This is our first Follow Up Friday blog hop. It has been an interesting week for us so I thought we would share what’s going on.
Snow in May
It has been a strange week for weather. It was in the 80s Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was in the 70s. Then Thursday it snowed! Poor Maya & Pierson don’t know whether to shed or grow more fur.
Pierson had a second seizure on Wednesday, May 1st. His first seizure was on January 10th of this year. Thankfully, his seizures were very short and don’t seem to happen often. The vet took some tests and was unable to determine the cause. This is a good thing, the vet says. It’s not head trauma, it’s not poison, and his blood tests came out normal. So he is just one of those dogs that have seizures. Seeing my pretty boy Pierson having a seizure is a scary thing, but seizures won’t shorten his life or lessen his quality of life. It is believed that dogs feel no pain during a seizure. And he gets back to his bouncy self within moments after the seizure.
Tomorrow for Pet Safety Saturday, I’m going to provide a link to an article I wrote in January about Pierson’s canine epilepsy. Be sure to stop by tomorrow.
On a lighter note, Amy B. won the Bergan pet travel barrier. Congratulations Amy!
We will be holding another contest this month so stay tuned. What would you like to see in May’s giveaway contest?
Sharing Pet Safety Photos
You saw the Golden Doodle Spud’s photo earlier this week in his new Bergan dog car harness. Now we’ve seen a photo of another Doodle named Goldie wearing the Kurgo Tru-Fit pet car harness. We haven’t gotten permission to share the photo on our blog, but you can see it on DoodleKisses.
If you have photos of your dog riding in the car, share them with us. We’d love to post them here.
Teaching Pierson to Speak
I taught Pierson to speak last week. It was so easy that he learned it in one day. Two factors made it easy for him to learn: 1) Aussies are natural barkers, and 2) Aussies are super smart. I will hopefully have a video on American Dog Blog soon.
Check out more dog blog posts on the Follow Up Friday blog hop below:
It never ceases to amaze me with how many people think it is silly to make your dog wear a seat belt in the car. This has been an especially hot topic lately since New Jersey passed the new law. Many people, including political officials, are calling it stupid. “Absolutely ridiculous…..like NJ doesn’t have other issues to deal with that are more important than SEAT BELTS FOR PETS!” or “Seriously? Do dogs really cause car accidents?” or “For a free country, we sure are losing a lot of freedoms of choice” or “Next thing you know they will make laws requiring us to strap in Kleenex boxes”.
While most people seem to be upset that New Jersey is wasting tax dollars to make such a law, it should be common sense. Unfortunately, many laws are made because people aren’t using common sense. Remember when states started making seat belt laws for people? There were nearly the same arguments. Today, I am going to give you real life examples of why dogs should wear seat belts in the car.
1. Do unrestrained dogs in cars really kill people? The answer is yes. On September 15th of this year in East Brunswick, New Jersey, it is suspected that a dog in the vehicle was a distraction which caused the driver to lose control, crash, kill two pedestrians, and injure three others. TWO people are dead. Read the article HERE.
2. Do car accidents kill dogs? Again, yes. While the answer to this question might seem obvious, consider this relatively minor accident in Lakewood, Washington where the two occupants suffered only minor injuries but the dog died. The Pomeranian was killed when it hit the windshield. This dog could have survived if he had been restrained in a pet car harness or pet carrier. Read the article HERE.
3. What happens to a dog after an accident? Consider the terror a dog feels after the car that it is in goes out of control. The instinct of a dog in a traumatic experience is to run. And if given half they chance, dogs WILL try to run away from the accident – even if it is just a fender-bender. Consider Bella in Clinton, Montana on August 5th of this year. She and her family were in a terrible accident, a fatal accident. Bella survived. But when someone opened the car door, Bella bolted. She was so scared that no amount of calling for her or looking for her would bring her out. She ran and hid for several days, only coming out at dusk or dawn. It took a community coming together and a live trap to capture Bella. She was finally caught on August 31st… 25 days later. Imagine her fate if the community hadn’t helped. Read her story HERE.
All these stories happened within the past couple of months. And these are just a few of the stories we have come across. Multiply these three by at least 10 more recent stories we’ve found. Then multiply that by how many stories we didn’t find and how many stories never made it to the web. I bet the number goes into the hundreds. Then multiply that again by several months and I bet you have well over a thousand per year. Since there is no formal reporting system for dogs in car accidents, this is just a guess.
We all think it will never happen to us. But if it does, let’s be prepared. Consider the many well-tested dog seat belt brands. If you don’t think your dog will tolerate a seat belt, consider training him to get used to it or consider a secured pet crate or pet vehicle barrier. Your pet is family. Treat him/her like family.
Is this what your dog is like in the car? Imagine how much worse my Labrador Maya would be if she wasn’t wearing her dog car harness. Yes, she is excited. But she can’t jump to the front seat like she wants to. While her whining is annoying, at least I don’t have to worry about her trying to climb all over the place trying to look out each window. Maya is protected and so am I.
Because Maya is wearing a dog car seat belt, she can’t distract me (except with the whining which can be ignored). Another benefit is if I happen to be unlucky enough to be in a car accident, chances are my 65lb lovable pooch won’t get thrown into the back of my head… or out the windshield.
I often read news stories about dogs who escape the car after a car accident. They either get hit by oncoming traffic or run off in terror, never to be seen again. If you are in a car accident with your dog, a pet seat belt might be able to keep that from happening. Your dog stays in the car where emergency personnel can try to help him, get him to a vet, and/or get him to a family member.
Even if your dog isn’t like my Maya in the car and before you discard the idea of your dog wearing a pet car harness, consider all the benefits:
* Your dog is less of a distraction,
* Your dog is less likely to become a dangerous projectile which could injure you or other passengers,
* Your dog is more likely to still be in the car when emergency personnel come to help,
* Like the benefit of seat belts for people, your dog is more likely to survive a car accident.
Car harnesses for dogs are becoming more advanced. More are being tested for safety than ever before. The leading experts in pet travel are listening to the public and looking for better ways to ensure the safety of our beloved four-legged friends.
My dogs take to the pet car harness very well, but not all dogs will. Some will try to chew their way out. Training can help them get used to it. Or you can consider putting your dog in a crate, then securing the crate in the car with kennel restraints. Traveling in a secured crate has all the same benefits as listed above.
Your dog is family. Protect him life family.
Today’s Wordless Wednesday photo is of Gracie the Shih Tzu. Isn’t Gracie a cutie! Just look at that adorable fuzzy face. So what is Gracie doing? She is riding in the car and wearing the Kurgo Tru-Fit pet car harness. More specifically, she is wearing the extra small pet car harness. Gracie is very petite. In fact, her mom Cathy had trouble finding something that would fit her. The Kurgo extra-small was perfect. Gracie’s mom loves it. Maybe Grace does or doesn’t love it, but at least she is well-protected in the car. Thank you so much Cathy for sharing this wonderful photo of your dog Gracie!
According to Distraction.gov, at least 18% of injury car accidents in the US in 2010 were caused by the driver being distracted. Driving while talking or texting on a cell phone is probably one of the biggest driver distractions today. But cell phones are not the only types of driver distractions. Other distractions include playing with the radio or GPS, eating, grooming, or even kids and pets.
If I were Miss Daisy, my Labrador Maya would definitely drive me crazy. You can see how excited she is about riding in the car in this video. Imagine how much worse she would be if she could move around more. But Maya can’t bother me in the car because she is wearing a pet car harness. Yes, she can still whine, but she can’t try to jump in the front seat.
If your dog drives you crazy in the car, consider both your and his safety by keeping him restrained. You can use a pet car harness like Maya or keep him in a crate that is secured with kennel straps. You can also use devices like a pet net or other type of vehicle barrier. There are several pet travel products to choose from. Find one that is right for you and your dog.
Remember, stay safe and don’t let your dog drive you crazy in the car. Don’t talk or text on your cell phone either. It is not just your life at stake. It is your pet’s, other passengers in the car with you, and other people on the road. Does your dog drive you crazy in the car? If so, what have you done or what would you like to do to help him?
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.
Driving Defensively and Keeping Your Dog Safe
Driving defensively means looking out for other drivers. You have probably had to swerve out of the way of another driver not paying attention or someone driving recklessly and cutting you off. You may be able to avoid such an accident, but what about your pet? What could happen if you had to make a sudden stop on the freeway and your dog was not harnessed in? A smaller pet could have been thrown onto the floor. A larger pet could have had his nose or head hit on the dash, breaking its nose or causing serious injury to the spine. Protect your pet by keeping them in a cat or dog carrier or by having them wear a pet car harness.
Pet Auto Safety.com has several pet travel safety products, including three great products from Kurgo. Check out this news release on Kurgo product which include the Backseat Barrier, Wander Hammock, and the Tru-Fit Pet Car Harness.
Link to News Release on Kurgo Products
(For specific information on the products listed above, click on our Pet Auto Travel Safety Products button on the left.)
Follow these directions for using the Pet Car Harness sold by PetAutoSafety.com:
1) Unbuckle the straps and unclip the safety strap from the D-ring of the pet car harness.
2) Put the pet car harness on the dog so that the metal D-ring is on the dog’s back facing the tail, the shorter strap is close to the dog’s neck and the larger strap is at the dog’s middle.
3). Fasten the buckle of the shorter strap around the dog’s neck. Adjust to fit to about the same looseness or tightness as the dog’s collar. You should be able to slide two fingers under the strap.
4) Put the dog’s front right leg through the pet car harness so that padded chest piece goes from the dog’s throat to between their legs to under the chest.
5) Bring the longer strap of the pet car harness behind the dog’s front legs and fasten the buckle. Adjust looseness or tightness as per above.
6) Attach the safety clip to the D-ring of the pet car harness.
7) Put your dog in the car and insert the buckle clip into the seat belt buckle receptacle of your car.
8) Adjust the safety strap to desired length so your pet can comfortably sit, lie, or stand in the seat. The strap should not be so long that your dog can get onto the floor of the car. Or what we do is use the Extend-A-Seat along with our pet car harness so that we can lengthen the strap and give our dogs have more maneuverability.