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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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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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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 10, 2014
Pierson wearing the Bergan and sitting on the car seat cover and Backseat Bridge with door guards and window screens on the door.

Pierson wearing the Bergan and sitting on the car seat cover and Backseat Bridge with door guards and window screens on the door.

My name is Dawn Ross and I am the owner of Pet Auto Safety. I started this website in 2006 because I have dogs, I love my dogs, and I want to do what is best to keep them safe. One thing I really enjoy about all the pet travel safety products we sell is that I get to try them with my own dogs. Maya and Pierson are my guinea pigs, so to speak. Because of them, I learn more about the items we sell; the ins and outs and the pros and the cons. And over the years, I have found the ones I like the best.

KURGO BRAND PRODUCTS
Kurgo has a variety of car travel products designed just for dogs. One thing I absolutely love about Kurgo is their quality. All their merchandise is very well made and they have a lifetime warranty against defects. They also have a great repair and replacement policy. If your dog damages the Kurgo cargo cover, for example, or if it simply wears down from use, you can have it repaired or replaced by Kurgo for a nominal fee, plus shipping.

Pierson in the Car Logo

The Backseat Bridge covers the floor and blocks the center console area.

Backseat Bridge
This is my absolute most favorite item from Kurgo. Maya and Pierson are big dogs. And even though they are wearing a dog safety belt, because the seat is so narrow they can still come off it if I have to stop suddenly. The Backseat Bridge keeps this from happening. The other benefit is Maya and Pierson have more room to stretch out for when we take those long road trips.

Maya Go-Tech Pet Seat Belts

The raspberry Kurgo Go-Tech is the perfect color for my girl Maya. I love the padded chest and how it lies lower and looser around the neck. (This is the harness that protected her when we were in a car accident.)

Tru-Fit and Go-Tech Canine Car Harnesses
Although the Tru-Fit brand did not perform as well in safety as a few other top brands, I still like this product very much. In fact, Maya was wearing the Go-Tech dog safety belt when we were in a minor car accident in July 2013. She was not injured at all. I love the color selections of the Kurgo dog car harnesses, I like how they fit, and I really appreciate how easy they are to put on.

One thing I do not like, however, is the looped tether all their harnesses come with. Maya likes to move around in the car and will get herself tangled in these loop tethers. Thankfully, Kurgo has a direct connect tether that can be purchased separately. One thing about the Go-Techs is that not everyone has found them to fit well. The neck size is not adjustable so it may be too big on some dogs.

Car Door Guard

The Kurgo car door guard comes in tan or black. It has tabs that easily slide into the window sill.

Door Guards
Maya likes to go swimming at the dog park. The problem is, on the way back she attracts dirt, which turns into mud. Also, Maya and Pierson shed a lot. This stuff can get all over my car. In order to protect my car, I need to cover the places where my dogs ride. I have a seat cover already, but I want to protect the doors too. The Kurgo door guards are perfect for this. Maya can put her muddy paws on the door all she wants. And the door guards are so easy to put in, as well as to take out.

Other Kurgo products you can use to protect your vehicle interior include the Wander hammocks and the cargo cover. Kurgo also has a nice selection of car seat covers.

This is a list of my favorite Kurgo travel items. But I like a lot of other brands too. Come back tomorrow to see the rest of my list of favorite pet safety products.

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January 6, 2014

 

Maya ClickIt Utility Pet Seat Belt

For Maya, safety means having to sit still in the car, not being able to puther head out the window, and wearing a seat belt. But she’s still happy despite her lack of freedom in the car.

Welcome to 2014! A new year means getting a fresh start. It means resolving to do what you’ve been putting off. You and your dog are going to get fit, you’re going to eat better, and you’re going to do more fun activities together. When making all these resolutions, don’t forget to include the safety of your best furry friend.

Use a Pet Travel Safety Device
You know, I can’t mention pet safety without mentioning dog seat belts or pet travel carriers. If your dog rides in the car, it is a good idea to make sure he rides safe. If he won’t wear a car harness or ride in a crate, at least consider covering the floor of the back seat or putting up a barrier to separate the front and the back of the vehicle. The Backseat Bridge is a great way to do both. By putting this in your car, you can help keep your dog from getting thrown onto the floor or into the front seat. The barrier might even keep him from trying to climb in the front.

Pierson in the Car Logo

The Backseat Bridge covers the floor of the car and has a divider blocking the center console.

Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car
Resolve to never go anywhere with your dog where you have to leave him alone in the car. In spring and summer, you have to worry about the vehicle trapping heat. In the fall and winter, you have to worry about the car acting as a freezer. Plus, there is a danger of theft. And don’t even tell me about the sorts of people who hate animals and like to maliciously tease them.

Keep Head and Paws Inside the Vehicle
Also, make sure when your pet rides in the car that he doesn’t put his head or paws out the window. If you have to stop or swerve suddenly, your dog could choke or get thrown out of the vehicle. It’s happened, people. It really has. Flying road debris could also hurt your best friend’s eyes or nose. Not only are there small pebbles to worry about, but also trash that people toss out their windows.

Pierson Breeze Guard Car Window Screens

Pierson can’t put his head out the window because it is fitted with the Breeze Guard car window screens. I love these screens! I can put the window down and still keep my dogs safe. Click Pierson’s photo to find out more.

Don’t Ride in the Back of a Pickup
And for goodness sake, don’t let your dog ride in the back of a pickup. This is becoming illegal in more and more places. And for a very good reason.

Wear a Dog Life Jacket
Besides protection in cars, there are other safety things to consider for your pet. If your dog likes to swim or ride in a boat, make sure he wears a safety vest. Even though my Maya can swim, I generally have her wear a life jacket when she swims in a lake. This is because she loves swimming so much that I worry about her swimming too far after a stick or a ball. I worry about her getting too tired in the water.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Maya wears her dog life jacket when she goes swimming at Clinton Lake.

Protect From Weather
Keep your dog safe then they are outdoors in adverse weather. Adverse weather includes rain, sleet, snow, and even the sun. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure he has shelter. Shelter can help protect him against all sorts of weather. Always make sure he has fresh water. This is vital, but even more so in the heat. Protect paws from hot pavements and icy sidewalks, have short-coated dogs wear coats or sunscreen, and if hiking in nature watch out for wild animals and insects.

Wear a Lighted Collar
If you walk your dog at night, be sure your dog wears a lighted collar or reflective safety vest. If not your dog, at least yourself. Well, don’t wear a collar but at least carry some sort of light with you. You may see a car coming because of their headlights, but they can’t always see you.

Light Dog Collars 2

Pierson wears a light collar that dangles from his neck. Because his hair is so long, he can’t wear the glow collar that Maya is wearing.

Get Safe Chew Toys
If your dog is a chewer, resolve to find more dog toys that are indestructible. Resolve to supervise your dog whenever he plays with certain toys. Keep things that are unsafe to chew or eat out of his reach.

Pierson Kong Flyer Spring 2013 018

Pierson loves the indestructible Kong Flyer dog toy.

There are a lot of other pet safety things to consider, but I can hardly think of them all. Besides, pet car safety is my specialty. :)

What do you do to protect your best friend’s safety?

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December 9, 2013
Maya Resting in Car

Are we there yet?

It’s almost time for our annual road trip from Kansas to Texas to visit family. The drive takes about eleven hours. Taking such a long trip with two big dogs requires careful preparation and planning.

Why Do We Drive?

An eleven hour trip sounds intimidating. But when you have two big dogs, visiting family for the holidays doesn’t leave many options. Boarding kennels and pet sitters tend to be booked up this time of year. Flying can be expensive, not to mention a very stressful situation for pets that need to ride in the cargo area of the plane. Winter weather can also prevent your dog from being able to fly.

While driving requires several hours of our vacation to be spent on the road, for us it is the best option. I’m not sad and worried about Maya and Pierson because they’re with me. And the gas expense is less than one flight ticket.

Maya Pierson Cookietown

PREPARING FOR THE TRIP

The Vehicle

Now that we know we are going to drive, we just need to work out the logistics. Is our vehicle in good shape, including the tires? Is a car enough, or should we rent an SUV? Last year we rented an SUV because our friends went with us and four adults and two big dogs just wouldn’t fit in our sedan.

My Dogs in Back of SUV

This is the vehicle we rented last year for our trip to Texas.

This year it is just my husband and I and the two dogs so we can take our car. We’re not taking mine this year, though. We are taking my husband’s. My car is already fitted with all the dog gear, but it is an older model vehicle and I don’t want to risk it breaking down on the way. So before our trip, I need to outfit my husband’s Camry for Maya and Pierson. The first thing it needs is a seat cover. I will also install the Backseat Bridge because it covers the floor and gives my big pups more room to stretch out for the long trip.

Pet Travel Products in My Car

This is my Car. It has the Backseat Bridge to cover the floor, a seat cover, and BreezeGuard window screens on the windows. I’ve also since added car door guards.

Hotel

Will we do the entire drive all in one day, or will we stay overnight at a hotel? Most times, we drive straight through. But this year, we are visiting friends in Tulsa and so will stay in a hotel. To prepare, we need to find a pet friendly hotel in Tulsa and make reservations.

Health & Temperament

Maya and Pierson are in good health and so will be fine on this trip. But depending on your pet, you may want to consider his health before going on your road trip. In addition, think about how much or how little your dog likes to ride in the car. If he doesn’t like to ride, you may need to start getting him used to it now by taking short road trips to somewhere fun. You can also ask your vet about possible pet anxiety treatments you can give him.

Pack

A week before the trip, I compile a packing list. I add to it as things come to mind so that by the day of the trip, I know everything I need to take. For the dogs, I need their food, treats, food and water bowls, water, toys, blankets, beds, leashes, veterinary records, poop bags, their dog seat belts, first aid kit, and I need to make sure their id tags are secure on their collars. Since we are staying in a hotel, I should think about bringing their pet crates too.

Right Before We Leave

Besides checking off the packing list and making sure our vehicle has gas, I also like to administer Travel Calm to both Maya and Pierson. Maya gets excited in the vehicle and the all natural Travel Calm really helped keep her relaxed and quiet on our trip last year. Pierson sometimes gets car sick and Travel Calm helps with that too.

The next thing we do before we go is let the dogs go potty. And the final thing is to make sure our house is secure. If we didn’t already have someone watching our house, we’d be talking to our neighbors to ask them to keep an eye out. We’d also reduce the thermostat and make sure we didn’t leave any unnecessary appliances turned on.

THE ROAD TRIP

When traveling such a long distance, it is a good idea for us and the dogs to make plenty of pit stops. We stop at rest areas or gas stations to stretch our legs or use the restroom. For the dogs, I make sure their leashes are secure before letting them out of the car. It helps that they are already secured in their dog seat belts. All I have to do is attach their leash, then release the buckle that keeps them secured.

When I take them to go potty, I make sure they only go in designated pet areas. And I always pick up after them. If we’re in a public area, I am careful about not imposing my dogs on other people. I keep control of them as much as possible for both their safety and for the sake of others.

While it would probably be much more convenient if we could travel without having to worry about the dogs, I really enjoy taking them. For me, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without my Maya and Pierson. If you’re traveling by car this holiday and taking your best friend with you, consider our preparation plans and apply them for your situation. And send us pictures! :)

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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Follow Up Friday #16

Author: MayaAndPierson
October 18, 2013

Follow Up Friday Banner Logo

Friday is here again. Let’s do the happy dance! What’s the happy dance? It’s the same dance your dog does when it is time for dinner. :) This week’s Follow Up Friday is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs. After you see what we have been up to this week, visit their blogs and other dog blogs from the follow up blog hop below.

Last Week’s Follow Up

We Live in a Flat says they can’t use the new ClickIt Utility because they have an older car without the latchbars. Guess what? My car, the one that was recently rear-ended, is an older car too. It has no latchbars either. So if Maya rides in my car, I can only secure her through the back of the ClickIt harness. I can’t use the two side tethers to secure her. Despite that, Maya is still very secure, as secure as she was in the other dog car harness brands. However, her security is not as good as it would be if she was using all three connections. But it is still secure and I am a firm believer that something is better than nothing, especially when using nothing means Maya will be all over the car and distracting me when I drive.

Canine Epilepsy

Canine epilepsy was from a post back in May, but the comment is from this past week. Dawn Frost with MR2BC Travel Logs asks, “By the way, what do you do to keep Pierson safe in your vehicle in case he seizes. We have a backseat hammock for Morgan. The hammock keeps him from getting caught in cracks and crevices.”

The hammock is an excellent idea to keep Morgan from getting caught on something and from falling onto the floor. Pierson wears a dog car harness to keep him from falling onto the floor if he seizes. The Kurgo Backseat Bridge also helps keep him from falling onto the floor. And I suppose the pet car seat cover keeps him from getting caught on anything. Who would have thought that pet travel safety products can also help protect a dog with canine epilepsy?

Pierson in the Car Logo

Pierson is wearing the Bergan dog car harness. The Backseat Bridge covers the floor of the car.

Comparing Pet Seat Belts

Mollie’s Dog Treats says, “I’ve got to get Mollie a new seat belt, the one she has is fraying as we use it for walking too and has been washed so many times where she goes in the mud LOL. XXOOXX

Yes, you definitely should get a new safety harness if the other one is fraying. You don’t want it to break.

Roxy the Traveling Dog says, “Torrey is in the back seat and lays down, sits up, changes positions. I can’t see her loving a harness at all.”

So very true for many dogs. Pet seat belts will take away their freedom and could make them uncomfortable. I could say, too bad. If we make our children wear seat belts even though they are more comfortable without them, then we should make our dogs too. But it is not just about comfort. A dog that does not like to be restrained will likely try to get out of the harness. Sorry folks, but there is no such thing as an escape-proof seat belt. A determined dog can get out of them. And the harder they try to get out, the more likely they are to hurt themselves and defeat the purpose of the safety device.

Training might help. Maya had to be trained to get used to hers. I have to work with her again with the very restrictive ClickIt Utility. She had more freedom with the other brands, but this one is something she is not used to at all and I don’t want her to fight it and get out of it. There are also other pet travel safety products such as a secured pet travel carrier or a car seat for dogs (which Roxy is considering).

Wordless Wednesday

We had a number of friends tell us their dogs already wear pet seat belts. Let’s put our paws together for Snoopy with Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Shiner with Pawsitively Pets, and Dexter with Fidose of Reality! A lot of people loved Clover’s photo from Wordless Wednesday so here are a couple others of her:

Clover Dog Seat Belt 3

“What do you mean we’re not going anywhere? That we’re just posing for pictures?

Clover Sprawl

“Fine. Unless you change your mind about going somehwere, I’m done posing.”

ClickIt Utility Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway posted on October 5th to win the new ClickIt Utility. If you’ve already entered, don’t forget you can submit more entries on the rafflecopter by tweeting daily.

Thanks for joining us for this Follow Up Friday. Thank you Jodi and Linda for hosting the blog hop. Enjoy your weekend and see you all next week! :)

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Follow Up Friday #14

Author: MayaAndPierson
October 4, 2013

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Friday is here again! It’s time to recap the past week’s events. And let me tell you, it has been an eventful week. Before I get to that, though, let me thank Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Lynda from Two Ears and a Tail for hosting the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Thanks! :)

There were a lot of great comments from last week’s Follow Up Friday. One that needs special mention is the one from Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews. She knows we go from Kansas to Texas and back every year and that we drive through Oklahoma on the way. So she invited us to stop by on the way back! I’m so excited!!! I can’t wait to meet Flash, Patches, Jimmy, and all the lovely hens. And Flea would love to meet Pierson. So be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss the post about our trip at the end of December.

Maya ClickIt Utility Pet Seat Belt

My Maya looks happy in her new ClickIt pet seat belt, but she is not too thrilled about not being able to move around much anymore. At least she is safer this way.

The New ClickIt Utility Dog Safety Belt is Here!

I knew the ClickIt Utility was going to be nice but I didn’t really expect it to work well enough to keep my Maya in her seat. She is a crazy dog and likes to stand up and move around. This is the first pet car harness that keeps her in her seat. I really truly love it!

Ms. Phoebe the cat had a good question about the ClickIt Utility. She asked if her 70lb doggie sister would be able to lie down in the harness. The answer is yes. My Labrador Maya wanted to move around so badly, but the only thing she could do to move was to lie down. Having the Kurgo Backseat Bridge in place might help my big girl be able to lie down in the forward facing position without hanging off the seat. (The photo of Maya above does not show the Kurgo Backseat Bridge because I took the photo in my husband’s car. My car is a 1998 and does not have the latch system.)

Snoopy with Snoopy’s dog blog asked if the dog safety belt harness could also be used as a walking harness. Yes, Snoopy, it can. It has a ring on the back to allow for this. It does not, however, have a ring in the front like the Kurgo harness does.

Roxi asked if her 75lb German Shepherd and 30lb mixed breed could both ride in the back seat while wearing this pet car harness. Yes, Roxi, both can ride in the back seat. All vehicles 2001 model and later have the latchbar system in place for baby car seats. This latchbar system consists of these metal anchors located between the seat cushions. For both the left and right side of the seat (but not the middle) there are two anchors.

There are no anchors in the front seat so your dog will not be able to wear the ClickIt in the front. Other brands, however, may work in the front seat. We usually do not recommend dogs in the front seat, though, because front passenger side airbags are not safe for dogs.

The Center for Pet Safety Report is Out

Remember the 2001 report where four harnesses failed, thereby mislabeling all pet seat belts as a failure? Well the October 2013 report showed that not all brands were failures. The ClickIt Utility dog safety belt got the highest marks. It outperformed all other brands. Other brands did okay and still others completely failed. If you haven’t read my post regarding this, please go check it out now. It was published October 3rd, 2013.

Callie, Shadow, and Ducky’s mom from SamsNorthernGirl blog mentioned a couple of dogs probably would not be comfortable wearing the ClickIt Utility dog safety belt because it is too restrictive. Both Callie and Shadow have mild hip dysplasia that could be aggravated by being forced to stay in one place. The restriction of this particular brand is definitely something people want to consider. While it is good to be as restricted in the car as much as possible in most cases, I can see how something like hip problems could be an exception.

Thankfully, other brands did not fail the test. A brand like the Ruff Rider Roadie harness may not have done as well as the ClickIt, but it did not fail the testing done by the Center for Pet Safety. There are other methods of keeping your dog safe in the car as well. A secured pet travel crate might be just as good as a harness. The Center for Pet Safety has not yet conducted studies on this but will. We will keep you posted.

Thank you all for stopping by and for your comments. The more we engage in conversations about the safety of our pets, the better things will get.

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Follow Up Friday #10

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 6, 2013

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Today I am joining Jodi with HeartLikeADog for the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Thank you so much Jodi for inviting me! :)

Comments from Recent Follow Up Friday #9
Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews says her dog Patches loves to put his head out the window, probably for the extra bug bonus! :D

Hawk with BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com says he doesn’t get to put his head out the window. I also noticed on his September 2nd post that Hawk rides in a crate in the cargo area. He’s the perfect dog to show that not all dogs have to wear a dog seat belt in order to ride safe. Give me a high five paw! :)

Donna’s mom with WeLiveInAFlat says they had something hit their windshield once when they were driving and it left a dent. She imagined how terrible it would have been if it had hit a dog in the face. Ouch!

Jodi with HeartLikeADog wanted to know if we will let you all know about any new safety test result reports from the Center for Pet Safety. Absolutely! If there are brands they recommend that we don’t currently have, we make sure to get them on our site too. One particular brand that I am super excited about is the new ClickIt from Sleepypod. They are coming later this month. I have already spoken to the people at Sleepypod and they said much of their design is based on information they’ve received from the Center for Pet Safety.

ClickIt from Sleepypod

Coming Soon – ClickIt from Sleepypod

Jodi says she sometimes uses a bar barrier in her vehicle to keep her dogs from getting in the front. She says she is bad about using them, though, and I completely understand. The metal barriers can be a hassle to put up and take down. The Pet Net Brand pet car nets are easier.

The Pet Net Brand Car Barrier

The Pet Net Brand car barrier.

Comments from Pet Safety Saturday – Alternatives to Dog Seat Belts
Mollie from MolliesDogTreats.co.uk says she wears a dog seat belt. Yay Mollie! Hi five paw to you too. :)

Jodi says Sampson likes to ride shotgun and will try to sneak up front when the car is stopped. I admit there were a couple of times when Sephi rode in the car and I didn’t put her seat belt on her. She would do the same thing.

Carol with FidoseOfReality thanked us for posting about alternatives to dog seat belts. Thank you, Carol for stopping by. :) And thank you for all the valuable information you have shared on your blog about ACL injuries. I’ve never heard of it before your Dexter. I hear Sherman from MyBrownNewfies has the same injury. It must be more common than I thought.

Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs likes the idea of the Breeze Guard car window screens. And Snoopy with Snoopy with SnoopysDogBlog asks about the Backseat Bridge. He asks if it basically extends the depth of the back seat. Yep, that is exactly what it does. There is more room for a big dog like you to stretch out. Although, if I remember correctly, you feel more comfortable on the floor. :)

Kurgo Backseat Bridge

Maya’s Pooch Plunge
After spending a marvelous weekend visiting my mom in Missouri (see my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.wordpress.com), Maya went on her first car ride since our car accident in July. I’m glad the event didn’t scare her from car rides as she was as excited as ever. Where did we go? I took her to the Pooch Plunge here in Lawrence, Kansas.

Every year at the end of summer, the public pools are drained. And the day or so before they are drained our Parks & Rec opens the pool to the dogs. It was just $5 and it was a blast! Here is one photo from the event. For more photos, and hopefully a video too, check out my other blog on Saturday.

Maya Pooch Plunge 2013

Maya at the Pooch Plunge event in Lawrence, KS on September 3rd, 2013.

Recent News Events Involving Dogs in Car Accidents
Three recent news stories brought tears to my eyes. All are about dogs being involved in car accidents. The first one is about a dog named Ily (pronounced Ely). She, her owner, and another dog were involved in a very serious car accident. The other dog was killed. The owner was seriously injured. And Ily ran off in fear. Ily was missing for over two months in the Arizona desert. She lost 25 pounds during the ordeal and was so lucky to have been found.

CBS 5 – KPHO 

The other story is about a dog named Jet. Jet also went missing after a car accident in Pequannock Township, NJ on August 23rd. Jet was found yesterday and is in good spirits. There is an awesome reunion video on a Facebook page for Jet. I’ve also posted it on our PetAutoTravelSafety Facebook page. Be sure you have a tissue handy before you watch it. Also, a Rottweiler named Isa that went through the windshield in a car accident in Howard City, MI has been found safe. The story is covered by Fox17.  

Still missing is a Tibetan Terrier named Monk in Milladore, WI. His story is on the Marshfield News Harold.

That’s all I have for this week. I hope I didn’t forget anything or anyone. Thank you everyone for stopping by. And thank you Jodi for giving me the opportunity to co-hose the blog hop! Dawn with Maya & Pierson.  

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August 31, 2013

Last Saturday, I talked about the reasons why a dog should be restrained in the car. The post mostly focused on the benefits of a pet car harness. But let’s face it, not every dog will wear one. Plus, there are a few legitimate concerns about dog seat belts. So here are some other pet travel products to consider:

Straps for Pet Carriers

This Pet Travel Carrier secured in the car with kennel straps.

Pet Carrier
Have your pet ride in a pet carrier. Make sure the carrier is secured in the vehicle so that if the car goes out of control, the dog crate stays in place. You don’t want it and your dog to be thrown about. Whether a secured travel crate is as safe as a pet car harness is not known. Not much testing has been done on pet travel carriers. However, I imagine that a secured crate is probably just as safe (strictly an opinion). Traveling in this way covers all the reasons discussed last week about why it is better to have your dog secured in the car.

Maya Behind Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier

This is a cloth barrier. A pet car barrier can also be metal or a pet net barrier.

Dog Car Barrier
A dog car barrier can help keep your dog in the back seat and from being a distraction. Depending on the barrier, it may keep your dog from being ejected out the front windshield. However, it can’t keep your dog on the seat and it can’t keep him inside the vehicle if someone opens the door, a window breaks and he jumps out, or he hangs his head out the window and jumps or is thrown out.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

Maya has more room to stretch out on those long road trips.

Backseat Bridge
I can’t tell you how much I really love the Kurgo Backseat Bridge. I have two big dogs and there is no way Maya can stay comfortably on the back seat, even with her pet car harness on. The seat is too narrow and Maya is too big. And she is too energetic to sit still. So covering the floor of the car helps keep her from being thrown onto the floor. If you’ve read some of the news about how dogs should stay on the seat when wearing their dog seat belts, you can see how difficult it would be to restrain a dog to such an extent that he wouldn’t get thrown forward or onto the floor. The Backseat Bridge can help because it covers the floor. The Backseat Bridge also has a barrier that covers the center console area. If your dog is not buckled in, at least the bridge can keep him from getting thrown onto the floor and possibly keep him in the back seat so that he is not a distraction. A dog car hammock has the same benefits as the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.

Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 CarFence.

K9 CarFence
This is a brand new product. There hasn’t been much testing on it yet. But it sure looks promising. The K9 CarFence keeps your dog from being a distraction and it helps to keep him in his seat.

Pierson Breeze Guard Car Window Screens

Pierson is looking out the window fitted with the Breeze Guard car window screens.

Breeze Guard Car Window Screens
This is another product I really love. I used to let my dogs put their heads out the window. After all, they really love it. But one time, Sephi yelped. I think she got hit in the face with something, probably a small pebble. Thankfully, it didn’t hit her in the eye or nose. She wasn’t injured. But it made me think that perhaps letting her have her head out the window wasn’t such a good idea. Also, a friend of mine on Facebook told me about how a friend of hers had her dog thrown out the car window. He was hanging out having a good time when they suddenly had to swerve their car. Their poor dog flew out and ended up getting run over by the rear tire. And, one final story, I had a dog years ago that actually jumped out the car window. Luckily, we were driving slowly down an old dirt road when Huckleberry saw some cows and jumped out to get at them. He was okay. It shocked us both. But all these incidents will never happen again because of my Breeze Guard car window screens. BTW, despite having screens on my windows to allow the breeze in, I never ever leave my dogs unattended in the car.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your pet but aren’t sure about the safety of pet travel products, there are a lot of alternatives to consider. A pet car harness and pet carrier have a lot more safety benefits, but every dog and every situation is different. Consider your various options and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

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