Yesterday, I talked about my favorite pet travel products from Kurgo. Today I am going to share with you other brands of safety products that I love and use.
BERGAN CAR HARNESS
The Bergan brand dog harness did a little better in safety than the Kurgo. I’ve found the Bergan to be easier to adjust the size and the padding to be very comfortable. I think it is as easy to put on as the Kurgo, although it is put on just a little bit differently. And I absolutely love its tether. It is not a loop tether, so my dogs don’t get tangled in it. And it is adjustable so that I can make it short or long. Pierson still wears the Bergan safety harness.
Two drawbacks that people have reported are 1) the chest piece is sometimes a little too long, and 2) it doesn’t have a size to fit teacup sized dogs.
CLICKIT UTILITY SAFETY HARNESS
This is the newest canine safety harness, and it has also been deemed the safest by the Center for Pet Safety. This has been the only seat belt that has been successful at keeping Maya in her seat. It is extremely well-made and I love the padded protection. The only problem I have with it, though, is that I can’t use it in my 1998 car because that car doesn’t have the anchors located between the seat cushions. The ClickIt Utility requires that these anchors be used in order for it to be safe.
Even though the ClickIt Utility is the safest brand, there are several drawbacks. Its safety lies in its restriction. But because of its restriction, dogs can’t move around much when they wear it. If they try, they could get tangled and they could hurt themselves. Another thing people have found is that it is very difficult to adjust the size. And because it requires to be attached at three points, it can be cumbersome to secure your dog in the car.
If you want ultimate safety, this is the product to use. If you want something your dog can move around a bit in or if you want something quick and easy to use, then the ClickIt Utility may not be right for you.
BREEZEGUARD WINDOW SCREENS
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these car window screens. They are very well made, easy to take in an out, and will even allow you to roll your window up and down when they are in place. Even though Maya and Pierson are harnessed in, they can still put their heads out the window. I’ve never felt this to be safe. When I used to allow my dog Sephi to do it, sometimes she’d yelp because something from the road hit her in the face. It could have been something as small as a pebble, but still it hurt. I also worried about her choking herself if I had to make a sudden swerve. The BreezeGuard window screens allow my dogs to sniff the fresh breeze without endangering themselves.
One drawback about these window screens is that they are custom made and will only fit the vehicle year, make, and model they were designed for. They are pricy so if you change vehicles often, this may not be something you want to invest in.
GUARDIAN GEAR CAR SEAT COVERS
I’ve used several different styles of the Guardian Gear car seat covers over the years. I really like the materials and all the fashionable colors and designs they come in. The first one I used was the soft brown paw prints dog car seat cover. Then I used the blue plaid cover. It was also soft and plush. And I currently use the houndstooth designed brown one. Why do I keep switching out? Dog hair sticks to them. I could clean them, but I am lazy. With all the new colors and designs Guardian Gear keeps coming up with, I like being able to switch out.One drawback is that sometimes they don’t fit the seat of the car. Every vehicle has different sizes and shapes of seats so sometimes the cover is too big or too small. And some people have stated the seat belt holes don’t line up with the corner crease and safety belt buckles.
These are my favorite products. If you have smaller dogs, there may be other products that will be better for you. The Kurgo pet car seats, for example. Or the crash tested Sleepypod pet travel carriers. Some people prefer their dogs travel in a pet carrier instead of wearing a dog seat belt. Pet Auto Safety has a lot to choose from so that everyone has the opportunity to find their favorite travel products.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the new blog hop, Barks and Bytes, hosted by Linda with 2BrownDawgs and Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. Just about anything goes on this blog hop, so I will cover a variety of pet travel matters – comments, questions, upcoming events, news, tips, and anything else that comes up throughout the week. Here goes round one!
WAG N GO
The Wag N Go created by Trina with WagTheDogUK needs a little more help. Trina is running a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money so that she can put this product into construction. There is only a little time left, so stop by the Wag N Go Kickstarter campaign today and lend a helping paw.
PET CAR SAFETY ARTICLES
I haven’t been posting as many pet travel safety articles on this blog lately. But I haven’t been idle. I’ve written a few informative articles recently. Check them out on Ezine, PetsPage, and Hub Pages:
The following questions asked this week have been by telephone:
“Do you have any of the ClickIt harnesses left?”
Yes, but only a few. As of this moment, we have one extra small in black, one medium in black, and one large in black.
“When will you have more ClickIts in stock?”
Sleepypod, the manufacturer of the ClickIts, are hoping to have more in stock by the end of this month. This means we won’t have any more until the first week of February.
“How does that Carry-Me pet travel carrier work with the seat belt?”
At the time this question was asked, we did not have a photo showing this crate being secured with a seat belt. We indicated in the product description but no photos. The manufacturer didn’t have any either, which was a bit surprising. So I took the following photo, emailed it to the person who was asking about it, and posted it in the product description of the Carry-Me crates.
“How does the kennel straps work?”
This is another product where the manufacturer did not provide enough photos. So again, I took a few to demonstrate:
Remember our Funny Dogs Car Talk Adventures video starring Maya and Pierson? I promised more funny videos and that promise will be fulfilled around mid-March. I have written a new funny script. The next step is to record more of Maya and Pierson in the car, record the dialogue, and then edit the video.
I also want to make some instructional videos. Demonstrating how the kennel straps work would be much better if it was done in a video, don’t you think? However, I don’t want to make the videos too dry and boring. Any ideas how to make the video fun and/or interesting and yet still be informative?
QUICK DOG SAFETY TIP
Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean it is safe to leave your dog alone in the car while you run errands. While in warmer weather, your car traps heat like an oven, in colder weather it traps cold like a refrigerator. And you always have to worry about thieves or even unsavory people who don’t like dogs and will go out of their way to harass them when they think no one is looking. It is probably stressful enough for your dog if you’ve left him alone in unfamiliar surroundings. But then think about how much more stressful it might be if someone walking by purposely teased him.
Thank you for joining us for the very first Barks and Bytes blog hop. This event happens every Thursday so be sure to stop by regularly. You can sign up to subscribe to our blog in the top right column.
Thanks again and have a wonderful day!
Dawn with Maya and Pierson
After months of planning (and with trying to figure out how to use video editing software) our first new funny dogs video is finally here. This video stars the cutest dogs EVER, Maya & Pierson. Join them on their adventures in the car as they talk about various things. Sometimes the topic is educational information about pet travel safety and sometimes it is just fun funny stuff. Here is a very short preview video showing you what you can expect.
Please share and give our funny dogs video a thumbs up on YouTube.
The first full length video of episode 1 will be coming very very soon, possibly this weekend.
Thanks and enjoy!
Dawn with Maya & Pierson
One of our favorite bloggers, All Things Dog Blog, hosts a blog hop every Monday called Mutt Monday. A blog hop is where other bloggers get to share their posts under the blog hop topic. This Monday, we are joining the blog hop for Mutt Monday and the topic is “A Day in the Life of a Pet Blogger”. Would you like to know what it is like to run an online business and blog?
First off, let me explain what Nature by Dawn, Inc. is. My name is Dawn and I started Nature by Dawn, Inc. in 2006 with my art website, Nature by Dawn.com. I also started Pet Auto Safety.com in 2006. Today, my company Nature by Dawn, Inc. consists of a few retail sites, a couple informational sites, two blogs, and several social media sites. Pet Auto Safety.com is my primary focus. My dogs have been wearing canine seat belts for over 15 years and I am passionate and knowledgeable about pet travel safety.
Over the past seven years, I have learned a lot about running an online business. Let me tell you, it is not easy. But I love what I do so it is fun. Every Sunday, I start out by putting together a to-do list for the week. I have daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and ongoing projects.
The first thing I do every morning is fill orders. Sometimes this is quick and sometimes it takes half the morning. Then I look at my to-do list. Daily tasks include writing at least one blog post, checking emails, perusing the internet for pet news, reading and commenting on other dog blogs, and seeing what my doggie friends are up to on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and others. These daily tasks take up most of my day.
Weekly tasks include checking and analyzing the visitor and other stats for my websites, checking and entering specific blog hops, making sure my own blog posts posted properly, and coming up with blog topics for the following week.
Monthly tasks include entering all business sales and expenses into my accounting program, completing the accounting statements, re-submitting my products to Google Merchant and other similar shopping sites, verifying inventory count, ordering more inventory, and adding new product information if I find new products I’d like to sell.
Ongoing projects are generally SEO activities. SEO is search engine optimization. I have to constantly make sure I am keeping up with Google and Yahoo search guidelines. I modify my website as needed (which is often and can be very time consuming). Other SEO activities include submitting my website to directories and writing articles for Ezine and other article sites.
Another project I want to do very soon is make car travel videos with Maya and Pierson. They are going to be funny videos… at least I hope I can make them funny. I have someone who is going to do the Australian voice for Pierson. I will probably do Maya’s voice. They will be riding in the back of the car and having silly conversations. I hope to have the first video done before the end of August.
In between all these tasks, I have the opportunity to take Maya and Pierson for a walk, play with them, and perhaps do a little fun dog training.
I do most of these things myself, but I do get help from my family. And I have a couple of friends that help out from time to time. One such friend is Joanne. Joanne lives in the UK and she runs Fleece Dog Harnesses.co.uk. Joanne has helped me a lot with the SEO stuff and she is currently helping me with a new website for outdoor dog gear (website coming soon). Carrie with All Things Dog Blog has also been a great help to me on the social media side. I also have great relationships with some of my suppliers. The team at Kurgo and Bergan are fantastic. Susan with The Pet Net Brand is pawsome. And Sue with Mutt Managers for the Breeze Guard Window Screens is amazing.
I also have quite a few pet forum members and pet bloggers out there to thank for mentions and reviews. I love the cato- and dogo-sphere world and am very thankful to be a part of this wonderful community. ❤ ❤ ❤
Surprisingly, we didn’t have too many questions on pet travel safety during these past couple of weeks. Everyone must be out having some great summer fun. I know we are!
We did have two great questions, though:
1. “Does my dog have to sit down when he wears it?” Kathy asked us this question when she called us last week. And she is referring to the dog seat belts. The answer is no. Your dog can also lie down while wearing it. Depending on the length of the tether, your dog can also stand up while wearing it. My Maya is almost always standing when she wears her pet car harness.
I should also inform you that the Center for Pet Safety has determined that the shorter the tether, the better. A long tether means your dog will get tossed around more in an emergency car maneuver or car accident. I try to keep Maya’s tether as short as possible, but she is the kind of dog that can’t sit still. I have to balance her safety with her comfort, so I keep her tether a little longer than I keep Pierson’s.
2. “Do you ship outside the US?” Sorry, but generally no. There are three main reasons for this. First, our website is not set up to charge the extra fees involved in shipping outside the US. Even some places in Canada can cost twice as much to ship. The second reason is because of import fees. Import fees are what you pay to your country’s customs before you can pick up the package. This makes the over-all cost for the products much more expensive. The third reason we don’t ship outside the US is because it is difficult to honor the return policy. Since international shipping fees can be high and the paperwork sometimes complicated, it makes it difficult for someone to return a product. And our return policy states that any returns for reasons other than a product defect do not get refunded for shipping.
I do have a contact in the UK for the Bergan pet car harness brand. Her name is Joanne and she is the owner of FleeceDogHarnesses.co.uk. Joanne and I have been supporting each other’s businesses for years. In fact, she was the one who first informed me of the Bergan dog seat belts! And if you go check out her site, you will find pictures of my dogs Sephi and Maya at the very top.
Do you have any questions about pet travel safety? Please comment on this blog, comment on our Facebook page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
This post is part of the Follow Up Friday blog hop hosted by Heart Like a Dog. Please check out some other great dog bloggers below:
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 email@example.com.
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!
Maya and Pierson are very special to me. They may not be children, but they are more than just my pets. I don’t just feed them, play with them, and take them to the vet annually or as needed. I also take on other responsible roles such as making sure they eat healthy food, get enough exercise, train them, brush their teeth, clip their toenails, brush out their coat, etc. And I have them wear a dog safety seat belt when they ride in the car.
Some people think this is over-the-top for “just a dog”. But if you’re reading this, then you know that your dog is an integral part of the family. If your four-legged family member doesn’t currently buckle up in the car or isn’t safely restrained in the vehicle in any way, here are some reasons to consider it:
Reduce Driver Distractions
When I brought Maya home for the first time, she didn’t have a dog seatbelt yet. So, on the ride home she kept trying to climb in my lap. It was a big distraction which caused me to run a red light. I got honked at but thankfully did not get into or cause a car accident. But it taught me to always be prepared. Perhaps your dog paces in the car or keeps trying to climb from the back to the front seat or tries to stick his face in your face while you’re driving.
Protect Your Pet
Perhaps your dog rides well in the car and doesn’t distract you in any way. My dog Pierson is like that. He just sits there quietly the whole ride. But what if I have to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way of another car or something in the road? Or worse, what if I get in a car accident? Car accidents or even simple emergency vehicle maneuvers can cause a dog to be ejected from the vehicle or cause serious injury to your dog if they hit the dash or the windshield. A dog isn’t going to understand why your car suddenly went crazy on the road. They are going to be terrified and may try to escape. What then? More often than not, the dog will run as fast as they can to get away from what caused their fear. They could run into traffic or run away and get lost.
I don’t know about you, but if I get in a car accident I prefer not to be struck by a 50+ pound flying projectile (i.e. my dog). I also do not want my dogs to stick their head out the window. Before I realized the danger of this, my dog Sephi did it all the time. But then my vet told me about one of his client’s dog that had to have his eye removed because of flying road debris. When your dog wears a dog safety seat belt, it is more difficult for them to put their head out the window. They can still get the nice breeze, but at least they can’t be hurt from things on the road and they can’t jump or get thrown out of the car.
It’s not yet a law in my state but New Jersey has a law stating that animals inside the vehicle must be restrained. I have no doubt that other states will soon follow. Even states that hesitate to make such a law will have or may already have laws that allow police officers to issue a ticket to anyone who is driving unsafely due to a distraction.
Maya and Pierson do not suffer in the least because they wear a dog seatbelt in the car. They might not be able to move around much or put their heads out the window but trust me when I say they still love to ride. With a little practice and perhaps a little time, your best friend can get used to his safety restraint and love the ride just as much as before.
This post is part of the Pet Blogger Awareness Day for pet travel safety.
Summer turning to fall is a great time for a picnic. So fill up the picnic basket and head out for some fun! We had a great picnic this past week. It was my husband and I, our two dogs Maya & Pierson, and four friends. Check out these fun photos.
Don’t forget, if you travel anywhere in the car with your dog, be sure they are secured in a dog car seat belt or other pet travel safety device.
For more fun pet photos, check out the great blogs on the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.
We have to share some great links for pet travel safety. AAA and Kurgo did a great survey from pet owners who travel with their pets. One of these pet travel statistics indicate that 29% of these pet owners admitted to being distracted by their pet while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 20% of injury car accidents in 2009 were a result of distracted driving. And only 16% of the pet owners who travel with their dogs in the car use some form of pet travel safety product. For their very well-presented pet travel statistics report from AAA and Kurgo, visit Kurgo’s 2011 Survey Sheet. A portion of this sheet is shown above.
Another well-presented pet travel statistics report is from GoPetFriendly.com. Their survey reports that 60% of pet owners traveled with their pets in 2010. 22% of those traveled with their pets on a monthly basis in 2011. A portion of their report is show below. For the entire report, visit the GoPetFriendlyBlog.com.
Do you take your dog for rides in the car? Tell us about your vacation with your pet and how you practice pet travel safety.