Pet Safety Belts, Are They For You or Your Dog? The Answers May Surprise You!

This Harness Provides too Much Space and Could Hurt Your Dog. Thanks Max and Zoey.com for the Photo

I recently, well a few months ago, wrote an article about driving down the road with my windshield wipers on and it was a sunny day.  Here is that article for reference if anyone wants it click here.

My puppy, 8 months old at the time had accidentally hit the windshield wipers on my car and turned them on.

I popped a few treats on the dash and kept the wipers on as I drove down the street.

My Tiny Car thanks Neat Car Show for the Photo

My Tiny Car thanks Neat Car Show for the Photo

Sometimes you don’t realize how things sound until someone points things out to you.  I can only imagine how unsafe this sounds now 😉

I have gotten quite a few complaints over safety issues!

But… I have a tiny two seater car that doesn’t have a back seat and the dash comes out far enough that it is easily reached and hard to avoid; plus he is a bigger dog.

Honestly, I am not going to buy a different car just so my dog can be crated in the back or belted in the back seat.  It probably won’t be safe for either of us if I get into an accident which I certainly try to avoid.

But I do use a seat belt…

And, that got me to thinking…

Thanks Keep Me From Harm for the PhotoHow Much Safer Does a Seat Belt Make Your Dog?

Seat belts save human lives; do they save dog lives?

After all, seat belts were made with humans in mind and dogs and their proportions are so varying and different and they are not built at all like us.

So I did a little research…

Would It Surprise You to Know These Restraints DON’T Make Your Dog Safer?

Of late New Jersey proposed a new law that would force dog owners to restrain their dogs with seat belts or doggy car safety restraints in the car while they were driving (if they were not crated).  To read more about the proposed law click here

But the Center for Pet Safety  (click on the heading for a link) conducted a pilot study that suggested these seat belts are NOT safe for your dog!  For that study click here.

They essentially ran these harnesses through the same basic test that test child seats, using a 55# crash test dog going 30 miles an hour.

Out of 4 harnesses, NOT ONE PASSED.

Some of the results and associated video are quite shocking and disturbing!  To see the video that aired on the Today Show click here.

We've All Seen This... Thanks Brake Fast for the Photo

We’ve All Seen This… Thanks Brake Fast for the Photo

The Truth Is…

  • Accidents are dangerous and pose an even greater risk to your dog (or other pet).
  • Being in a crate that is safely tied down is probably the best bet in an accident, but this is certainly still dangerous for you and your dog!
  • While pet seat belts don’t provide the kind of safety we would like for our pets in an accident; they do keep the driver of the vehicle less distracted and therefore more safe.

How many times have you seen a dog’s head sticking out of the driver’s side window as they are driving, or seen a small dog on the driver’s lap?

I can’t imagine how things would have gone if the wipers had accidentally gotten knocked and my dog was scared but sitting in my lap??

This is dangerous and can cause accidents.

Seat belts allow the driver to drive and keeps the dog in one spot which makes the drive safer; I believe this is what law makers wanted when proposing the new, New Jersey Law.

So as with anything else…

In Order to Be Safer in the Car a Crate Must be Tied Down or Secured. Otherwise this Becomes a Huge Projectile. Thanks Amazonnws for the photo

In Order to Be Safer in the Car a Crate Must be Tied Down or Secured. Otherwise this Becomes a Huge Projectile. Thanks Amazonnws for the photo

 

Need Help Crate Training Your Dog?

Our Hands Off Dog Training course details step-by-step videos on exactly how to train any dog to LOVE his crate, even if right now he can’t stand it.

Click here to learn about the Hands Off Dog training program

Safety First

If your dog doesn’t have nearly perfect obedience in the car, he should be riding restrained either in a crate or with a seat belt to help YOU drive safer.  I personally work with all of my dogs to listen to obedience commands in the car and lay down on command etc. so I can see where I need to see and drive safe.

BUT…

Unfortunately pet safety restraints don’t do the job of keeping your dog safer if you happen to get into an accident, hopefully manufacturers will take notice and begin strict testing!

What do you think?  Do you use pet safety devices and do you think this should become a new law?

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Comments

  1. Katie says:

    In NSW Australia, it is law that dogs are restrained in the car. I. Have my boy tethered in the backseat and he pretty much goes to sleep. Recent testing has only approved 1 harness (the roadie), but as you say, less distractions mean less chances of having an accident and needing the restraints in the first place.

    [Reply]

  2. Bill Green says:

    Harnesses are no good if you have two dogs especially two large dogs. In fact I believe they are both unsafe and can caue serious problems in a moving vehicle if the harnesses get entangled. I have two GSD’s who travel regularly in the rear of my 7 seater. I use a designed shield that prevents them from venturing forward whilst allowing them enough room to stand up and see what’s going on or to lie down.
    I highly value my dogs safety & welfare but I put a higher value on my and my passenger safety

    [Reply]

  3. Ashleigh says:

    Hi,
    Pets must be restrained and is law in Australia and definitely not allowed on the front seat with the driver as this is very dangerous and could cause an accident especially if a small dog was to fall to the floor onto the acelerator. So I believe pet safety devices are important to keep the driver concentrating and prevent accidents. As for how safe they are, yes they should be tested I think, but I don’t think anyone will 🙁 I use the belt clipped to my dogs’ harnesses (same as your first photo). I believe it will at least prevent my dogs from flying through the windscreen if I have to stop suddenly. I adjust it so it’s closer for my small dog and further for my big dog, enough so they can sit or lay down comfortably without moving around too much.
    Thanks for posting, it has definitely made me think about their safety.

    [Reply]

  4. Lou Pronay says:

    Hi Chet, in reply to Bill Green I fully understand what he said about entanglement I drive with three dogs in the back, small ones and tangling is quite a problem. I have across the back of the front seats including the middle, when with my dogs, an inflatable foam type mattress which when deflated takes up almost no space. I hope that this is more stable and softer than the cages I used to carry around. My problem was that I had to carry three cages one for each dog. I don’t really know what the answer to this problem is. Incidentally they are also strapped in to the safety harnesses as well. The harnesses I’ve tried to adjust so that the along with the inflated device they share the load more in favour of the inflated device that the actual harness.
    I’ve not been involved in an incident and hope never to be to have this actually put to the test.

    [Reply]

  5. John Groat says:

    I just bought a pet harness for my 11 month old cavadoodle in the expectation I was making things safe for us all as we travelled. This article will stop me feeling complacent, and I will not think about a tied down crate on the back seat.
    The harness dies keep her from under my feet or breathing down my neck. She does obey the commands MOST of the time as I have been using your methods Chet. Thank you for that, and these frequent emails.
    John

    [Reply]

  6. Jeannie says:

    A friend awhile back was t-boned at an intersection by someone who ran a red light, hitting the passenger side of the car. Her dog was in the back seat, passenger side, unrestrained, and saw the car coming, jumped to the other side of the car and was uninjured. The car was totaled, and if the dog had been confined would probably not have survived. Not saying it’s safer to have anyone completely unrestrained, but it’s better than a restriction that doesn’t make the animal any safer. All of our dogs are trained to stay in their place and not to interrupt the driver.

    [Reply]

  7. Donna Church says:

    Hi,
    I keep my dog in a crate in the car — in the way-back of a station wagon. She is no distraction to me while I’m driving, she is secure if I run into a store or quick appointment so she can’t get into mischief, and she feels safe when I move the crate to another car. It is also terrific when I need to transport other dogs to keep them separated. It does add another layer of insulation if there were a crash, but mostly it’s for general safety in regular conditions.
    Thanks for the tip on the harness question. I had considered it.

    [Reply]

  8. Richard says:

    Come on people this is a no brainier and shows how stupid some people are getting to be what about safety for other A Pet in the drivers lap. Safety belts/re strainers are a good idea and definitely need to be researched further. If the pet can’t get a legal driver training permit give the driver a huge fine and if they protest it take their license away. Find a safer way to let our pets ride in vehicle. Is a good logical way to spend taxpayers dollars than legalizing drugs and driving also.

    [Reply]

  9. Renee says:

    The idea is not to keep the dog in place but to prevent the dog from running away from the scene of the accident and losing your dog. My dog wears a harness which is attached to the seat belt with enough length to move from one side of the car to the other.

    [Reply]

    Pamela Reply:

    My Pug wears a harness, and is in the back of the car.
    I agree with Renee and others, in case of accident it keeps the pet secure rather than fleeing the scene. There are risks with all precautions, but we need to consider the greatest risk for an individual pet. Nothing is going to be right for all circumstances.

    [Reply]

  10. Jeri says:

    I too believe that harnesses can be more of a hindrance than a help. My dog is trained to stay in his seat. All accidents are different so what works one time may not be so the next. I think any type of restraint should be the decision of the pet owner and Should Not be made into law.

    [Reply]

  11. Irma Meachem says:

    My papillon travels in a crate whenever I take him anywhere. Even in the city. When I bring his crate in the kitchen. He goes in his kennel cause he knows we are going out. This way he is safe and I can concentrate on driving. Have never had a problem with him and wish I would have done that with my other dogs that I have had.

    [Reply]

  12. Dee says:

    I have a 10 lb Chihuahua/Pomeranian. I wouldn’t keep my child unrestrained so I don’t keep my dog unrestrained. I failed in crate training so we use a harness and it works wonderful, she sits like a lady as long as she is tethered. I had incorrectly thought it would keep her safe in case of an accident and am really disappointed in the results of the pet safetly study! I almost said I thought some restraint was better than nothing until I saw the video from the Today Show. Now I’m outraged that my “safety” harness isn’t safe!

    [Reply]

  13. Jan Hadwin says:

    I have a car seat for my toy poodle and it works very well, what is your opinion?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    My guess is it would not pass the safety test either as it is not necessarily tested for dogs, but any restraint is probably better than nothing.

    [Reply]

  14. Candace Rocha says:

    I would not have room in my MINI van to restrain all 4 of my dogs. from 18 pounds, 37 pounds, 65 pounds, 102 pounds. Were would you expect me to put crates for them? or safety harnesses? I have enough problems trying to train them to stay behind the seats in the back. It takes time and patience. As for my small dog. I do not allow him to sit in my lap. how ever I do have a pair of doggles for him to wear in the summer if he is riding up front with me and the passenger window is open enough for him to get his little head out.

    [Reply]

  15. Christine Pielenz says:

    My dog is perfectly obedient in the car, so he doesn’t technically need a harness. I realize a safety harness won’t necessarily save his life in case of an accident, but I harness him anyway, because if there were an accident and the doors/windows broke open, he could flee in a panic, run into oncoming traffic, and get himself killed that way, or get lost, never to be seen again. So it’s really for that reason that
    I’m doing this.

    [Reply]

  16. Carlos says:

    I have to maltipoos, 13 & 20 LBS respectively. I’m not sure what to advise a two seater car or truck owner, but my dogs are NOT allowed in the front seats. Should the air bags deploy, they would be done.

    God Bless your babies, CP

    [Reply]

  17. I have a now 2 yr old chiweenie Chihuahua/ Daschund mix.
    He wears his regular harness that I use to walk him with a leash.
    I place him in the back seat. And I thread the regular seatbelt from the top of his harness and click the belt.
    And he stays in place. Sometimes he doesn’t like it. But his secure and I am not distracted. Thanks

    [Reply]

  18. Kathy Katawczik says:

    I purchased a K9 CarFence that contains my two small dogs in either the front or back seat. This not only keeps them confined but also protects them in the event of a sudden stop or minor collision.

    [Reply]

  19. jj says:

    I harness my dog in the back seat. Several times people have abruptly pulled out in front of me (Los Angeles traffic!) and the harness kept my mid-size dog safe and secure in the back, and on the seat. She’s away from the airbags up front too, which if deployed could kill her, so I’m comfortable that her seatbelt has protected her. This has been my experience. We also met a GSD who was unrestrained during an accident and flew from the back seat thru the windshield. This dog could barely walk, was in much pain and aggressive.. not a good quality of life but the owners chose to maintain the dog this way. Sad. I’m sticking with back seat and buckled up for my dog.

    [Reply]

  20. DW says:

    Dog safety restraint? LOL I bought one design specifically as a dog seat belt and “Houdini” dog was out of it in two minutes. She would lie down in the seat the entire trip, but I did put a regular harness on her and secured the leash. In the event of a sudden stop, it prevented her from remaining in motion and flying off the seat.

    [Reply]

  21. Moriah says:

    I learned of this recently and did a little research. The only one that does pass is the Sleepypod Clickit. Expensive, but, in my opinion, worth it. In my opinion dogs should be restrained, either with a seat belt that passes (and so far the only one I know of is the Sleepypod one) or a carrier that is tethered/restrained. Always in the backseat, never in the front. Even if you’ve trained your dog to stay in their place, in the event of an accident the dog becomes a projectile and can seriously harm YOU (even a little dog! not to mention the things that can happen to them), could run off and get lost, hit by a vehicle, impede paramedics/cops etc.

    [Reply]

  22. Deb says:

    If you ever see what happens to your dog when it is thrown through the windshield, you will change your minds. Think about protecting your dog. That is the important thing!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I think the point of the study was that even with a safety harness or regular harness it can do both. Your dog can become dislodged and go through the windshield or break his neck.

    I too think keeping a dog restrained is a great idea, I just thought this information was sad (that they don’t work for dogs) and wanted to pass it along.

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    I acquired 2 booster seats for my 2 pugs. I use a restraint harness, The seat is buckled in. The booster seat seems to take up the excess harness tether, giving the dogs just enough room to lie down. The booster seat also allows them to safely look out of the window. We all seem to be safer.

    [Reply]

  23. Vicky Grant says:

    I think it’s important to have your dog restrained in some fashion despite results from the Center for Pet Safety’s results from their pilot study. Headlines from our local news on 3/29/14: New Jersey Family’s Dog Found Dead In Maryland. The body of a Labrador retriever was found close to where he was last seen in Baltimore. The dog jumped out of his owners’ car during a five-car pileup. The car started filling up with smoke so they opened the door and the dog jumped out of the car and ran at least a mile down Interstate 95 (WBAL TV). Such a sad, sad story. Poor thing was probably terrified. If only they would have had him restrained they would have been able to put his leash on before letting him out of the car. We keep our Shichon puppy in a doggie car seat so he can look out the window. His harness attaches to the seat beat (along with the doggie car seat) so our first step when getting him out of the car is to clip on his leash and then unclip him from the seat belt. The doggie car seat has a pocket in the front and we keep his leash in it so it’s right there when we go to get him out of the car.

    [Reply]

  24. I restrain my little Affenpinscher with a sneaker shoelace tied through a loop in the seatbelt. It seems to work well and he has freedom to stand at the window to peer our.

    [Reply]

  25. Greg Cavette says:

    My dog is a year old. When I leave home for short periods of time She gets into the trash. How can I stop this behavior. Thank you.
    Greg.

    [Reply]

  26. Kathy says:

    When my Siberian husky was 8 months old, she was in a safety harness hooked onto the back seat, somehow she stepped on the electric part that got the window open and .. out the window she went still in harness, hanging from the outside of the car door. Luckily we were pulling in a spot that the car was almost stopped.
    After that scare, I make sure the lead to the harness only gives her enough room to SIT on the seat, the more room she gets, some how seems to try to get out the window.
    We have two huskies, our 3 year old male sits so good, the puppy gets excited upon the words “go for a ride” Other than taking them in car rides all the time, you can’t stop that kind of excitement, specially when the dog park is the final destination.

    [Reply]

  27. Carolyn says:

    I agree with Christine and Moriah. Several years ago I had a big beautiful Border Collie and he was restrained with a seat belt in the back when a call pulled out in front of me and I had to slam on the brakes hard enough to throw him forward. He was in the back seat and buckled in. He slid forward about 6 inches but the seat belt caught him and stopped him, Both of us had our seat belts on and were not injured.

    Bobby has since passed away and I now have a McNab Border collie who I also love enough to keep him buckled in. Seat belts for dogs have improved and have been safety tested. So I am going to stick with it.

    [Reply]

  28. Valerie says:

    Here in Far North Queensland Australia dogs must by law wear a restraint else they are considered to be an unsecured load! I have not seen seat belts for dogs on sale here. The harness keeps the dog from coming to the front seats but I doubt the clasp is strong enough to hold a 40 kg dog in place should an accident occur.

    [Reply]

  29. Melanie says:

    I think if for nothing else, I find that safety harness protect your dog from flying through the car when it’s necessary to stop short. If it were not for the seat harness, my dog would definitely get hurt when I have to stop short.

    [Reply]

  30. Jack says:

    Did anyone think about what a airbag could to a dog in the front seat?

    [Reply]

  31. April B. Lyon says:

    New news? Seeing the 2011 tag on that disturbing today show video. And 2014 on most posts.
    In the time, over a year? between, and since, has any new or better outcomes come to light?
    *We all know about the fact that any object… Like a Black Lab…loose in the backseat,can become a projectile! And decapitate a driver forced to stop suddenly at just 40 mph!

    I’m sure we all would like to know what company/s are trying to improve their products to meet Everyone’s safety needs!
    The power of the pen is mighty. So:

    *To whom do we address our concerns re: auto safety and dog passingers?

    * Sheriff department K-9’s ride in the back seet behind a barricade.
    These animal Officers of the Law need the best protection possible in high risk situations. As well as quick access / release, and protection from objects , debris and heat.
    What do Their handlers say?

    *Dalmatian “Diva” dog rides in her back seat, secured, tethered crate,with heat/AC . Until safer products , brought into being by demand! Exist.
    . Chet: how do we demand them!?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Contact seat belt providers

    [Reply]

  32. A.kea says:

    A Good friend of mine had both of his toy poodles in his truck as he always did when he had a terrible accident on the interstare and rolled the truck throwing the dogs out. One of the dogs was taken to the local shelter and the other one took off. He himself was unconscious and not able to tell anyone he had 2 dogs not 1. His accident happened 2 hours away from his home and when he was out of the hospital he went every day and spent daylight til dark looking for his lost baby. Finally on day 8, he looks over into someones yard and sees a little brown poodle. After taking a second look, it was his white poodle that was living outside as a homeless dog. Thank God!!!! But it could have had a much worse ending. Dogs do need to be restrained or left at home.

    [Reply]

  33. Chauncey123 says:

    Your subject line screams “WARNING: Seat Belts For Dogs – Don’t Work!” Ok, you got my immediate attention and gave cause for much concern. So they didn’t stand up to testing. Will they, in stead, cause harm to my dog in an accident? How? Will he be safer just sitting in the back unsecured? Why? If my car’s too small for a kennel, then what? Yes, I am less distracted when he’s in a harness. Is that the only positive? Bottom line, what is the proper way to keep my dog safe while riding in my car?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    research suggests a crate

    [Reply]

  34. Phyllis says:

    My dogs have always ridden on the floor. They do not jump around, but lie on the floor mat. They have been obedience trained to lie down and stay. They do not need to see where they are going. No need to be up on the seats, jumping around at the various stimuli of traffic or scenery.
    When I had more than one dog, I used a crate that was large enough for two dogs (medium size Border Collies.) Two crates just fit side by side in the back.of an SUV. This made room for me to go to sheep dog trials with my two dogs and my friend with her two dogs.

    Right now I just have one 15 week old puppy who is not yet trained to stay put. I have her lie on the front floor with a flat leash.I let out some slack that when the door is closed on the leash the pup has just enough leash to be able to turn around, but not enough to jump up on the seat or climb over the center transmission hump. When she becomes well enough trained to lie and stay, I’ll dispense with the leash tie down. I’ll have to just take my chances in case of an accident. I don’t trust any of the harnesses that I have seen that tie the dog into human seats. I think it is safer to have them on the floor.

    [Reply]

  35. Barbara Estes says:

    I make sure all small trash cans are picked up and placed up high enough so that my little baby can not reach them. But then I crate her when I am not at home if I am going to be gone for a long period of time.

    [Reply]

  36. Cindy Heiller DVM says:

    The prelim.study was done in 2012. Recent study found two harness systems that did protect the test dummy dog. Most of the harnesses did fail. An unrestrained pet will become a projectile in a accident. Many go through the window and few survive the wreck. Soft crates are not much protection in a wreck. Hardie crates do the best at protect. Your pet may hit the walls of the crate, but usually not had enough to be severely injured. Not all crates performed the same so best to look at the recent study for models that rated high.

    [Reply]

  37. Colleen says:

    We have 6 Border Collies and a Kia Sedons Van. We took out the rear seats and have special harnesses made for the dogs that have s D ring attached to the underside. The harnesses are then attached to the holders for the rest seats that are in the floor where the back seats attach. The dogs can stand, sit or lay down, but cannot move around, or get tangled up. It was the only way we could travel with them, as 6 crates wouldn’t fit in the van. We traveled all the way out to California and back, and there was no stress on us or the dogs. We are now developing harnesses for people with multiple dogs who are in the same position as we are. We take our dogs everywhere we go and we can leave the window open, even both sliding doors of the van open with a fence across the opening for plenty of cross ventilation in Summer, if we have to stop for gas, or some shopping, and their body heat keeps them warm in Winter, as they snuggle against each other if we have to run into a store for some groceries. They are safe and secure and people are amazed at our setup.

    [Reply]

  38. cindy says:

    My husband and I were towing a pop up trailer for the 1st time 2 years ago for our vacation. Our dog was coming with and I started thinking about the possibility of what could happen if there were an accident so I started researching harnesses for the dog. After looking a quite a few different products, I purchased a Kurgo “Tru-fit” harness for Luke as it had been crashed tested at a NHTSA accredited facility using the same standards as for child safety restraints. They are tested for dogs up to 75 lbs. I felt that we all were much safer with him being in a tested harness that is attached to the seat belt. He loves wearing it and we use it whenever he is in the car with us. It keeps him from coming into the front seat, but it allows him to look out the window or lay down comfortably. We just adopted another dog and will be purchasing the same harness for him as well.

    [Reply]

  39. Harvetta Graham says:

    My problem with two 12 pound dachshunds, and a 80 pound sheep herder, and only a puppy still, they have to be enclosed. Two little dog’s will fuss and fight, so separate kennels for them. The large puppy, would love riding on my lap. The three crates make it so I can not even load groceries, and large bags of dog food. The 125 pound kennel in the back of a Tahoe, hardly any room for any thing else. I have tried dog harnesses with my rottweiler, and she got tangled up once, so never used it again. However, she would sit and stay and not move around at all in back seat. My german shepherds were well behaved in any vehicle, just these three, are an issue. I appreciate reading every one of these emails. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  40. cynda douglads says:

    I have been led to understand that a dog in the front seat, in case of an accident, can be injured or killed by the air bag. ????

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    The safest place is in the back in a crate.

    [Reply]

  41. Margaret Parsons says:

    I always travel my dogs in a harness clipped to a seat belt, I was towing a caravan when I was hit by a lorry, twice, my caravan was a right off, both times the harnesses saved my dogs from being injured. They were not thrown around as they can be in a crate, all 3 stayed on the back seat and were not injured. At that time my harnesses came from TRPD, a lady who made coats, harnesses, collars, leads etc for dogs and the profit went to provide this for rescue dogs. Unfortunately she can’t make them now so my dogs are in the same design harness but it is made by Walk R Cise. I have tried many harnesses over the years but found these to be the best.

    [Reply]

  42. I have just purchased a car safety harness for my dog Rosie, which the car seat belt goes through a loop at front of the harness and it keeps the dog in place and was also bought to stop travelling sickness, which has also worked, so Iam very satisfied with the outcome.

    [Reply]

  43. J. says:

    I trained my dog (a very active three year old) to sit on the floor in the back, right behind the passenger seat. She does not try to come to the front or jump to look out the window. Most of the time she just curls up and takes a nap (I have one of her favorite blankets on the floor). I can keep an eye on her, she does not interfere with my driving and If there is an accident I hope the seat will stop her from flying to far. I also think in the event rescuers need to get her out, they can take her leash (which is not tied to anything) and lead her out. .

    [Reply]

  44. Being a EMT and a ACO I have been to accidents where dogs have gotten away and lost at the scene. I have retrieved Dead dogs from under roll overs and from expulsion.

    [Reply]

  45. Diana says:

    This article was written in 2014. Do we know if anything has changed?

    I would like to point out, as a former paramedic, the animals I’ve seen crated actually did better than any others. Vehicle accidents are very violent though and cause major injuries to adults with their seatbelts on. There’s no way we are going to be able to restrain a dog in the same fashion as a child because it’s just not feasible. We do stop them from being distractions and becoming projectiles which also kill and injure not just the animal but anything in their path. The safety harnesses do also stop them from going through a windshield. I don’t know what the answer is but I do have to say, some restraint is better than none.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Crates do provide best safety.

    And, yes there have been major changes in the engineering of harnesses and crates to prepare for accidents.

    [Reply]

  46. Claudia says:

    My Australian Cattle dog also rides on the floor behind the drivers seat and does not move even after a long ride. I believe this to be the safest place of the car. And no, she is. Not harnessd.

    [Reply]

  47. Debbie Hardin says:

    I’m not sure when it started, but most newer cars have a sensor in the front passenger seat that detects weight. If whatever is in the seat, whether a briefcase or a dog, is not heavy enough, the passenger air bags are disabled. This is regardless of whether the seat belt is engaged or not. So, I’m really not sure whether it is safer in back in a crate that could be tossed around in an accident, or tethered in the front seat. I have a carrier that is essential a padded box with no lid that is attached by hanging over the headrest supports and then belted around the seat. The cars seat belt is attached behind it and there is a loop that the seat belt goes through that has a carabiner that attaches to the dogs harness. I think that I like my 12lb. Morkie’s chances better there than in a carrier in the back seat that is restrained.

    [Reply]

  48. Mary O'Neill says:

    Renee, I was in a car accident, my dog jumped over the seat and me. I don’t know why, but when she jumped over, I had her by her toes, then she pulled free. I was in/out of conscience, truck drivers that were behind me, lifted me out. It was Labor Day wknd on Rt 95 lots of traffic! My dog ran down the highway, and got hit by a truck and thrown off the bridge. If she had been restrained in the back seat, she would have lived. That’s the only reason I would use one for my next dog.

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  49. Cheryl says:

    As I have feared none of the tether type devices will prevent injury to your pet. The only safe place is a fastened down crate. Unfortunely even they may become crushed if the impact is severe enough to compromise the vehicle. Nothing is 100% but I have seen dogs hung by the tether/harness devices. The worst fear is the dog being thrown through a windshield and a fastened down crate will prevent that.

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  50. Pam says:

    I use a PupSAVER car seat that has been tested and deemed safe.

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  51. Beverly says:

    My SUV was hit in the rear and the back end crumbled up. Also the back window shattered and strew glass everywhere. If any of my dogs had been with me in a cage in the back, they probably would have been seriously injured. A cage in the back does not seem like a safe alternative.

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  52. Linda says:

    What do you do if you have a sedan? A crate won’t fit in my back seat. I have a large dog.

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  53. I have and rely on the “kurgo pet harness” it’s been c crash tested at 35 MPh and c fobs to keep them safe

    .

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  54. Grace Singh says:

    I have two dogs a shepherd mixed and a chihuahua mixed and safety belts for both. It do keep my larger from traveling from side to side, but I do worry more about my little one that he could get seriously injure, my car is small, but everyone knows small dogs bones are more fragile. They should change the law and make more safety for them to ride. They are our family too.

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  55. AR says:

    I too have pet safety belt but it only keeps me safe from having pet jump into front seat. He still manages to tangle a leg/foot or two in the tether to look out the window Might try tying him to a booster seat so he can see out. LOL

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  56. Dottie says:

    None of us want our dog thrown from the vehicle to become road kill, so to me some form of a restraint is better then none!!

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  57. Nikki says:

    After much research, my dog rides in a PupSafe car seat. This was one of only two options which I could find for a small dog restraint that passed safety testing while also offering comfort for my pup.

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  58. Marlene Harry says:

    I just watched a few videos including One from CBS news which failed all of them. However I found good reviews of the Sleepypod Clickit Sport which was crash-tested and recommended by Consumer Reports.

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  59. Monroe says:

    I use a hard sided booster seat for my smaller dogs. It fits Olin any normal car seat and has restraint clips for the dogs. This way the dogs stay in the seat & are protected from the sides by a thick tough plastic. It keeps me less distracted & keeps them from flying out the window or being crushed by an air bag. If nothing else it gives me piece of mind. However I have yet to find a good safe option for my 100# German shepherd. Many brands don’t even make a car harness in his size and most straps keep him from being able to move at all, like he can’t even sit/ comfortably.he is too big to put a crate in my van w/o removing all of the seats. I would LOVE a better alternative for him

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  60. Kim Johnson says:

    I agree with Susan Goldman. I use Kurgo Seatbelts. Last summer I had my dog seatbelted into the seat next to me. We got an a horrific crash and flipped my vehicle five times across the freeway. The officers and medical team that arrived on the site were shocked to find that me and my dog got out of the crash without a scratch. We both had our seatbelts on. Without his seatbelt he would’ve surely flown out of the car as all of the windows were broken out.

    The seatbelts must be used correctly with a full vest so that the body absorbs the impact equally. But I have no doubt without that seatbelt I would’ve lost him.

    Just wanted to give you my personal experience.

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  61. Laurie Williams says:

    Linda, I have a small Sof-Krate that I wrap a belting strap around and then loop the seatbelt through to keep my Corgi in when I drive. With summer heat already hitting us here in Austin, I have a Kurgo dog seatbelt strap for her for short runs.

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  62. Leslie says:

    I flipped my husband’s car doing 70 mph last year with my dog untethered in the back seat. By Gid’s grace none of us were hurt, although the car was totalled. The sedan is too small for a crate and my dog sleeps in her bed in the back seat. I have yet to see something that would keep her safe and allow her to lie down. My car is a sports car, so she has even less space in that.

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  63. Mary says:

    Kruger seatbelt/harness combo is crash tested a 35 mph and my dog can lay down or sit or stand. I have found nothing better that has independently been tested.

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  64. Gloria says:

    Thank you so very much for this information about putting dogs in seat belts or crates.

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  65. Crystal says:

    I recently had to hit my brakes hard to avoid a car that came to a screeching halt in front of me. I didn’t have my dog belted (I had tried a couple of harnesses but she was so uncomfortable) anyway she rolled onto the front floorboard nd it really shook both of us up. I would love to find a harness that wouldbe effective and comfortable for her. I have a pickup so she’s I’m the front cab with me.

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  66. I use a seat belt so that if there is a crash, they do not have an opportunity to run and be in traffic or run away if there is injury to me or the doors are opened to get me out. My pups would be terrified. They are so in tune with me.

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  67. Lucy says:

    I ordered a Sleepypod for my Lab and found that it was impossible to use with the seatbelts in my ’05 Tundra pickup. The belt would tighten so hard when placed through the top of the harness that it was impossible to get the belt buckled. I returned it.

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  68. Rebecca Lans says:

    I have two comments that I did not see mentioned. I too, use a seat belt every time my dogs rides in the car with me, not only to keep her contained but, if I were to be involved in an accident, without a seat belt she could fly over the seat and hurt or even kill both of us. The other comment I want to make is that if most, if not all states, require babies to be in a safety seat in the back, have you ever thought of being in an accident with you dog in the front seat and the air bag inflates. If it can kill a baby, why not a dog?

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  69. Tere Todd says:

    I have tried the snap on to a halter that connected to the seat belt area on the seat. Both of my dogs stepped on the connector and ended up being free. Didn’t work at all for me.

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  70. Timothy Wilcox says:

    My 13.5 pound dog gets seat belted every time she gets into the car. The seat belt strap that goes to her harness is hooked to the car-seat hold-down loop in the crease of the seat. She has only enough length to reach her nose to the window edge when it is fully down. FYI: She is a service animal and I feel it is the best way that I can insure her life in that situation.

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  71. Donitta Lundquist says:

    I went to the Center for Pet Safety website earlier this year and read that one safety harness passed their testing. The Sleepypod Clicket Sport Crash-tested Car Safety Harness.

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  72. Debby says:

    One other important aspect of keeping your dog restrained in a vehicle is that if an accident happens, it will help first responders give aid to you and your passengers without concern of being bit by a scared or protective pet as well as ensuring your pet doesn’t dart out into traffic during rescue efforts.

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  73. Jan says:

    My dog traveled in a crate in the back of my station wagon for years. I couldn’t find a station wagon that would fit my crate in the back when I had to buy a new car. Most maufacturers have stopped making station wagons. I do not want to drive a large SUV.

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    Minette Reply:

    You can have custom crates made

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  74. Patricia Alsup says:

    We have the same problem.

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  75. Patricia Alsup says:

    Where can I get a custom made crate for my 150# Giant Alaskan Malamute?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would search the web for welder in your area

    [Reply]

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