I ordered a car harness for my dog yesterday. So Donna’s sitting on the car floor days will soon be over. She’ll need to have her doggie seat belt fastened, just like the humans. :P
You may have seen Donna sitting on the car floor quite often. More out of necessity as we travel on cabs and Uber alot. And some drivers do worry about the dog dirtying the seats or dog hair turning off subsequent customers.
But personally, my own preference is for Donna to be on the car seat secured to a reliable car seat belt. So yah, please don’t let my past photos of Donna sitting untethered on the car floor make you assume that this is safe.
Car accidents happen. Is your dog safe?
The fact is, all cars including cabs can get into accidents. The other day we saw a car ram into the taxi in front of it, and that taxi crashed into yet another taxi in front. The collision was strong enough for the car air bags to be activated. Could a dog that was inside the car or taxis without a seat belt be injured in the crash? I have no idea. But I’m not going to wait to find that out.
My search for a car seat belt started towards the end of 2013, which was the year we adopted Donna. There was on one occasion when P had to brake very suddenly and Donna flew off the seat, bumped into the back of the seat in front of her and fell onto the floor. Luckily, she seemed to be physically fine and not much affected by the fall.
Needless to say, I did some research on car seat belts for dogs after that. That’s when I learnt about car harnesses. But at that time, I found that the only car harness that tested well could not be used with our car. All the other seat belt harnesses tested, allowed the dog to be flung off the seat anyway, so I didn’t have any options that seemed worth the high cost of buying and shipping in the dog car harness from overseas into Singapore.
Car harness for dog’s travel safety
I recently read up on the topic again, because perhaps there are new versions of car harnesses for dogs developed that we can use with our car now that a couple of years has passed.
After my research, I ended up with two dog car harness products specifically designed for canine car travel safety that I was interested in.
Sleepypod already had the Clickit Utility harness which was “designed to keep your doggie passengers in their seats at all times, even in an accident.” The product was the top performer in 2013 harness crash tests published by the Center for Pet Safety (a registered non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to companion animal and consumer safety in the US). The Sleepypod Clickit Sport harness was also tested in 2014, and is the only CPS approved harness (the last I checked on Nov 13 2016).
The Ruffwear Load Up Harness did not appear to be included in the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) tests. But prototypes of the Load Up Harness were tested at an independent facility – MGA Research Corp – according to Ruffwear. Test details here.
I eventually made my decision which car harness to get by looking at crash test videos of both products.
Let’s take a look at the car crash test videos for these seat belt harnesses!
Ruffwear Load Up Harness crash test video
Dynamic test of Ruffwear’s Load Up™ Harness – 45 lb dogTest video here – https://blog.ruffwear.com/2015/01/29/ruffwear-load-up-harness-faqs/
Sleepypod Clickit Sport harness crash test video
Sleepypod Clickit Sport: Medium (Rated to 45 lbs.)
Youtube video here – https://youtu.be/pNx74vkySGw?list=PL2t9swGuON-TqDq06n8Jsr1jp9VG02xn3
The dummy dog in the Sleepypod Clickit Sport harness appeared to be flung around to a lesser degree than the dummy dog in the Ruffwear Load Up Harness, doesn’t it?
I also liked that the Clickit Sport can be used both as a car seat belt as well as a walking harness. The Ruffwear Load Up Harness, is described on the Ruffwear blog as a “vehicle restraint harness, constructed from quality materials and ergonomically designed for the dog’s comfort over long road trips”. Ruffwear does offer other walking harnesses that are well-regarded.
So now, all that remains is to wait for Donna’s new Sleepypod Clickit Sport harness to reach our fair shores of Singapore. :P Can’t wait!
If you would like to explore car harnesses for your outgoing dog, see the appropriate test videos for your dog’s weight on the Center for Pet Safety here for Sleepypod Clickit Sport harness and here for the Ruffwear Load Up Harness!
Buy your dog a car harness from Amazon!