There has been a lot of concern lately about the result of the crash test study on dog car harnesses completed by the Center for Pet Safety. The study revealed that four different canine seat belt brands failed their safety tests, and it is making people question whether these products are really safe. If you are asking yourself this question, consider the following points.
Not All Canine Seat Belt Brands were Included in Pilot Study
First, the pilot study completed by this nonprofit organization only included four non-disclosed brands. There are well over a dozen different canine seat belt brands out there. So when the study reveals a 100% failure rate, this statement is misleading since many brands were not tested in their study.
A Pet Travel Restraint Helps to Keep Your Dog from Being a Distraction to the Driver
Second, the biggest benefit of dog car harnesses, whether they have been tested or not, is that they help keep the dog from being a distraction to the driver. When I saw a pet travel restraint for the first time, I knew I had to get one. Not only did I have a dog that jumped out the car window once, but I also had dogs that liked to try to get in the front seat while I was driving. Today, if my Labrador Maya wasn't wearing one, she would be a major distraction.
Companies that make seat belts
for dogs are constantly looking for
new ways to make improvements.
The third point is that a number of manufactures are continuously looking for ways to improve their products. Some have even made improvements since this study was completed. And as we speak, some companies are voluntarily cooperating with the Center for Pet Safety to get advice on how to make their products safer for your best friend.
Many manufacturers of pet travel restraints have gone out of their way to test their products. Since there is currently no standard for safety testing of these products, they have had to rely on the information provided by the institution they hired to test them. Remember, car restraints for dogs are a relatively new concept so no one is really sure what kinds of tests to run. Hopefully, the Center for Pet Safety will help to remedy that.
Although the initial research from the Center for Pet Safety reveals some frightening results, their contribution is spurring many companies to publish their testing results and to make better products. This is a very good thing and gives me confidence about the safety of my dogs when they wear their dog car harnesses.
*As a retailer that sells car safety supplies for pets, we are obviously biased. So don't just take our word for it. And don't blindly buy into the media, which tends to sensationalize a story in order to get ratings and make money as well. Objectively look into both sides of the discussion in order to make a decision that is right for you and your furry best friend.
**The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is in the process of expanding their research. We are following their progress, as are many of the companies that make the products we sell. Companies such as Kurgo are voluntarily consulting with this organization in order to get feedback. We all want your pets to be as safe as possible when they ride in the car. :)
Post Note: After writing this article, we have discovered more great information. After speaking with the people at Kurgo, we learned that they are working very closely with CPS. Not only are they conducting their own crash testing, but they are also giving their products to CPS for further testing. We spoke to Bergan too and they are consulting with CPS as well. Ruff Rider Roadie is too.
Additional Note: In October 2013, CPS published another study where 11 harnesses were tested. The ClickIt Utility was rated the best. The Ruff Rider Roadie and the AllSafe brands did not meet all of CPS's requirements, but they did not fail. The Bergan failed with a 75lbs dog dummy. Kurgo passed at the medium-sized level.