I have lots of clients who use pet seat belts to safely restrain their dogs in the car. It’s the safest thing for them, right? In a recently published study done by Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety, it turns out that the vast majority of dog seat belts are not keeping your pet safe at all. The videos really say it all. In fact, only one pet harness that participated in this study was effective in design, material and overall performance. That harness is the Sleepypod Clickit Utility. The videos of those tests are also at the above link.
It never occurred to me to think about the testing standards for dog seat belts. There actually aren’t any. I can’t say that I have seen a lot of dogs that have been in car accidents, but given the videos displayed, I hope I don’t ever see one. I can’t imagine any dog surviving those accidents without bruising, broken bones, or even some kind of spinal cord injuries.
I see a lot of options out there when looking for dog seat belts. They range from $5 up to nearly $100. There are seat belts that come from known organizations such as the American Kennel Club and Petmate. If I hadn’t seen this study, I would have wrongly assumed that they were good to use.
As far as I am concerned, there is one take home message. If you are going to spend money on a dog seat belt, then spend it on the Sleepypod Clickit Utility. You are going to spend more money (about $90), but it could actually save your dog’s life. It looks like you might just be better off flushing your money down the toilet if you buy one of the other models.
I am glad to know that there is an organization like the Center for Pet Safety out there. I hope that, with more publicity, they can receive more funding to allow them to continue providing us with scientific evidence about the safety of pet products.