Safety should be one of your main priorities when traveling in a car with your dog. Most pet owners treat their dogs like their own child. Just like kids, your furry baby needs to be secured well inside your vehicle, preventing injury for the both of you. Letting your pet climb into your vehicle and sit unrestrained throughout the trip is a disaster waiting to happen. A crash can propel your dog which can potentially cause fatal injuries.
One of the recommended safety precautions you can give your four-legged best friend is a dog car harness. When dog restraints are used correctly, your dog will be kept in place, and you will be worry-free even on long road trips. There are even multi-purpose harnesses available that you can use as a walking leash. Keeping your pet calm and in place can keep him, the driver, and the whole family safe.
Factors You Need To Consider
Determine why you need it.
Dog restraints are more comfortable and sturdy compared to collars, that’s why more and more people are opting for it. However, choosing the right one can be daunting with so many available options out there. Determining why you need it is an essential factor you need to consider. Car harnesses for dogs are a great way to ensure that your pet is safe and secure when you’re on the road.
The right size.
Another critical factor you need to consider is the harness size. You need to buy one that suitably fit the size of your dog. Usually, the size varies from extra small (31 to 36 in) to large (53 to 60 in). But there may be little differences among manufacturers.
It is recommended to measure your furry friend first before purchasing a car restraint. All dog car harnesses come with a size chart, diagrams, and measurements. Your pet’s neck, chest, and girth areas all have particular sizes. Buy the bigger size if your pet is in between sizes, you can easily adjust the harness through its straps.
Major manufacturers of dog car harnesses, claim that their products went through rigorous crash tests. Keep in mind though that at the time of writing this article, there are no safety and performance standards yet on these products. However, the Center for Pet Safety is expected to provide industry-wide criteria and standards pretty soon.
Puppies use smaller harnesses compared to older dogs, so expect to change its size as your dog grows. It’s just like when parents buy baby safety seats, where they move to convertibles and booster seats when their kids outgrow the car seat.
Do your research.
Do not buy the first thing you see just because it’s cheap or looked cute. Also, if you don’t take your time, there’s a big chance you will end up with the wrong one and spend more. Make sure to do your research first and read reviews online before making any purchase. Remember that your pup’s safety is at stake here. You also don’t want to put your pet at a higher risk. You may have saved a few dollars, but you may have put your dog’s life in danger.
Dog Car Harnesses vs Seatbelts
Most of the time, dog owners interchangeably use both terms. However, these safety types of equipment for pets are different from each other.
Dog seat belts are like leashes that you can attach to your pet’s collar and hook into your vehicle’s seat belt. They keep your dog from moving around during the ride but will not ensure protection in the event of a crash.
On the other hand, dog car harnesses are the appropriate safety equipment. They are placed around your dog’s chest using straps or a full vest made of fabric. Not only will they keep your canine stable during a crash, but the force is also retained throughout his whole body, similar to your vehicle’s seat belt.
Walking Harness vs Car Restraints
You may think that a walking harness looked just like a dog safety harness, then think again. Traditional walking harnesses are not safe to use when traveling with your dog in a vehicle. It is in fact highly dangerous since they are not created to endure the pressure from your car’s seat belt. They are likely to break and can choke your beloved pet or worse, send him flying.