Seat Belt Harnesses are a Must

Important topic today, guys and gals. Let’s talk about travel safety and Seat Belt Harnesses are a Must for our 4-legged friends. This was alarming to me so I started to dig a little deeper and here’s what I found: (I have several links below and I’m hoping they will transfer through to you but if they don’t, please email me at cindy@letstrainyourdog.com and I will send it to you direct).

The guru for pet safety is the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). These guys are nonprofit so I feel like their info isn’t biased. Did you know that as recently as 2011, they did crash tests on ALL the readily available seat belts for dogs. The sample size they used was 55 pounds. (FYI, they didn’t use live dogs. The dummies they used, however, were made so the weight distribution was accurate and matched an actual dog). The breeds they tested were Poodles, German Shepherds, Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, and Weimaraners.

Brace yourself…..

THEY ALL FAILED!! Every single one!

One of the most alarming things to me was that the manufacturers were invited to attend the crash tests and they all “opted out of attending”.

In March, This Dog’s Life said, “If your car crashes, and your dog goes airborne, he can develop projection forces equaling 40 times his weight”. Think about that, guys. If your dog weighs 77 pounds (like my Ollie), he turns into a missile with a force of 3,087 pounds. (I mean, my husband will tell you I’m hard headed but even I can’t sustain 3,000 pounds of pressure bashing into my head!)

Skip this paragraph if you are squeamish….so in the tests mentioned above, the dog “died” a terrible death. Most were completely decapitated or had their spines broken (which isn’t an instantaneous death by the way). All the seatbelts failed because they fell apart at only 30 mpg. Here are some shocking videos (again…squeamish factor) on these dummies. (The approved harnesses are at the top and the failed tests are below them).

(Welcome back squeamish folk…ya big babies 😉) Ok, so now for the good stuff. HERE is where you will find the certified harnesses, carriers, and crates.

From what I’ve been able to glean from internet searching is that there are other companies (i.e., Kurgo, the one I bought for my dogs) did crash tests and have the videos on their website HERE. (On Amazon for $40 for a large dog). I went with them because the clip was lower on their back and so the dog is less likely to get tangled up if he moves around at all and also because the dog can lie down comfortably.

The brand Sleepypod ($78 for large dog) is one of the best but Ollie hated it because not only does it hold them in at the top but also on each side of their hips because it attaches to the same place you attach a child seat. Large dogs have to sit upright and facing forward the entire time and if you are going for a long ride then that won’t work.

Sleepypod Harnesses

There are two things that hopefully will come out of this post. First, you will do the responsible thing for your best buddy and get him into a certified harness, carrier, or crate. This isn’t meant to be a criticism….I’ve NEVER belted my dogs in (with any reliability that is) but I do now…not even a question because I know ME and I would never forgive myself if one of my dogs were hurt or killed because I was too lazy to use a harness.

Kurgo Tru Fit Harnesses

In Utah in 2016, 5,748 “distracted driver” crashes occurred in Utah, which resulted in 3,303 injured persons and 27 deaths. When driver distraction is known to the police, 9% involved a distracted driver and 54% of those were rear-end crashes, (they aren’t all results of texting and driving), which makes this post all the more pertinent.

Secondly, make sure to do your homework and if the one you like isn’t listed with CPS then make sure to check the manufacturer’s website to verify with your own eyes that it’s crash tested.

Until next time….Hugs! ~C

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