Seat Belts for Dogs – How Safe Is Your Dog?

by Mary Haight on November 11, 2011

Seat belts for dogs should be a hot item on your holiday gift list, but I bet it’s not!  I don’t know why, but seat belts areSeat Belts for Dogs one area of safety that many otherwise conscientious dog lovers often don’t get around to.  There was a lot of opposition to seat belts for people when they first came out, then there was a fuss about having them in the back seat too.  Today you would not see a parent  allowing their child to ride in the car without that belt on.  As kids struggle against being pinned down to the seat, so too do many dogs!

I had an English Springer Spaniel who was accustomed to sitting in the back seat without a seatbelt – for context,  this was in the late 90s –  maybe you can remember what your thinking was at that time.  We were driving  out to the country but had to get through the city traffic.   Dickens was always so active in the back seat, walking back and forth from window to window – I often wondered what he thought he might be missing.  I was always telling him to “sit”.  That behavior is every bit as distracting as children fussing in the back seat.  Of course it had to happen…someone slammed on their brakes and  that domino effect  caused me to brake hard.  We weren’t  going more than 35 miles an hour.  Dickens flew off the back seat and was dumped on the floor.  I had to pull over and check that my dog didn’t break, fracture or otherwise  hurt himself.  The dog was not allowed in the car until I could get a seat belt for him. And oh did he hate it – an almost constant whine came from the backseat.  I was not moved.  And the next time I had to stop short, my dog did not move either, but stayed safe in his place.

Edie Jarolim spoke with Dawn Ross, the owner of Pet Auto Safety, a business she started in 2006.  You may not have thought about it, but a dog that is not secured to the seat of the car will become a projectile during an accident. You don’t want to put your dog or yourself through that.  You can listen to this informative interview at Animal Cafe

 

 

 

 

6 comments
Amy@GoPetFriendly
Amy@GoPetFriendly

Thank you so much for sharing this information. We just got new Bergan harnesses for the dogs and now I'm glad we did!

Pup Fan
Pup Fan

I think this is such an important issue... so many people don't seem to realize that they should get seat belts for their pups!

Phil Sharp
Phil Sharp

Thanks for the great info Mary. I'm a very good dog owner but have never even considered a dog seat belt. Thanks for raising awareness.

Sam
Sam

I'm so torn about seat belts for dogs. I haven't found one yet that I'm comfortable letting our dogs wear, and yet, I've also heard of dogs being killed in accidents because they weren't restrained. All my dogs, even the quiet car riders, have gotten tangled in the existing seatbelts - to the point I had to find a knife to cut a choking dog out of one. ...and she was a quiet car rider. She had shifted position and somehow managed to get herself twisted. We have a whole box full of seat belt failures. Any suggestions on a good, safe seatbelt?

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  1. […] travel safety in cars and seat belts for dogs was up for discussion here and at Animal Cafe last week, and I happen to have an EZYDog harness and […]

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