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Summer is just around the corner, so PetGuide.com has put together some important car safety tips to remember if you're travelling with your dog.

Woo hoo! It’s time for a road trip! To a dog, every time she takes a trip in the car, it’s an adventure. Even though it’s super fun for your pooch, there are precautions to take when you pull out of the driveway. Let’s go over a few mistakes you may be making when it comes to dog car safety. Take notes – there will be a quiz later!

1. You let your dog roam the car freely. You never buckle up your pup. He goes from the back seat, to your lap, over to the passenger seat to look at what’s going on outside. Not only is this a huge distraction, but what happens when you have to hit the brakes unexpectedly? Your dog can be hurt or can hurt someone else in the car. According to Barkbuckleup.com, a 60-lb dog traveling at 35 mph can turn into a 2,700 pound projectile during an accident. There are lots of products on the market that can help keep your dog safe, such as a pet barrier, a secured cage, harnesses and restraints, seatbelt attachments and booster seats.

2. You leave your dog in the car while you run errands. No matter what the season, it’s never a good idea to leave a dog unattended in a vehicle. It leaves her vulnerable to thieves and there’s a chance she becomes anxious and starts tearing apart your sweet ride. Or, she escapes on her own and wanders off (remember the IKEA monkey?) And, of course, there’s heat stroke. You hear about tragic cases of dogs that have died as a result of being left in a car during a hot summer day. Even if you open the window a bit, that’s still not enough to keep your car cool. In a matter of minutes, the temperature in a car can rise 20 degrees. So the next time you run to the store, leave your dog at home.
To read the complete Do You Make These 5 Dog Car Safety Mistakes? article, visit PetGuide.com.
 

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I don't buckle up our dog in the car. He remains in the back seat. So yes I would be guilty of making that mistake. But to be honest I am not sure about buckling up a dog that remains in the back seat is safer!
 

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I won't be in the back seat if you hit another car. Good chance he will break your neck flying over the front seat.

Also most accidents involve broken glass and many involve popped open doors. My friend who is a police officer says many dogs survive the impact only to escape and be hit by a car.
 

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Wow! 2 out of 5 mistakes. I don't buckle her in always. When taking a long trip on freeways yes. She loves to stick her head out the window. Bad Cheyanna


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Peyton and Ziva are only allowed to have their heads outside the window up to 45 mph so I guess I'm guilty. I also do not buckle them in either. With the back seat folded down in the Prius it gives them ample room to stretch out. They aren't a distraction cause they are required to lay down in the back, but I have looked into harness for them, just not sure how comfortable I am with them either.
 

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I don't buckle up our dog in the car. He remains in the back seat. So yes I would be guilty of making that mistake. But to be honest I am not sure about buckling up a dog that remains in the back seat is safer!
We had a young man driving drunk, crashed his car. Dog in the back seat flew through the windshield. Both of them died. When we picked the dog up, it's liver fell out of it's body where the sternum had been split open.

Ive also seen a white Shepherd thrown through a windshield that luckily survived, but only because a vet tech happened to be driving by the accident and stopped, threw the dog in her car, and rushed it to her clinic.

There was a news story a few months ago about a town that wanted it to be the law that all pets be secured in the car. I agree 100%! It amazed me all the people throwing a ft about the law, but you wouldnt leave your child unrestrained would you?

I dont mean to be so graphic, but if hearing about it makes your stomach squimish how would you feel if you saw your dog like that?

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My dog gets buckled in on short trips and crated on road trips. Had him unbuckled once IN THE BACKSEAT, husband hit the brakes on the freeway when hitting sudden traffic, my dog went flying forward and hit the front seat.... Luckily I was sitting back there with him and managed to grab him before anything worse happened. NEVER AGAIN.

Also I've sat in the car when my husband was running a quick errand, it was in the high 70's and the car got hot fast! It became very stuffy and hard to breathe, can't imagine leaving the dog in the car for even 15 minutes, if my dog can't go where I'm going then he stays home. :)
 

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None of those mistake are made with the GSD, but my other two like to stick their heads out the window, but only when they are not buckled in....:blush:
 

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My dog has a crate in the backseat, its the 50-70 lb size. She rides with me almost everywhere and she basically crashes out in there.
 

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I'm guilty. Jack loves to straddle the console and lean on me when we run up to the convenience store.

But if it's more than a five minute drive, he rides in an airline crate in the pickup bed, secured with tie downs.

I'm saving up for aluminum built in crates :)

My senior, OTOH, is at risk. I fold up the back seats and she's on the carpeted, air conditioned floor. Unless we roll over, she won't go through the windows, I don't think. There probably is enough room she could get thrown and get hurt though :( I guess I should look at a ramp to get her up in the bed too.


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Does anyone have a really good, safe harness recommendation for the car? I remember reading somewhere that some of them are very dangerous (crushing the chest) in an accident.
 

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I am guilty of letting my dog ride free in the backseat, but..I trained him to either sit, or lay down, and he doesnt roam around or really do anything. I do worry, but, even with a seatbelt dogs can get hurt. My fathers fox terrier has a seatbelt and was belted in the car, had the window half open, and he musta stepped on the seatbelt thing while he was pulling and literally flew out the window while he was driving. :eek: (he was okay, somehow)

Speaking of cars and dogs...yesterday I saw a guy driving on a very busy road around here with TWO HUSKIES loose in the bed of his truck. I freaked out, are people THAT dumb?! (the speed limit on the road is anywhere from 45-55mph too)
 

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Speaking of cars and dogs...yesterday I saw a guy driving on a very busy road around here with TWO HUSKIES loose in the bed of his truck. I freaked out, are people THAT dumb?! (the speed limit on the road is anywhere from 45-55mph too)
I hate seeing dogs riding in the beds of trucks. :eek:
 

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Does anyone have a really good, safe harness recommendation for the car? I remember reading somewhere that some of them are very dangerous (crushing the chest) in an accident.
They have numerous kinds made for cars that have a thick padded chest. Personally I use the heavy duty kong harness with berlin. I use it for walking as well. I love it. Make sure it's a harness rated for car use. The kong one even comes with a strap to attach to the seat belt



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I don't think just buying a harness that says it's made for car use is any assurance it will hold up. My impression is that this is a "buyer beware" product, unfortunately.

I did some digging to find that story I remember reading about the crash testing of these harnesses -- 4 out of 4 national brands subjected to a crash test suffered critical failures (the kind of failures that would likely kill or seriously injure a dog):
The Science of Pet Safety, Center for Pet Safety, Pet Safety Testing, Pet Product Testing, Crash Testing, Scientific Testing, Criteria, Pet Safety Advocate
(they don't release the names of the brands they tested...)

There were a lot of news stories explaining some of what happened in those results (one of the harnesses supposedly "decapitated" the test dummy dog).

Last time I looked at this product space, I gave up as the data on crash worthiness was so, so hard to find. More manufacturers seem to be doing testing and making it public now -- likely thanks to the research above.

I found several good reviews of the "Bergen" harness. The mfr seems willing to make their testing results public -- but it's not a crash test. I like that they publish their research, and the comparisons to other brands -- here's a link to the lab tests for several brands of auto harnesses: V9DT . I just wish it were a crash test.

Here's a positive review of the Bergan harness: Safety Product Review: Bergan Travel Harness | The Preventive Vet

Kurgo has crash tested their product AND posted the video of it AND posted the tensile strength lab report: Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Steel Nesting Buckles - Kurgo Products -- all of which are terrific.

Here's the crash test video of the Kurgo:
The only problem is they crash tested with a 35# dummy dog. I would have preferred at least a 75# one, as I'm a little concerned holding up for a 35# dog offers no assurance it will hold up for a dog more than twice as big.

I also found RC Products' Canine Friendly Safety Harness -- far more expensive, at about $75 on Amazon (more than twice the price of the Kurgo), but it is crash-tested at 85#:
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Video here, though it's cropped strangely, and no lab report re tensile strength posted:

It's a very confusing product area! I'm sure there are more brands out there that have crash-tested.

Are there any mechanical engineers out there who can make sense of this product space, in the absence of standardized crash testing protocols?

Anyone spent time doing brand comparisons of testing protocols being used? Am I wrong to be skeptical about a crash test using a 35# dummy to extrapolate safety to my bigger dog? :confused:
 

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I just started a new thread summarizing what I've learned in trying to verify crash worthiness claimed by manufacturers. The data is out there for some, not out there for others, and it's very, very hard to compare, so I gathered what I've been able to figure out in one place in a stand-alone thread.
 
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