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.
Welcome to Barks & Bytes where we share recent activities at Pet Auto Safety.com. Barks & Bytes is hosted by our favorite dog bloggers, Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs. Be sure to check them out, but not before you see what’s been going on with us!
NEW PET TRAVEL VIDEO
I’ve finally finished the dog video I started several months ago of Maya and Pierson in the car. This is the 3rd video (episode 2) of a series of videos. I’ve only had a little practice editing videos so I’m not sure this one is very good, but we are our own worst critics. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll really like it. And if you do, please hit the like button on YouTube and leave a comment.
NEW PET TRAVEL PRODUCTS
As you saw from our June Barks & Bytes, we’ve been in the process of adding several new products to our Pet Auto Safety site. One that we mentioned but didn’t have available yet is our dog backpacks. Check out our Outdoor Dog Gear page and see what we have.
The Rein Coat
I also mentioned the Rein Coat. I’m sorry to say that we don’t have it available on our site yet. I’ve asked if I could sell them and the company said yes, but they haven’t gotten back with me with more information yet. I think they forgot about me.
One of my greatest fans for PetAutoSafety saw our FaceBook post about the Rein Coat and asked if her dog Lily could wear it along with her dog car harness. Lily has terrible anxiety in the car and her mom, whose name is Lee, was hoping the Rein Coat could help. Unfortunately, the folks at Rein Coat said that although their product has been known to help dogs with anxiety in the car, it was not designed to be used with a dog seat belt.
The Pet Dek
We wrote a more detailed post about Maya and Pierson’s experience with the Pet Dek, so be sure to check out the July 10th post. As always, we share both the pros and cons of the products we sell so that you have as much information as possible, should you decide to purchase.
We did not talk about the Car-Go in our previous Barks & Bytes post because we didn’t know about it then. But I saw a great review from Oz the Terrier and so called the company that makes the Car-Go to see if they would let me sell it on Pet Auto Safety. I’m happy to say that they said yes! And so the Car-Go Single and the Car-Go Double is now available.
Pet First Aid Kits
This is another new product we didn’t mention on our last post but have added. This pet first aid kit is the most comprehensive first aid kit for dogs that I’ve ever seen. It has been put together by an entrepreneur named Denise. Denise is an amazing woman who teaches pet first aid and CPR and is also an author of a number of books, including Pet First Aid for Kids!
Dog Travel Bowls & Bottles
Yesterday we added two new travel products related to water. The cuee blue paw print water bottle with rollerball tip and the Bottle ‘n Bowl bag with collapsible dog bowl. These two items can be found on our pet travel bowls page.
BELLA & THE KURGO GO-TECH DOG CAR HARNESS
Bella’s mom purchased the Kurgo Go-Tech dog seat belt last year and had some concerns about the looped tether. She said Bella was awfully uncomfortable with the way the looped tether worked so I sent her a Bergan tether. To be honest, I am not a fan of Kurgo’s looped tethers either. In fact, when Maya wore her Kurgo Go-Tech harness, I immediately replaced the looped tether with the Bergan one. It is believed that the more restrictive a dog car harness is, the safer it is for the dog. This may be so, because if you stop suddenly or swerve, you don’t want your dog to get tossed around. But this sort of restriction can be very uncomfortable for dogs. Safety is important, but we need to consider the comfort of our best friend as well.
NEW PET TRAVEL ARTICLES
Last month I mentioned Patrice, our new writer for Pet Auto Safety. She has created another new great article for us that we posted on July 8th. I also have another great article written by Lindsay with That Mutt, which posted on July 15th. Be sure to check out these great pet safety articles and leave us a comment.
That’s all the Barks & Bytes I have for you this week. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Yes, we’re moving! Our online website will remain the same, but our home base is moving from Lawrence, Kansas to Des Moines, Iowa. Why, you wonder? My husband is moving for a new job. And since my job is with a virtual online company, I can move with him quite easily. And, of course, we are moving with our dogs too. Moving a family is a challenge, but put dogs in the mix and there are a few more challenges to add to our list. Here is what we’ve encountered so far.
LOOKING FOR A PET FRIENDLY PLACE
Since we have discovered that we are not good home owners when it comes to home repair and routine home maintenance, we’ve decided to rent instead of buy. And finding a pet friendly place to rent has not been easy. Over 80% of the places I called either said no pets or only allowed pets under 25 pounds. Pierson is 50 pounds and Maya is almost 70 pounds. I also found that a lot of places in Des Moines have breed restrictions. Maya is a Lab and Pierson is an Australian Shepherd / Border Collie, so there was no trouble there. But if I still had my Chow mix, Sephi, we might have had more trouble. So unfair, but it is the reality.
We finally found a great house to rent that is very pet friendly. Our landlord is our neighbor and she has a gorgeous Mastiff girl named Bella that she rescued, as well as a cute older Jack Russell. Our landlord is charging neither an extra pet deposit, nor an extra monthly rental fee for the pets. This is different than many of the pet friendly apartment we looked at, who charged an extra $25 per month per pet, plus a non-refundable pet deposit.
Some dogs and cats might get stressed from all changes going on with packing. Stuff is being moved around. Boxes are piling up in the corners. Things are getting a good scrubbing. And there is more noise than usual because of all the cleaning and packing. If you have time, get started early and take it slow. Introduce boxes and packing slowly. And try not to change your pet’s normal routine.
Luckily, Maya and Pierson have not been affected at all by the changes. Maya is very curious about what I’m doing and is constantly sticking her nose in the boxes I’m packing. Pierson has been a little more cautious than Maya. Loud noises scare him and he has been a little intimidated when we move big stuff around. But he is doing really well for the most part.
STRANGERS IN AND OUT
Because we need to sell our current home, we have had people in and out of our house doing estimates and repairs. So when strangers come over, I generally put Maya and Pierson outside. I could say, “This is my house and if you want to come in you are going to have to accept the dogs.” But there are two very big reasons why I don’t.
Safety for Visitors
Although Maya and Pierson are friendly, some people are afraid of dogs. Allowing my dogs to approach someone who is afraid of them opens the door to trouble and it is also unkind. Also, despite my efforts to keep Maya from jumping on people, I still have trouble. She just gets so darned excited that she forgets her manners. She’s scratched a friend of ours who came to visit because of her crazy jumping antics. And she has also caused someone to bite their tongue because she jumped up and hit them in the chin.
Perhaps your dogs are better behaved than my Maya when it comes to jumping, but just because your dog doesn’t jump on you, doesn’t mean he won’t jump on strangers. And another thought, just because your dog likes most people doesn’t mean he will like everyone.
Safety for My Dogs
If you have a dog that likes to sneak or squeeze out the door at the first opportunity, then you have to be especially careful about visitors. I believe that it is unfair to expect a visitor to my house to be careful about not letting the dogs out. They don’t know my dogs or what they will do. Yes, visitors should be considerate and take care to close doors behind them. But ultimately my dogs are not their responsibility.
If your dog doesn’t travel much, it will be very helpful if you can get them used to traveling before the big move. Start out by taking them on short road trips. And take them somewhere fun so that they learn the rewards of traveling. If you have a dog that gets car sick, consider a natural pet remedy like Travel Calm, which has ginger to help with car sickness as well as calming ingredients to help with anxiousness.
Don’t forget your pet’s safety when you travel on the road. Thankfully, Maya and Pierson are used to wearing a dog seat belt. If your dog isn’t used to a dog car harness or a traveling crate, be sure to help them get used to these devices as well as used to car rides. Check out these additional tips for helping your dog get used to riding in the car and used to a dog car harness.
Letting your dog explore the new place is great. But depending on your pet’s personality, you may want to take it a little slow. Go through one room at a time. Reward them with treats, if needed. Set some of their belongings like toys and bedding in place before they explore in order to help them familiarize themselves to the new surroundings. Supervise them as they explore, especially in the yard area. Your dog might find a hole in the fence that you didn’t see or there may be wild animals living in the yard that you weren’t aware of.
At this moment, I am still in Kansas with Maya and Pierson. They have not yet made the road trip to Iowa or seen their new house. For them, the road trip should be no problem. Maya will have no trouble getting used to her new surroundings. I have no doubt she will be very excited about it. Pierson may be a little more wary about the new place, but he will adjust easily when he sees Maya do it. Our official move date is May 10th.
Have you ever had to move with your pets? Are there some concerns you had that I forgot to mention here? How did your dog adjust to the move?
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.
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:
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.
Thank you so much everyone for stopping by today. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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.
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.
That’s all the barking and byting I have to do for now. Leave your barks and bytes below?
If you’ve been watching us on Facebook, then perhaps you are aware that we are giving away a dog seat belt in the month of February. The contest is being held on PetsPage.com and it ends February 28th, so there is still time. You can win any brand of dog seat belt we carry including the Kurgo Tru-Fit or Go-Tech, the Bergan, a Ruff Rider Roadie, or even the ClickIt Utility. But the best part is, there are a lot of other businesses giving away prizes as well. You can win a dog collar, pet clothing, toys, beds, books, treats, and even free dog training lessons!
So please go visit PetsPage.com now and enter to win!
You want your best friend to ride safe in the car, but you’re worried he will try to get out of his dog car harness. Or you already bought one for him, and he DID get out of it. What is the point of your dog wearing one if he WON’T wear it? Fortunately, there are two things that can help.
Don’t Make it Tighter
Making the dog seat belt harness tighter may not be the answer for two reasons.
1. For some dogs, a tighter dog car harness might mean your pal tries harder to escape from it. And such a determined dog will either be able to get out of it, or hurt himself trying. Some harnesses are harder to get out of than others. The ClickIt Utility dog seat belt, for example, is more difficult to escape from. But before you try it, consider your pet’s personality. Is he going to struggle just a little and then give up? Or will he struggle and keep struggling until he either hurts himself, manages to escape, or chews through the straps in order to try to get out?
2) Second, consider how the safety belt in your car holds you in. It does lock into place in a car accident, but it isn’t tight to begin with. According to How Stuff Works the safety belt catches your inertia, spreads the force across your body so that it is not concentrated in one place, and it stretches a little so that “the stop isn’t quite so abrupt.”
If your pet’s harness is too tight, there is no opportunity for the straps to absorb the inertia. The straps are already tight on him, so a sudden stop will only cut into him more. If the straps are a little loose (but not too loose) then there is that split-second moment where your dog’s body slides into the harness, giving it the opportunity to stretch and absorb the pressure.
You want the harness to be snug, but you don’t want it so loose that your little pal flies out of it when you stop. But nor do you want it so tight that there is no give. So instead of tightening it, what can you do when he keeps getting out of his dog car harness?
1) Although a shorter tether on the dog seat belt is safer, you have to consider your pet’s personality. It is not going to do any good to have a more restrictive harness if your dog is just going to get out of it, right? So use a tether that is a little longer. Give your dog a little more room to move around. Have him wear a dog car harness that allows him to sit, lay down, or even stand so that he is more comfortable. A comfortable dog is not as likely to try to escape the safety device.
2) Train your dog to wear the dog seat belt. This can take some time, but it can save your little pal’s life too. Have him wear it around the house and reward him whenever he ignores it. Play with him while he’s wearing it. Take him for a walk in it. Do fun activities together while he is wearing his harness and he will learn to be comfortable in it. And a comfortable dog is not as likely to try to get out of his dog car harness.
So if you’re frustrated because your dog keeps getting out of the device intended to protect him, a new ‘escape-proof’ dog car harness may not be the right answer. No harness is completely escape-proof. A new one with a longer tether may be a good temporary solution. But training him to wear a harness is the best and longest lasting way.
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
The Center for Pet Safety has tested a number of dog seat belt brands and found the ClickIt Utility from Sleepypod to be the safest. We concur. It is very well made and does a great job at keeping your dog secure. Unlike other brands, a dog wearing the ClickIt will have less side-to-side and forward projection in the event of a car accident. This is great, but there are a few things you need to be aware of:
MORE SECURITY MEANS MORE RESTRICTIVE
Not all dogs will tolerate being so restricted in the car. The ClickIt Utility uses three anchor points to secure your dog. All three anchor points must be used in order for your dog to be secured properly when they are wearing the ClickIt. The first point is with the safety belt of your car. Take the safety belt of the car and put it through the back of the harness. Next, attach the two tethers. One end of the tethers clips onto a metal ring located between the rear seat cushions of all vehicles 2001 model and later. The other end of the tethers clips onto the sides of the harness. Yes, your dog can still lie down, but he won’t be able to stand up.
Not being able to stand up can be very frustrating to some dogs. When they try to stand up, they can’t. And so they may try to chew the straps connecting them. Or they may struggle to get out of the harness and hurt themselves in the process. Some reviews have said their dogs got tangled in the straps because they struggled so much.
MORE COMPLEX AND SIZING CONCERNS
Other reviews stated that the ClickIt was very complex and difficult to put on and take off. We agree that it is at first. It is definitely more involved than other pet car harness brands. But I think once you get used to it, it is actually pretty easy. Another review stated it was hard to find the right size. We agree. The extra-small is not for really small dogs. It is for larger small dogs. And measuring for the right size is not as simple as it is for other harnesses. And another review said it was difficult to adjust the size. We’ve found this to be the case as well. Luckily, Sleepypod has made a video to show us how to put the ClickIt on and how to adjust the size.
THE MOST COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR DOG
If you’re looking for the best dog seat belt, be sure to take these reviews into account. Remember that the safest is also the most restrictive. Consider what your furry best friend will tolerate. Your dog can be trained to wear the harness without struggling, but this could take time. While other pet car harness brands may not be as restrictive, they are still safer than wearing nothing at all.
Your dog can also ride in a secured pet travel carrier. By secured, we mean the carrier should be buckled or strapped into the car so that it can’t slide around. The makers of the ClickIt have stated that smaller dogs are safer in a pet travel carrier.
OTHER CAR HARNESS ALTERNATIVES
If your dog is calm in the car and doesn’t mind sitting or lying down in one spot for the entire ride, then the ClickIt Utility is the best thing you can do to protect his safety. If this is not your dog, consider other viable alternatives such as the Ruff Rider Roadie or the Bergan.
This post is inspired by someone who’s tried both the ClickIt and the AllSafe dog seat belts and weren’t satisfied with either. They were too difficult to use, too difficult to fit, and their dog was not comfortable in them. This post is not about bashing the ClickIt. It is a fantastic brand when it comes to providing the ultimate safety. But it is not for everyone and it is not for every dog.
Welcome to another edition of Barks and Bytes where we share comments and questions from other pet lovers about car travel and where we review the events of the week. The Barks and Bytes blog hop is hosted by our friends at Heart Like a Dog and 2 Brown Dawgs.
LAST WEEK BARKS
Carol with Fidose of Reality left a very nice comment, “I want to thank you for having a blog where safety and traveling with dogs is combined into one.”
Thank you, Carol! I know you’re a fan of pet safety in the car. I’ve seen photos of Dexter wearing his dog car harness. I’d love to share one of those photos here and on our Facebook and G+ pages. Let me know!
BARKS FROM PETS THAT DON’T LIKE TO RIDE IN THE CAR
Lindsay with That Mutt had a good idea about helping cats ride well in the car, “put him in his carrier and put a towel over it and that has helped calm him down.”
Great idea, Lindsay! Sometimes pets need to look out the window in order to help with motion sickness. But if the issue is anxiety, having them ride in a carrier and covering it with a towel can be very helpful.
Tegan with Leema Kennels Rescue and Blogsaid, “You can also try feeding ginger 30 minutes before travel for travel sickness.”
You’re so smart, Tegan! How much ginger would you say? By the way, ginger is one of the primary ingredients of Travel Calm. Travel Calm is not available everywhere, though. Tegan is in Australia.
Jody with Bark and Swagger said, “Sophie doesn’t line riding in the car, but I think it’s because she took a long journey as a young puppy to get home to us. It was probably scary.”
I agree. Riding in the car for such a long trip probably was scary. All that movement of stopping, turning, and speeding up can be really hard on a puppy tummy. Then there are also the strange sights and smells whizzing by. Poor Sophie. I hope she comes to enjoy car rides someday.
I had a wonderful conversation through Facebook with someone regarding dog seat belts. She said a friend of hers bought the ClickIt dog seat belt and was not happy with how complicated it was to use. She said the same regarding the AllSafe. Although these two brands are very good for safety, ease of use is another important factor to consider when shopping for the right dog seat belt. Your dog’s comfort is another thing to take into account.
So what dog seat belt combines comfort, ease of use, AND safety? My personal first choice is the Bergan brand. Although, a small handful of people have said it is complicated too. I think it is the very first time you put it on. But once you get it fitted and put it on a few times, it is very simple. Bergan has made a great video to help you through the steps.
You may remember from the report from the Center for Pet Safety, though, that the Bergan brand failed using the 75 pound dog dummy. After speaking with Bergan, they have promised a new version in the large size will be coming out soon. In the meantime, the Ruff Rider Roadie is another great brand. It passed testing at all sizes. It is one of my favorites too, but I do like the padding of the Bergan better.
I have an interview for a radio show today. The interview won’t air until March, so I will keep you posted. It’s hosted by Karen from PetsPage.com and will play on the pet news segment on Kim Power Stilson’s Talk Radio show on SiriusXM. It’s a simple interview, but I’m both excited and scared at the same time!
WAG N GO
There is only a little bit more time and more £ to go to help out Trina with her new product. Please go check out the Wag N Go on Kickstarter.
QUICK DOG SAFETY TIP
Front passenger side airbags are not safe for pets. If your dog likes to sit in the front seat, check your vehicle specifications to see how much weight will trigger the airbags. Some airbags will only go off if the seat has a certain amount of weight in it. Others will go off regardless of weight. If this is the case, see if the passenger side airbag can be temporarily disabled. And if not, push the seat as far back as possible while your dog is sitting in it.
Generally, we recommend pets sit in the back. But I understand how a dog may want to sit in the front. That would be Maya’s first choice. But Maya would be too much of a distraction. So if your dog needs to sit in the front, don’t let him be a distraction and make sure he is not in danger of the passenger side airbags.
Thank you for visiting us today on the Barks and Bytes. Please feel free to leave us a comment or question below. We will reply with a comment of our own and address it in next week’s Barks and Bytes. If you have a question that you want to ask privately or if you need your question answered right away, please feel free to email us at nature by dawn at aol dot com (spelled out in order to avoid recognition from spam bots).
Dawn with Maya and Pierson