Archive for October, 2011
Are we there yet?
We will be traveling long distances this holiday season. If you plan on traveling with your dog for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, be sure to get a pet travel safety device. Sephi and Maya wear a dog car harness but there are also pet auto barriers and pet car seats.
Maya in the photo above is wearing her dog car harness but her tether has been lengthened somewhat so that she can move around a bit more on the long road trips. For short everyday trips I keep the tether short and she is not able to put her head on the center console.
I also have the Extend-a-Seat in the back seat so that the floor is covered, which again allows Sephi and Maya a bit more maneuverability on long trips. Maya would not be able to rest her head on the console if the floor was not covered.
These are just a few of the pet travel safety devices available. Consider one for your pet this holiday season and have a happy holiday!
Also, we are now on Twitter! Follow us @naturebydawn.
Visit lots of other great dog blogs on the Saturday Blog Hop!
The Bergan dog seat belt is new to our site. Although we have had many dog seat belt brands on our site since its inception in 2006, we couldn’t pass up adding the new dog seat belt from Bergan. It is one of the most versatile dog seat belt brands in that there are no limitations what kind of vehicles they will work in and they will fit every size of dog, including the largest of dogs. But what we like most about the Bergan dog seat belt is the extensive strength testing that has been completed on it.
Our Kurgo and Pet Buckle dog seat belt brands have also been well tested for strength and durability. But the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart dog seat belt uses the loop system to restrain your dog and we feel that an energetic dog can get tangled in this mechanism. The Pet Buckle is the only dog seat belt that has extended their strength testing to actual crash testing with dog dummies, but it only comes in a small or a large. They also use the loop system but can come with a tether that only works in 2001 model cars and later.
V9DT is the first standardized test for the dog seat belt. Bergan has completed this test and the results will be posted on the V9DT site soon. While the results are not yet available to download, they are complete and the Bergan dog seat belt has been given the V9DT seal of approval. You can find out more about the V9DT Test Standards at http://www.v9dt.com/standard.htm and the V9DT Test Procedures at http://www.v9dt.com/procedure.htm. Knowing the extent of such testing, we are confident in the quality and safety of the Bergan dog seat belt.
Dogs are amazing. Not only do they make our lives better by giving us unconditional love, they eagerly and loyally serve our country, contribute to law enforcement, provide therapy and guidance for special needs, assist in search and rescue, and more.
The American Humane Association is honoring these incredible animals with the Hero Dog Awards. You can watch this powerful celebration on the Hallmark Channel on Friday, November 11th at 8/7 central.
Eight remarkable dogs will be honored for their bravery and devotion in eight different service categories. These categories are military, guide, therapy, law enforcement, search and rescue, service, hearing, and an emerging hero award for an ordinary dog who accomplished a courageous feat.
Don’t miss the Hero Dog Awards extraordinary ceremony on the Hallmark Channel.
Putting the Bergan dog car harness on your dog is easy. Sizing it, however, is another matter. The directions provided by the manufacturer come with photos of how to put on the dog car harness, but not on how to adjust the size of the dog car harness. There are written instructions but without corresponding photos, one is left to guess. So in order to help you out, we have put together a list of instructions along with our own corresponding photos of how to put on and adjust the Bergan dog car harness.
Step one in putting on the Bergan dog car harness is to unclip the harness at the back. Then lay the dog car harness flat on the ground with the Bergan logo facing down. The part of the dog car harness with the Bergan logo on it is the top part.
Then, have your dog step over the dog car harness with his front feet in the open spaces. Your dog’s head will be facing the top of the dog car harness.
Once you dog is in place, pull the dog car harness up and clip it on the back. The dog car harness will be very loose the first time you put it on. Adjusting the size around the neck and the chest of the Bergan dog car harness works in tandem. By making the neck strap smaller, the chest strap gets bigger. Don’t worry, the chest strap can then be shortened without making the neck bigger. This is important to know because this means that you will need to adjust the neck size of the dog car harness first.
Adjust the neck size by pulling the strap through the padded front of the dog car harness. Be sure to do this on both sides for an even fit.
Once the neck strap of the dog car harness is fitted, you will need to adjust the chest strap. Rather than pull the chest trap through the padded front of the dog car harness like you did for the neck, you will pull the strap through the buckle at the top.
When the neck and chest straps are well fitted (snug like a dog collar), you can cut off the excess strap. If your dog is still growing, leave as much length as you think will be needed, plus three inches. If your dog is at his maximum size, be sure to leave at least three inches of strap.
Once your dog is fitted into the Bergan dog car harness, you will not need to go through these steps again. You will, however, need to verify the fit from time to time in order to make sure it remains snug and to adjust for any weight gain or loss.
As you know from the recent post on the new dog car harness from Bergan, the Bergan dog car harness works differently that our other dog car harness brands. The Guardian Gear and Cruising Companion dog car harness brands buckle directly into the seat belt receptacle, the Tru-Fit and Pet Buckle dog car harness brands use the loop system, and the Pet Buckle brand also uses a tether which attaches to a latch bar.
The Bergan dog car harness doesn’t work in any of these three ways. Like the Guardian Gear, Cruising Companion, and Pet Buckle dog car harness, it uses a tether. But that tether is not depended on a fitting seat belt receptacle or latch bar. It can clip on to any seat belt system.
The photo above shows how the Bergan dog car harness tether uses the carabiner to attach and secure your dog in the car. One end of the carabiner clip is attached to the back of your dog’s harness while the other end is clipped between the folds of the seat belt attachment (pictured below).
If the seat belt receptacle attachment will not easily accommodate the carabiner, you can simply buckle the seat belt strap in and wrap your carabiner around it (pictured below).
The use of the carabiner is quick and easy. For further simplicity, you can leave the carabiner attached in your car and simply attach the other end to the harness part of the Bergan dog car harness when your dog gets in the car. If you have any questions about how the Bergan dog car harness works, please feel free to contact us. We will post another article in a couple of days showing how the Bergan dog car harness is put on your dog.
Pet Auto Safety.com has a number of dog car harness brands to choose from. Each restrains your dog in the car a little differently. The Guardian Gear and Cruising Companion dog car harness brands have the limitation of not working in Volvos, Saabs, or Ford Explorers. The Tru-Fit dog car harness has the limitation of restricting your dog’s movement in the car. This is a positive feature unless your dog is like mine and can’t hold still. A dog that tries to move around too much in the Tru-Fit dog car harness is likely to get tangled. The Pet Buckle dog car harness works like the Tru-Fit unless its adapter is used. But the adapter only works in vehicles with a latch bar which is generally only found in 2001 models and later.
The new addition to our dog car harness selections has no such limitations. The Bergan dog car harness is not as restricting as the Tru-Fit or Pet Buckle dog car harness. Like the Guardian Gear and Cruising Companion dog car harness brands, it has a tether which can be lengthened or shortened. And the Bergan dog car harness will work in any vehicle that has seat belts.
Instead of buckling directly into the seat belt receptacle like the Guardian Gear and Cruising Companion dog car harness brands, its tether clips directly around the seat belt of your car. The Tru-Fit dog car harness also works with the seat belt of your car, but because it uses the loop system, it is more restricting and more likely to cause tangling.
The Bergan dog car harness also has a more versatile fit than the other dog car harness brands. No more worries for dogs with slender necks but big deep chests. The neck fitting of the Bergan dog car harness is fully adjustable.
The Bergan dog car harness is lightweight but strong. According to Bergan, “they meet or exceed V9DT Pet Safety Durability Test Standard.” And the material around the chest is soft and comfortable.
One drawback we found with the Bergan dog car harness is that unlike the other dog car harness brands we have, the Bergan dog car harness is not easily used as a walking harness. It does not have an easy way to attach a leash instead of the tether. Another drawback we found with the Bergan dog car harness is that fitting it to your dog is rather confusing. Despite the instructions, it took us about 20 minutes to figure out how to adjust it. But the good news is that once it is fitted to your dog, you never have to adjust it again (unless your dog grows). And it is very easy to put on and take off once it is adjusted.
We are so confident about the Bergan dog car harness that we may consider discontinuing the Guardian Gear and Cruising Companion dog car harness brands. The prices are comparable but the confirmed strength testing of the Bergan dog car harness brand is more reliable and the fit is better for all sized dogs. The only advantage that the Guardian Gear and Cruising Companion dog car harness brands have over the Bergan dog car harness is color and style variation. The Bergan dog car harness only comes in blue with black.
Dogtoberfest – “Everybody and their Dog will be there!”
Next Sunday is the Dogtoberfest in Lawrence, Kansas. Come see us on October 9th between 11:00 and 4:00 at Southpark which is located downtown off of Massachusetts St. There will be activities, demonstrations, contests, and more. The Dogtoberfest has food from Mr. Bacon BBQ and lots of pet vendors including an “Ask a Vet” booth, Daisy’s Diva Designs, Pet Auto Safety.com, Bow Wow Wow Pet Gifts, Dignified Doggies, Pawsh Wash, and Good Dog! Don’t forget that there will also be adoptable pets from the Lawrence Humane Society.
The Dogtoberfest in Lawrence, Kansas benefits the homeless in the Lawrence community – homeless pets from the Lawrence Humane Society and homeless people at the Lawrence Community Shelter.
Come see us and have a doggone good time!