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September 18, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to another edition of Barks & Bytes hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2BrownDawgs.

It’s been a month since our last participation in the Barks & Bytes blog hop so we have a lot to cover. I’ll try very hard to be brief. First off, if you haven’t done so already, say Happy Birthday to my Maya who turned 7 at the end of August!

IMPROVED PET DEK
In a review of the Pet Dek that I made back in July, I mentioned how one of the legs kept coming off but I fixed it with a washer. The manufacturer of the Pet Dek saw my post and wanted to let me know that this issue has been fixed and is no longer a concern. Honest reviews really pay off!

FREE SHIPPING ON FLAT SEAT
The Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat is a comparable product and for the month of September, we are offering free shipping.

Belle-Button the Frenchie Wearing the Bergan Dog Seat Belt 3

Belle is wearing the Bergan dog seat belt as she rests comfortably in her pet bed in the back seat for the road trip.

FRENCHIES REVIEW
On Wednesday, September 10th, we shared the photos of three adorable Frenchies: Arnold, Belle, and Wilbur. Their mom first purchased the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat from us. And when she found out we were also in Iowa, she explained how difficult it has been for her to find a dog car seat belt that would fit the odd shape of a Frenchie. And so I offered to visit her in person to try some on. The Kurgo Tru-Fit brand fit them nicely, but the Bergan dog seat belt fit even better. So Arnold, Belle, and Wilbur all have one and they wore them on their recent road trip.

My Dog Pierson with a Woman Named Flea

Does Pierson want pets or does he want goodies from Jones Natural Chews? Flea gives him both.

FLEA!
If you haven’t heard of Flea from DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews, then you’re really missing out. Her blog is funny and Flea is such a heartwarming person. We (Maya, Pierson, and I) have been lucky enough to have been able to meet her on two occasions. Once, during the holidays when we made our annual road trip from Kansas to Texas. And the second time just a couple of days ago as she traveled from Oklahoma to Illinois. It was a wonderful visit and Maya and Pierson were extremely spoiled with the Boo Bucket and other treats from Jones Natural Chews.

Maya Labrador AllSafe Dog Car Harness

The AllSafe dog car harness fits Maya perfectly!

ALLSAFE
Remember earlier in the year where I mentioned one of our goals was to acquire the AllSafe dog car harness? Well, we finally got it! As of yesterday, the AllSafe pet seat belt is officially available on PetAutoSafety.com. For now, it has free shipping. This may change later so if you’ve been wanting one, now is the time to get one. Maya has hers already. Keep an eye out on this blog for our review.

VARIOCAGE
The company that provides the AllSafe dog seat belt also has the VarioCage. If you haven’t heard of it before, it is the absolute best car cage on the market. We don’t have this one on our website yet, but it will be available before the end of the month.

LOST DOG COMMENTS
A special thanks to Barbara from K9sOverCoffee and Lindsay with ThatMutt for adding two more means to find a dog lost after a car accident. Post fliers, contact a radio station to see if they will mention the lost pet, and contact shelters and rescue groups every day to see if anyone has brought in the pet. I can’t believe I didn’t think of these. Thank you!!!

PET TRAVEL ARTICLES
And thank you to Patrice for writing these great pet travel articles for us:
Plan a Great Pet Friendly Trip
Finding Pet Friendly Accommodations

Thanks for stopping by, everyone and enjoy the rest of your week! :)

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September 16, 2014

My Dogs in Back of SUV

Having your dog wear a dog seat belt in the vehicle is a great way to keep them from distracting the driver. But you also want them to be safe, right? However, if your dog rides in the cargo area of your hatchback or SUV, you need to know that securing them to cargo rings may not be adequate.

The Center for Pet Safety, a nonprofit research facility for pet products, has recently reported that cargo connections may not have the necessary strength to hold your dog. This means the cargo ring can break if your dog is in a car accident, or even if your dog just pulls on it hard enough. Contact the vehicle manufacturer to find out what amount of force those cargo rings can withstand.

When we rented an SUV one year in order to make our annual trip from Kansas to Texas, we looked diligently for an SUV that had metal connections in the cargo area for Maya and Pierson. We did not find any. As a result, we found a way to connect their dog seat belt harnesses to the safety belt housing of the car located under the seat. However, the Center for Pet Safety advises against this as well.

If you need to have your dog ride in the cargo area, you may need to install a more secure connection in the cargo area. You can also opt to have your dog ride in a crate instead. Just be sure the crate can be secured in place.

We will soon have another option for dogs riding in cargo areas. By the end of September, you will see the VarioCage available on our PetAutoSafety.com retail site. The VarioCage is very expensive but it is also extremely durable. It has been extensively crash tested and even real-life situations have shown that the VarioCage remains intact.

Safety for our pets when we travel is very important and vehicle manufacturers are coming to realize this. More and more car commercials show a dog harnessed in the car. So if you have a vehicle with a cargo area and it doesn’t have cargo rings or just has plastic cargo rings, tell the manufacturer that you want this feature. You may not be able to get it this time around, but they will hear you and hopefully install better connections in future models.

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September 9, 2014

Rear End Front End Car Accident

We read a lot of articles about pet travel and have come across more than a few handfuls where a dog involved in a car accident runs away from the scene and is lost for days. We’ve also followed up with many of these articles and have learned the situations where the dog is found. Most of these reunions have elements in common that can help you if your dog escapes from a terrifying situation.

Return to the Scene
Believe it or not, in most cases where a dog runs away after being in a car accident, he is found within less than a mile of the scene. In some cases, he is actually found at or near the area where the wreck took place. If the accident is on a busy roadway, he is probably going to stay some distance back. Look in nearby areas with lots of foliage or other places to hide.

Trauma Makes Dogs Wary
A dog involved in a traumatic situation is very likely to be skittish with strangers, even normally friendly dogs. If you are helping to locate someone’s lost dog, make sure you have their number handy. If the dog moves away from you when you approach, stop approaching them and call for help.

Live Traps
Since traumatized dogs tend to be shy, putting live traps in areas where there have been sightings can help you catch him when you’re not around. A shy dog may also avoid broad daylight. He may hide during the day, and then seek food and water in darker hours. A live trap will help attract the dog and hopefully catch him when people aren’t able to be out searching.

Tell Everyone
Alert nearby neighbors, notify the local animal shelter and animal control, let the police know, and contact local rescue groups for help. Perhaps even call the local news stations. More than any of the others, individuals from dog rescue groups seem to be the people who most often answer the call to help. They can also be a great resource for getting live traps. Contacting local vet clinics is also a good idea for in case someone brings in a dog that needs medical attention.

Social Media Helps
There are a number of Facebook pages dedicated to finding lost pets. Sometimes pages are created by a family attempting to locate their own lost pet. The people who come together to help are amazing. They share posts, thereby spreading the word about a lost pet, they offer personal assistance with looking for the pet, or they may even have other ways to help. If your dog is missing, post it on CraigsList, Facebook, G+, Twitter, community classifieds, and anything else you can think of.

Protect Yourself from Scammers
Because you are posting the information about your dog publicly, there is a chance you will be contacted by scammers claiming to have found your dog but are wanting money before they return him. The most common scam is from people claiming they were traveling when they found your dog and they want money before they make the long drive back. Don’t fall for it. It is a good idea to withhold a very specific trait about your dog when posting public lost ads. Perhaps your dog has a scar somewhere or a specific mark that is not noticeable in photographs. If a person claiming to have your dog is unwilling to verify specific marks, then they probably don’t really have your dog. A person with the heart enough to pick up an abandoned dog is not likely to ask you for money or be difficult about getting the dog back to you. However, if you are convinced that such a person may, in fact, have your dog, insist on meeting them in person and in a public place before giving them money and see if the police will escort you.

Many of these tips can help in other situations, not just a car accident. If you have any additional tips that might help, please comment below.

(This is not an official study. It is merely an observation we’ve made based on online reports. There are probably a number of situations that were not reported and may not fit in these scenarios. If you’ve lost your pet, consider all options and don’t give up.)

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September 4, 2014

Road Trip with the Dogs to Kansas

I posted a little bit about my road trip with my dogs, Maya and Pierson, on my American Dog Blog, but I thought I would share a few more details here. Namely, what I did to prepare and how we made sure our travel was comfortable and safe.

TO TAKE THE DOGS OR NOT TO TAKE THE DOGS
A few months ago, I made arrangements to see an alternative medicine doctor for my fibromyalgia in Wichita, Kansas. It is a five-and-a-half hour drive so we opted to drive. As always, we had to take the dogs into consideration. Despite living in Iowa for only a short time, we have met people we could trust to care for our dogs if we left. However, my husband couldn’t go and as a female I didn’t want to travel alone. And so I opted to take both dogs with me.

Motel 6 August 2014 Maya & Pierson

ACCOMMODATIONS
I would have two doctor visits on two consecutive days, so we needed a place to stay. The medical office gave me a list of nearby hotels. However, they either didn’t allow pets at all, only allowed pets under 20lbs, or charged over $100+ per night. And so I chose the trusty Motel 6. I knew they were both inexpensive and pet friendly. And after our recent pleasant experience at a Motel 6 in Oklahoma, I hoped the one in Wichita would be the same. I was not disappointed. Check out my reviews of this Motel 6 on my American Dog Blog from both the link above and from the August 29, 2014 post.

> Don’t Leave Dogs Alone in Hotel Room
One thing I did not take into consideration during my stay at Motel 6 is that you are not supposed to leave your pets unattended in the room. I should have made doggie day care arrangements for Maya and Pierson, but didn’t think about it.

Most hotels have this rule about leaving pets and I understand why. When some dogs are left alone, they bark or will do damage to the room. Also, there could be problems when the cleaning staff tries to enter the room. Thankfully, Maya and Pierson are familiar with traveling and do well when left alone in a strange place. Pierson had his no-bark collar on. I also put a do not disturb sign on my door so the cleaning staff would not enter.

Petz on Board Emergency Contact for Pet Travel

PACKING
I won’t tell you everything I packed for myself, but I will tell you I made sure I had plenty of food and drink for the road trip so that I wouldn’t have to run into a convenience store and leave my dogs alone in the car. For Maya and Pierson, I packed enough dog food for two nights, water, their food and water dishes, leashes, dog car harnesses, vet records, pet first aid kit, Petz on Board sign with emergency contact info, dog beds, poo bags, treats, and the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat.

TRAVELING
I opted to take my husband’s car instead of mine. My car is a 1998 model and has been salvaged twice so I don’t want to drive it that far if I don’t have to. I covered the entire back seat of my husband’s car with a sheet and set up the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat. I also connected the tethers of their dog car harnesses to the seat belt housings. Maya wore the Kurgo Go-Tech and Pierson wore the Ruff Rider Roadie. (Maya usually wears the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt, but it is so restrictive I didn’t want to use this one for such a long journey.)

> Calming and Preventing Car Sickness
About 20 minutes before the trip, I applied Travel Calm from Earth Heart to both Maya and Pierson. Maya needs it because she is so excited in the car and drives me nuts with her happy whining. Pierson sometimes gets car sick and Travel Calm also helps with this.

Both dogs did very well on the drive to Wichita, but Maya was a pesty-poo on the way back home. I’m not sure if she was uncomfortable or what, but the Travel Calm did not work this time. She whined so much that I made several stops thinking perhaps she had to go to the bathroom. She didn’t. In any case, it took much longer for us to get home.

> Don’t Leave Dogs Alone in the Car
I didn’t have to stop for a restroom on the drive to our destination, but I had to stop for myself on the drive back. I hated to leave my dogs in the car, but I had no choice. Pets are not allowed in public restrooms, period. Luckily, I pulled up next to some nice ladies and asked if they could keep a short eye out for my pups. They were happy to oblige. I wouldn’t always trust this tactic, but you gotta do what you gotta do and I like to think that most people are relatively trustworthy.

Have you taken any recent road trips with your dogs? Please leave a comment below. If you’d like to do a guest post on your pet travels, email me. :)

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July 31, 2014

“Help! I just bought this dog seat belt so that I can help keep my pet safe in the car, but he keeps trying to chew it off. What do I do?”

This happens all the time. We spend lots of money to do what is best and our dogs want nothing to do with it. Unless your dog is already used to wearing a harness, adaptation may take a little time. Training your dog to get used to a pet car harness is the best long-term solution. But what if you’re going on a trip soon and you don’t have the time? Try spraying the pet car harness with a chew deterrent spray. One of the best chew deterrent sprays on the market is Grannick’s Bitter Apple. This stuff has been around for over 50 years (developed in 1960). And in most cases, it really works.

Bitter Apple Chew Deterrent Spray for Dogs

There are some instances where dogs actually seem to like the taste, but the average success is 4 out of 5 stars. If you need to keep your dog in his harness so that he is safe, why not try using the Grannick’s Bitter Apple? It is non-toxic and the chances are your dog will hate it more than he hates his safety belt.

If time really is of the essence, a homemade chew deterrent may also work. Try mixing peppermint extract and water in a spray bottle. Or cayenne pepper and water, apple cider vinegar in water, or lemon juice in water. The Daily Puppy has some great recipes.

Remember, results will vary. Long term training is the best solution, but not always feasible if you’re pressed for time. Shorten the time by combining Bitter Apple with training. Simply follow our training tips for getting your dog used to a pet safety belt, but spray the harness with a chew deterrent.

Have you had to use a chew deterrent for your dog? If so, what kind? Did it work?

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The Best Summer Dog Gear

Author: MayaAndPierson
July 22, 2014

Pierson in Dog Backpack from Outward Hound

Even though spring was late in coming this year, there is still time to enjoy the outdoors with your best friend. Bond while boating, have a happy time while hiking, and enjoy a romp at the river. When you go, don’t forget these great pet travel supplies and outdoor dog gear:

Maya Go-Tech Pet Seat Belts

-Dog Car Harness – When you go somewhere with your dog, make sure his trip is safe. If your dog won’t wear a pet seat belt, consider a pet travel crate.

Dog Pierson Collapsible Dog Bowl

-Water and a Pet Travel Bowl

-Walking Harness – The Kurgo Go-Tech Maya is wearing above works as both a car safety belt and a walking harness. It is perfect for the car and for an outdoor hike.

-Leash

-Dog Toys

-Backpack for Dogs – Your dog can carry his own water, pet travel bowl, and toys with his very own dog pack, just like Pierson is doing in the top photo.

Dougie's Dog Life Jacket

-Dog Life Jacket – This is great for dogs that like to go swimming. Rip tides, fast water, and waves can be unexpectedly sweep your dog away or under. Make sure he stays afloat with a life vest. And a pet life jacket should definitely be worn when your dog is on a boat, just like our pal Dougie from the UK.

Cooling Dog Collar - Pink

-Pet Cooling Products – Consider a cooling collar or cooling pet mat if your dog is going to be outdoors for a long period. Make sure he can get shade as well.

Maya and Dog First Aid Kit

-Pet First Aid Kit – Never go anywhere without a first aid kit for both you and your family as well as your dog. The Kurgo first aid kit can fit right in your glove box. It includes a first aid guide in order to help with various situations such as heat stroke, animal bites, and CPR instructions. We also have very comprehensive pet first aid kits.

Be proactive in the safety of all your family members, including the furry ones. And have a fantastic summer!

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Our friend Lindsay with Ace at ThatMutt.com wrote a wonderful article that we’ve found to be very helpful:

My 70-pound Lab mix Ace loves riding in the car because he associates it with fun places like the dog beach.

Ace the Great Dane Mix 2

“This really is my happy face.”

Ace the Great Dane Mix 3

“Where are we going? I bet it is somewhere fun.”

While I’m glad he’s eager to go places, one problem with his excitement is his tendency to barge right out of the car as soon as I open the back passenger door.

I’ve learned to anticipate and manage this problem by giving a firm “stay!” command or by physically blocking him. He always wears his leash in the car too, which I can easily grab.

Ace the Great Dane Mix 1

“My mom has me wear my leash in the car so that she can grab it in case I try to run out when she opens the door.”

But lately I’ve realized I need to step up my dog’s training (and safety) a bit more. I want my dog to automatically wait patiently in the car until I give him a command to jump out. (I plan to use “OK!”)

I don’t want to tell him “stay” first. I want “stay” to be implied. Even if the door is wide open and my back is turned, I want my dog to learn to wait for my command before jumping out.

There are just too many scenarios where barging out the door could be a small or serious problem.

For example:

-Ace could barge right into traffic, even if he’s on a leash. We live in a heavily populated area with a lot of cars.
-
He could push the door too hard, causing it to door ding another parked car.
-
He could knock or pull someone over, trip someone with his leash or give someone rope burn.
-
If we’re ever in a bad car accident, it may not be safe for him to bolt out as soon as a responder opens the door.
-
Every now and then, my husband and I will pick up a friend or family member who will ride in the back next to Ace. I can’t have Ace bolting out just because someone else opens the door! (One time he bolted out the door to follow my parents when we dropped them off at their hotel.)

So, you get the point. There are a lot of scenarios where it’s dangerous for a dog to automatically jump out of the car.

Dog seatbelts to safely keep the dog in the car

Before I get to some training tips, an obvious safety tool here would be a dog seat belt.

Not only is a dog seatbelt a safety tool for when the car is moving, but now you can see why a dog seatbelt will safely keep the dog in place even when the car is parked.

Of course, some dogs will still try to bolt out as soon as you unbuckle their seatbelts. But at least the belt will hold your dog in place while you get situated. Read more about dog seatbelts here.

How to train your dog not to jump out of the car as soon as you open the door

The following are my own training tips based on how I plan to train my treat-motivated dog. There are many ways to train a dog, so please share your own suggestions in the comments.

I am training my dog to automatically wait in the car until I say “OK.”

*I drive a four-door car. Ace always sits on the back seat directly behind the driver without a seatbelt.

Here’s what I plan to do:

When I stop the car, I will have a handful of small, highly valued treats ready such as pieces of hot dogs. I will get out, walk to the back door and open it part way, so Ace can’t jump out. Without saying anything, I will pop several yummy treats into Ace’s mouth, being careful to stand close so he won’t jump out. “Gooood boooy.”

If your dog is wearing a seatbelt, this is where I recommend you unclip it – after you have already given him some treats for remaining still. Then, unbuckle the seatbelt and pop some additional treats in his mouth. You want him to learn that the “click” sound of the belt does not signal it’s OK to jump out.

After 30 seconds or so, I will say “OK” and let Ace jump out. I will stop giving him treats at that point because the treats are to reward him when he’s waiting in the car. I will repeat this several times in all sorts of areas, every time we go somewhere.

If he happens to try to jump out before I give the “OK” I will calmly block him with my body and calmly say “no.”

Increasing the challenge

In safe areas that are not too “exciting” I will do the same as above, but I will gradually open the door wider and wider as Ace’s training progresses, over several days and weeks. I will also make a point to stand a bit further from Ace and to wait longer before giving the “OK” to jump out. Giving him treats while he waits in the car will still be important at this point.

With time, I will give the treats less often, especially in “easy” areas where he is not as excited. When we go to the most “exciting” areas like the dog beach I will still have to go back to standing closer to him while he’s still learning.

Other safety tips

-Obviously I’ll have to be aware of the temperature in the car. A parked car is hot, even for a few minutes, and even with the door open. Training sessions will have to be fairly short.
-
Once your dog jumps out of the car, you may want to also teach him to automatically sit at your side (rather than straining at the leash like a maniac).
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If your dog does manage to jump out before you give permission, just calmly say “no” and put him back in. Stay a little closer the next time so he doesn’t have the chance to “fail” again.

Of course, there are many other ways you could train your dog to wait in the car, and we are lucky to have so many training tools to help us. For example, perhaps a kennel will make it easier for your dog to remain calm and safe until you’re ready to let him out.

And now I want to hear from you!

If your dog already knows to wait patiently in the car, how did you train him to do so?

Author Bio:

Lindsay Stordahl maintains the dog blog ThatMutt.com where she writes about dog training, dog exercise, adoption and more. Read some of her most popular training posts here and here.

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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 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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