Pet Safety, Who Determines Pet Product Safety?

by Mary Haight on March 20, 2013

pet safetyPet safety is something pet parents take seriously, yet for many pet products, manufacturers are not required to meet a set of standards for performance or even test their products before they are unleashed to the unsuspecting public. This information, and news for many, is offered by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), a non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to companion animals and consumer safety.

What Is CPS Doing With Subaru?

CPS does the research, devises testing protocols and product performance criteria to put science back into rating products that claim to be safe. To that end, CPS recently announced their partnership with Subaru of America as the first auto company to fund development of standards for pet travel products. Subaru’s director of corporate communications Michael McHale “As many of our owners have dogs, we feel it’s our responsibility to help them keep their pets as safe as possible when they journey with us.”

This is exciting because now for the first time pet parents will have a standards-based safety rating on items like pet seat belts (pet safety harnesses). The crash test videos from last July, performed by an independent agency that tests child safety restraints, tested four harnesses advertised as keeping your pet safe. The crash test dog dummy weighed 55 lbs and the vehicle was traveling at a speed of 30 mph.

Here’s a shocking and horrid result of what happened to one crash test dog dummy when one of these popular brands of vehicle restraints for pets failed, one that very sensitive readers will want to skip. You should note that none of the four brands passed:

“…four harnesses tested as part of the control group experienced multi-point failures, including complete separation from the connection point at the time of impact and one very gruesome result when the adjustment buckles slipped, allowing the harness to move upward and decapitate the test dog [dummy].”

Pet Safety Means Safe People, Too

Lindsey Wolko , Center for Pet Safety’s founder and CEO remarked:

“We have received requests from all over the world from manufacturers who want guidance on developing a safer harness and, through this partnership, we can finally conduct additional testing to help develop a suitable standard, provide the needed knowledge-base to manufacturers, as well as determine the top performers.”

Traveling with pets on family vacations is such a popular pursuit, knowing that pet safety restraints will finally be designed to do the job they were meant to do will be a relief to all travelers on the road. We’ll need to check in with CPS every so often and track this project — what other pet products will have standards researched and testing designed to determine pet safety? This is great news and should be a real benefit to pets and people everywhere.



  1. […] all the fuss is about, this challenge began in March when the Center for Pet Safety revealed that none of the dog seatbelts on the market would save your dog in a 30-mile-an-hour crash. In fact, one of the dog crash test dummies was […]

Previous post:

Next post: