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Archive for the 'Pet Auto Travel Safety' Category

July 10, 2014

The Pet Dek for Cars

Just before we made our big move from Kansas to Iowa this spring, we received and got to try out this new product called the car Pet Dek. And let me just say, it’s pretty awesome. :)

I’ve used the Kurgo Backseat Bridge for years. While I still love the bridge, the Pet Dek has some great benefits that the bridge doesn’t. For one, it is much more sturdy. Maya is 70 pounds and Pierson is 50. The Backseat Bridge isn’t guaranteed to hold that much weight (although it has). But the Pet Dek is.

Pierson in the Car Backseat Bridge

The second benefit of the Pet Dek over the bridge is that the Pet Dek is completely flat. Because of the way the back seat of the car curves, the bridge leaves a raised lip over the seat edge. This raised edge may not be comfortable for Maya and Pierson when they want to stretch out during those long road trips. Since the Pet Dek is flat, Maya and Pierson are free to stretch out with no discomfort problems. And they did just that on our trip from Kansas to Iowa.

The third advantage of the Pet Dek is with how easy it is to install and uninstall in the car. It is heavier than the bridge (12 pounds), but it is super easy to unfold and rest on the seats. The Backseat Bridge require the attachment of four straps around the front seats of the car.

While the Pet Dek has some great advantages over the Kurgo Backseat Bridge, there are a few disadvantages:

Unlike the bridge, the Dek has no divider blocking the center console. So if your dog is not wearing a dog car seat belt, he has easy access from the back to the front seat. This can be a dangerous distraction to the driver. So make sure your dog is buckled in for both your safety and for the safety of your dog. Yes, the Pet Dek does allow you to use the seat belts of your car so that your dog can still wear his safety harness.

Another negative of the Pet Dek is the gaps left around the edges. This is because the seats of the car curve and it was an issue with the bridge as well. The gaps with the Dek, however, are easier to remedy. I simply stuffed a blanket in the gaps where the Dek meets the seat. You may be able to see these in the photo of Maya and Pierson below.

The Car Pet Dek with Dogs Maya & Pierson

I did have one other issue with the Pet Dek. One of the legs kept coming off. However, by adding a wide washer to the screw that kept the leg on, I was able to fix the problem.

The Pet Dek comes with a waterproof non-slip mat. This adds a little comfort since the Dek surface is hard. The mat is stain resistant and machine washable. It is a great way to keep muddy paw prints off your back seat upholstery.

Maya and Pierson really got to test the Pet Dek when we drove 3.5 hours from Kansas to Iowa. The Pet Dek is more expensive than the Backseat Bridge but it was well worth the value. I am not discarding my bridge but I will be primarily using the Pet Dek from now on, especially for long road trips.

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Don't Leave Your Dog in the Car

Don’t do this to your dog, even if the weather is mild.

Dogs face many dangers when they are left unsupervised in their owner’s car. The hazard of heat has been well-documented over the past few years, as many dogs have perished or become sick. Inclement weather plays a big role in the threat to a dog’s well-being while left in a parked car, but there are other risks, too. Friendly dogs could become a victim of theft. Your dog could face undue harassment from children or overzealous adults. A well-meaning passerby could assume your dog is in distress. They may break your window, trying to help. With all these perils lurking in the parking lot, it may be safer to leave your dog at home.

Last year, blog.doingsciencetostuff.com tested parked cars to determine the length of time it takes to reach 100 degrees on an 85 degree day. During their experiment, they determined it can take under five minutes for a closed car to reach 100 degrees. That same car reached a boiling 120 degrees in just 30 minutes. When a dog is left in a hot car, these soaring temperatures are dangerous enough to quickly kill a beloved pet.

While it is not talked about as often, frigid cold can pose just as many risks as heat dangers to dogs. Some dogs, like huskies, are more prepared for icy temperatures, but many, like tiny Chihuahuas or puppies, can become hypothermic or get frostbite. If your dog begins to show symptoms, like excessive shivering or lethargy, they should immediately be taken to a veterinary professional for treatment.

The range of harsh weather isn’t the only risk you and your dog face when you leave them in an unattended parked car. There are people out there who use dogs to make money, or simply might think your dog is the cutest they’ve ever seen. According to Dan Billow, of WESH News, in April of 2014, a Palm Bay, Florida man left his two dogs in his car while he made a quick trip to the drug store. Upon his return, he found only one of his dogs was still safe in the vehicle. He and his wife searched for weeks, and finally found their dog with an alleged dog-napper. The family got their dog back, but not all dog-nappings have a happy ending. Many families will never know what has become of their missing furry family member.

Even if the windows are up, with the doors locked, dogs can face pestering from strangers. Some children may not understand not to tap on the glass, or may think it’s funny to entice your dog into a fit of rage. It’s not only children who behave this way. Adults are not precluded from bad behavior, which can lead to the disturbance of your dog. This can be especially problematic for dogs who have anxiety or fear-based behavioral issues, but it may also cause these types of complications in dogs that do not already display them.

Your dog isn’t the only thing in danger when you leave them in an unattended vehicle. According to AnimalLaw.info, there are eleven states that allow law enforcement or government employees to take action to remove an endangered animal from a car. This can include breaking your window and taking your dog into custody. If this happens, you may face charges of animal neglect, which can result in fines or jail time.

Even if safety precautions, such as controlling the temperature and airflow, have been taken, an overenthusiastic dog lover could take action into their own hands. If they assume your dog was left in a hot car, they may break your window, trying to save your pet from the elements. This could cause more harm than just having to head to the window repair shop. Your dog may get cut on the glass, and need a vet visit. Your dog may get scared and bolt, which is extremely dangerous in a busy parking lot. Your friendly dog may even get scared and bite the window-smasher.

Ensure your dog’s safety by letting them lounge at home, especially on days when the weather is extremely hot or cold. Besides, there’s nothing better than being greeted at the door by your best friend, when you return home.

(Article originally published on Newswire Today.

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Five Dangers Dogs Present In Cars

Author: MayaAndPierson
July 1, 2014
Dog Distraction Clicking Cartoon

Like cell phones, dogs can be a dangerous distraction in the car.

1) Dog distractions which could cause a car wreck:
-Nosing, licking, or otherwise pestering the driver.
-Trying to climb in the lap of the driver.
-Pacing back and forth from car window to window.

Don't Let Your Dog Put Head Out Window

If I were actually driving with my dog Maya having her head out the window, she could be hurt by flying debris or choked if I stop suddenly.

2) Injury to the dog or other passengers:
-Injury to your dog’s eyes or nose from flying debris when their head is out the window.
-Broken bones, internal injuries, trauma, or death due to sudden stop, violent swerve, or car wreck.
-If a car wreck occurs, your dog could become a deadly projectile which could kill them and possibly harm other passengers.

3) Escaping the vehicle:
-Jumping out of a moving vehicle causing injury to themselves and possibly causing a wreck from you stopping suddenly or from other cars trying to avoid hitting them.
-A dog that is projected from or escapes from a wrecked vehicle could cause another wreck when he goes into the road.

4) Breaking the law:
-While it may not be against the law in all states to have your dog unseatbelted, if law enforcement sees that your dog is a distraction you may be ticketed for unsafe driving.

5) Stress to your dog:
-Unharnessed or uncrated dogs can get stressed out in a car. Stopping, turning, etc can prevent them from keeping their balance. They don’t understand all the movements and can be stressed by it.
-Dogs can get carsick – especially little dogs who can’t see out the window.
-A stressed dog can vomit or make other types of messes in your car.
-Don’t leave your dog alone in the car, even in mild weather. Heat dangers, stress from being left alone, stress from being harassed by a passerby, danger of being stolen.

Our message does not mean that you shouldn’t take your dog with you in the car. We just want you to think about you and your dog’s safety when they are in the car. Consider a dog car seat belt, keeping them in a crate or pet car seat, or putting up a pet barrier between the front and back seats in order to keep them in the back. For more information on dog car safety, visit our pet travel safety articles page.

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Barks & Bytes #6 Catch Up

Author: MayaAndPierson
June 26, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

I’m back to blogging! (I think.) I’ve really missed blogging. But then again, it was good to have a break amidst all the chaos. I even took an extra few days off from blogging in order to take a breather. Before I catch up on all that’s been going on, let me thank Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs for hosting this blog hop. Thanks gals!

NEW PRODUCTS
While I haven’t been blogging much, we have still been keeping up with business activities. We’ve purchased a bunch of new products. I’ll give you more details as the weeks progress, but for now let me give you a brief glimpse.

The Pet Dek for Cars

Pet Dek
The Pet Dek is a lot like the Backseat Bridge. It is better in many ways, but not in others. I installed it in my car fairly easily and Maya and Pierson used it for the first time when we drove from Kansas to Iowa. I like the Pet Dek a lot!

Bitter Apple
We’ve been meaning to add this product for some time, but for some reason we never got to it, until now that is. We get a lot of questions from people about how to keep their dogs from chewing on their new expensive dog seat belts. Along with training tips, we’ve also suggested enhancing training success by using a product like Bitter Apple. For some, this stuff works miracles. Other dogs, however, are not deterred by the taste. You never know what is going to work until you try, though.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Dog Life Vests
We intended on building a new website this year for outdoor dog gear. It probably isn’t going to happen, though, until next year. In the meantime, we’ve added a new page on the PetAutoSafety.com website for Outdoor Dog Gear. There you will find a good-sized collection of life jackets for dogs. We will also be adding dog backpacks over the next week or so.

Maya Wearing Dog Backpack from Outward HoundPierson in Dog Backpack from Outward Hound

The Rein Coat for Dogs

The Rein Coat
This product hasn’t been added yet, but will be soon. Check out my AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com blog to see what I’ve written about it so far. It is more than just a rain coat. It also helps with calming pets and I’m really hoping it will help calm Pierson when he sees other dogs and when he goes to the vet. We shall see. It can help dogs that are nervous about travel too, so hopefully the Rein Coat will be available on PetAutoSafety.com soon.

Other Pet Travel Products
We will also be adding a more comprehensive pet first aid kit next week, more dog backpacks, and handy bottle & bowl bags from Outward Hound. We’d also like to find more pet travel crates.

PET TRAVEL ARTICLES
We’ve hired a new pet travel safety article writer recently. I will still be writing the blog for the most part, but Patrice will be writing articles and sharing them around the web. She is a fantastic writer. She does her research very well. And best of all, she is a dog-lover. I posted one her articles on this blog last week. And the other was posted on ezine – about Why You Need to Restrain Your Dog in the Car.

By the way, if you’d like PetAutoSafety to do a guest post on your blog about pet car safety, let me know!

BEHIND THE SCENES
Now on to the personal stuff. Some of you may know why I stopped blogging, but for those who don’t, let me give you a brief recap. My mom was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. At about the same time I found that out, my husband was hired for a new job in Iowa. So when I got back from visiting my mom in Oregon, I started fixing up our house so that we could put it on the market. While my husband moved ahead to Iowa, Maya, Pierson, and I stayed behind in Kansas to pack and to supervise the work on the house. When we found a great place to live, we had a moving company help us get there. After that, I had a lot of unpacking and organizing to do. Other things have happened too, but I will fill you in on my personal blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com soon.

Things are not over yet, though. Our house in Kansas is not sold yet, but we do have a buyer. And sadly, my mom is not doing well. Her positive attitude kept her going for longer than the doctors expected. But things are getting worse. Nevertheless, my mom is a real trooper. I love her spirit. She has her moments when the reality of her situation really sinks in, but she still finds things to smile and laugh about. I’m trying to take my lead from her by also being positive.

My mom taught me two very important things, for which I will be forever grateful: 1) No matter what life throws at you, there are still things to be happy about. 2) One of the things in life that can give you the most joy is a dog. Dogs are the best. I swear sometimes, my mom loved her dogs more than us kids. JK… I think ;)

My Mom and Her Dog Rocky

My mom and her dog Rocky.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

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Dog Car Seat Belts: Safe or Unsafe

Author: MayaAndPierson
June 18, 2014
Maya ClickIt Utility Dog Seat Belt

The ClickIt Utility was rated the number one safest dog car harness by The Center for Pet Safety in 2013.

In 2013, Subaru of America and the Center for Pet Safety teamed up to test dog safety-harnesses. Their main goal was to ensure pets are kept safe while being transported and that each manufacturer’s claims of “crash protection” are valid, and able to perform as promised. Throughout the 2013 Safety Harness Crashworthiness Study, a range of harnesses, which the manufacturers claimed were “Testing”,“Crash Testing” or offered “Crash Protection”, were tested to determine if their statements were true and correct.

It should be noted, the Center for Pet Safety ran a preliminary crash study test in 2011. Four safety harnesses were tested. All four failed to provide proper protection for their canine counterpart. Admittedly, this study was not thorough enough to provide helpful statistical information regarding the use of safety harnesses, as only four undisclosed brands were tested, while there were over a dozen brands on the market at the time. The unintended, yet virtuous, outcome of this testing is that many of the top harness manufacturers have become more rigorous with their own safety testing, and have made improvements to their existing products.

Out of the seven brands that were found to be stable enough to test in the 2013 study, the clear top performer is the Clickit Utility, which is manufactured by Sleepypod. While the Clickit Utility provides the best protection against car accidents, it limits range of motion to the extreme. Some dogs may get anxious if forced to use the Clickit Utility, which may cause them to panic and hurt themselves or encourage chewing through the safety device. That being said, some dogs may not mind the harness, or with proper training could be desensitized to wearing it. While the Clickit Utility passed the test with flying colors, it isn’t for every dog. There are other options that met the safety standards set in place by the Center for Pet Safety, like Klein Metal’s AllSafe Harness or Cover Craft’s RuffRider Roadie.

The danger associated with auto accidents does not only apply to our pets. Safety regulations for people regarding seatbelt use has been in place for decades, yet there are many cases in which the use of a seatbelt has caused injury or has still resulted in death. Each car accident is unique, and no matter how much safety testing is done, there is always a risk involved. This does not stop people from wearing seatbelts, and it should not stop us from strapping our dogs in.

Having extra protection, such as a dog car safety harness, not only provides peace of mind, but keeps dogs in place. At the very least, your strapped in dog will be less of a distraction while you are driving, reducing your risk of getting into an accident in the first place. There are other methods to restrain your dog in the car, such as crates, barriers, fencing and screens. These will also help provide distraction-free driving, but they have not been properly tested, and it cannot be concluded that they will keep your pet safe in the case of an accident.

The Center for Pet Safety is leading the way in discovering the best way to keep people and their pets safe while traveling. Their research is still in an early phase, with only two studies under their belt. Without prior data, it is hard to conclude what testing method will provide the most accurate information. The methods will surely be modified in the future, meaning we will be able to make more informed decisions regarding the safety of our dogs as time goes on.

By Patrice Marrero

Source: Newswire Today

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Barks and Bytes #5

Author: MayaAndPierson
March 13, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to Pet Auto Safety.com’s blog page where you can find a ton of information on pet car travel products and safety information. The Barks and Bytes theme is our recap of the past couple of weeks and it is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs.

4TH BARKS AND BYTES

We had some great comments from the February 27th post:

Stacey with Crazy Dog Life said, “I have two large dogs and recently went from a large SUV to a mid-size car. We like to travel with our dogs and so I’m very excited to see the Back Seat Bridge. I have bookmarked you and will be back before our next trip. Thanks because we thought we would have to rent a car for our next trip but I think with this, we won’t have to.”

Thank you, Stacey! The Backseat Bride is definitely cheaper than renting a vehicle. ;) To make it cost even less, be sure to use the discount code, petsafeblogger, for 10% off. By the way, this code will work for anyone who reads this post! And it will work on every product except the Breeze Guard car window screens. The reason we can’t give the discount on the window screens is because they are already being sold at near cost. They are made right here in the USA through our good friend and entrepreneur, Sue with Mutt Managers, LLC.

Maya Breeze Guard Window Screens

If your dog doesn’t like to be buckled up or restrained in the car, one safety feature you can add is the Breeze Guard car window screens so that your dog can’t hang out the window, yet still get a breeze.

Ann with My Pawsitively Pets said, “Interesting questions with some great answers! I guess we have to be as smart as our dogs to keep them from squeezing out of their harnesses.”

LOL! :D  I sometimes jokingly tell Maya and Pierson, “You’re pretty smart for stupid dogs.”  Jokingly and lovingly, of course! They’re actually pretty smart for smart dogs. Their breeds are at the top of the list for intelligence and yet I am so thankful that they generally don’t do things to outsmart me.

Callie, Shadow, and Ducky’s mom, Sue, with Golden Life said, “I like the idea of the hammocks. For a car like my Impala, with a fairly wide back seat, the hammock works perfectly. But Golden Retriever hair is so wispy that it lands everywhere — including the dashboard! When the current one wears out, I’ll buy a new one from you.”

Thanks, Sue! When you do, that discount code I gave above should always work. I keep it active all the time and have no plans to let it expire. And I agree about the dog hair!!! Despite all the protection in my car, there are still places that collect dog hair.

ULTIMATE DOG SEAT BELT REVIEWS

Kimberly with Keep the Tail Wagging said, “I would love something like this, but with four dogs, it won’t work in our car, but when we get a new car, I’m going to be checking to make sure there is enough room to harness everyone up comfortably and safely.”

I know exactly what you mean, Kimberly. Long before I knew there was such a thing as a dog seat belt and back in the day when I worked at an animal shelter before no-kill really caught on, I had six dogs. As much as I loved them all, there was no way I could travel with them all at once easily or even safely.

By the way, all. I am working on creating dog seat belt reviews pages for the other brands of harnesses I sell. This project may take a little longer than originally planned due to personal family circumstances:

PERSONAL NEWS

You may have seen on my American Dog Blog that my mom has been diagnosed with brain cancer. She’s doing very well right now. However, the doctors say the cancer is very aggressive and that the treatment is only likely to slow things down a bit. There is no cure and they give her anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. As such, I will be cutting back on some of my work so that I can spend more time with my mom. I will still be doing a lot of things such as filling orders, handling customer service, and some social media. But blogging and reading and commenting on other blogs will be limited for a time.

By the way, when you visit my American Dog Blog and read the post about my mom’s health, be sure to click the link about my mom’s dog rescue history. I get my love for dogs from her since no one loves animals as much as she does. She really is an awesome woman and I am so blessed to have her as my mother.

My mom and Dog Rocky on Her Shoulders

This is my mom with her dog Rocky standing on the back of her chair.

Thank you so much everyone for stopping by today. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or email me at naturebydawn@aol.com. I am always happy to help and please don’t feel like you would be intruding under the circumstances with my mom. All is going well at the moment and my mom wouldn’t want me to stop doing what I love.

Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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March 3, 2014
Bobo wearing the Bergan Dog Seat Belt

Bobo wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Doesn’t he look handsome!?!

Are you confused by all the information about various dog car harness brands? Everyone tells you their brand is the best, so do you really know? One place to start is with our article of the pros and cons of various dog seat belts. This article has a lot of great information, but we wanted to expand on it. So we are adding new pages to our site, and our first review page is on the Bergan.

The Bergan dog car seat belt review page has all the information you need. It gives you a quick glimpse of star ratings for each size, provides customer reviews and testimonials, and gives detailed information on the pros and cons. So if you are looking for a quick comparison, check out the star ratings. If you want to know what other people are saying, go to the middle of the page for customer reviews. And if you want detailed information, go to towards the bottom of the page for pros and cons.

Spud Doodle and Bergan Dog Car Harness

Spud, the GoldenDoodle sports the Bergan dog car harness in style!

So far, we have only implemented this detail on the Bergan dog car harness brand. But we will be doing it for every brand we sell. And later we will add a single page that makes a side-by-side comparison of each.

In the meantime, you can help us enrich our reviews page by emailing us your opinion of a dog car harness you’ve purchased, even if you didn’t purchase them from us. If you did purchase one from us, you can email us your feedback or even leave it directly on our site. Negative feedback is just as welcome as positive feedback so long as comments are not abusive. Our email is naturebydawn@aol.com. And to leave feedback directly onto our website, first find the specific product. The tab to leave a review is located at the bottom of the product page description. For example, in checking out the small Bergan dog seat belt page, notice the “Submit a Review” button at the bottom of the information. You can also share your opinion in the comments below.

Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts! :0)

Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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Barks and Bytes #4

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 27, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to the Barks and Bytes blog hop where anything goes. I could talk about anything, but you know where you are so you have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to talk about, right? ;) Barks and Bytes is hosted by two of our favorite dog bloggers, 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

PREVIOUS BARKS AND BYTES

Hawk with BrownDog CBR said, “Hi Y’all! My Human is talking about getting me a longer strap for my car harness. I like the one that goes on the people seat belt ’cause it has some give. On trips I do sit, lay and like to turn around. I’m beyond eating through the restraint. However, I’ve become adept, with either type, unclickin’ the seat belt or strap from the seat! BOL!!! We get where we’re going and when my Human goes to take me out she discovers I’ve freed myself!

Hawk, I have the perfect dog seat belt tether for you. It is the one from Bergan. It doesn’t click into the seat belt exactly, but it does connect to it. It would be highly unlikely that you’d be able to unclick out of it. I also indicated the Angel Guard in a reply. The Angel Guard is designed to keep young children from unbuckling themselves. But it can work for certain dog seat belts too. I would need to see your seat belt tether in order to make sure it will work, though.

Clip the Bergan Tether Between Seat Belt

The Bergan tether clips between the webbing of the seat belt buckle. It can also be clipped onto the latch system located between the rear seat cushions of all vehicles 2001 and later.

Angel Guard to Protect Seat Belt Buckle

The Angel Guard will keep your dog from being able to unclip his seat belt. But it only works for some dog car harness tethers.

Donna with Donna and the Dogs said, “I think it’s great that you share the pros and cons of each product you sell…it certainly makes for easier purchasing!”

Thanks, Donna! I’ve found that telling people everything up front keeps the number of returns down. All the articles out there talking about how the ClickIt Utility is the safest dog car harness out there make people think it is the best. It is a fantastic product, but they get returned a lot because people don’t realize how much some dogs really hate to wear them. Or they get returned because they are so darned difficult to adjust. Telling people these things up front allows them to make informed decisions.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog said, “I see your point about Kurgo, but how does one find out what types of manufacturers a company has hired? For instance, I don’t want to support someone who is funding a sweat shop somewhere that only pays pennies per hour.”

This is an excellent point, Jodi. Keep in mind the quality of the product you are buying. A well-made product like Kurgo requires skilled labor. Unskilled labor is not going to be able to make quality items. Since skilled labor is harder to come by, a manufacturer needs to entice them with higher wages. Another point is that a company with a well-known brand is not going to risk tarnishing their good name by hiring a manufacturer who runs their company like a sweat shop.

GETTING OUT OF A DOG CAR HARNESS

Jodi also said, “Great advice Dawn, I was thinking along the same lines, you can’t just grab a harness and snap your dog into a car and have everything be perfect. Delilah wears a harness sometimes when we walk or train, SO I think she would be more comfortable in the car than Sampson would. Plus she typically just lies down on long car rides. I think it will take some time for Sampson to get used to it, but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

I really think that if Maya hadn’t been wearing a dog car harness since she was a pup, it would be nearly impossible to get her to wear one now. Even though she has been wearing one forever, she is still very unsettled when she wears one. When she was wearing her Kurgo Go-Tech, for example, I had to switch out their loop tether for the Bergan tether because she wouldn’t hold still and would get herself tangled. Thankfully, early and continuous training has made her not-quite-so-impossible.

Lindsay with That Mutt said, “Such helpful advice! The first thing most of us would think of would be to tighten the harness, but you’ve shown us why that’s probably not the best idea.”

A common complaint we get with dog car harnesses is that some dogs can get out of them. So they ask us, “Is there one that is escape proof?” And I say, “I wish!” If I were to claim one to be escape proof, there is most likely someone out there who has a Houdini-dog and will prove me wrong.

Ann with My Pawsitively Pets said, “I never would have thought about this issue with dog seat harnesses before… I’m sure it happens all the time though. I’ve seen plenty of dogs escape from their collar in the past.”

Happens all the time, I’m afraid. We want to keep our dogs safe, but sometimes they don’t make it easy for us. ;)

CONTEST TO WIN A DOG SEAT BELT

There is just one more day to enter a contest to win a dog car harness from us. You can win any of the dog seat belt brands we sell, and we sell the best.

QUICK PET SAFETY TIP

If you have big dogs that like to ride in the car, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo. What I love about it the most is that it gives my two big dogs more room in the back. My back seats are so narrow that Maya especially would be very uncomfortable trying to sit in her dog seat belt without sliding off. Plus, the Backseat Bridge has three safety features to consider: 1) It has a divider to separate the front from the back seat; 2) It covers the floor so that if your dog is not buckled up and you have to stop suddenly, your dog won’t get thrown onto the floor; and 3) If your dog is buckled up but has to use a longer tether because they like to move around a lot, the Backseat Bridge keeps them from getting launched off the seat. Being launched off the seat is what kept some dog car harnesses from getting the top safety rating. Incidentally, the Kurgo dog car hammock has these same features. It has an additional benefit, though, in that it also covers the seat like a seat cover.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

My big girl Maya has more room in the back seat with the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo.

Tan Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock

The Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock covers the seat, the floor, and the back of the front seats.

That’s all the barking and byting I have to do for now. Leave your barks and bytes below?

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February 17, 2014
Pierson & Bergan Canine Car Harness

“I never try to get out of my dog seat belt. But that’s only because it looks so good on me.”

You want your best friend to ride safe in the car, but you’re worried he will try to get out of his dog car harness. Or you already bought one for him, and he DID get out of it. What is the point of your dog wearing one if he WON’T wear it? Fortunately, there are two things that can help.

Don’t Make it Tighter

Making the dog seat belt harness tighter may not be the answer for two reasons.
1. For some dogs, a tighter dog car harness might mean your pal tries harder to escape from it. And such a determined dog will either be able to get out of it, or hurt himself trying. Some harnesses are harder to get out of than others. The ClickIt Utility dog seat belt, for example, is more difficult to escape from. But before you try it, consider your pet’s personality. Is he going to struggle just a little and then give up? Or will he struggle and keep struggling until he either hurts himself, manages to escape, or chews through the straps in order to try to get out?

Maya ClickIt Utility Dog Seat Belt

The ClickIt is the safest dog car harness. One reason is because it keeps Maya so restricted. She can lay down or sit, but she can’t stand up.

2) Second, consider how the safety belt in your car holds you in. It does lock into place in a car accident, but it isn’t tight to begin with. According to How Stuff Works the safety belt catches your inertia, spreads the force across your body so that it is not concentrated in one place, and it stretches a little so that “the stop isn’t quite so abrupt.”

If your pet’s harness is too tight, there is no opportunity for the straps to absorb the inertia. The straps are already tight on him, so a sudden stop will only cut into him more. If the straps are a little loose (but not too loose) then there is that split-second moment where your dog’s body slides into the harness, giving it the opportunity to stretch and absorb the pressure.

Put Bergan Canine Car Harness on My Dog

Make the dog seat belt harness snug, but not tight.

You want the harness to be snug, but you don’t want it so loose that your little pal flies out of it when you stop. But nor do you want it so tight that there is no give. So instead of tightening it, what can you do when he keeps getting out of his dog car harness?

1) Although a shorter tether on the dog seat belt is safer, you have to consider your pet’s personality. It is not going to do any good to have a more restrictive harness if your dog is just going to get out of it, right? So use a tether that is a little longer. Give your dog a little more room to move around. Have him wear a dog car harness that allows him to sit, lay down, or even stand so that he is more comfortable. A comfortable dog is not as likely to try to escape the safety device.

Gracie Wearing the Kurgo Dog Car Harness

For dogs that try to get out of their seat belt, consider one that allows them to sit, stand, or lay down.

2) Train your dog to wear the dog seat belt. This can take some time, but it can save your little pal’s life too. Have him wear it around the house and reward him whenever he ignores it. Play with him while he’s wearing it. Take him for a walk in it. Do fun activities together while he is wearing his harness and he will learn to be comfortable in it. And a comfortable dog is not as likely to try to get out of his dog car harness.

So if you’re frustrated because your dog keeps getting out of the device intended to protect him, a new ‘escape-proof’ dog car harness may not be the right answer. No harness is completely escape-proof. A new one with a longer tether may be a good temporary solution. But training him to wear a harness is the best and longest lasting way.

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Pet Auto Safety Barks and Bytes #3

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 13, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

What’s a bark and what’s a byte? In regards to this blog hop, I’m not entirely sure. So I’m going to say the barks are from the comments shared. Don’t worry, they’re happy barks! :) And the bytes are my little tidbits. The Barks and Bytes blog hop is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs. (You know, if you put all the dogs from these two blogs together, there are actually five! Sampson, though, is probably more tan, but tan is a shade of brown, right?)

LAST MONTH BARKS AND BYTES
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews said, “Pawsome! One thought on the towel over the carrier – really know your dog. Our first dog would have pulled in a towel and chewed it to bits. But it’s great for anxious dogs!”
So true! Know your dog for any product. If you’re going to buy the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt because you’ve heard it’s the safest, it is important that you know it is safest because it is the most restrictive. If your dog doesn’t like the restriction, he might chew through the straps or hurt himself trying to escape from it. So another brand might be best.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog asked if we’ve ever done a comparison of all the dog car harnesses. We’ve done one for the brands we sell. These brands include many of the top products, but not all the top products. It would be unfair for me to tell you about the AllSafe, for example, since I’ve never had the opportunity to use it. We’ve also done a post about the pros and the cons of our dog seat belt brands.

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.

THE BEST IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST FOR YOU
Lindsay with That Mutt says, “Ace is very calm in the car and likes to sit and lie down. He doesn’t move around much. However, he does stand up sometimes, like when he watches me get out of the car. Do you think the ClickIt Utility would be OK for him? Or do you think I should consider something else since he occasionally stands? I’m thinking he could learn to not stand. He’s not a chewer.”
If he only occasionally stands, I’d say the ClickIt Utility would be great for Ace. Look at the measurements, though. I’m not sure if Ace is too big and the ClickIts do not currently come in extra-large.

Pamela with Something Wagging made a wonderful comment, “It is a balancing act between safety and comfort. In the end, everything is a compromise. Because if we wanted to be absolutely safe, we wouldn’t drive at all. :)”
So so true! You definitely seem to have the right of it, Pamela. :)

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES
Pamela also said, “I’m also a big Kurgo fan. Although I wish their products were made in the U.S. I just got Honey’s new life jacket from Kurgo and I wish it was summer already so we could try it out.”
I just got some Kurgo life jackets too! One is going to go to Maya. But I plan on selling them too. It is just a matter of building that outdoor dog gear website I talked about as one of my projects to do this year. At least I have the part about finding the right products done.

I do believe it is important to support your local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. As such, the Ruff Rider Roadie dog car harnesses are made right here in the USA. And they are great products as well. Earth Heart, the company that makes the Travel Calm, also has their products made here in the USA. And I believe that most of Snoozer’s products are also made here in the USA.

Emma in the Snoozer Lookout Pet Carseat

Emma in the Snoozer dog car seat. Made in the USA.

Although… I did take an economics course recently that really helped me see things at a different angle. Yes, Kurgo may have their products made overseas but Kurgo is an American company. Kurgo pays their American employees a decent wage… a wage they can afford to give them because they save money by having products made overseas. And a savings they pass on to you by making their products more affordable.

If you’re concerned about the quality of products made overseas, don’t be. Products manufactured overseas no longer have to be compromised in quality. Kurgo products are top-of-the-line and they have a great manufacturer who is just as dedicated to quality.

Kurgo Lifetime Warranty

All Kurgo Products are Guaranteed Built for Life

Another economic trade off, besides saving money on products, is that other countries are hiring American companies for our marketing, managing, and product development skills. Instead of working on an assembly line to make products, we can spend our time inventing products. We can strive for higher paying jobs in the corporate world as managers, sales reps, marketing specialists, and in advertising. Plus, our entertainment industry is HUGE. We are artistic and creative and other countries will pay us money for what we have.

Wow, that was an awful big byte, wasn’t it? Please forgive me if I sound like I’m taking sides one way or the other. I’m not. Realistically, I’d only have a handful of products on my site if I chose to only sell ones made in America. And While I might prefer to buy American made too (especially pet food and treats), I can’t forget it was probably American ingenuity that invented many of these pet travel products to begin with and American companies that built their brands up on American soil.

That’s all for now. If I didn’t scare you off with my economics education course, please come back and visit again! :)

Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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