What’s a bark and what’s a byte? In regards to this blog hop, I’m not entirely sure. So I’m going to say the barks are from the comments shared. Don’t worry, they’re happy barks! And the bytes are my little tidbits. The Barks and Bytes blog hop is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs. (You know, if you put all the dogs from these two blogs together, there are actually five! Sampson, though, is probably more tan, but tan is a shade of brown, right?)
LAST MONTH BARKS AND BYTES
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews said, “Pawsome! One thought on the towel over the carrier – really know your dog. Our first dog would have pulled in a towel and chewed it to bits. But it’s great for anxious dogs!”
So true! Know your dog for any product. If you’re going to buy the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt because you’ve heard it’s the safest, it is important that you know it is safest because it is the most restrictive. If your dog doesn’t like the restriction, he might chew through the straps or hurt himself trying to escape from it. So another brand might be best.
Jodi with Heart Like a Dog asked if we’ve ever done a comparison of all the dog car harnesses. We’ve done one for the brands we sell. These brands include many of the top products, but not all the top products. It would be unfair for me to tell you about the AllSafe, for example, since I’ve never had the opportunity to use it. We’ve also done a post about the pros and the cons of our dog seat belt brands.
THE BEST IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST FOR YOU
Lindsay with That Mutt says, “Ace is very calm in the car and likes to sit and lie down. He doesn’t move around much. However, he does stand up sometimes, like when he watches me get out of the car. Do you think the ClickIt Utility would be OK for him? Or do you think I should consider something else since he occasionally stands? I’m thinking he could learn to not stand. He’s not a chewer.”
If he only occasionally stands, I’d say the ClickIt Utility would be great for Ace. Look at the measurements, though. I’m not sure if Ace is too big and the ClickIts do not currently come in extra-large.
Pamela with Something Wagging made a wonderful comment, “It is a balancing act between safety and comfort. In the end, everything is a compromise. Because if we wanted to be absolutely safe, we wouldn’t drive at all. :)”
So so true! You definitely seem to have the right of it, Pamela.
MY PERSONAL FAVORITES
Pamela also said, “I’m also a big Kurgo fan. Although I wish their products were made in the U.S. I just got Honey’s new life jacket from Kurgo and I wish it was summer already so we could try it out.”
I just got some Kurgo life jackets too! One is going to go to Maya. But I plan on selling them too. It is just a matter of building that outdoor dog gear website I talked about as one of my projects to do this year. At least I have the part about finding the right products done.
I do believe it is important to support your local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. As such, the Ruff Rider Roadie dog car harnesses are made right here in the USA. And they are great products as well. Earth Heart, the company that makes the Travel Calm, also has their products made here in the USA. And I believe that most of Snoozer’s products are also made here in the USA.
Although… I did take an economics course recently that really helped me see things at a different angle. Yes, Kurgo may have their products made overseas but Kurgo is an American company. Kurgo pays their American employees a decent wage… a wage they can afford to give them because they save money by having products made overseas. And a savings they pass on to you by making their products more affordable.
If you’re concerned about the quality of products made overseas, don’t be. Products manufactured overseas no longer have to be compromised in quality. Kurgo products are top-of-the-line and they have a great manufacturer who is just as dedicated to quality.
Another economic trade off, besides saving money on products, is that other countries are hiring American companies for our marketing, managing, and product development skills. Instead of working on an assembly line to make products, we can spend our time inventing products. We can strive for higher paying jobs in the corporate world as managers, sales reps, marketing specialists, and in advertising. Plus, our entertainment industry is HUGE. We are artistic and creative and other countries will pay us money for what we have.
Wow, that was an awful big byte, wasn’t it? Please forgive me if I sound like I’m taking sides one way or the other. I’m not. Realistically, I’d only have a handful of products on my site if I chose to only sell ones made in America. And While I might prefer to buy American made too (especially pet food and treats), I can’t forget it was probably American ingenuity that invented many of these pet travel products to begin with and American companies that built their brands up on American soil.
That’s all for now. If I didn’t scare you off with my economics education course, please come back and visit again!
Dawn with Maya and Pierson
Welcome to Follow Up Friday where we recap the past week events. Before we get started, I want to say thanks to Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and JoAnn with Sand Spring Chesapeakes for hosting this blog hop!
Lindsay with That Mutt asked, “Are there seat belts designed specifically for dogs under 10 pounds? Or are those dogs, like cats, better off riding in crates?“
This is an excellent question! Although the Center for Pet Safety has not yet conducted a study of pet travel crates, I am confident of the testing completed by Sleepypod. Before Sleepypod designed their top rated ClickIt Utility pet seat belt, they designed and crash tested the best pet travel carriers I have ever seen. Check out this crash test video of the Sleepypod carrier:
When Sleepypod began designing dog car harnesses they found smaller pets were better protected in their carriers. So to answer your question more directly, yes, smaller pets are better off riding in crates; specifically, in pet travel carriers that are preferably soft-sided and are secured in the car.
There are lots of comments on this post for obvious reasons. If you haven’t entered to win the new ClickIt Utility yet, please do. The contest is open until the end of October and you can enter daily by tweeting about the giveaway.
I noticed a lot of commenters on this post gave the weight of their dog rather than the measurement. It is very important that you measure your dog. Some of the weights people indicated for their dogs sound like these dogs are too small to fit the smallest ClickIt. You’d think the extra-small size is for toy dogs but it’s not. It is for larger small dogs. To fit the extra-small, your dog should have a combined measurement of 31 to 36 inches. Another measurement to consider for small dogs is the size of the vest. The vest piece of the extra-small is 9″ long. The narrowest part of the vest is 3.5 inches wide. This means the vest might be too bulky for smaller dogs.
One question came up in the contest, Janet K asked if we have the orange ClickIt Utility dog car harnesses. Yes, but all sizes except the orange are out of stock. Lots of these are out of stock and we only have a few left. More will not be available until mid-November.
Sugar the Golden Retriever said, “FUN Event. We missed Dogtoberseft last weekend due to the rain. LOVE Roxy’s costume. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar“
Our weather was fantastic, for the most part. It was a little chilly in the morning, but it wasn’t as cold as it was last year. And it warmed up nicely. Maya and I really had a great time.
In regards to Roxy’s costume, it really is cute, isn’t it? Roxy’s mom and aunt, Bridget and Rhonda, make dog clothes. They make other dog stuff too. In fact, they also made the cooling dog collars from our site.
The cooling dog collars have ice packs in them so that your dog can be cool and cool-looking. Click Maya’s picture to see these on our website. We have a few medium and large ones left. No more will be ordered until next spring.
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews says, “Omigoodness! This looks like so much fun! I love the Border Collie! And the Mastiffs! *SQUEEEE*“
I saw a lot of other breeds and cool breed mixes at the Dogtoberfest. But I was too busy to get a bunch of photos. That’s a good thing, of course. BTW Flea, I bet those dogs would have really loved a shank bone or other treat from Jones Natural Chews.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for joining us for Follow Up Friday. And thanks again to Jodi and JoAnne. Don’t forget to enter the contest for the ClickIt Utility pet seat belt. Good luck and have a great weekend!
Time for another Follow Up Friday hosted by HeartLikeADog and Flea with DogTreatWeb! We had a lot of great comments this week.
Jodi with HeartLikeADog pointed me in the direction of a review of a dog seat belt approved for pet car safety in Germany. The seat belt brand is AllSafe. A friend of mine in the UK actually pointed it out to me a couple months ago. I like the v-neck design and they appear to be very comfortable. The website claims to have tested them and they even show a crash test video.
The video and their testing claims looks a lot like the videos and testing claims as our US brands, so I have put aside any final decisions until the Center for Pet Safety releases an updated report on their testing of various dog seat belt brands.
CENTER FOR PET SAFETY
The Center for Pet Safety is a nonprofit organization, so I will be more inclined to trust their test results rather than I will the test results claimed by individual manufacturers. The report is supposed to be released this fall. Hopefully, this time they will be able to disclose the brands (they did not disclose the four brands tested in the 2011 report).
I will keep you posted. I am confident of the brands we have. But if a brand I sell does not do as well as others, I still contend that something is better than nothing. However, we will notate the results on our retail website and phase in the best brands possible.
Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs commented on the hiking with your dog post last Saturday. She agreed that knowing your dog was important, especially concerning their recall. She also reminded me of safety protection against two-legged predators. Good point! I forget about the unsavory folk because I’ve always had big dogs and they always seem to be a good deterrent. However, I have to remember that Maya loves everybody. She’d probably greet Jason and Freddie like a BFF.
OTHER PET CAR SAFETY METHODS
Kimberly with KeepTheTailWagging.com mentioned she is getting something to keep her dogs in the back seat, to keep them off the floor, and to keep them from putting their heads out the window. This is great! A dog seat belt is not for every dog. And if you have a large dog or more than one dog, putting them in a pet travel crate in a small car is not always feasible. So whatever you can do to help your best friend is simply pawsome! I think this Saturday’s theme for Pet Safety Saturday will be about alternatives to dog car harnesses.
BREEZE GUARD WINDOW SCREENS
I replied to Kimberly’s comment about how the products she mentioned resembles the Backseat Bridge and the Breeze Guard window screens that we have. Jodi with HeartLikeADog remembered my recent post about the Backseat Bridge but wanted to know more about the Breeze Guard window screens. The Breeze Guard window screens are a great product made right here in the USA by an entrepreneur like me. Well, not quite like me. I sell what others have made while Sue actually invented and patented her window screens! Click the image below of Maya looking out of her Breeze Guard window screens and find out more information.
OzTheTerrier, Flea with DogTreatWeb, and Snoopy all liked the Wordless Wednesday post about Maya’s birthday. Oz loved the video of Maya playing. Snoopy clearly agrees with Maya’s philosophy about work. And Flea’s comment made me smile:
“Maya is just ADORABLE. Well. Since it’s Maya’s birthday, we won’t talk about Pierson. ;)”
As you may know, Flea has two adorable Aussie mixes, Flash and Patches. She has an extra fondness for the breed which makes Pierson her favorite (shhh, don’t tell Maya).
SAFEST PLACE IN THE CAR?
Snoopy also asked a good question:
“What do you think is safer, being in the trunk or where I currently sit? Which is on the floor behind the driver seat (I didn’t like it on the seat), I’m strapped in with my harness and attached to the seatbelt. I used to sit in the trunk but Dad thought it isn’t safe if someone rear ends us.”
By trunk, do you mean the area in the back of a hatchback or SUV? I don’t think there have been any studies about whether the floor of the car or the cargo area can be a safe place to ride. It probably depends on the kind of car accident you are in. You’re right about the cargo area possibly not being safe in a rear end collision. But what if you’re on the floor and in a front impact collision? Will the front passenger seats get pushed back and squish you? There are so many factors that I honestly can’t tell you which place is the safest. But I do believe that the fact you are wearing a dog seat belt improves your safety no matter where you ride.
Snoopy says he always wears a dog seat belt and he is never allowed to put his head out the window. Yay, Snoopy! Your Monday Mischief posts always make me laugh so I can only imagine what kind of mischief you’d be getting into if you weren’t using a safety restraint in the car. Good job!
Thank you, everyone, for all your great comments. And thank you for stopping by! As always, please feel free to comment and ask questions.
We received some feedback recently regarding the new Kurgo Go-Tech Adventure harness. For the most part, the harness is very well made and designed. However, two negative points to consider are the neck seems too large and the loop tether is not easy to use. This is the full review we received:
This website was easy-order: they followed-up same day with a question on my color selection, shipped next day and product arrived a day later. My review of the Kurgo Go-Tech Harness is mixed. Great quality product! I’ve been looking for a seat-belt harness in several of the national brand and local pet-stores and this is by far the best made product I have seen. I tried the Kurgo Tru-Fit on my dog at a shop locally and this new Go-Tech is definitely a big improvement over the former version. The lower neck design is a huge improvement (the Tru-Fit was choking my dog); the harness is easy to get on; has metal buckles; the overall construction is sturdy at every point and looks like it would protect the dog much better than anything else I’ve seen. The harness is visually attractive and is the only car restraint I’ve seen that looks like it could actually be used regularly as a walking harness with a front-hook for a leash (several of the other options say they can convert but the most cursory glance shows the reality is you are going to have to take them off and put on a walking harness for anything other than a quick potty stop). Now the downside. First negative: the harness does not adjust at the neck. If it fits your dog, I can definitely see a safety benefit it the way this is designed as a continuous neck support and I’d say “buy it.” However, it is made for a stocky dog and you need to pay attention to the recommended neck measurements, which unfortunately are not shown on the website. I bought a medium for my Welsh Springer Spaniel and it is huge around her neck and has to be returned – think cowl-neck sweater. The box shows a neck range of 16-25 inches (my dog is 14 inches), chest range 18-28 inches (my dog is 23 inches), and weight range of 25-50 pounds (my dog is 34 pounds). When I clipped the leash on the front-hook the whole thing twisted around upside down and it would need to be at least 3 inches tighter at the neckline for it to be an option for my dog. Harness overall is wonderful and I do hope Kurgo will expand the product line to include some “tweener” sizes (similar to Easy Walk Harness sizing structure) which accommodate dogs with chest sizes smaller than their barrel size. Second negative: I’m not a big fan of the looped seat-belt tether. It is sturdy and the D-Ring end clips onto the harness easily. However, hooking a tether loop around the seat-belt is annoying, awkward, gets twisted when dogs move, and can be destructive to the car. If you are like me and often leave the park with a wet, muddy, poison-ivy dog, having to buckle my seat-belt over the doggie seat cover and let her soak it in grime defeats the purpose of buying a seat-cover in the first place. Also, my dog will chew through the car seat-belt to release herself when it is buckled behind her (expensive repair). The loop makes it difficult to convert the back-seat between human and dog usage quickly in both time and needing to wash down the seat-belt. If Kurgo would simply make both ends with D-hooks the tether could easily be clipped on directly to the seat-belt webbing at the seat-belt latch point and would greatly improve function and leave the seat-belts safely retracted behind a seat-cover. I think many people are going to find themselves spending extra to buy a Bergan or Pet Buckle Kwik-Connect tether to replace the one Kurgo includes.
Very informative, and we appreciate the feedback. Let us address it:
Regarding the neck size, it does seem overly large, especially for dogs on the smaller end of the size range. We are asking Kurgo about this, but they are at the national Super Zoo exhibition this week and so won’t hear back from them until next week. Three things to consider, though, about the neck size: 1) The harness is not supposed to go up around the dog’s neck. It is supposed to lie lower around the front of the chest. But as the reviewer demonstrates above, it can still be too big. This harness is in the right place, but it still has three inches to spare. 2) Kurgo may have designed the neck to be loose on purpose. In a car accident, you don’t want the harness to choke your dog. 3) Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so it is difficult to design a harness for every possibility. When Maya & Pierson tried on the large Go-Tech, I did notice it was a bit loose around Pierson’s lower neck, but it fit Maya perfectly. As soon as I hear back from Kurgo, the company who designed the Go-Tech, I will post their response. There may be another explanation as to why it seems so loose around the neck.
Regarding the loop tether, we have found that the tether works great for some dogs but works terribly for others. Take my Aussie-mix Pierson, for example. He is calm and quiet in the car so the loop tether presents no problems for him. I feel that the loop tether is safer because it is shorter and uses the seat belt system of the car. The Center for Pet Safety has conducted a study on the different kinds of tethers and has confirmed shorter tethers are better. Imagine your dog in a car accident. With a short tether, your dog is confined to his seat. With a longer tether, he still gets tossed around, possibly slammed into door and windows and back of seats. But the short looped tether with my Labrador Maya just doesn’t work. I completely agree with what our reviewer is saying about tangling. The more a dog moves around, the more likely this will occur. And so we have disclosed this on our retail site. Kurgo knows about this issue as well so they have designed a new direct connect dog seat belt tether. This tether gives Maya more freedom to move around and she doesn’t get tangled in it. At this time, all Kurgo dog car harnesses come with the looped tether only. The direct connect tether is sold separately.
If you’re considering the Go-Tech Adventure harness, be sure to look at the measurements and compare. We have since updated our site with the correct neck size information. Ask yourself, “Am I okay if the lower neck part is loose and doesn’t adjust?” Also consider your dog’s temperament. If your dog is like my Maya, then you may want to also consider purchasing the direct connect tether.
We are thankful for this information. It is good to know the pros and cons and feedback helps with future improvements.
Are Dog Car Harnesses Really Safe?
Some of you may have seen the news about the crash test failure of seat belts for dogs. This test was a pilot test completed in 2011 by a nonprofit organization called the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). While the initial pilot test reveals some frightening results, you will be glad to know that a lot of wonderful things have happened and are happening as a result of the test completed by this great organization.
More on the 2011 Dog Seat Belt Pilot Test
This is the test that is making all the headlines and causing a lot of people question whether a seat belt for their dog is really a good idea. Let me make four quick points about this test before moving on to the wonderful news.
1. The pilot test only included four out of dozens of pet safety restraint brands. And CPS does not disclose what those brands were. The results of only four brands should not be applied to all brands.
2. The result of this pilot test has spurred a number of companies to make improvements on their seat belts for dogs.
3. Having your dog wear a pet safety belt still prevents driver distractions.
4. Since there is no standard for testing, reputable manufacturers have done their best to test with the current knowledge and resources available to them.
You can read more on our website at http://www.petautosafety.com/Are-Dog-Car-Harnesses-Safe.
Manufacturers of Dog Car Harnesses Make Improvements
***The following four companies are from the brands that we sell. These do not represent the four brands conducted by CPS in their pilot test.
Kurgo – Shortly after this study was published, Kurgo came out with new dog car harnesses with steel buckles instead of plastic. We also know, from speaking with the Kurgo company directly, that they are working closely with CPS. They not only give them their products for further testing, but they also consult with them on ways to make their products better. Having sold Kurgo products for some time, I know Kurgo is a very innovative company that is greatly concerned about quality. After all, they do have a lifetime guarantee on all their products.
Bergan – Bergan is another brand we sell, so we have also spoken with them about CPS. They met with them earlier this month and are excited about what CPS is doing. They, too, will be paying close attention to what this organization finds in their continued studies, and are open to making any improvements based on study results, if indeed improvements are needed.
Ruff Rider Roadie – Another great product we sell, Ruff Rider has recently published a video showing how their seat belts for dogs have passed the preliminary tests conducted by CPS. View it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7QflhiutYX8.
Pet Buckle – This company has long since been supported by another nonprofit organization, Bark BuckleUP (Ruff Rider has too). I called them and left a message for someone to call me back, but they have not returned my call yet.
It is our understanding that many companies are voluntarily working with CPS, not just the four listed above.
We have been keeping tabs on the Center for Pet Safety since before they released their initial pilot test results. From both a business standpoint and a personal view, we have been both frightened by and excited about what this nonprofit organization is doing. We were worried about the quality of products we sold, but we were also happy to see there is finally an organization that will make it easier for us to determine what safety standards are best for our furry friends. Knowing that Bergan, Kurgo, and Ruff Rider are working with CPS makes us very happy and we worry no more.
As both a business and a consumer, we are in full support of the Center for Pet Safety. We will continue to keep tabs on what this nonprofit organization is doing. Be assured that whatever the results are, we will react in a way that benefits you and your pet the most. After all, our dogs wear dog car harnesses too and we want nothing but the best for them.
Eureka! I think I’ve found a great and relatively nearby pet travel destination. I love nature, I love history, and I love a little fantasy. And Eureka Springs, Arkansas has it all!
For fantasy, check out Castle Rogue’s Manor. I called them yesterday and confirmed that friendly pets on leashes are allowed. This is a scenic castle built from the native trees of the Ozarks, including black walnut and Arkansas red cedar. The following photos were taken by our friend Flea at the Jones Natural Chews blog.
For history, check out the following two videos of pet friendly places.
Pea Ridge National Military Park
Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway
For nature… Well, Eureka Springs is situated in the Ozarks. There are nature trails galore! Hike to some interesting rock formations - Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge. Or go check out the Beaver Dam just west of town.
This pet travel destination is only four-and-a-half hours from where I live. Hmmm. Perhaps I should put the dog car harnesses on Maya and Pierson, hop in the car, and go to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. What do you think?
These aren’t very good photos but it was the best I could do on Tuesday evening. We are leaving at about 5:30am tomorrow so tomorow would not be a good time to post pictures. These two photos are of our rental car. My dogs Maya and Pierson will be riding in the cargo area since there will be four people-passengers in the seats. Since we are renting a vehicle, I have lined the cargo area with a sheet and a car seat cover. I have also put Maya & Pierson’s bed in the back. And I have attached the tethers of their seat belts to the cargo area. Their dog seat belts are lying on the dog bed so that all I have to do in the morning is get them in the back and put the dog car harnesses on.
I will try to post more pictures of our trip along the way. If I don’t add more by Thanksgiving day, check us out on Saturday! Happy Wordless Wednesday!
Cathy from Michigan shares a photo of her two Golden Retrievers wearing their dog car harnesses. Gunner is the one wearing the black one and he is almost 4 years old. Honey is wearing the pink one. Her previous owner recently died and so has become a new member of Cathy’s family. Honey is 17 months old. So sweet!!!
Thank you Cathy for sharing this with us! ♥ ♥ ♥
A few years ago, I got into a car accident. It was Thursday afternoon, the day before Good Friday. My boss let us off early for the upcoming holiday. Little good did that do since everyone else’s boss did the same thing. Traffic was a mess.
While traveling about 30mph on the highway, an SUV suddenly decided to come into my lane right where my car was. I didn’t have time to stop and he hit my car. Thankfully, it wasn’t a bad accident. My airbags didn’t deploy, my car wasn’t forced off the road or into another car, and no one was hurt. We were even able to move our vehicles off the roadway.
But what if my dogs had been in the car? What if they weren’t wearing their dog car harnesses? The accident was not that bad for me, but I had been wearing my seat belt. At 30mph without a seat belt, I would have been tossed a bit. Sephi and Maya standing up in the seat without wearing dog car harnesses would have been tossed a bit more. They could have been tossed into the back of the seat. If they went face first, they would have ended up with a serious and painful injury to their noses. If they went sideways, they could have gotten tossed onto the floor and broken a leg. If they had their heads out the window at the time, they could have gotten a serious throat injury. If there were smaller dogs and had their heads out the window, they could have been thrown out onto the street and run over.
Needless to say, when we left for Texas on Good Friday morning, Sephi and Maya wore their dog car harnesses. And they wear them every time they ride in the car. I am not taking any chances with my girls.
(Photo above is of Sephi and Maya in the car. They have their heads in the middle of the seats because I use the Guardian Gear dog car harnesses which have an adjustable length tether. For long trips, I keep the tether long so they can move around and I cover the floor with the Extend-A-Seat.)
Sandy from Colorado wrote to us about her dog’s experience with the Lookout Perch pet car seat:
“My dog loves the lookout perch car seat! Bessie is too big for most car seats but since she has short legs I really wanted to find something for her. I am so glad I found your website! The lookout perch is perfect for her. And I feel better knowing she is secure in the car. I will send you a picture of Bessie in her seat soon. For now, here is one of her at home.”
“Thank you Sandy and Bessie. We are really glad you both like the Lookout Perch pet car seat! Don’t forget that if you have passenger-side air bags to turn them off if Bessie is sitting in the front. Happy New Year!”
The Lookout Perch pet car seat is strapped in and secured with the seat belt of the car. There is an attaching strap which can clip onto the back of the dog’s harness. Don’t clip it to the dog’s collar. Purchase one of our dog car harnesses or get a regular walking harness from the pet store.