Taking your dog along for a car ride is something so many of us enjoy - having our sidekick on our daily adventures, if it's just around the block, makes everything more fun. But with this fun comes responsibility. It is our responsibility to keep our pups safe on the road!
According to the American Automobile Association, unrestrained pets in vehicles are one of the biggest distractions to drivers along with hand-held cell phone calls, texting and dashboard dining.
If a driver has to brake suddenly, an unrestrained pet instantly becomes a dangerous projectile as it can fly through the windshield, putting the pet, passengers in the car, as well as other motorists on the road in mortal danger. In fact, pet safety experts at Toyota say that this type of danger can occur at any speed. For example, at a leisurely 35 mph if brakes are suddenly applied, a 60-pound pet can cause the same damage as a 2,700-pound projectile!!
Restraining your dog in a vehicle with a crash-tested harness will not only promote the safety of the dog but also that of other passengers in the car too. And there are some specific things you can look for to find the safest, most comfortable one for your dog.
- QUALITY: Because safety is what it's all about, it’s important to ensure your dog wears a harness that has been crash-tested. In order to be pronounced “crash-tested," a safety harness is subjected to extensive static testing in excess of 3000+ pounds to ensure its strength and durability.
- FIT: The fit of a harness is important not only for a pet’s comort but also to ensure it offers maximum safety. The padded chest area should generously cover the chest. At the same time, it should not impede physical movement by cutting into the front leg “armpit” area. So it’s important to size your dog correctly for a perfect fit. Every brand available comes with its own sizing chart, so be sure to reference it before purchase.
- EASE OF USE: When you choose a harness, be sure it is easy to take on and off. If you go on as many road trips as we do, you don't want to be struggling to get your dog into it every time. For instance, the Solvit harnesses are designed for a dog to step into them with its front paws and locks in place across the back. This is often a comfortable design for the dog since nothing needs to go over its head.
- CONVENIENCE: By using a safety harness, you now have a D-Ring on your pup's back that attaches to a tether that links with your vehicle's seat belt system, providing a limited range of motion for travel comfort while simultaneously keeping the dog secure in the case of a sudden stop. This same ring also attaches to a leash, making it easy for your dog to safely exit the vehicle and go out and about with you.
When it comes to safety products, we always recommend putting quality ahead of everything else. When it matters, you're going to be glad you did!