We’re joining Follow Up Friday to answer some questions people had on pet travel safety. The questions are not just from this blog, but also from our Facebook page, phone calls, and emails.
Sugar from SugarTheGoldenRetriever.com asked if a pet car barrier really was safe. It is safe for you, but not necessarily safe for your pet. It is safe for you because it keeps your pet from distracting you while you drive. However, there is a type of pet car barrier that may have one small safety feature for your pet. That is the pet hammock. The pet hammock not only blocks the center console area of your car in order to keep your dog in the back, it also covers the floor of the car. So let’s say your dog is in the back seat and not restrained in any way. When you stop suddenly, or even crash into something, what happens to your dog? She flies forward. If the floor is covered, she won’t get thrown on the floor. My vet told me about a dog that was thrown onto the floor in a sudden stop, and the poor dog’s leg was badly broken.
On Facebook, I posted the review from one of our giveaway winners who got to try out the Travel Calm. Someone asked if the calming affect would work on a dog that was reactive towards other dogs. Pierson is leash reactive so I gave it a try. It did not work for this situation.
On Facebook, when I posted the above photo, someone asked how Maya was secured in the car. She’s wearing a Kurgo dog car harness that is tethered to a metal cargo ring in the back.
A phone call from a customer asked which dog car harness brand is the best. Sorry, I do not know the answer to that one. Each manufacturer claims they are the best. The manufacturers of the dog seat belts we sell have provided me with links to their testing information and I have found that Bergan provides the most thorough information with is V9DT standards. Kurgo has not only done crash testing… twice… but they are also consulting with the Center for Pet Safety for more safety information. Ruff Rider and Bergan are too. You can see more about the Center for Pet Safety on our post tomorow.
That same customer asked which dog car harness brand do I prefer. This is my opinion and my opinion only. But I find the Bergan and the Kurgo very comparable. Pierson wears the Bergan and Maya wears the Kurgo. I don’t like Kurgo’s loop tether, but the loop tether is probably the best because it is the shortest. The Center for Pet Safety says the shorter the tether, the better.
Another customer asked about the safety of pet travel carriers. These are a safe way to travel if the pet carrier is secured in the car (say with kennel straps or some other means). Soft crates are a bad idea unless they have been specifically crash tested. The only crash tested soft pet carrier we are aware of is the Sleepypod (pictured above) and this is for cats or very small dogs only. They don’t make big pet travel carriers. Otherwise, use a hard plastic crate. You want the crate large enough for your dog to be comfortable in (perhaps use the airline specifications for size). But you don’t want the crate too large because the larger they are for your dog, the more your dog would get tossed around inside in the event of a car accident.
These are just some of the recent questions people have asked about our products. If you have any questions, please comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, we are so excited about winning the Versatile Blogger Award from Hawk at BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com. This is a PAWSOME honor! Since today’s post is so long, we will tell you more about this award next week, perhaps after the Pet Travel Tuesday post. So stop by and see us again. And thanks, Hawk!
It’s almost time for the new year – 2013! What is your New Year’s resolution? Me, I’m going to try to exercise more and eat healthier. I get plenty of walks with the dogs but I need to do more. My dogs Maya and Pierson want to learn more tricks. Pierson also wants to keep his teeth cleaner so that I will stop brushing them. So what is your New Year’s resolution?
How about keeping your pets safer in the car? Perhaps your dog is good in the car, like my Pierson. Pierson just sits there very quietly. But he is my baby boy and I want to keep him safe for in case I have to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way of something in the road or away from a crazy driver. Pierson wears his Bergan dog car harness and I have the back seat floor covered with the Kurgo Backseat Bridge.
Perhaps your dog is crazy in the car like my Labrador Maya. Maya LOVES to ride in the car. Even if I am taking her to the vet, she is super excited both on the ride there and on the ride back. She wears the Kurgo Tru-Fit smart dog seat belt but uses the Bergan replacement tether. I like the Bergan replacement tether because Maya likes to move around a lot and will get herself tangled in the loop tether provided with the Kurgo Tru-Fit.
If your dog is crazy in the car like my Maya, consider the Bergan brand dog car harness or even the Pet Buckle brand. For a small dog, make sure to get the one with the Kwik Connect tether included. Otherwise it uses a loop tether similar to the one from Kurgo. For a large dog, our large Pet Buckle travel kit comes with both the harness and the Kwik Connect tether.
If you don’t think your dog will tolerate a dog seat belt, consider a pet travel crate strapped in with the safety tested kennel restraints from Pet Buckle. Or use a pet car barrier. After all, our pets are family. We want to keep them safe like family. And pet travel safety supplies are easier than ever to get and most of them have been safety tested.
So practice pet travel safety and have a Happy New Year with your pets!
Distractions cause over a million car accidents each year. These distractions include anything from talking on the cell phone, grooming, tending to a baby, and pet distractions. Keeping a dog in the back seat is an important pet auto safety feature which helps reduce the distraction a pet could cause. The Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier is the simplest way to achieve this.
The Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier is a piece of sturdy canvas which attaches easily by wrapping around the headrests of the front seats and around the bottom half of the front seats. Once attached, the canvas part of the pet car barrier blocks the center console area. This keeps most dogs from being able to put their head between the seats, from standing on the center console, and from jumping into the front seat.
Notice that we said ‘most dogs’. As you can see from the photo above, the Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier is only as high as the seats of your car. It does not go all the way to the ceiling so some dogs may try to jump over it. Therefore, the Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier works best for small to medium sized dogs. It can work for large dogs too if your large dog is not inclined to try to jump over it. If my dog Maya (the dog photographed above) was not wearing her dog car harness, she would probably try to jump it.
The Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier could help protect your dog in the event of a car accident. For small to medium sized dogs, your dog is not as likely to get thrown through the windshield in a front end car accident. But since the Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier does not go all the way to the ceiling, this is still a possibility. While other pet auto safety products exist for protecting your dog, the Outward Hound Pet Car barrier is relatively inexpensive and it is easy to use. Just remember that while it may be effective in keeping your dog from being a distraction, it does not provide the same safety as a dog car harness, pet car seat, or secured pet crate.
Since most manufacturers of the pet car barrier do not state which barriers fit into which vehicles, finding the right metal pet car barrier for your can be difficult. This is true for the manufacturer who provides the metal pet car barrier products on our website, Pet Auto Safety.com.
If you are not sure if the metal pet car barrier products on Pet Auto Safety.com are right for you, we welcome you to check out other pet car barrier products on other sites. Amazon.com has a selection of pet car barrier products from various manufacturers. You can visit our Amazon.com a-Store for more metal pet car barrier products to choose from.
* Always be sure to measure the inside of your vehicle to make sure that the pet car barrier you want to purchase will fit within those dimensions.
The Hyper Dog
The hyper dog generally loves to ride in the car. He wants to be everywhere at once. This is how my dog Maya is in the car. For her, I have her wear a dog seatbelt. Her dog seatbelt has the strap extended so that she has some mobility. The strap isn’t long enough to allow her to get in the front seat, but it is long enough for her to reach one of the windows. I also have the Extend-A-Seat to cover the floor so that she has more room to move around and there is no danger of her getting thrown onto the floor in a sudden stop.
For the hyper dog you can also try a pet car barrier. As stressed in the previous post, be careful because a determined dog may be able to circumvent a pet car barrier.
You may also be able to help a hyper dog by not just taking him to fun places like the dog park, but also taking him to boring places like the bank drive through. Or just drive around the block and come back home. Perhaps if your dog isn’t always going somewhere fun when he is in the car, he may become desensitized by car rides. A good example of how desensitization works would be if you got out your dog’s leash often throughout the day but didn’t take him for a walk. He would eventually realize that the leash does not mean getting to go for a walk.
Pet travel safety is important. But so is your dog’s comfort. Working with your dog by helping him be desensitized to car rides or helping him not be so anxious in the car can provide him with both comfort and safety. Pet travel safety is provided by your dog not being a distraction to the driver. A dog seatbelt, a car seat for dogs, or a pet car barrier can also help with both comfort and safety.
When I a say separation anxiety, I am not talking about the dog who gets nervous when you leave him alone in the car. Don’t leave your dog in the car unattended. By separation anxiety in the car, I am talking about the dog who insists on trying to get in the front seat while you’re driving. He may even try to get in your lap. This is a dangerous distraction.
You can try the dog seatbelt to keep him in place. Work with your dog wearing the dog seatbelt at home first so that he doesn’t try to chew it off. He can wear his harness around the house under your supervision. Play with him while he is wearing it. Take him for walks in it. This way, by the time he gets in the car with it, he may not realize he has it on. Take him for short rides at first just to make sure he doesn’t try to chew the strap which connects his dog seatbelt to the car.
You can also consider a pet car barrier. Depending on the size of your dog and your car, you can use the smaller canvas pet car barrier called the Front Seat Barrier by Outward Hound, or you can use the larger more extensive pet car barrier like the T-Flex pet car barrier or the Hatchbag Pet Net. Be careful because a determined dog may be able to circumvent these devices.
You may also be able to help a dog with separation anxiety by having someone sit in the back seat with him. Or try giving him his favorite toys or something familiar like his dog bed. Be careful about giving him toys he can chew apart. Trying to seat something in a moving vehicle is probably not a good idea for a dog. You wouldn’t want him to choke on something if you have to make a sudden stop or turn.
If your dog rides in the car without a restraint of some kind, what do you think will happen to him if you get in a car accident? Depending on the severity of the wreck, he could be seriously injured or even killed. But that is not the only danger. Here is a list of some other things which could happen:
- Your dog could become a flying projectile and hit other passengers in the car. Again, depending on the seriousness of the accident, this could lead to anything form minor injuries to death. If a box of Kleenex turned projectile can kill a person, imagine what a dog could do.
- Your dog could fly through windshield of the car. If this doesn’t seriously injure or kill him, he will be so traumatized by the accident that he will try to run. He could run into traffic and get hit by a car, or he could run for miles and miles and get lost.
- Your dog could escape out of a broken window. After a car accident, your dog’s most likely instinct will be to run. And if there is a broken window, he may try to get out. Like above, he could then get killed by getting hit by a car or by running away and getting lost.
- At the very least, your dog could develop a fear for riding in the car. Your dog may have once loved riding in the car but after a traumatic incident in the car, he may never want to ride again.
So keep your dog safe when he rides in the car with some sort of pet auto safety device. Have him wear a dog seat belt or put him in a crate and strap the crate into the car. Another restraint method, which isn’t quite as effective but is better than nothing, is a pet car barrier.
Are you considering the purchase of a metal pet car barrier? If so, it is very important that you consider all features before you buy. A metal pet car barrier is expensive and would be a huge hassle to return. Here are three important things to consider before you purchase a metal pet car barrier:
The metal pet car barrier is pressure mounted into your vehicle. What is pressure mounted? It means that the barrier stays in place with pressure. It is not screwed or glued in. Although not permanently installed, the pressure mounting of a metal pet car barrier is very strong. The manufacturer stands by its durability and says it will not slip out of place, even if force is applied. This means that your dog is confined to the back of the vehicle, even in the event of a car accident.
Size and Determination of Your Dog
If you have a big dog, the space between the bars may not be too much of a concern. However, if you have a small or medium-sized dog a metal pet car barrier, such as the Euro-Bar or T-Flex pet car barrier, may not keep your dog in the back as intended. Also consider your dog’s temperament. Will he try to climb through the pet car barrier? Even if he is a big dog and won’t fit, this can still be an issue.
Size of Your Vehicle
The metal pet car barrier comes in various sizes. But the manufacturer has not determined which pet car barrier will fit which type of vehicle. There are hundreds of different types of vehicles and new models coming out every year. So the only way to determine if a metal pet car barrier will fit your car is if you measure the inside of your car and compare to the size range of the pet car barrier. For the wire mesh pet car barrier, you will need to consider the wheel humps and the curvature of the ceiling as well.
What happens if you purchase the metal pet car barrier and find that your dog gets through or it won’t fit? You can send it back to the manufacturer but not for a full refund. The manufacturer charges a 15% restock fee and will not refund shipping. If you have to send the pet car barrier back to the manufacturer, then you will need to make sure to include all the parts and package it well. Because if it is damaged or parts are missing upon the return to the manufacturer, the manufacturer will not give any refund.
Are you traveling by car with your pet this holiday? It’s cold out there so be sure to bring winter essentials along with other everyday pet travel supplies and emergency supplies. Use our checklist to make sure you have all your winter pet travel supplies:
___ pet crate
___ pet car harness or kennel straps for pet crate
___ pet food
___ drinking water
___ food bowl
___ water bowl
___ pet bed
___ your pet is wearing his tags which are up to date and readable
___ veterinary information
___ pet’s medication
___ pet first aid kit
___ pet toys
___ pet waste disposal bags
Pet travel in winter can be more difficult in colder weather. Road conditions can be more dangerous so it is more important than ever that your pet not be a distraction in the car. Keep your pet in a pet crate or have them wear a pet car harness. If a pet crate or pet car harness just won’t work for your pet, you can get a pet car barrier to keep them in the back seat.If you are in a car accident or get stuck in the snow, call for help and cuddle up with your pet under a blanket for warmth. If you are stuck in a high traffic area and expect help soon, keep your car on and your heater going. If you are stuck in an isolated area, run your car and heater sparingly as needed. Unless you know for sure that help is nearby, you should stay in your car.
“My dog just won’t tolerate a dog seat belt.” That is what we hear from people all the time. Most people think a dog wearing a seat belt is a great idea – just not for their dog. We agree that it can be very difficult to get a dog used to wearing a dog seat belt. So while you may or may not be working with your dog to get him used to the idea of wearing a dog seat belt, we have an alternative.
The Front Seat Pet Car Barrier made by Outward Hound is perfect for keeping your small to medium-sized dog in the back seat. It is easy to use and a very inexpensive alternative to other pet car barrier products.
The Front Seat Pet Car Barrier by Outward Hound is attached using long nylon straps. Simply unclip the straps. Then wrap the top half shorter straps around the headrests of your front seats and the bottom half longer straps around the bottom of the front seats. Lastly, tighten the straps for a snug fit.
*Please note, the Front Seat Pet Car Barrier by Outward Hound may not be enough to keep a big dog in the back seat.