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September 18, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to another edition of Barks & Bytes hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2BrownDawgs.

It’s been a month since our last participation in the Barks & Bytes blog hop so we have a lot to cover. I’ll try very hard to be brief. First off, if you haven’t done so already, say Happy Birthday to my Maya who turned 7 at the end of August!

IMPROVED PET DEK
In a review of the Pet Dek that I made back in July, I mentioned how one of the legs kept coming off but I fixed it with a washer. The manufacturer of the Pet Dek saw my post and wanted to let me know that this issue has been fixed and is no longer a concern. Honest reviews really pay off!

FREE SHIPPING ON FLAT SEAT
The Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat is a comparable product and for the month of September, we are offering free shipping.

Belle-Button the Frenchie Wearing the Bergan Dog Seat Belt 3

Belle is wearing the Bergan dog seat belt as she rests comfortably in her pet bed in the back seat for the road trip.

FRENCHIES REVIEW
On Wednesday, September 10th, we shared the photos of three adorable Frenchies: Arnold, Belle, and Wilbur. Their mom first purchased the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat from us. And when she found out we were also in Iowa, she explained how difficult it has been for her to find a dog car seat belt that would fit the odd shape of a Frenchie. And so I offered to visit her in person to try some on. The Kurgo Tru-Fit brand fit them nicely, but the Bergan dog seat belt fit even better. So Arnold, Belle, and Wilbur all have one and they wore them on their recent road trip.

My Dog Pierson with a Woman Named Flea

Does Pierson want pets or does he want goodies from Jones Natural Chews? Flea gives him both.

FLEA!
If you haven’t heard of Flea from DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews, then you’re really missing out. Her blog is funny and Flea is such a heartwarming person. We (Maya, Pierson, and I) have been lucky enough to have been able to meet her on two occasions. Once, during the holidays when we made our annual road trip from Kansas to Texas. And the second time just a couple of days ago as she traveled from Oklahoma to Illinois. It was a wonderful visit and Maya and Pierson were extremely spoiled with the Boo Bucket and other treats from Jones Natural Chews.

Maya Labrador AllSafe Dog Car Harness

The AllSafe dog car harness fits Maya perfectly!

ALLSAFE
Remember earlier in the year where I mentioned one of our goals was to acquire the AllSafe dog car harness? Well, we finally got it! As of yesterday, the AllSafe pet seat belt is officially available on PetAutoSafety.com. For now, it has free shipping. This may change later so if you’ve been wanting one, now is the time to get one. Maya has hers already. Keep an eye out on this blog for our review.

VARIOCAGE
The company that provides the AllSafe dog seat belt also has the VarioCage. If you haven’t heard of it before, it is the absolute best car cage on the market. We don’t have this one on our website yet, but it will be available before the end of the month.

LOST DOG COMMENTS
A special thanks to Barbara from K9sOverCoffee and Lindsay with ThatMutt for adding two more means to find a dog lost after a car accident. Post fliers, contact a radio station to see if they will mention the lost pet, and contact shelters and rescue groups every day to see if anyone has brought in the pet. I can’t believe I didn’t think of these. Thank you!!!

PET TRAVEL ARTICLES
And thank you to Patrice for writing these great pet travel articles for us:
Plan a Great Pet Friendly Trip
Finding Pet Friendly Accommodations

Thanks for stopping by, everyone and enjoy the rest of your week! :)

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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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August 7, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by again everyone! As you’ve noticed, I don’t do Barks & Bytes every week. That is because I don’t want to inunduate you all with advertising! I have two dog blogs and this one is mostly promotional. What can I say? I’ve got two pampered pups to support! :) (If you’re interested in my non-promotional dog blog about Maya and Pierson, check out my personal blog, http://americandogblog.wordpress.com/)

Before I share pet travel info with you today, let me first thank Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs for hosing the Barks & Bytes blog hop. Thanks, ladies! :)

Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat

PORTABLE PET TRAVEL FLAT SEAT

I’ve probably posted about this new pet travel product a dozen times on my social media sites already but that is because I really love it. I’ve always loved its comparable product, the Backseat Bridge, but the Portable Pet Flat Seat is a hundred times better! True it is more expensive too, but you get what you pay for. And I really got my money’s worth. Next week I’ll compare the flat seat with the other two seat extenders I have.

Despite the fact that I’m always on the lookout for new pet travel products, I did not actually find this product. The woman who designed the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat (Deb) found me. She is a dog lover who noticed that her big dog sometimes comes off the seat even though he is wearing his dog car harness, and so designed this product to give him more room to spread out and be comfortable. The black dog in the photo, by the way, is her dog Howie.

Anyway, Deb called me one day while I was walking Pierson and asked if I would advertise her product on my site. Just advertise, I asked? What if I try to sell it too? She had never heard of dropshipping and so I explained it to her. And a relationship was born. In exchange for some graphic designs (because I am an artist too) I received a Portable Pet Flat Seat of my very own. Here is a video of me installing it for the first time.

As you can see, the installation took me less than 10 minutes. It might have taken me less time if I had read the instructions first! :o

Maya is featured in the video. And just so my dog Pierson wouldn’t be left out, I took some photos of him on the pet travel flat seat as well.

Dog Pierson on Pet Travel Flat Seat in Car 1 Dog Pierson on Pet Travel Flat Seat in Car 2

What do you think? Isn’t he handsome? Silly question, right? Of course he’s handsome!

PET TRAVELER’S COMMENTS

Thank you Jodi, Linda, and Lindsay (with That Mutt) for being regular commentors on my pet travel blog. I really appreciate your feedback. And I want to also apologize to Jodi for the fact that her comments do not always get posted right away. For whatever reason, Jodi, your comments are going to my spam folder! I have no idea why. It shouldn’t be doing that for people I have approved comments for in the past. And so it took me three days to notice you left a comment and for me to approve it. Since I don’t have Captcha, I get over 100 comments in my spam folder a day. If I don’t check my spam comments every day, they can build up fast. Luckily, Jodi, I found both your comments on the Barks & Bytes #8 post through the 500 or so spam comments that had built up. I’m sorry it took me so many days to find. And I’m sorry comments have to go through moderation. But I’d rather search through 100 or more comments a day than utilize Captcha.

PET TRAVEL SAFETY ARTICLES

My new writer, Patrice, has written another great pet travel article for me. Check out Plan a Great Pet Friendly Trip.

Thanks for stopping by for the Barks & Bytes blog hop! Have a great rest of the week and a great tail-waggin’ weekend!

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July 24, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to the Barks & Bytes blog hop where the greatest pet bloggers join together and talk about their favorite topic – yep, you guessed it, pets. In my case, it’s dogs and dog safety.

Before I talk about the safety of my best pals, let me first thank Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs for hosting this blog hop.

THANKS
In last week’s Bark & Bytes post I shared a cute video of my dogs Maya and Pierson in the car. Thank you so much Jodi and Linda for liking it and sharing it. It has had almost 50 views in just one week! And thank you, Suan and the gang with Life with Dogs and Cats for stopping by for a visit and commenting. You’re right, Lilah and Pierson do look a lot alike. They both have the same cute button noses, pierson eyes, fluffy coat and paws, and fluffy butt and tail. :)

Don't Leave Your Dog in the Car

Don’t do this to your dog, even if the weather is mild.

PET SUMMER SAFETY
Now on to the important safety stuff. Folks, I’ve been reading a lot of articles today about people leaving their dogs in their car while they run errands! This scares me so much!!! It’s hot out there!!!!! If you haven’t already, please stop by and like this Facebook page for Heat Can Kill Your Pet. Just Think First. It’s not my page, but a page I follow and they have a lot of great information about how dangerous and yet still common this practice is. They also have tips on what you can do about it, like calling the police, asking the store owner to announce it, leaving a flyer from My Dog is Cool, and/or by staying with the car until authorities or the owner arrives. I would not recommend confronting the owner yourself. People get very defensive, especially when that person is not an authority figure. They will only rationalize their actions and not really hear what you’re saying. So let a police officer or an animal control officer handle it. If the dog is truly having a heat emergency, be very careful should you decide to break the car window. It is illegal. I believe there is only one state that says it is legal if you are saving someone or an animal in distress.

Dog Left in Hot Car

We have a new article writer for Pet Auto Safety. Her name is Patrice. I may have introduced her before. She has written a great article on this and other pet summer safety topics titled, 9 Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Travel with Your Dog. Please go check it out and share. She’s a great writer, isn’t she?

Here are some pet summer safety tips from Pet360:

Pet Summer Safety Infographic from Pet360

NEW PET TRAVEL PRODUCT
Shortly after writing last week’s Barks & Bytes, I had a woman named Deb call me about her new product, the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat. I’ve talked many times about the Backseat Bridge and the new Pet Dek, but the pet travel flat seat, I think, is even better. It is completely flat and there are far fewer gaps! I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but will be getting it by the end of this week or early next. Deb is an entrepreneur who designed the pet travel flat seat herself. She is working with her family in order to try to get it on the market. So even if this isn’t something you need, share it with your friends! I love helping out the individual business owner, especially when they have such great pet products.

Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat

Look how flat the portable pet travel flat seat is. It is strong yet thin, not bulky.

THANKS AGAIN!
Thanks again for stopping by the Barks & Bytes blog hop! If you still don’t have your pet fix, check out the posts form these other great bloggers:

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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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Barks & Bytes #6 Catch Up

Author: MayaAndPierson
June 26, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

I’m back to blogging! (I think.) I’ve really missed blogging. But then again, it was good to have a break amidst all the chaos. I even took an extra few days off from blogging in order to take a breather. Before I catch up on all that’s been going on, let me thank Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs for hosting this blog hop. Thanks gals!

NEW PRODUCTS
While I haven’t been blogging much, we have still been keeping up with business activities. We’ve purchased a bunch of new products. I’ll give you more details as the weeks progress, but for now let me give you a brief glimpse.

The Pet Dek for Cars

Pet Dek
The Pet Dek is a lot like the Backseat Bridge. It is better in many ways, but not in others. I installed it in my car fairly easily and Maya and Pierson used it for the first time when we drove from Kansas to Iowa. I like the Pet Dek a lot!

Bitter Apple
We’ve been meaning to add this product for some time, but for some reason we never got to it, until now that is. We get a lot of questions from people about how to keep their dogs from chewing on their new expensive dog seat belts. Along with training tips, we’ve also suggested enhancing training success by using a product like Bitter Apple. For some, this stuff works miracles. Other dogs, however, are not deterred by the taste. You never know what is going to work until you try, though.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Dog Life Vests
We intended on building a new website this year for outdoor dog gear. It probably isn’t going to happen, though, until next year. In the meantime, we’ve added a new page on the PetAutoSafety.com website for Outdoor Dog Gear. There you will find a good-sized collection of life jackets for dogs. We will also be adding dog backpacks over the next week or so.

Maya Wearing Dog Backpack from Outward HoundPierson in Dog Backpack from Outward Hound

The Rein Coat for Dogs

The Rein Coat
This product hasn’t been added yet, but will be soon. Check out my AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com blog to see what I’ve written about it so far. It is more than just a rain coat. It also helps with calming pets and I’m really hoping it will help calm Pierson when he sees other dogs and when he goes to the vet. We shall see. It can help dogs that are nervous about travel too, so hopefully the Rein Coat will be available on PetAutoSafety.com soon.

Other Pet Travel Products
We will also be adding a more comprehensive pet first aid kit next week, more dog backpacks, and handy bottle & bowl bags from Outward Hound. We’d also like to find more pet travel crates.

PET TRAVEL ARTICLES
We’ve hired a new pet travel safety article writer recently. I will still be writing the blog for the most part, but Patrice will be writing articles and sharing them around the web. She is a fantastic writer. She does her research very well. And best of all, she is a dog-lover. I posted one her articles on this blog last week. And the other was posted on ezine – about Why You Need to Restrain Your Dog in the Car.

By the way, if you’d like PetAutoSafety to do a guest post on your blog about pet car safety, let me know!

BEHIND THE SCENES
Now on to the personal stuff. Some of you may know why I stopped blogging, but for those who don’t, let me give you a brief recap. My mom was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. At about the same time I found that out, my husband was hired for a new job in Iowa. So when I got back from visiting my mom in Oregon, I started fixing up our house so that we could put it on the market. While my husband moved ahead to Iowa, Maya, Pierson, and I stayed behind in Kansas to pack and to supervise the work on the house. When we found a great place to live, we had a moving company help us get there. After that, I had a lot of unpacking and organizing to do. Other things have happened too, but I will fill you in on my personal blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com soon.

Things are not over yet, though. Our house in Kansas is not sold yet, but we do have a buyer. And sadly, my mom is not doing well. Her positive attitude kept her going for longer than the doctors expected. But things are getting worse. Nevertheless, my mom is a real trooper. I love her spirit. She has her moments when the reality of her situation really sinks in, but she still finds things to smile and laugh about. I’m trying to take my lead from her by also being positive.

My mom taught me two very important things, for which I will be forever grateful: 1) No matter what life throws at you, there are still things to be happy about. 2) One of the things in life that can give you the most joy is a dog. Dogs are the best. I swear sometimes, my mom loved her dogs more than us kids. JK… I think ;)

My Mom and Her Dog Rocky

My mom and her dog Rocky.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

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Pet Auto Safety.com – New for 2014

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 14, 2014
Maya Happy New Year

Hello 2014!

2013 was a great year, but we want 2014 to be better. Here is what you can expect from Pet Auto Safety.com this year:

* We want to make more funny dog videos of Maya and Pierson in the car. We also want to do some informative videos showing how certain pet travel products work. Many of those videos will also include pros and cons of the products.

* We want to write more informative articles about pet travel, and not just for our blog and not just about products. We are considering guest posts on other blogs, but mostly we want to focus on putting articles up onto websites that are designed specifically for sharing articles and information. Currently, we post articles on Squidoo, Hubs, and Ezine, but we want to branch out to websites that are specific to dogs.

* I’ve joined a group called Women in the Pet Industry Network. I’m hoping this will be a great way to meet and learn from other dog people. I know some of our readers of this blog are members of this group. What do you think of it?

* We’ve changed our business entity from Nature by Dawn, Inc. to Nature by Dawn, LLC. The expenses of running a corporation make sense for a large company but are too burdensome for a small one.

* We are considering whether to open up a new website for outdoor dog gear. After all, many of you traveling with your dogs are going somewhere fun like hiking or swimming. We already have life jackets and back packs on our pet auto safety site. It is just a matter of getting a wider selection and building a new site (not quite as simple as I just made it sound).

Kurgo Wander Back Pack for Dogs

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

* We’re considering whether we should add the AllSafe dog seat belt to our site. It rated very well with the independent crash test study. However, after contacting the manufacturer in Germany, it doesn’t look like it is going to happen.

* I’d like to make a pet car safety infographic, but need some creative ideas.

We have more plans for 2014, but much of it is technical and boring. What do you think so far? Which of these things would interest you the most? Do you know of any pet travel products that you think would make a great addition to our Pet Auto Safety site?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a pawtastic year! :)

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January 6, 2014

 

Maya ClickIt Utility Pet Seat Belt

For Maya, safety means having to sit still in the car, not being able to puther head out the window, and wearing a seat belt. But she’s still happy despite her lack of freedom in the car.

Welcome to 2014! A new year means getting a fresh start. It means resolving to do what you’ve been putting off. You and your dog are going to get fit, you’re going to eat better, and you’re going to do more fun activities together. When making all these resolutions, don’t forget to include the safety of your best furry friend.

Use a Pet Travel Safety Device
You know, I can’t mention pet safety without mentioning dog seat belts or pet travel carriers. If your dog rides in the car, it is a good idea to make sure he rides safe. If he won’t wear a car harness or ride in a crate, at least consider covering the floor of the back seat or putting up a barrier to separate the front and the back of the vehicle. The Backseat Bridge is a great way to do both. By putting this in your car, you can help keep your dog from getting thrown onto the floor or into the front seat. The barrier might even keep him from trying to climb in the front.

Pierson in the Car Logo

The Backseat Bridge covers the floor of the car and has a divider blocking the center console.

Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car
Resolve to never go anywhere with your dog where you have to leave him alone in the car. In spring and summer, you have to worry about the vehicle trapping heat. In the fall and winter, you have to worry about the car acting as a freezer. Plus, there is a danger of theft. And don’t even tell me about the sorts of people who hate animals and like to maliciously tease them.

Keep Head and Paws Inside the Vehicle
Also, make sure when your pet rides in the car that he doesn’t put his head or paws out the window. If you have to stop or swerve suddenly, your dog could choke or get thrown out of the vehicle. It’s happened, people. It really has. Flying road debris could also hurt your best friend’s eyes or nose. Not only are there small pebbles to worry about, but also trash that people toss out their windows.

Pierson Breeze Guard Car Window Screens

Pierson can’t put his head out the window because it is fitted with the Breeze Guard car window screens. I love these screens! I can put the window down and still keep my dogs safe. Click Pierson’s photo to find out more.

Don’t Ride in the Back of a Pickup
And for goodness sake, don’t let your dog ride in the back of a pickup. This is becoming illegal in more and more places. And for a very good reason.

Wear a Dog Life Jacket
Besides protection in cars, there are other safety things to consider for your pet. If your dog likes to swim or ride in a boat, make sure he wears a safety vest. Even though my Maya can swim, I generally have her wear a life jacket when she swims in a lake. This is because she loves swimming so much that I worry about her swimming too far after a stick or a ball. I worry about her getting too tired in the water.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Maya wears her dog life jacket when she goes swimming at Clinton Lake.

Protect From Weather
Keep your dog safe then they are outdoors in adverse weather. Adverse weather includes rain, sleet, snow, and even the sun. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure he has shelter. Shelter can help protect him against all sorts of weather. Always make sure he has fresh water. This is vital, but even more so in the heat. Protect paws from hot pavements and icy sidewalks, have short-coated dogs wear coats or sunscreen, and if hiking in nature watch out for wild animals and insects.

Wear a Lighted Collar
If you walk your dog at night, be sure your dog wears a lighted collar or reflective safety vest. If not your dog, at least yourself. Well, don’t wear a collar but at least carry some sort of light with you. You may see a car coming because of their headlights, but they can’t always see you.

Light Dog Collars 2

Pierson wears a light collar that dangles from his neck. Because his hair is so long, he can’t wear the glow collar that Maya is wearing.

Get Safe Chew Toys
If your dog is a chewer, resolve to find more dog toys that are indestructible. Resolve to supervise your dog whenever he plays with certain toys. Keep things that are unsafe to chew or eat out of his reach.

Pierson Kong Flyer Spring 2013 018

Pierson loves the indestructible Kong Flyer dog toy.

There are a lot of other pet safety things to consider, but I can hardly think of them all. Besides, pet car safety is my specialty. :)

What do you do to protect your best friend’s safety?

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Follow Up Friday #21

Author: MayaAndPierson
December 6, 2013

Follow Up Friday Banner Logo

Welcome to Follow Up Friday where we recap the week… in this case, the past two weeks. I did not participate last week because I was still stuffed from Thursday’s meal. :)

This week’s follow up is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. Be sure to check out her blog to see what Sampson and Delilah have been up to.

TWO CONTESTS

You may have already heard about the contest in November for the cute dog figurines. Winners have been announced… Kate V, Jodi E, Lindsay, Jenn B, and Theresa S. Congratulations all! If you haven’t already received your prize, you should be receiving it within a day or two.

Now for the December contest giveaway! On December 2nd, I started a contest for a paw print seat cover. If you haven’t already, go check it out and enter the rafflecopter. There are multiple ways to enter, and I’m sure most of you already meet the criteria by liking my Facebook page and following me on Twitter. You can also add additional entries by tweeting daily. There have only been 38 entries so far, so your chances are good. This contest ends on December 15th. I want to make sure the winner can get their cover in time for Christmas.

Paw Print Dog Seat Covers

Speaking of the paw print pet car covers, Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews did a great review for me. I heard she got a new Prius and thought she might like one. Check out the review from Flea.

THE RIGHT PET TRAVEL PRODUCT FOR YOU

Posted on the same day as the seat cover contest was an article about selecting the best way for your dog to travel; not based on what everyone else says is the best, but what works for you, your situation, and your dog. The best dog seat belt on the market may not work for your best friend. Some dogs might prefer riding in a crate. But then again, if you have a big dog you might not be able to fit his large pet crate in your small car. There are a ton of different situations and other options besides harnesses and crates. Be sure to go check out this article.

OUR THANKSGIVING

I haven’t posted about this yet, so I thought I would share it here today. We didn’t travel this holiday. Since my dad and stepmom are 11 hours away, my mom and stepdad are 5 hours away, my husband’s parents are in another country, and since my husband couldn’t get Friday off, we stayed home. Neither of us have any family nearby, but we have some good friends. We had a nice afternoon meal, ate some traditional and also nontraditional food, then took a nap. All-in-all, a wonderful day to be thankful for.

BLACK FRIDAY

I didn’t post about Black Friday on this blog, but I did a little bit on my other blog. On Black Friday, I went to Petco and bought Pierson a bark control collar. I also got him a free pair of reindeer antlers with the purchase. I thought it was a fun trip, but Pierson was not at all pleased:

Dog Pierson Petco Antlers Why

Admit it, dog costumes are for our amusement, not theirs. Does Pierson look amused to you? I know these Petco antlers made me smile. :D Poor Pierson. I promise he didn’t suffer long. Just long enough for me to take a photo.

If you want to know more about how the bark control collar worked for Pierson, be sure to visit my American Dog Blog. The short version of this story is it has been peaceful this week.

Thanks for stopping by. And thank you, Jodi for hosting the blog hop! Happy Holidays everyone. :)

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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December 2, 2013
Several Pet Travel Safety Products

Pet travel safety products listed clockwise: Snoozer car seat, dog seat belt, car barrier, pet carrier secured w/ kennel straps.

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding what to get for your dog when you want to protect him in the car. It’s not just a matter of selecting the safest product. What might be the best for one person and their pet may not be what is best for you and yours. Here are some things to consider.

SAFETY vs COMFORT

You want your best friend to be both safe and comfortable. However, the safest travel gear is not always the most comfortable. For example, the ClickIt Utility has been deemed as the safest canine car harness in 2013 by the Center for Pet Safety. But it is also the most restrictive, making it uncomfortable for dogs who insist on trying to move around in the car. If your dog is like this, you may want to consider a less restrictive brand. The Ruff Rider Roadie is just one notch under the ClickIt in safety so it still offers protection, and it’s not as restrictive.

Maya ClickIt Utility Dog Seat Belt

Maya can barely move when wearing the ClickIt Utility. She can lay down or sit, but she can’t stand up.

Dog Lying Down with Ruff Rider Roadie

Dogs can sit, stand, or lie down while wearing the Ruff Rider Roadie

Chew or Escape Proof?
Keep in mind, too, that if your dog is uncomfortable he may try to wiggle or chew out of a car restraint. Car harnesses are not chew proof. And none are entirely escape proof either. Some might be more difficult to wiggle out of than others, but if a dog is determined enough he will break out, or hurt himself trying.

Harness vs Crate
Another safety versus comfort concern is regarding a car restraint versus a crate. Is a safety harness safer than a crate? This has not been officially determined, but it would stand to reason that a secured pet travel crate can keep your dog from being a distraction and from getting thrown from the vehicle, just like a durable seat belt can.

Straps for Pet Carriers

This Pet Travel Carrier secured in the car with kennel straps.

Sleepypod Air Pet Carrier Orange

The Sleepypod Air pet carrier is perfect for cats and small dogs. Plus, it has been crash tested.

So when debating whether to get a harness or crate, consider your dog’s comfort. Some dogs won’t like being restrained in a harness while others would hate riding in a travel carrier. And some dogs won’t like either, which means using a car barrier or other pet travel safety product might be ideal for you. These other kinds or products won’t provide as much safety, but at the very least may help to keep your furry best friend in the back seat.

Risk
Thankfully, the chances of you being involved in a collision are small. And if you do get in an accident, be thankful that most accidents are minor. Census.gov reports for 2009 that 0.6% of all car accidents in the US were fatal while 27.6% had nonfatal injuries, and 71.9% had property damage only. Where we may not be badly injured in a fender bender, an unrestrained dog can be. He can break his leg when he gets tossed between the seats, get severe damage to his nose if he hits the dash, get bodily injured when he gets thrown at the windshield, get squished because he is on your lap between you and the steering wheel, or get choked because his head is out the car window. All these possible injuries could be minimized or even eliminated with even the most basic restraint, crash tested or not.

Maya Puppy in Car Wearing Dog Seat Belt

When Maya was a puppy, her first dog seat belt was an untested restraint. It kept her from trying to climb on my lap, which she desperately wanted to do.

TYPE OF VEHICLE

If you have a small car and a big dog, having him ride in a crate may not be feasible. Or if you have an SUV and you want your pet to ride in the cargo area, keep in mind that not all canine car harness brands can be used in the cargo area.

COST

In general, the safest products are also the most expensive. Manufacturers making safety gear have invested heavily in quality materials and testing, thereby making merchandise that might be out of one’s price range. But paying less does not always mean making a compromise on your best friend’s welfare. Bergan has a relatively inexpensive harness which passed crash testing at the small and medium sizes (25lbs and 45lbs). Pet carriers also tend to be more expensive than harnesses, especially larger crates.

PURPOSE

Do you want to keep your dog safe, or do you just want to keep him from trying to climb in the front seat or climb onto your lap? Perhaps you only plan on taking short trips around town and not on the highway. Maybe your dog doesn’t get to go for a ride very often. Safety is important, but your intended use is also an important factor to consider. You may not want to spend a lot of money on the safest seat belt for dogs if you don’t plan on using it that often.

EASE OF USE

What is easy to use and what isn’t is relative. If you’re not used to putting on a harness, a car harness can seem complex. The ClickIt Utility with its three attachment points can seem even more convoluted. A carrier may not be easy either, especially when you consider how you are going to strap it in and secure it in your vehicle. However, whichever method you choose, it gets easier each time.

Put Bergan Canine Car Harness on My Dog

I’ve found the Bergan harness easy to put on, but some have found it difficult.

These are just a few of the factors people think about when they look for a pet travel safety product. Which features do you consider?

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