In an independent crash test study completed by the Center for Pet Safety in 2013, the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt from Sleepypod was rated as the safest brand out of eleven popular brands. Indeed, upon using the ClickIt Utlity for ourselves, we found it secured our dogs very well. But there were a few inconvenient issues that make people turn away from it. And so, Sleepypod redesigned a better harness called the ClickIt Sport.
The issues with the ClickIt Utility aren’t safety issues, but issues with use. For one, the measuring method is not as simple as with other brands and people were often confused about what to measure. The ClickIt Sport dog car harness has a much easier measuring method. All one has to do is measure around the barrel of the dog’s chest behind the front legs.
The ClickIt Utility is also difficult to adjust for size. Despite Sleepypod’s videos, many people had a hard time getting the harness to fit their dog properly. The ClickIt Sport is much easier to adjust so it can fit perfectly without much trouble.
PUTTING IT ON
Relatively speaking, putting on the ClickIt Utility harness is about the same as putting on any other dog car harness. You basically have to put the harness over your dog’s head and then physically put his front legs through the openings. Some dogs are less than cooperative. The ClickIt Sport is a little easier. Have your dog sit, put the harness under him with his front feet in the leg spaces, then pull it up and buckle it.
SECURING IN THE CAR
A dog wearing the ClickIt Utility has to be secured in three different places in the car. Firstly, the seat belt of the car goes through the back. Then two side straps are connected to the baby seat latch bars. So if someone’s car doesn’t have the latch bars, then they can’t use this car harness. Trying to secure a dog at all three points is difficult and frustrating for some. With the ClickIt Sport, all you have to do is put the seat belt of the car through the back. There are no side straps.
Nothing has changed regarding safety. The ClickIt Sport has passed all the same tests as the ClickIt Utility and has received a CPS Certification authenticating its safety.
If you’re looking for a dog seat belt and are put off by some of the negative reviews about the ClickIt Utility, consider the new ClickIt Sport instead. It’s just as safe, but much easier to use. It is still very restrictive, but this is what makes it so safe.
Pet Auto Safety now has seven dog car harness brands, two with different variations. So how does one decide which of the nine seat belts to buy? Some people want the safest. Others want something safe, but worry their dog will not like the restriction of a safer car harness. A few want something easy to use. And for others, the criteria may be price.
To help you decide which one is the best for you and your dog, check out this .pdf document showing a chart to compare the features of several dog car seat belts. These brands include the ClickIt Utility, ClickIt Sport, AllSafe, Ruff Rider Roadie, Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Kurgo Go-Tech, PetBuckle, and the Guardian Gear/Cruising Companion (G.G. & C.C.) brands. The chart compares safety, quality, price, ease of use, and ten other features.
My Pet Auto Safety dogs, Maya and Pierson, have had a chance to review all but one brand. I like the ClickIts because they keep Maya in her seat, which can be difficult. I like the AllSafe because the quality is so great. I like the Ruff Rider because it is made in the USA and it is lightweight yet still durable. I like the Bergan because it’s padded and because the tether is so easy to use. I like the Kurgo because I like how it fits Maya, and I like the quality of all Kurgo products. And I liked the G.G. & C.C. dog car harness brands because they are stylish and inexpensive.
Which features appeal the most to you?
More and more people are traveling with their pets and thinking of their safety. And as such, 2014 was a great year for new (or new to us) and innovative pet travel products. My dogs Maya and Pierson got to try out a few of them.
Pet Dek – We used the Kurgo Backseat Bridge for years and loved it. But then something better came along. The Pet Dek is flatter and much sturdier.
Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat – Shortly after we got the Pet Dek, a company contacted us about their new seat extender, the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat. Although I love the Pet Dek, I love the Flat Seat more! I think Maya and Pierson do too.
Car-Go Pop-Up Shelter – My dogs Maya and Pierson are too big to try out the Car-Go Pop-Up Shelter, but I love the concept. It’s a great way for smaller dogs to ride in the back seat of the car or in the cargo area of the SUV. The Car-Go can even be used in the home.
Allsafe Dog Car Harness– This is not a new product. It has been around in Europe for years. The AllSafe dog car harness is German engineered and has been crash tested both in Europe and the US. Its quality is phenomenal and I absolutely love it. It looks great on my Maya.
Variocage – This is another German engineered and crash tested product. It has been so well designed and so thoroughly crash tested that no other product on the market can come close to its quality. I don’t have an SUV so I haven’t been able to try the Variocage, but I really want to someday.
ClickIt Sport Dog Seat Belt – Remember the ClickIt Utility? It was rated as the #1 safest dog seat belt by the Center for Pet Safety in 2013. It is still #1 today. But it can be a little difficult to adjust and to use so Sleepypod improved it. The ClickIt Sport came out in December 2014. Doesn’t my dog Pierson look great in it?
These products look great, don’t they? I can’t wait to see what 2015 has to offer in regards to pet travel safety. Happy New Year!
Want to know how a dog car harness secures your dog? You’d think the answer would be simple. In a way, it is. For most, it is as simple as clipping it on and clipping it in. But what makes it complicated is that each brand works differently. Let’s take the top 5 brands and show you how each of them work:
The ClickIt Utility dog car harness has three connection points. This makes it one of the most labor intensive to use, but also the safest. First, put the seat belt of the car through the back of the harness. Then connect the two tethers on either side of the harness to each of the two latchbars located between the seat cushions. All cars 2001 and later should have the latchbars in the back seat.
Please note, the new ClickIt Sport coming out soon will not have the two side tethers.
Ruff Rider Roadie
The Ruff Rider Roadie also uses the seat belt of the car to secure your dog. Instead of going through the back of the harness, it goes through one of two loops on the tether. This tether is part of the harness and is not detachable. To give your dog more room to move, put the seat belt through the loop at the very end of the tether. To secure your dog more for safety, put the seat belt through the loop closer to the back of the harness.
AllSafe Dog Seat Belt
The AllSafe is also takes a bit more work to secure. First, you have to stabilize the seat belt of the car. Buckle it in without your dog. Then use the two red clips included with the harness to stabilize it. If the top part of the shoulder belt is like the picture indicated, then stabilizing is easy. If it is like mine where it comes out directly, then it can get a little troublesome. You have to make the shoulder belt lock, and then apply the red clip. This way the shoulder belt does not pull out when your dog moves. Once you have it stabilized, attach the tether to the seat belt. Once this is done, all you have to do is clip the tether onto the back off the AllSafe dog car harness.
Bergan Dog Car Harness
The Bergan brand is very easy to secure in the car. Either clip one end into the seat belt housing of the car, or clip it onto the latchbar. Then clip the other end to the back of the harness.
Kurgo Dog Seat Belt
The Kurgo Tru-Fit and the Kurgo Go Tech brands are also very easy to use. Simply put the seat belt of the car through the loop tether, and then clip the other end of the loop tether to the back of the harness. Kurgo also has the option to buy a direct connect tether, which clips directly into the seat belt receptacle.
Which Dog Car Harness is Best?
Determining which dog seat belt is best depends on your preference. While the Bergan and Kurgo are the easiest to attach, the ClickIt, Ruff Rider, and AllSafe are the safest. At the same times, the safest brand may also be the most uncomfortable for some dogs because they can’t move much. Keep this in mind and balance safety with your dog’s comfort. A super-safe dog car harness is not going to help if your pet is so uncomfortable that he chews it off.
One great thing about running Pet Auto Safety is that we get to try out all the products. Our recent acquisition is the AllSafe dog seat belt. And the lucky dog that gets to try it out is our lovely Labrador Retriever, Maya.
Maya presents a number of challenges when it comes to dog car harnesses because she doesn’t sit still. She’s got to stand up and stick her little brown nose wherever she can get it, sometimes in my ear. She also has a deep narrow chest, which occasionally makes harnesses pull to the side rather than hug the chest. Did we have these issues with the AllSafe? Let’s see.
First, though, let me give you my first impression of the AllSafe dog car harness. When I pulled it out of the box, I was absolutely amazed. The quality is fantastic. It is obviously very well made and highly durable. The straps are thick and sewn together very well. There are no plastic pieces on this seat belt, just strong webbing and very strong steel parts.
PUTTING ON/TAKING OFF
The AllSafe dog car harness does not clip on like most other dog seat belts do. As demonstrated in the below video, you have to pull your dog’s legs through the leg holes. Maya makes it look easy, but I can see how this might be a challenge for other dogs that are not yet used wearing a car harness. Because of my experience and because of Maya’s cooperation, I personally found the AllSafe very easy to put on.
SECURING IN THE CAR
It was very simple to secure my dog Maya in the car with her AllSafe harness. There was a bit of a misunderstanding with the instructions. Apparently, my box had the wrong instructions. But when I notified the company located here in the US, they walked me through the right way. Their customer service was fantastic.
Maya wore her harness perfectly. She could still stand up, sit, or lie down, but enough that she could stick her wet brown nose into my ear. This restriction is a good thing because it means if we are in a car accident, Maya will not be jerked around. A longer tether means more freedom and comfort, but it also means less security. I find the ClickIt the most restrictive and the Bergan the least. On the other hand, the Bergan is more comfortable and the ClickIt is the least. The AllSafe is right in between both.
The chest piece of the AllSafe still went off to the side if Maya tried to move around. But that is Maya’s fault because she won’t be still. If Pierson were to wear this harness, he would not have any trouble at all because he stays in one spot.
The AllSafe is very comparable to the ClickIt Utility in both quality and safety. The ClickIt Utility had a better safety rating from the Center for Pet Safety, but the AllSafe rated nearly as well. One drawback of the ClickIt Utility is it has three connection points that can make it more of a hassle to secure your dog in the car. It can also be more difficult to adjust for sizing. (Both these features of the ClickIt Utility are changing, though, with the release of the ClickIt Sport before the end of this year.) The AllSafe allows for the harness to be used as a walking harness much easier than the ClickIt Utility.
Overall, I am very pleased with the AllSafe. It is more expensive than most brands, but it is worth every penny.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
Thanks for stopping by, everyone and enjoy the rest of your week!
When the ClickIt Utility came out in the fall of 2013, it was rated as the safest dog car harness by the non-profit organization, The Center for Pet Safety (CPS). It is a fantastic seat belt that helps keep your dog very secure in the car. But since it is a brand new design, it has a few drawbacks. One, it is difficult to size and adjust. Two, it is a little bulky for smaller dogs. The company that designed the ClickIt Utility has listened to our feedback and designed the new ClickIt Sport.
The ClickIt Utility dog car harness is heavier and bulkier, which makes it less than ideal for some dogs. The ClickIt Sport promises to be lighter in weight but still have the same safety durability.
EASIER TO USE
The ClickIt Sport still has three points of contact and so will still be very restrictive. However, it is easier to connect these three points on the ClickIt Sport than it is on the ClickIt Utility. It no longer requires the latchbar connections so it can be used in older cars.
The sizing is more adjustable, allowing it to fit a larger range of dog shapes and sizes.
Not only did Sleepypod, the company that designed the ClickIt Sport, crash test this pet travel product themselves, they also had it tested by an independent nonprofit organization called The Center for Pet Safety (CPS). If you recall, CPS did an extensive crash test study on 11 dog seat belts in 2013. They have since streamlined their studies and offer a CPS certification to any company who wants their dog seat belts tested. This is a voluntary service and the tests are rigorous. As of the date of this post, the ClickIt Sport is the only dog car harness to have received the CPS Certification.
A new infinity loop design (patent pending) reduces the pressure on a dog in a car accident and eliminates the need for metal hardware. It is now easier to attach a leash to the ClickIt Sport for walking. And the harness now has added reflector strips.
COMING THIS FALL
We don’t yet know when in fall the ClickIt Sport will be available, but we are staying on top of it and hope to have them in no more than a week after Sleepypod releases them. So stay tuned!
Thank you for stopping by again everyone! As you’ve noticed, I don’t do Barks & Bytes every week. That is because I don’t want to inunduate you all with advertising! I have two dog blogs and this one is mostly promotional. What can I say? I’ve got two pampered pups to support! (If you’re interested in my non-promotional dog blog about Maya and Pierson, check out my personal blog, http://americandogblog.wordpress.com/)
PORTABLE PET TRAVEL FLAT SEAT
I’ve probably posted about this new pet travel product a dozen times on my social media sites already but that is because I really love it. I’ve always loved its comparable product, the Backseat Bridge, but the Portable Pet Flat Seat is a hundred times better! True it is more expensive too, but you get what you pay for. And I really got my money’s worth. Next week I’ll compare the flat seat with the other two seat extenders I have.
Despite the fact that I’m always on the lookout for new pet travel products, I did not actually find this product. The woman who designed the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat (Deb) found me. She is a dog lover who noticed that her big dog sometimes comes off the seat even though he is wearing his dog car harness, and so designed this product to give him more room to spread out and be comfortable. The black dog in the photo, by the way, is her dog Howie.
Anyway, Deb called me one day while I was walking Pierson and asked if I would advertise her product on my site. Just advertise, I asked? What if I try to sell it too? She had never heard of dropshipping and so I explained it to her. And a relationship was born. In exchange for some graphic designs (because I am an artist too) I received a Portable Pet Flat Seat of my very own. Here is a video of me installing it for the first time.
As you can see, the installation took me less than 10 minutes. It might have taken me less time if I had read the instructions first!
Maya is featured in the video. And just so my dog Pierson wouldn’t be left out, I took some photos of him on the pet travel flat seat as well.
What do you think? Isn’t he handsome? Silly question, right? Of course he’s handsome!
PET TRAVELER’S COMMENTS
Thank you Jodi, Linda, and Lindsay (with That Mutt) for being regular commentors on my pet travel blog. I really appreciate your feedback. And I want to also apologize to Jodi for the fact that her comments do not always get posted right away. For whatever reason, Jodi, your comments are going to my spam folder! I have no idea why. It shouldn’t be doing that for people I have approved comments for in the past. And so it took me three days to notice you left a comment and for me to approve it. Since I don’t have Captcha, I get over 100 comments in my spam folder a day. If I don’t check my spam comments every day, they can build up fast. Luckily, Jodi, I found both your comments on the Barks & Bytes #8 post through the 500 or so spam comments that had built up. I’m sorry it took me so many days to find. And I’m sorry comments have to go through moderation. But I’d rather search through 100 or more comments a day than utilize Captcha.
PET TRAVEL SAFETY ARTICLES
My new writer, Patrice, has written another great pet travel article for me. Check out Plan a Great Pet Friendly Trip.
Thanks for stopping by for the Barks & Bytes blog hop! Have a great rest of the week and a great tail-waggin’ weekend!
Pierson has actually been using the Ruff Rider Roadie for some time. He actually has several dog car harness brands to choose from, but I’ve been using the Roadie almost exclusively since that report from the Center for Pet Safety came out in October 2013. Besides safety, there are a lot of other reasons why I love this brand. So let me share them with you, along with some opposing features.
The Center for Pet Safety did an independent crash test study of various dog seat belt brands in October 2013, and I’m happy to say that the Roadie did very well. They determined the ClickIt Utility to be the safest and the Roadie and the AllSafe followed 2nd. This information makes me feel better about my boy Pierson’s safety.
One thing about the safest ClickIt Utility brand is that it is also the most restrictive. You dog can’t stand up in it and will have a difficult time moving from the sitting to the laying down position. This restriction is a good thing in safety, but let’s face it, many dogs do not like to be that restricted. One great thing about the Ruff Rider Roadie is that it can allow your dog a little more freedom to move. Its tether has two setting, one that makes the tether very short and one that makes it a little longer. With the longer option, your dog can sit, stand, and lay down with ease. Pierson is good about staying in one place in the car, so I generally use the shorter tether option.
MADE IN USA
Nope, the ClickIt Utility is not made in the USA. Neither is the AllSafe. But the Ruff Rider Roadie dog seat belt is made right here in the United States. And it has been around and continuously improving for 15 years.
FITS ALL SIZES
Pierson is a medium sized dog, so he doesn’t have a problem in sizing. But you should know the ClickIt and the AllSafe are not made to fit very small dogs. The Roadie, on the other hand, does fit little pets.
The Roadie pet car harness is very well made. The material is a very strong webbing, yet not bulky. The size adjusting buckle is plastic, but this buckle is not part of what keeps the harness on your dog. If it breaks, your dog will still be in his harness.
The Roadie does not have a padded chest piece like the ClickIt or AllSafe. But the cross piece is designed to lie low on your dog’s chest so that it doesn’t choke him. Pierson likes it because it’s comfortable without being bulky.
Because the Ruff Rider Roadie pet seat belt isn’t put on with clasps, it can be a bit difficult to put on. Luckily, my Pierson is very cooperative. He’s been wearing dog car harnesses since the day I got him, so he allows me to slip the Roadie on and put each of his legs in the leg holes. If you have a dog that doesn’t hold still well or is likely to resist, then you may have a challenge in putting this one on.
Because the Roadie doesn’t have clasps and because it has to be adjusted loose enough to put on your dog, it fits a little loose. This is actually a good thing. You don’t want a harness that is too tight. If you have a dog that keeps trying to get out of his dog seat belt, a tighter fit is not going to stop him from trying. The tighter it is, the more likely he is to hurt himself when he tries to get out of it. With training, a dog is more likely to get used to a loosely comfortable harness than a tight fitting one.
The Ruff Rider Roadie has seven different sizes. This makes it a bit difficult in determining which size to get your dog. At the same time, because it has so many different sizes, it is likely to fit many more dog breeds than other brands.
When shopping for the right pet car harness for you and your dog, look at safety, but also be aware of the possible cons. The Ruff Rider Roadie is almost perfect because it has such a high safety rating yet only a few cons. It is also very competitively priced. I love the Roadie. And although Pierson is not thrilled with the process of me putting it on him, he is very comfortable in it once it is on.
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:
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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!