Many of us enjoy the company of our favourite pet. We see dogs with their heads hanging through an open window, tongue sticking out and what looks to be a big grin on their face. It is the perfect picture of travel happiness. But deep down we all know it’s not safe for the animal or anyone else inside the vehicle should there be a collision.
As a result, some of us harness our dogs while in a vehicle and this is certainly a better idea than allowing them to roam free. But how safe are the harnesses really? Subaru of America, Inc. and the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) asked this very question and today announce their findings.
“Safety for all passengers, including our pets, is very important to Subaru and to our drivers. Selecting the wrong harness could be just as detrimental as not using one at all,” said Michael McHale, director of communications at Subaru of America, Inc. “Most pet owners don’t know the dangers of not properly harnessing their pet while in the car. With nearly half of Subaru drivers also being dog owners, we want them to be as informed as possible.”
Top brands of harnesses in the US include the Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness, rated #1 in 2013. But how does it stand up to the rigors of testing automakers employ with life-like crash test dummies? With the help of MGA Research Corporation and the use of an NHTSA certified testing laboratory, harnesses were put to the test using multiple, specially designed crash test dogs. They resembled a 25 lb. terrier mix, a 45 lb. border collie and a 75 lb. golden retriever.
Overall test results clearly demonstrated Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness as being the safest. It was, in fact, the only harness to consistently keep the test dog from launching off the seat and the only restraint to offer protection to all passengers in an accident.
“Sleepypod has been researching and crash testing pet safety restraints in autos for six years because we’re serious about safety,” said Michael Leung, Sleepypod co-founder and product designer. “We admire CPS and Subaru for conducting this study on behalf of pet owners and use the CPS testing protocols as an extension of our own safety program.”
Remember to buckle up everyone when driving your vehicle, and although it is cute to see your dog enjoying the wind in their face, harness them in and keep everyone including your pet safe.