Dog Health Issues – Dog Restraint in Cars: Do They Work?

Restraining dogs in cars

Do you use any dog restraint in cars?  Do you think it is necessary?

The vast majority of people don’t think so.

For many years I never buckled up my dogs when traveling.  I didn’t think it was necessary on short trips to the veterinarian or groomer.  Even on long trips, my dogs were never restrained.  My dogs were all small and didn’t move around much in the car. 

On short trips, my dog would be in the front seat.  I would occasionally look over at my furry friend and pat its head.  Of course, that was stupid.  I could have easily had an accident.

Within the past year, I read an article put out by AAA that discussed dog restraint in cars.  In a 30 MPH car crash, an unrestrained dog would hit the car windshield with terrific force.  In a higher speed crash, the dog’s thrust is much, much greater.

I created a post related to this AAA article.  You can read my post at “Dog Health Issues – This is Scary.”

From that time on, I have consistently hooked my dog’s harness to a restraint belt that was attached to the car safety belt in the back seat.  I thought that my dog was in good shape with this safety belt.

But then I read another article in the past few days in the blog,  It had the title, “Are Car Restraints for Dogs Just One Big Farce?”  The author of the article is Carol Bryant.  She discusses restraining dogs in cars but notes that most dog restraints are not safe.

Dog Restraint for Cars

Unrestrained Dog

Then I looked at the restraint belt I was using for my dog.  There is no way that the hook that attaches the belt to my dog’s harness will stand up to a car crash.  So I am back to square one.

Here is a quote from the article in

So what is a dog parent to do in order to protect Fido while traveling? After all, humans are required to buckle up, and in many states, so is Rover.

An unrestrained 80-pound dog in a wreck going 30 miles per hour equates to 2,400 pounds of projectile force, per the AAA/Kurgo study. If traveling through a state such as New Jersey, I could be fined if Fido is sans seatbelt (should present legislation succeed in becoming law). Pets are not allowed on the lap of Hawaiian drivers, and in Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine, laws pertaining to distracted drivers can be enforced where pets are involved. Now what?

A dire need exists for a product that will comfortably restrain a dog yet allow some flexibility in movement while traveling. Sleepypod, a company that designs products for pet safety at home and during travel, took a step in the right direction. They hired a crash-test facility sponsored by the United States’ Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to test the crash-worthiness of its entire line of pet carriers.

The entire article can be read here.

The bottom line is that pet owners must have a safety device that works, and it must be made available ASAP.  I’m tired of our pets being treated as an afterthought.

What is your opinion on dog restraint in cars?  Do you think it is necessary?  Do you use some type of restraint device?  Thanks for your comments.

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