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September 30, 2014

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:

ClickIt Utility
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.

Close-Up of the ClickIt Utility Strap to Latchbar

This metal bar is located between the seat cushions of cars. There are two on either side of the seats, for a total of four. Clip the ClickIt tethers to these latchbars.

Tether of the ClickIt Utility Dog Safety Belt

These two tethers attach to the latchbars located between the rear seat cushions, and in turn attach to the side of the ClickIt Utility dog safety belt.

Seat Belt Through Back of ClickIt Utility Dog Car Harness

Put the seat belt of the car through the back of the ClickIt Utility harness then clip the tethers onto either side.

Diagram of ClickIt Utility Dog Car Harness

This diagram of the ClickIt Utility dog car harness shows the connections better.

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.

The Two Loops in Ruff Rider Roadie Dog Car Harness

Put the seat belt of the car through one of the two loops of the tether on the Ruff Rider Roadie.

Ruff Rider Roadie Dog Car Harness on Pierson

This is the seat belt of the car through the loop closest to the back of the Ruff Rider Roadie.

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.

The Top Clip of the AllSafe Dog Seat Belt

Stabilize the top of the seat belt of the car using one of the red clips provided by AllSafe.

Red Clip of the AllSafe Dog Seat Belt

If the seat belt of your car does not work like in the diagram above, lock the seat belt in place by pulling it hard, and then placing the red clip so it can’t go back in or out.

Secured Seat Belt for AllSafe Dog Harness

Once the seat belt is stabilized so that it doesn’t pull out, put the AllSafe dog car harness tether onto the strap.

Back of AllSafe Dog Seat Belt

Clip the tether onto the back of the AllSafe dog seat belt.

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.

Clip the Bergan Tether Between Seat Belt

The Bergan dog car harness tether clips between the webbing of the seat belt buckle.

Bergan Seat Belt Tether on Latch Bar

The Bergan dog seat belt tether can also clip onto the latchbar.

Bobo Secured with a Bergan Dog Seat Belt

The other end of the Bergan dog seat belt tether clips onto the back of Bobo’s 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.

Loop Tether of Kurgo Dog Seat Belt

The seat belt of the car goes through the loop tether of the Kurgo dog car harness.

Alternate Kurgo Dog Seat Belt Connection

To make the loop tether of the Kurgo dog car harness more secure, loop it like this around the seat belt.

Kurgo Direct Connect Tether for Dog Car Harness

The Kurgo direct connect tether is purchased separately. It can buckle directly into the seat belt of the car for attachment to a dog car harness.

Buckle Strap for Dog Car Harness

The Kurgo direct connect tether clips onto the back of the harness and buckles 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.

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August 26, 2014

Since I have big dogs, traveling in the car can be a little uncomfortable for them. Maya likes to stand up when she rides in the car. So even with her dog car harness on, she had a difficult time keeping her front paws on the edge of the seat. If I stopped too fast, she’d slip and her front paws would end up on the floor. If I ever had to make an emergency stop, she could have been hurt. So how did I solve this problem while at the same time giving my big dogs more room to stretch on out long road trips? I’ve done it with seat extenders like the Backseat Bridge, Pet Dek, or Portable Pet Flat Seat.

The Backseat Bridge from Kurgo has been around for a while. I’ve always loved it, and still do. Then the Pet Dek came along and I fell in love all over again. It solved some of the issues with the Bridge. But now there is the Portable Pet Flat Seat. How is one to decide which one is best for them and their dog? Here are some comparisons:

The Car Pet Dek with Dogs Maya & Pierson

I rate the Pet Dek as the easiest to install in the car.

 

Installation
The Portable Pet Flat Seat was so easy to install, I didn’t even have to read the instructions! While the Pet Dek was easy too, I did have a problem with one of the legs that kept coming off. I was able to fix it, but if I hadn’t been handy I might have requested the product be replaced. I probably just had bad luck. If this one had not had this trouble, the Pet Dek would have been very simple to put in the car. The Backseat Bridge has four wrap-around straps, making it just a tad bit more work to set up in the car. Rating installation, I’d say the Pet Dek is #1 for the easiest. The Flat Seat is #2. And the Bridge is #3.

Pierson in the Car Backseat Bridge

I rate the Backseat Bridge as the least bulky of the three seat extenders.

Bulkiness
Both the Flat Seat and the Pet Dek can be a little heavy as compared to the Bridge. I’m not sure of the exact weight but if you are a small petite person, the Flat Seat and Pet Dek can be slightly cumbersome. Also, the Bridge folds up nice and small while the Pet Dek only folds in half and the Flat Seat doesn’t fold at all. So for bulkiness, the Bridge is less bulky and I rate it as #1. The Pet Dek is #2. And the Flat Seat is #3.

Dog Pierson on Pet Travel Flat Seat in Car 2

I rate the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat as the flattest seat with the fewest gaps.

Flatness & Gaps
Unless the back seat is completely flat, the bridge leaves a bit of a lip that my dogs Maya and Pierson didn’t care for. Although they had more room to stretch out, this lip could be a challenge. Neither the Pet Dek nor the Flat Seat has a lip. They are completely flat. Regarding gaps, however, the Bridge had minimal gaps. But because the Pet Dek is one size only, there tended to be a gap between it and both the front and back seats. I solved this problem by putting stuff between the gaps. You may be able to see it in the photo. Because the Flat Seat is so thin, the gaps are extremely minimal. Rating flatness, I put the Portable Pet Flat Seat at #1, the Pet Dek at #2, and the Bridge at #3. Rating gaps, I put the Flat Seat at #1, the Bridge at #2, and the Pet Dek at #3. By the way, with the Bridge and Flat Seat the front seats have to be even. You can’t have one seat further back than the other. This is not the case with the Pet Dek.

Cost
The Backseat Bridge is the least expensive. That is because it is manufactured by a large company (Kurgo) that makes a number of pet products. This allows them to be very cost effective. They even provide a lifetime guarantee and have a great repair and replacement policy to cover normal wear and tear or any other damage your dog might do. Both the Pet Dek and the Portable Pet Flat Seat don’t have these features. They are designed by individual entrepreneurs who only have this one product and are considered small family run businesses. Another thing that makes them more expensive is they are made here in the USA. So in rating costs, the Bridge is #1, the Pet Dek is #2, and the Flat Seat is #3. If you’re all about supporting small US businesses, then the Pet Dek and Flat seat are both #1.

Using Dog Seat Belts
There is no rating on which of these three pet travel products are best when it comes to being able to use your dog seat belt. All three allow for the use of seat belts. However, I will say that as a company both the Bridge and the Flat Seat actively promote buckling up your dog.

No single one of these pet travel seat extenders rated #1 in everything. So consider which features are most important to you. While I love all three of these products, I’ve decided that I like the Portable Pet Flat Seat the most. I think my dogs Maya and Pierson do too.

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Review of Our Newest Dog Backpacks

Author: MayaAndPierson
July 29, 2014

When you travel with your best friend, you go places, right? If nature trails are one of your favorite destinations, we’ve got a great selection of dog backpacks. There is the Kurgo Wander Pack, the Guardian Gear camouflage pack, and the Outward Hound Excursion packs. Our dog Maya has used Kurgo brand and both Maya and Pierson have recently been able to try out the Outward Hound brand. Here’s what we thought of these great products:

Kurgo Wander Back Pack for Dogs

Maya sometimes wears her Kurgo Wander back pack for dogs when she goes hiking.

Kurgo Wander Backpack for Dogs

This backpack for dogs is a one-size-fits-all. Well, it doesn’t quite fit all sizes. It is really meant for medium and large dogs, but not necessarily small ones or really big ones. As you can see in the above photo, the Kurgo Wander Pack fits my Labrador Retriever Maya very well. I love Kurgo brand products because they are very well made. In fact, they have a lifetime warranty and a great repair and replacement policy. If Maya were to tear her backpack or get it too dirty to clean, I can send it to Kurgo and pay just $10.00 to get it repaired or replaced. This option does not expire.

Pierson in Dog Backpack from Outward Hound

Pierson just got this new backpack and has had a chance to use it once.

Outward Hound Excursion Dog Packs

Outward Hound makes a lot of inexpensive pet travel and outdoor products. They are actually fairly well made for the price. The Excursion backpacks for dogs comes in multiple sizes. This way, even smaller and very big dogs can wear them. I love how they have inner pockets inside the packs. It helps keep some items separate. For example, I can put my keys in one smaller pocket and not worry about Maya’s slobbery dog toy getting it sticky!

Camouflage Dog Backpack on Retriever

Guardian Gear Camouflage Pack

Maya and Pierson haven’t tried this one on yet, but it looks like it has the same quality as the Outward Hound. It seems to have more space in the pouches too. This is great for bigger hardcore hiking dogs! The only issue with this camouflage dog backpack is that we only have it in one size – medium – and only in limited quantities. So get one today before they run out!

Maya and Pierson have only had a little opportunity to use their newest packs. We just moved to Des Moines and have not yet discovered all the hiking places. But we will be looking around and doing a lot of walking this summer. What about you? What are some great hiking places you like to take your dog?

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July 17, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

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

Dog Backpacks

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 Car Pet Dek with Dogs Maya & Pierson

Maya and Pierson try out the new Pet Dek.

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.

Cocker Spaniel in Red Car-Go Pet Car Travel Shelter

Maya and Pierson wish they were small enough to ride in this Car-Go pet travel shelter.

Car-Go

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.

Maya and Dog First Aid Kit

Maya used this much smaller dog first aid kit from Kurgo when she was injured in June (more on American Dog Blog).

Hiking Travel Pet First Aid Kit

Look at how much stuff is in this pet first aid kit!

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 Maya with Bottle 'n Bowl Bag

It’s easy to keep Maya hydrated on walks with this easy-to-carry water bottle bag.

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 Kurgo Go-Tech Dog Car Harness and Sweater

Isn’t Bella adorable in her new sweater?! She’s also wearing the Kurgo Go-Tech dog car harness.

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!

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July 10, 2014

The Pet Dek for Cars

Just before we made our big move from Kansas to Iowa this spring, we received and got to try out this new product called the car Pet Dek. And let me just say, it’s pretty awesome. :)

I’ve used the Kurgo Backseat Bridge for years. While I still love the bridge, the Pet Dek has some great benefits that the bridge doesn’t. For one, it is much more sturdy. Maya is 70 pounds and Pierson is 50. The Backseat Bridge isn’t guaranteed to hold that much weight (although it has). But the Pet Dek is.

Pierson in the Car Backseat Bridge

The second benefit of the Pet Dek over the bridge is that the Pet Dek is completely flat. Because of the way the back seat of the car curves, the bridge leaves a raised lip over the seat edge. This raised edge may not be comfortable for Maya and Pierson when they want to stretch out during those long road trips. Since the Pet Dek is flat, Maya and Pierson are free to stretch out with no discomfort problems. And they did just that on our trip from Kansas to Iowa.

The third advantage of the Pet Dek is with how easy it is to install and uninstall in the car. It is heavier than the bridge (12 pounds), but it is super easy to unfold and rest on the seats. The Backseat Bridge require the attachment of four straps around the front seats of the car.

While the Pet Dek has some great advantages over the Kurgo Backseat Bridge, there are a few disadvantages:

Unlike the bridge, the Dek has no divider blocking the center console. So if your dog is not wearing a dog car seat belt, he has easy access from the back to the front seat. This can be a dangerous distraction to the driver. So make sure your dog is buckled in for both your safety and for the safety of your dog. Yes, the Pet Dek does allow you to use the seat belts of your car so that your dog can still wear his safety harness.

Another negative of the Pet Dek is the gaps left around the edges. This is because the seats of the car curve and it was an issue with the bridge as well. The gaps with the Dek, however, are easier to remedy. I simply stuffed a blanket in the gaps where the Dek meets the seat. You may be able to see these in the photo of Maya and Pierson below.

The Car Pet Dek with Dogs Maya & Pierson

I did have one other issue with the Pet Dek. One of the legs kept coming off. However, by adding a wide washer to the screw that kept the leg on, I was able to fix the problem.

The Pet Dek comes with a waterproof non-slip mat. This adds a little comfort since the Dek surface is hard. The mat is stain resistant and machine washable. It is a great way to keep muddy paw prints off your back seat upholstery.

Maya and Pierson really got to test the Pet Dek when we drove 3.5 hours from Kansas to Iowa. The Pet Dek is more expensive than the Backseat Bridge but it was well worth the value. I am not discarding my bridge but I will be primarily using the Pet Dek from now on, especially for long road trips.

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Barks and Bytes #4

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 27, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to the Barks and Bytes blog hop where anything goes. I could talk about anything, but you know where you are so you have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to talk about, right? ;) Barks and Bytes is hosted by two of our favorite dog bloggers, 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

PREVIOUS BARKS AND BYTES

Hawk with BrownDog CBR said, “Hi Y’all! My Human is talking about getting me a longer strap for my car harness. I like the one that goes on the people seat belt ’cause it has some give. On trips I do sit, lay and like to turn around. I’m beyond eating through the restraint. However, I’ve become adept, with either type, unclickin’ the seat belt or strap from the seat! BOL!!! We get where we’re going and when my Human goes to take me out she discovers I’ve freed myself!

Hawk, I have the perfect dog seat belt tether for you. It is the one from Bergan. It doesn’t click into the seat belt exactly, but it does connect to it. It would be highly unlikely that you’d be able to unclick out of it. I also indicated the Angel Guard in a reply. The Angel Guard is designed to keep young children from unbuckling themselves. But it can work for certain dog seat belts too. I would need to see your seat belt tether in order to make sure it will work, though.

Clip the Bergan Tether Between Seat Belt

The Bergan tether clips between the webbing of the seat belt buckle. It can also be clipped onto the latch system located between the rear seat cushions of all vehicles 2001 and later.

Angel Guard to Protect Seat Belt Buckle

The Angel Guard will keep your dog from being able to unclip his seat belt. But it only works for some dog car harness tethers.

Donna with Donna and the Dogs said, “I think it’s great that you share the pros and cons of each product you sell…it certainly makes for easier purchasing!”

Thanks, Donna! I’ve found that telling people everything up front keeps the number of returns down. All the articles out there talking about how the ClickIt Utility is the safest dog car harness out there make people think it is the best. It is a fantastic product, but they get returned a lot because people don’t realize how much some dogs really hate to wear them. Or they get returned because they are so darned difficult to adjust. Telling people these things up front allows them to make informed decisions.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog said, “I see your point about Kurgo, but how does one find out what types of manufacturers a company has hired? For instance, I don’t want to support someone who is funding a sweat shop somewhere that only pays pennies per hour.”

This is an excellent point, Jodi. Keep in mind the quality of the product you are buying. A well-made product like Kurgo requires skilled labor. Unskilled labor is not going to be able to make quality items. Since skilled labor is harder to come by, a manufacturer needs to entice them with higher wages. Another point is that a company with a well-known brand is not going to risk tarnishing their good name by hiring a manufacturer who runs their company like a sweat shop.

GETTING OUT OF A DOG CAR HARNESS

Jodi also said, “Great advice Dawn, I was thinking along the same lines, you can’t just grab a harness and snap your dog into a car and have everything be perfect. Delilah wears a harness sometimes when we walk or train, SO I think she would be more comfortable in the car than Sampson would. Plus she typically just lies down on long car rides. I think it will take some time for Sampson to get used to it, but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

I really think that if Maya hadn’t been wearing a dog car harness since she was a pup, it would be nearly impossible to get her to wear one now. Even though she has been wearing one forever, she is still very unsettled when she wears one. When she was wearing her Kurgo Go-Tech, for example, I had to switch out their loop tether for the Bergan tether because she wouldn’t hold still and would get herself tangled. Thankfully, early and continuous training has made her not-quite-so-impossible.

Lindsay with That Mutt said, “Such helpful advice! The first thing most of us would think of would be to tighten the harness, but you’ve shown us why that’s probably not the best idea.”

A common complaint we get with dog car harnesses is that some dogs can get out of them. So they ask us, “Is there one that is escape proof?” And I say, “I wish!” If I were to claim one to be escape proof, there is most likely someone out there who has a Houdini-dog and will prove me wrong.

Ann with My Pawsitively Pets said, “I never would have thought about this issue with dog seat harnesses before… I’m sure it happens all the time though. I’ve seen plenty of dogs escape from their collar in the past.”

Happens all the time, I’m afraid. We want to keep our dogs safe, but sometimes they don’t make it easy for us. ;)

CONTEST TO WIN A DOG SEAT BELT

There is just one more day to enter a contest to win a dog car harness from us. You can win any of the dog seat belt brands we sell, and we sell the best.

QUICK PET SAFETY TIP

If you have big dogs that like to ride in the car, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo. What I love about it the most is that it gives my two big dogs more room in the back. My back seats are so narrow that Maya especially would be very uncomfortable trying to sit in her dog seat belt without sliding off. Plus, the Backseat Bridge has three safety features to consider: 1) It has a divider to separate the front from the back seat; 2) It covers the floor so that if your dog is not buckled up and you have to stop suddenly, your dog won’t get thrown onto the floor; and 3) If your dog is buckled up but has to use a longer tether because they like to move around a lot, the Backseat Bridge keeps them from getting launched off the seat. Being launched off the seat is what kept some dog car harnesses from getting the top safety rating. Incidentally, the Kurgo dog car hammock has these same features. It has an additional benefit, though, in that it also covers the seat like a seat cover.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

My big girl Maya has more room in the back seat with the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo.

Tan Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock

The Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock covers the seat, the floor, and the back of the front seats.

That’s all the barking and byting I have to do for now. Leave your barks and bytes below?

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February 25, 2014
Compare Five Dog Seat Belt Brands

Dog seat belt brands listed left to right, top to bottom: ClickIt Utility, Ruff Rider Roadie, Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Kurgo Go-Tech.

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! PetsPage

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Pet Auto Safety Barks and Bytes #3

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 13, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

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.

Compare Five Dog Seat Belt Brands

Dog seat belt brands listed left to right, top to bottom: ClickIt Utility, Ruff Rider Roadie, Bergan, Kurgo Tru-Fit, Kurgo Go-Tech.

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.

Emma in the Snoozer Lookout Pet Carseat

Emma in the Snoozer dog car seat. Made 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.

Kurgo Lifetime Warranty

All Kurgo Products are Guaranteed Built for Life

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

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

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

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

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

Pierson in the Car Logo

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

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

Maya Go-Tech Pet Seat Belts

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

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

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

Car Door Guard

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

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

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

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

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January 13, 2014

From a business perspective, 2013 has been a pretty good year for us. There have been some ups and downs, but overall it has been great. :)

* 2013 started off with the Subaru campaign. It was great fun seeing those cute Subaru dog commercials. The one below is my alltime favorite. And there were some cool prizes given out. This was the first time we had ever done such a campaign. We wouldn’t mind doing more in the future, so long as it is for a dog product we feel is noteworthy.

* We updated the look on our retail site. Pet Auto Safety.com. Our web host did an upgrade forcing us to change our theme, but it really needed a new look anyway. Many aspects of our retail site became much easier when the upgrade took place.

* In July, I was in a minor car accident with my dog Maya. Fortunately, she was wearing her Go-Tech dog car harness and was not hurt at all.

* In August, I had an interview with the Radio Pet Lady. It went well, although I was pretty nervous. Be sure to go take a listen by clicking the red text. :)

* We only did a few pet events this year, all small and local. There were two Mutt Mixer events held at the Lawrence Humane Society. We also attended Responsible Pet Owner’s Day held at Crystal K9 in Lawrence. And we attended the Dogtoberfest event held at South Park in Lawrence. My dog Maya was attended all events to demonstrate her dog car harness. Pierson couldn’t go because he doesn’t like other dogs.

Maya Won Dish Responsible Pet Owner's Day

Maya at the Responsible Pet Owner’s Day event.

* I started a pet travel destination series on this blog that didn’t work out. I also did a pet safety Saturday theme. I haven’t done this lately, but I do plan on doing more posts about pet safety in general – not just car safety.

* I’ve made quite a few funny dog memes in 2013. Making captions for the cute looks Maya and Pierson give is great fun.

Dog Maya Goofy Grin Kurgo Harness

* We discontinued a few products in 2013. Sadly, the T-Flex pet auto barrier was discontinued by the manufacturer. We’re not sure why because we loved the T-Flex. We also discontinued the Pet Buckle canine seat belt. It was an innovative product when it first came out because it was the only one we knew of that used metal buckles. But other brands have since come out that have been determined to be much safer.

* With that being said, we added several new products in 2013. For seat belts, we added the Ruff Rider Roadie and the ClickIt Utility. Both of these were the top rated in safety during a recent independent study (more on that below). We also added some new Kurgo products, such as the Go-Tech harnesses, the Kurgo towels, and the Kurgo direct connect tether for seat belts. And two new products were added to help dogs who have anxiety when they ride in the car – the Thundershirt for dogs and cats and pet calming tablets from Total Pet Health. And let’s not forget the K9 Car Fence!

Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 Car Fence.

* The long awaited report on the crashworthiness of various canine seat belt brands came out in October 2013. The results of this study were a lot more promising than their previous report. The ClickIt Utility was number one, followed by the Ruff Rider Roadie and AllSafe. Bergan did pretty good, too.

* We finally finished our first funny dog video of Maya and Pierson riding in the car. It was quite a learning curve trying to figure out how to use movie editing software. But I had fun doing it and am happy with the resulting videos.

* We had several people share photos of their dogs with us. These guys and gals are all pretty adorable, aren’t they?

Spud Doodle and Bergan Dog Car Harness

Spud, the GoldenDoodle sports the Bergan dog car harness in style!

Bobo wearing the Bergan Dog Seat Belt

Bobo wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Doesn’t he look handsome!?!

Clover Kurgo Tru-Fit Dog Seat Belt

Clover’s mom says she doesn’t mind wearing the dog seat belt.

Duncan Bergan Dog Car Harness

Duncan is ready to ride in his new Bergan dog car harness.

Bergan dog seat belt.

This is Luna, Hela, and Saba from Poland. Luna and Hela are wearing the Bergan dog seat belt.

Thanks for taking the time to review our 2013 year! Stop by tomorrow to see what our 2014 plans are for Pet Auto Safety.com. :)

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