Car safety for dogs!
Secure your dog and keep them safe in the car!
On a very hot, 90 degree day in July 2007, coming back from an agility trial, me, my sis Gracie, and Mum were involved in a dangerous car accident on Interstate I-70 just west of Dayton, Ohio.
It was a very scary situation, and one we don't ever want to repeat. But one thing is certain, if Mum hadn't had us dogs secured and restrained safely in the car...well, I just hate to think of what could have happened to me and Gracie.
Here we will explore the ways in which you can keep your dog safe in your car when traveling.
And remember, it's important to keep them safe on long and short trips - even to the local pet store!
There are so many reasons to take precautions when traveling with your pup. Each year thousands of animals are injured, die or become needlessly lost in car accidents.
- Your pup could distract you and cause an accident.
- If you were involved in an accident, your pup could escape from the car and become lost.
- They could be seriously injured or needlessly die if loose in your vehicle.
- Other equipment or items in your car can injure your pup in just a slight fender bender.
Read on for more information on what you can do. And please remember, keep your pets out of the front seat and safe from the airbag!
Center for Pet Safety tests pet harness on the market to help you make a more informed choice for your dog!
In February 2012, the Center for Pet Safety, a newly formed organization, tested four (4) pet harness on the market and found that all four failed in simulated crash tests indicating that all the pets would not be protected if they were wearing these harness during a car accident.
In October 2013, they released the results of the Center for Pet Safety's 2013 Harness Crashworthiness Study Summary Report sponsored by Subaru of America.
The bottom line? Be sure that if you decide to utilize a pet safety harness for your pet, purchase one of the highest quality that passes both the V9DT requirements (info below) or meets the Center for Pet Safety standards for the weight of your dog.
We understand that after the results of the CPS tests were announced many of the manufacturers included in the 2013 study are actively modifying their designs to improve crashworthiness, integrity and are actively working on quality control monitoring solutions.
Below we've listed many of the tests restraints and their plus and minus points from results of the CPS tests.
Types of dog restraints for automobiles!
There are several ways to restrain your dog in your automobile. It's a personal decision and one that is based on many individual factors. We'll explore here the various ways to help you make a more informed decision.
One of the most popular dog restraint for traveling in cars is the crate. Whether it's a soft crate, wire crate or plastic crate will depend on your individual circumstances and the available space in your vehicle.
Crates are a preferred choice when you have the space available, and the best choice when you have equipment in your car that can shift during an impact. All that equipment can be very dangerous, not only to you, but your pup.
Another good choice if you have one dog or dogs that get along well with each other, is a dog seat belt. They come in a wide variety of price ranges and you get what you pay for. Read our link on seat belt reviews to help you make a more informed decision.
If you have a small dog, a dog car seat may be a good choice. They come in several styles, and are secured with your seat belt, or an included restraint that attaches to your seat or seatbbelt. These help elevate your small dog so that they can easily see out the window, and are cushioned for comfort.
Great harnesses and seatbelts to keep your pup safe!
The most popular dog harness restraint is the Ruff Rider.
The Roadie Elite Dog Safety Harness is tested to US human seatbelt standards. Researched and independently tested, Ruff Rider's Roadie Canine Vehicle Safety/Training Harness keeps the dog you love safe while you are driving, braking or turning and affords the best protection in extreme situations.
It easily attaches to any vehicle's seatbelt system, and it includes a built-in short walking lead for all-around use. Every Ruff Rider Roadie is veterinarian-approved & exceeds S.A.E. tensile strength standards for human seat belts. The CPS found that there was no failure with this restraint for any size dog.
- Allsafe Car Safety Harness
The Allsafe Car Safety Harness for dogs is the only canine auto harness/seatbelt that has passed crash tests in both Europe and the US, resisting pressure of up to 1 ton. This high-quality German-designed car harness was crash tested by the German Auto Club in head-on collisions at speeds up to 30 mph using a dog dummy and was certified according to the stringent standards of DIN-75410-2/ECE R-17. The CPS found that there was no failure with this restraint for any size dog.
- Bergan Auto Harness
We buckle up. Why shouldn't our best friends? Minimize driving distractions and increase protection for both you and your dog. Bergan's Auto Harnesses meet V9DT B2009.1. Pet Safety Durability Test (see www.v9dt.com). The CPS found that there was no failure with this restraint for any small to medium size dogs, however had a failure rate for dogs at 75 lbs.
- Click N Roll Dog Seatbelt System
The Click N Roll Dog Seatbelt System is a dog auto harness accessory that offers the ultimate in comfort and security for your dog. Simply snap the belt reel into a seatbelt buckle on the rear seat of the vehicle. The extra-strong steel clip and swivel anchor your dog's harness (not included) in seconds, yet the retractable belt (up to 27.5") allows your dog enough freedom of movement to stretch out and rest comfortably on long trips. The CPS found that there was no failure with this restraint for any size dog.
Does it pass the test?
The Center for Pet Safety is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to companion animal and consumer safety. They are an independent safety science entity leading a unique mission for companion animals and their owners. Their organization was developed after 8 years of pet product industry and consumer research. Currently, CPS is focusing on Pet Travel Safety. Using scientific testing and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard specifications, we study pet products and establish criteria and test protocols to measure whether pet safety products provide the protection claimed by advocates and intended by the manufacturer. Learn more!
V9DT is a new standard that has been developed with manufacturers and independent laboratories. It establishes a minimum durability standard for automotive pet harnesses. Look for the “Complies with V9DT” logo on product packaging in retail stores to be sure you have the best product on the market today.
Great travel crates!
If you can fit a crate in your car it is the safest form of travel for your dog. It's what we do! Here are some recommended crates that will fit nicely in a van or SUV.
- Mim Variocage Single Dog Safety Cages - single and double
For more than 20 years, MIM has worked with functional designs of safety details in the vehicle industry and they have documentation from hundreds of crash tests. Using this information and their experience, MIM developed a vehicle dog crate following the major car manufacturers' use of crumple zones. Then they worked with Swedish government agencies to develop the Safe Pet Crate Test to test the safety of passengers and dogs in crates during a traffic accident.
- Ruff Tough Single Door Dog Kennel
The Ruff Tough Single Door Dog Kennels are the most durable, compact and versatile dog kennels on the market. A Ruff Tough Kennel was dropped from a height of 12 feet with no effect. No splits or cracks - WOW! The Ruff Tough Kennel was fired at with a full choke charge at about 15 paces - only a handful of pellets penetrated! The Ruff Tough Kennel features safety tie downs for you to secure in your pickup or SUV. You can easily bolt the Ruff Tough Kennels together up, down, sideways or both with the heavy duty metal inserts.
- Kennel-Aire Professional Series Wire Kennel
Safety for your dog, simplicity for you! Ease is the bottom line with the Kennel Aire Professional Dog Kennel. It folds to a suitcase, so you can store and carry it anywhere, and the FDA-approved plastic floorslides out easily for cleaning. Kam lock and dual pin closing mechanism provides the ultimate in security
- NozToNoz Soft Dog Crates
Stylish home, portable crate, collapsible kennel, lightweight ease, hip and reliable dog house. Easy to set up and take down. Very upper class. The sides stretch tight and give this crate a look we don't see in other soft crates. It's durable, well ventilated, easy to carry, comfortable, and our dogs' first choice at nap time. Sturdy and lightweight. When we tested this crate, we had a 200 pound man sit on a corner of the set up crate and it didn't budge!
- Precision Pet Great Crate for Dogs
Here's a folding 2 door dog crate for everyday use that won't cost you an arm and a leg. It's built to last and it looks good too! The doors secure with unique slider latches. Another handy feature is the unique pan release mechanism. The black plastic pan stays put which makes it nearly impossible for your dog to slide the pan out. The crate folds easily into a flat, suitcase-type package with a comfortable carrying handle. Includes a Puppy Divider Panel with every crate. We don't recommend this crate for dogs who are escape artists. No crate will hold a strong dog who wants to get out. A truly crate trained dog will be happy in any crate. Due to manufacturing variances, the sizes listed are not exact. We don't recommend purchasing one of these crates if the space it must fit has less than an inch of tolerance all the way around.
- PetMate Vari-Kennel Traditional Pet Crate
Classic Kennel is reliable and practicle and is made with durability that will last for years. Assembles in seconds without tools, made of easy-to-clean, high impact plastic, and packed with features designed for your pet's safety and comfort.
Sad statistics for dogs who travel!
The Travel Industry Association of America says, "of the 71 million people in the U.S. who own dogs, over 29 million travel with them."
According to the 2007-2008 APPMA National Pet Owners Survey, "only 20% of pet owners use a restraint for their pet when they travel."
Get cool stuff for cool dogs at JohannTheDog.com!
JohannTheDog.com - where you can shop for cool stuff for cool dogs.
JohannTheDog.com has put together, in one place, all the cool stuff you need for your dog.
Find dog beds, all natural foods and treats, collars, leashes, charms, training and agility gear, vitamins and supplements, books, clothing, toys, crates, dog seat belts, t-shirts and other cool stuff for two and four-leggers!
And the best part is they donate 10% of their profits to dog shelters and rescues!
Remember: it's not safe for your dog to ride in the front seat, in a seatbelt or in a crate, if you have an airbag!!
And if you have a newer model of auto, take precautions around side air bags and leave space for your dog away from the car doors in a crate or seatbelt.
Get your free safety kit!!!!
Be Smart Ride SafeÂ® with Bark Buckle UP's Pet Safety Kit!
The Bark Buckle UP Pet Safety Kit was designed to protect your pets if you are in an accident. First Responders will see a sticker on your car window to direct them to locate the pet safety kit in your glove box and call your contacts to come get your pet, and inform them you have been in an accident.
The kit includes:
Pet emergency information that outlines:
Shots and other records
Pet travel safety tips
Along with a first responder decal for your car window!
It's super easy and the first pet card and decal are free (with a buck or two for shipping). Additional pets are just $1.00!
Do it and be safe! We did!
It's the law in New Jersey!
As of June of 2012, under New Jersey law if you are found with an unrestrained dog in your car you could face fines up to $1,000!
How Gracie and I are secured in our car!
A note about how my sis, Gracie and I are secured in our car as indicated in the main image of this page: Our car is a 2003 Land Rover Discovery, and has no crumple zone in the back end. The back of the our Rover is fully reinforced and built to withstand very large impacts. Consequently we opted to secure in softer crates because of how our car is made.
If we were to secure in wire or plastic crates any movement within the self contained back end from a crash would most likely result in the wires and plastic of the crates breaking immediately and potentially becoming dangerous spears. This is the best and most secure scenario for our car only, and not one I would recommend at all for those vehicles that have crumple zones or do not have self contained, reinforced areas within their car.
If your car does have a crumple zone in the back, it's always best to crate or secure your dog via a car harness in the middle section of the vehicle.