A number of tests done on seat belts for dogs have shown less than promising results in actual collisions. Many have come loose on impact and otherwise failed to hold the dog in place during an accident. It’s important to note that most seat belts aren’t designed to provide the same type of protection for a dog in an accident as a human’s seat belt is. The restraints are designed to protect you and your dog by keeping your dog from roaming loose in the vehicle.
A dog that can jump into your lap, wind around your feet, bump the gear shift or even step on the gas or brake pedal could cause a serious accident. It’s also hard to steer a car when you’re trying to corral a curious dog. The restraint keeps your dog in one place so you don’t get distracted. There is a way to find a restraint that’s more likely to protect your dog in an accident, however, even though this isn’t guaranteed.
Your Dog’s Harness and a Seatbelt Restraint
At the EzyDog store, you can choose between a couple styles of seat belt restraints. One is designed to hook onto your dog’s harness. It’s a loop that your car’s seatbelt goes through, so your pet is essentially strapped to the existing seatbelt. The other option clicks into the seatbelt receiver to hold the dog in place with a strap hooked to a harness or collar.
Since human seatbelts are designed for safety, a short strap that the seatbelt goes through is most likely more secure in the case of an impact than a design that takes the place of the ordinary safety belt. While there are still no guarantees, since these products were designed for restraint rather than impact safety, the existing safety belt has been rated for impact and is far less likely to come loose. Using it makes a lot of sense.
Other Restraint Options
Using a dog carrier in a car can also restrain your pet, and may protect your dog in a collision. That’s also not guaranteed, however, as the carrier can be jostled around just as much as a dog not in a carrier. When you’re looking for a way to keep your dog contained in the car, weigh the options and decide which one feels right to you.
Before you decide to leave your dog loose because he’s well behaved and would never jump in your lap or cause problems, consider what might happen if there is an accident. If your dog is in the front seat, the air bag can prove fatal. Dogs can be tossed out of the car through the glass as easily as humans who aren’t seat-belted. And your dog could also run from the scene in a panic if he’s not restrained.
Avoid all these situations by using a dog seat belt every time your dog is in your car.