Study about Crate Safety for travel
I just read that the 'Center for Pet Safety', who did the recent study on safety of pet car restraints, is planning to do one on the safety of dog crates for car travel. I think this is interesting since personally I want to try to use the safest means to restrain my dogs in the car, and I know a lot of times people disagree about which is safer, seatbelt harnesses or crates. I know their study on seatbelt harnesses/restraints has been posted here a few times, they used special dog "crash test dummies" and tested their strength as well as doing tests with actually car crash testing equipment. The results are on their website, they showed the majority of products failed at some point. IIRC the Sleepypod Clickit harness was the one that got the best ratings, although unfortunately that one doesn't have a size for extra large dogs (and the study only used dummies up to a certain size). I haven't tried that harness myself though.
This is the website:
Center for Pet Safety, The Science of Pet Safety, Pet Product Testing, Crash Testing, Scientific Testing, Criteria, Pet Safety Advocate, PetSafetyCenter for Pet Safety | Science of Pet Safety
I've always been leery about using crates in the car after hearing about several accidents involving show dog handlers where crates came open or broke apart and the dogs ended up loose on the highway. However I never was able to find an actual study on crate safety, just a few videos of plastic crates (mostly small carriers) failing. So I'm really interested to see the results if they do this. Apparently they're looking for donations now so they can fund this study. They posted this video showing an unsecured metal crate, but I'd like to see what happens with other configurations or a properly secured crate, if that would prevent injury.
The video is here: Crate Testing - Center for Pet SafetyCenter for Pet Safety
i don't think there is an answer as each accident is different. i have seen the results of accidents where the seat belt and or air bag killed the the person they were designed to protect. take a look at the helmut debate among motorcycle riders. i would say do what you think is best for you and your dog.
They haven't done the project yet but I wanted to share some links to videos I previously found of strength or crash testing with crates (some of these also show other types of restraints).
If anyone knows of any more videos of crate tests please post them here. I know Variocage is crash tested and has some videos as well.
Crate Testing - Center for Pet SafetyCenter for Pet Safety
I would bet that the quality harnesses with crash tested materials are the "safest", if by safe we mean restraining the dog during a crash. Crates are really the only viable option for me. Safety has a lot more to do with just getting dogs from point A to point B in the event of a rollover crash. There are many, many reasons why harnessing 3-6 dogs (I have 3 dogs and usually carpool with my friend who has 3) in a single vehicle for extended periods (not constantly supervised) is a really bad, unsafe idea!
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