru-Fit and the Kurgo Go Tech brands are also very easy to use. Simply put the seat belt of the car through the loop tether, and then clip the other end of the loop tether to the back of the harness. Kurgo also has the option to buy a direct connect tether, which clips directly into the seat belt receptacle.
Which Dog Car Harness is Best?
Determining which dog seat belt is best depends on your preference. While the Bergan and Kurgo are the easiest to attach, the ClickIt, Ruff Rider, and AllSafe are the safest. At the same times, the safest brand may also be the most uncomfortable for some dogs because they can’t move much. Keep this in mind and balance safety with your dog’s comfort. A super-safe dog car harness is not going to help if your pet is so uncomfortable that he chews it off.
One great thing about running Pet Auto Safety is that we get to try out all the products. Our recent acquisition is the AllSafe dog seat belt. And the lucky dog that gets to try it out is our lovely Labrador Retriever, Maya.
Maya presents a number of challenges when it comes to dog car harnesses because she doesn’t sit still. She’s got to stand up and stick her little brown nose wherever she can get it, sometimes in my ear. She also has a deep narrow chest, which occasionally makes harnesses pull to the side rather than hug the chest. Did we have these issues with the AllSafe? Let’s see.
First, though, let me give you my first impression of the AllSafe dog car harness. When I pulled it out of the box, I was absolutely amazed. The quality is fantastic. It is obviously very well made and highly durable. The straps are thick and sewn together very well. There are no plastic pieces on this seat belt, just strong webbing and very strong steel parts.
PUTTING ON/TAKING OFF
The AllSafe dog car harness does not clip on like most other dog seat belts do. As demonstrated in the below video, you have to pull your dog’s legs through the leg holes. Maya makes it look easy, but I can see how this might be a challenge for other dogs that are not yet used wearing a car harness. Because of my experience and because of Maya’s cooperation, I personally found the AllSafe very easy to put on.
SECURING IN THE CAR
It was very simple to secure my dog Maya in the car with her AllSafe harness. There was a bit of a misunderstanding with the instructions. Apparently, my box had the wrong instructions. But when I notified the company located here in the US, they walked me through the right way. Their customer service was fantastic.
Maya wore her harness perfectly. She could still stand up, sit, or lie down, but enough that she could stick her wet brown nose into my ear. This restriction is a good thing because it means if we are in a car accident, Maya will not be jerked around. A longer tether means more freedom and comfort, but it also means less security. I find the ClickIt the most restrictive and the Bergan the least. On the other hand, the Bergan is more comfortable and the ClickIt is the least. The AllSafe is right in between both.
The chest piece of the AllSafe still went off to the side if Maya tried to move around. But that is Maya’s fault because she won’t be still. If Pierson were to wear this harness, he would not have any trouble at all because he stays in one spot.
The AllSafe is very comparable to the ClickIt Utility in both quality and safety. The ClickIt Utility had a better safety rating from the Center for Pet Safety, but the AllSafe rated nearly as well. One drawback of the ClickIt Utility is it has three connection points that can make it more of a hassle to secure your dog in the car. It can also be more difficult to adjust for sizing. (Both these features of the ClickIt Utility are changing, though, with the release of the ClickIt Sport before the end of this year.) The AllSafe allows for the harness to be used as a walking harness much easier than the ClickIt Utility.
Overall, I am very pleased with the AllSafe. It is more expensive than most brands, but it is worth every penny.