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Follow Up Friday #5

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 2, 2013

Follow up from Pet Safety Saturday’s post on Why My Dog Wears a Pet Car Harness:

I was in a rear end collision last Thursday. My dog Maya was with me. I was really sore the following Friday and Saturday but felt much better on Sunday and was 100% better by Monday. Maya seemed not to have been affected at all. She and Pierson were playing as normal on Friday and she has been just as rambunctious on her walks. The auto repair shop told me it is not just the rear bumper that was damaged on my car, but the frame as well. They also told me the cost to repair my car is likely more than my car is worth. So instead of getting my car repaired, I will most likely only receive a 2k check from the other insurance company. My car is a 1998 Ford Contour and doubtedly not worth more than 2k. Makes me wish I had a Toyota instead. :(

Follow up on questions received on the blog this week:

Jodi from Heart Like a Dog asks, “How frequently should you stop when driving with dogs?  You should you keep to your regular feeding schedule?  Typically our thought is we stop to let them eat and then when we stop for gas or to use the rest areas, they get a quick walk too.”

That’s a great question, Jodi. When we took a long road trip to Texas with Maya & Pierson we stopped every couple of hours or so. This coincided with the stops we made to get gas, at rest stops for our own potty breaks, and stops we made for food. I would start out with this as your plan. But watch their behavior. If they are generally quiet on the ride but suddenly get restless, it may mean that they need a break. Also, more active dogs may need more frequent stops.

For feeding, it really depends on how your dogs handle car rides. Do you know if they tend to get car sick? Pierson tends to get car sick so I gave him several small meals instead of his normal two big meals.

Hawk, Brown Dog CBR says, “Buying a seat belt really perplexed my Human. I ate one. She bought a different brand and I chewed the seat belt. I prefer my crate but it’s too big to go in the sedan. Now she’s talkin’ about gettin’ a different strap attachment that is longer. Do you think she thinks I won’t find a way to outsmart the dang thing? (smirk)”

LOL! Chewing through harnesses is a common problem. We usually provide a tip sheet for people who buy a pet car harness in order to give some ideas on how to keep a dog from chewing through or escaping from it. One tip is training the dog to get used to the harness. This can take time. A short-term solution is to use a no-chew spray on the harness. And your idea of a longer strap is a good one too. Here’s a link to an article we wrote on the subject a couple years ago – Tips to Keep Your Dog from Chewing on His Dog Car Harness.

Just so you know, there is no such thing as a safe chew-proof or escape-proof pet car harness. The only chew-proof material I can think of is Kong material or metal. I can’t imagine metal being safe. I don’t know how safe a hard rubber one would be. One hasn’t been invented or tested yet, as far as I know. Escape-proof is difficult as well. Imagine if the harness is too tight. This would be uncomfortable for the dog and the dog would be even more likely to try to get out of it if he is uncomfortable. And if he did try to get out of a pet car harness that is too tight, he will be more likely to hurt himself.

Follow up on questions received by telephone or email this week:

Sarah asked whether I like the Kurgo or the Bergan brand pet car harness the best. This is a very common question and it is difficult to answer. I like both of them for different reasons. I like how the Bergan fits Pierson. He has a small frame and both the neck and the chest straps are fully adjustable. I also like the Bergan’s tether for Maya because she likes to move around a lot. I like how the Kurgo fits Maya. The large size is like it was made just for a Lab. But I don’t like the Kurgo tether for Maya. It works well on Pierson and I like how it is shorter and safer for him. But the Kurgo looped tether just won’t work for Maya.

If someone asks how I like the Ruff Rider Roadie, I honestly haven’t tried it on Maya and Pierson yet. I really like how padded the Bergan and Kurgo is. The Ruff Rider isn’t. But the quality if the Ruff Rider Roadie is obvious. It has a lot of features that the Kurgo and Bergan don’t seem to have. It is pleated under the dog’s legs so that it doesn’t cause irritation. The strap can be made short or long. And the strap can be used with the seat belt of the car as well as in the cargo area of the SUV (The Bergan tether can too).

Follow up on southern Florida as a pet friendly travel destination:

Gizmo from Terrier Torrent loves Florida and says his favorite part is the Jupiter dog beach. Flea from DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews has only experience central Florida and was not at all impressed. She says central Florida was not at all dog friendly. Pamela with Something Wagging This Way Comes says that she’s had luck finding dog friendly tours up north, but not dog friendly sailing tours. That’s too bad because I’m sure her dog Sunny would love to go.

Do you have any pet travel safety questions? What about a favorite pet friendly travel destination? Feel free to chime in on the comments below or email us at naturebydawn@aol.com.

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7 Responses to “Follow Up Friday #5”

  1. Jodi:

    Thank you for joining the blog hop and for answering my questions.

    We drove just like you suggested, when one of us needed a break or gas, the dogs got one too. I fed them a small breakfast and then a treat every hour or so. Neither one has shown tendencies to car sickness but I’d rather not take that chance! When we head home tomorrow I think I will give them half their breakfast before we leave and bits of it when we stop.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Oz the Terrier:

    Hey…great follow up! I must have missed the Florida travel spots post…I live in South Florida but I love traveling to the Keys because they are SUPER pet friendly!

    Also, we had a brain freeze over here this past week and we have misplaced your mailing address to send to Pruven. Can you email me with it again (sorry) at Oztheterrier at yahoo dot com?!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. weliveinaflat:

    Hiya, pet car safety is a great topic of interest for us at the moment simply because we had an incident where we had to break abruptly and the dog flew to the bottom of the car, but she’s fine. So we definitely are shopping for some kind of safety product for her. We went to the pet shop and the owner told us to get a regular harness. I’m just wondering if there is a difference between a pet car harness and a regular harness? Sorry to bother :)

  4. SephiAndMaya:

    I’m so glad the dog was okay! Not a bother at all. There is a difference in safety. A regular harness might be okay for a sudden stop like the one you described. But a dog car harness is designed to fit better and to be stronger in more serious incidents. Check out our Kurgo and Bergan brands, for example – http://www.petautosafety.com/dog-car-seat-belts. Notice the padding. In a sudden stop, the padded chest is a way of dissapating pressure across your dog’s chest and not at his neck. These brands can also withstand over 2000 pounds of force.

  5. weliveinaflat:

    Thank you for taking the time to explain, looks like we’ll have to shop around for a car harness specifically just in case, will take a look at the brands you suggested. Have a good day!

  6. weliveinaflat:

    I watched one of the linked videos from the petautosafety site – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i8VjqU1jLY – and it seems that in the case where a car hits a sudden break or suffers a crash, the dog will still likely be thrown off the seat a bit. So a pet car harness will help prevent the dog from getting serious injuries from being thrown out of a car in a crash but it would not exactly prevent the dog from flying off the seat, bumping against the front seats or landing at the bottom of the car in the case of a sudden break. Am I right to say that? Thank you for your patience and time :)

  7. MayaAndPierson:

    Yes, you’re observation is correct. Let me amend my initial comment about the Kurgo tether being shorter. The video you saw is of the Kurgo tether. It appears to stretch out longer because the seat belt of the car stretches out a bit. The Kurgo tether connects to the seat belt of the car. I wonder if the Bergan tether wouldn’t be better after all. It connects directly into the seat belt housing so there is no stretching. The shorter you can comfortably make the tether for your dog, the better. This has been shown in some ongoing studies completed by the Center for Pet Safety. A shorter tether might prevent a dog from flying off the seat (not sure about into the doors, but without a seat belt, they’d still hit the doors). Since Maya doesn’t do well in a short tether, I cover the floor with the Backseat Bridge.

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