With spring here and summer right around the corner, Dog Day Getaway would like to point out that while dogs love car rides, they need to be safe as well. Which is why this month we are promoting a #DOGSBUCKLEUP campaign to alert pet owners to the dangers of driving without dog seat belts or safety harnesses.
To our dogs, a ride in the car with you is a wonderful occasion. Dog’s get to see new things, sniff new smells and possibly visit the dog park (not the vet). But, by not using a safety harness or dog seat belt, your beloved pet has the potential to become a projectile within your vehicle during a collision. All scary things to think about when riding in cars with dogs.
Why Dog Seat Belts?
Just like human passengers during an unfortunate accident who may not be buckled up, your dog too becomes a victim. Too often, dogs and other pets are potentially the cause of a collision, especially when they’re free to roam the vehicle during travel.
Case in point: Many years ago, before I knew about pet safety or that my dog needed a seat belt – my pal got super-excited about a squirrel he had spotted. Just before I could tell him he couldn’t get the squirrel, he was in my lap and had knocked the gear shifter into neutral. All while we were doing about 30 through my neighborhood (the speed limit… just in case you were wondering).
The squirrel seemed to mock him and run alongside the tree line causing Samson to go even more berserk. With barking and jumping in my lap, he was hard to control and worse, I had a major problem seeing where I was going and attempted to stop before I hit anything, or anyone.
An accident implies there’s nobody to blame, we now call these collisions…
I managed to get stopped and admit, I was angry as I yelled for him to get into the backseat of the car. When I got home though, I realized it was entirely my fault, that I hadn’t properly secured him in the vehicle as I do my own children. So upon searching, it was then I found that dog seat belts were manufactured and off to the pet store I went.
Choosing a Dog Seat Belt or Safety Harness
According to the U.S. government website for distracted driving, in 2012 approximately 421,000 people were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. That’s not to say they were distracted by the pets, but you see what DDG is driving at. A study co-sponsored by AAA found that over 60% of dog owners engage in distracting behavior with their dogs while in the car.
Choosing the right harness can be tough, especially when determining the size of the safety harness to meet the needs of your dog. The Center For Pet Safety has crash tested many dog harnesses and approves of the Sleepypod Clickit Sport.
Safety Harness Testing by Subaru and Center for Pet Safety
Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety partnered to conduct crash testing on commonly available pet safety harnesses using realistic (not real) crash test dogs. The video below is what they discovered.
They worked together to create standards for pet safety car restraints:
- Currently there are no uniform performance standards or test protocols in the US for pet travel products.
- Some safety harness manufacturers claim to test their products but without uniform test standards and protocols these claims can’t possibly be. substantiated
This video shows that not all harnesses are manufactured to restrain the dog during an accident.
Please send this message today about dog seat belts and safety harnesses to your friends and family to remind them that dogs need to be buckled in, just like their human brothers and sisters. Please use the hashtag #DOGSBUCKLEUP