Pet Tips

Dog Car Safety

September 24, 2022

dog car safetyMy partner, our dogs, and I lived in the city for many years.  We saved a lot of money by not having a car, because, in the city, you don’t really need one.  When we decided that we were, finally, ready to leave city life behind us, we bought our first car.  It was an interesting experience, after going so long without one.  We had to make some adjustments to get used to having a car for sure.  And not just us humans!  My two dogs, Kitsune and Fenrir, had set paw in a car maybe a handful of times each in their entire lives!  Thus begun my crash course in dog car safety.

What’s an adventure without a furry friend or two in tow?  Both my boys are snuggle bugs, and love curling up in our laps.  They can also both be quite hyper at times.  I love their personalities.  But for safeties sake we can’t have them jumping all over the car, or trying to sleep on our laps while we’re driving.  Thus my search for the perfect doggy car seats began.

Dog Car Seats 411

I thought my task would be an easy one.  Alas, I quickly learned that when it comes to car safety seats for dogs, things aren’t so cut and dry.  Did you know that most products sold as pet car safety devices aren’t actually crash/safety tested?  Not only does this put our furry friends at risk, but it can spell danger for human passengers as well.  Animals who are not properly contained during an accident can essentially become projectiles.

Luckily there are some awesome people/associations out there advocating for higher safety standards.  The Center for Pet Safety conducts independent crash tests on popular dog car safety products.  Their most recent test results are from 2015.

Top preforming products included Sleepypod’s Clickit Sport Utility Safety Harness, Sleepypod’s Mobile Pet Bed, Petego’s Jet Set Forma Frame Carrier, and Gunner Kennels.

Hopefully, in time, both manufactures as well as consumers will start paying more attention to just how safe pet car seats/carriers/harnesses are.  Crash testing dog car safety products will hopefully become a standard practice rather than an exception.  I’d love to have a much wider variety of safety tested products to choose from when selecting what type of car restraints to purchase for my own dogs.

What Dog Care Safety Product We Went With…

They aren’t cheap by any means!  But for my own two dogs we decided to go with Gunner Kennels.  We quickly discovered that Kitsune gets car sick unless he’s either crated, or allowed to sit on my lap.  That meant that using any type of car harness was out for him, and of course letting him sit on my lap during drives isn’t exactly safe.  Kit is an oversized papillon, at around 20 lbs, and I wasn’t sure how well he’d fit into some of the smaller sized, crash tested, crates.  So Gunner Kennels it was!

Now we just need to get a bigger car!  Cramming two small Gunner kennels in the backseat of our Dodge Charger means we don’t have space to fit anything else in the back.  It’s worth it, to know that my dogs and us humans would be safer were we to ever get in an accident.

Of course everyone hopes that they never actually find out how well their safety products preform in an actual car crash.  But, as the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  If you drive with your pets in the car do you use any kind of safety seat/harness/carrier?

Dog Car Safety

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