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What's the safest harness for car rides?
  • So I've been looking into getting a harness for Ryu to secure him in the backseat of the car. I use his travel crate if we are going for a long trip, but I have a sedan and I would potentially like to secure his crate to the car better also. There are a few threads on here talking about pet safety in the car, but I thought it would be good to have a central place for people to give their thoughts on the specific products that they use.

    I have been looking at the Kurgo Tru-Fit harness and the Pet Buckle line of products as well. I have also heard good things about Bergan. I would like to hear what people think of these particular products and which ones they recommend. I would also like to hear about any other products that people feel are of exceptional quality. Thanks.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    I used to use a seat booster for Kuma in the sedan, but since we got the SUV, I switched over to a plastic crate and have him riding in the back.
    The 3rd row is folded down, and I have his crate strapped on using this:
    PetBuckle Kwik-Connect Tether for the Universal Travel Harness Pet Seat Belt, 1-Inch by 20-Inch http://amzn.com/B0009YUE6C

    Hope that helps somehow
  • Thanks for your input kumaDUDE, does anyone else have some suggestions for what to use in a sedan? Looking to order something soon and I was hoping for some more opinions from people on here.
  • So here's my opinion(s):

    The Kurgo is great, but I would go with the Enhanced Strength version here, http://www.kurgostore.com/enhanced-strength-tru-fit-smart-harness/, because they show a crash test and because it doesn't depend on any plastic buckles for weight bearing, unlike the cheaper version. That said, I do believe that the one with the plastic buckles was in the crash test video I linked in another thread and was the one where the tether failed but the harness seemed to hold. Zim used to where a the Kurgo harness with the plastic buckle in the car.

    The Bergan seems like it could be a good choice. I believe it was also in that crash video and the only problem was the tether being too long and the harness possibly squeezing the dog's body. Overall, it seemed pretty good to me but I think it's sort of up to the owner. They are trying to come up with an industry standard, which is a good mark in my book.

    We're currently using the Champion, which is located here, http://usak9outfitters.com/CCSS.htm. They do test their product and I have heard of dogs in this harness being fine in a crash when their owners cracked ribs. That is anecdotal, however.

    The Petbuckle also looks pretty good. They have a crash video on their website. I have heard that the breast plate tends to slip a bit, though, and it can need some readjustment.

    Of what you've listed, I would go with either the Petbuckle or the Enhanced Strength Kurgo. We were looking seriously at both of those ourselves and only didn't go with the Enhanced Strength Kurgo because it slips over the head and Zim isn't a fan of that.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3482
    @notoriousscrat,

    How does your Shiba like the Champion? I'm currently looking into a new harness for Bootz since she really dislikes the ruffwear (i think its cause its not breathable) and the Champion seems like a good alternative since it can be used in the car.

    Is it good for walks? Also when you lock in your Shiba with the seat belt are they still able to move around by pulling the belt? Or are they pretty much restrained to that seat.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Wow I'm so slow... Thought this was about how to stow a crate in a car! Hahaha sorry :/
  • @Bootz

    He likes it just fine, although he definitely prefers putting his Easywalk on to putting his Champion on (and he does seem to dislike the step-in style less than over the head). He runs around in it just fine (it's what he wears at the dog park) and we've used it for walks, although we did have to move to a 3/4" leash from the old 5/8" leash in order to clip the leash nicely to both D-Rings. That said, the buckles are heavy duty enough that I used the leash on one ring with no worries for walks until we got the new leash.

    We have the tether hooked to the seat belt by the short part of the belt with the carabiner hooked through the seat belt loop connected to the big part of the buckle. The tether is at the shortest it will go and we've actually noticed that he can move around more in the backseat now (as in he will now sprawl across the whole back seat) despite the fact that the old tether was hooked to the shoulder strap of the seat belt. Really, his movement forward is more restricted and his side to side movement is better and the movement can probably be made very similar if you hook the tether to the shoulder belt.
    Post edited by notoriousscrat at 2012-09-13 01:54:46
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3482
    @notoriousscrat,

    Thanks for the information. Bootz doesn't mind either but I think the whole Ruffwear covering her back is what she dislikes. So I will give the Champion a try! If she hates this one too...at least i'll still have a safe car harness for her :)
  • @kumaDUDE I was interested in both methods of securing a crate in a car and securing the dog with a harness/seat belt clip. I appreciate your input.
  • My husband and I have been considering getting car harnesses for out 2, however just looking at some of the prices, they seem a bit expensive....money is pretty tight with us expecting and all. Anyone know of a good quality car harness that is inexpensive?

    Edit: Just checked Amazon and found some of the Bergan and Kurgo for a decent price. But it's not the extra strength Kurgo, and nobody has posted if they use Bergan. Also just thought of this, with Shiba's being wonky in sizing what sizes did you get for your pups? Saru is about 27-29lbs depending on coat and activity. Hime is around 22-24lbs, would Saru need a Medium and Hime a Small?
    Post edited by stryker777337 at 2012-09-13 22:39:21
  • @stryker777337
    We got the normal Kurgo with the plastic buckles for about $11 I think.
  • @notoriousscrat Yeah I just checked Amazon. I edited my previous post. lol
  • @stryker777337
    I might actually get Hime a medium too. I thought the small was starting to look pretty small on Zim and he's about 16.5lbs now.

    Also, if you're interested in the enhanced strength there's a link in one of my posts above and I don't think it's priced that different from the Kurgo or Bergan on Amazon.
  • @notoriousscrat Wow I think I was really tired last night when I posted. I think I only really saw the price for the Champion harness, and imposed that on everything, lol.

    I am definately going to talk with my husband about these, with a baby and everything, I was also thinking how nice it would be to have a pup on each side of the carseat, instead of them in my lap while my hubby drives.

    Another question: Does anyone use the harnesses in the front seat? The one crash test I saw looked like a back seat but there were no seats in front of it. Are they safe to use in a front seat?
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Umm, I wouldn't recommend having a pup on each side of the car seat when the baby arrives. I would strongly recommend having you or your husband in the back seat with te baby, to soothe the baby if he/she is in any discomfort.
    Also having the pup alone with the child in te back seat in my opinion is a big no no, it's almost the same as leaving them alone in a room together. You have no control over what may happen. And it's a big distraction for you as a driver.
    Once we had baby Kheyan, even though I trust Kuma, I cant have him sitting in the back seat of the car. That's the main reason I bought a SUV and a crate for him to travel in the car with. I couldn't stand the thought of him not liking baby boy crying or Kuma just licking baby boys pacifier if it came out of his mouth. Or worse, Kuma wanting baby boys mitt and biting baby boy mistakenly.
    But again this is just my opinion and I had Kuma in a basket prior to a crate in the car, not a harness. Sorry if I put a bad image in your head.
  • I think that the big issue with using them in the front seat is whether or not the car has airbags (the impact is likely to kill a small dog and they need to be able to get it off themselves as well) but also what happens if the tether is long enough that they hit the dashboard. The theory there is that the back of a seat is soft and the dashboard is hard.

    When Zim was a puppy we had a rental that turned the passenger airbag off for anything under 60lbs, so if I was driving alone, puppy was in the passenger seat. I did always check to make sure that the airbag was actually off though.
  • @kumaDUDE Good thing to think about.

    @notoriousscrat Didn't even think of airbags, and the length of the tether too.

    You guys have given me some good things to think of, thanks!
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Oh, I mean if you really want to try them to be on either side, you could rig a separator from car seat and dog with this:

    Bergan Pet Travel Back Seat Barrier http://amzn.com/B003FJ1H6O

    Sorry, I was thinking of ways to have the 3 kids in the back by themselves while mom and dad are at te front seat as well. I thought it over and tried a few rigs myself, but nothing was working out, especially since the 3series BMW was so cramped!
    And it probably didn't help that the wife and I bought the orbit baby stroller set, which was bigger than the average infant seats! :( but I guess it works out since I got my dream suv hahhaha
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I did a lot of research on these threads and finally caved and ordered the Champion Canine Seat Belt System for Kira in the Moonglow yellow. I hope she will fit into the small I ordered for her, she's just a couple inches shy of the suggested girth but it should be the correct size when full grown.

    Does anyone else have any input on this brand? It's quite costly, but I felt that her safety and my peace of mind were worth the high price tag.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I have two Champion Canine Seat Belts and they are really sturdy. Kira might be too small to fit into one now but should grow into it quickly. I think I got mine when Kaji was about 18 pounds, and 6 months old and it barely fit. I bought them after someone on the forum recommending them. Both Taisho and Kaji dislike being in them and will not act normal (lay and pout a lot) when they are indoors with them on, but act perfectly fine once they are outdoors. I think it has to do with the straps being thick and the metal being heavy. But, I really feel my dogs are very well secured in the car and safer that being in any other harness or restraint system since this seat belt has been tested. We have four cars and the anchor is easily transferable between cars. We have the all black and the one with blue reflectors on it. The all black is probably a little more comfortable because it doesn't have the extra material, but the reflecting material is nice to have at night.
  • There was just a study done and the Sleepypod Clickit came out on top. I'm going to get one and try it out.
    Here's the study done by Subaru:
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11186288.htm
    Post edited by orangedoggie at 2013-10-03 18:14:56
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Looks pretty good. Let us know how your dog likes it and if it is comfortable.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Yes, keep us updated @orangedoggie
    I followed the link and downloaded the PDF of the testing results of all major seat belt harnesses and was shocked to see that the Champion didn't hold up to the standards that they claimed :(
    Now I'm paranoid...
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Wow, I wonder what part failed on the Champion. I also have the Kurgo, but we purchased the Champion after Kaji chewed the Kurgo. The Champion, to me, is much better made than the Kurgo. I'm not really sure how to interpret the preliminary test either. I'll have to bug my scientist husband to tell me what the results really mean and how the tests they conducted relate to my dogs.
  • It looks to me like the Champion failed during a static weight test, which is supposed to simulate the stress placed on a harness during a crash. I was leaning towards a Champion for our future dog. Now not so much. I'm guessing the fabric or the stitching failed, as I thought they have all metal hardware, but I could be totally wrong. Looks like all three sizes of Champion failed the static weight test, which isn't a good sign.
    Edit to add:
    The static test used 657lbs for small, 1182lbs for medium, and 1969lbs for large, so the Champion failed a static hang test for 5 seconds with those weights. Crashes can exert these forces on the harnesses, though they sound high.
    The kurgo passed the hang test for all three sizes, but only the medium size passed the crash test. The medium size allowed the crash test dog to fly forward 54.88 inches. In most cars this allows the dog to strike something inside the car, ouch! The kurgo also had neck strap tearing and hardware deformation (but not failure) though it doesn't say which size.
    The whole article, especially the crash videos on the site, makes me worry.
    Post edited by RustyAngel at 2013-10-05 13:16:24
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    I I have the Kurgo Extra Strength and after reading this study I will be switching to the Sleepypod Clickit based on the study. I'm really glad that this organization is continuing their work. Hopefully within the next 5 to 10 years or so we will have a broader range of brands to choose from that can be relied on to keep our pets safe. I'm sure the Sleepypod is thrilled with the results of their product.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks for the detailed info RustyAngel. All the clasps on my Champion are made of heavy duty metal, not the flimsy metal or plastic, so it must be the stitching. The Kurgo I have is the small or XS since it was one Kaji used as a puppy. It may be sturdy but he bit right through the straps. I think our Kurgo had plastic clasps too, but I'l have to check. We haven't used it in forever, so I'll see if I still have it.

    ETA: The snaps on the back, which are not supposed to be weight bearing, are made of plastic. THey are the two clasps that hold the straps that go around the torso and neck and hide underneath the metal rings where the clip that connects anther strap (the tether?) to the seat belt. All the areas of joined fabric are sewn very well and reinforced too. Makes me wonder how well the Clickit is made. Can anyone who has the Clickit chime in?
    Post edited by amti at 2013-10-06 21:09:14
  • The Kurgo tested was not the one with the plastic clips. The one tested was the Kurgo extra strength, which has metal clips.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I found my Kurgo- I don't know if it is the extra strength or not but it was intended as a seat belt and came with a tethering strap in a pouch. It has nice, thick, rounded edged metal fasteners but the snaps or clips are plastic, like the Champion. If I recall correctly, all the weight bearing parts of the harness had metal fasteners but the plastic clips were not weight bearing according to the Champion website. This could be where they failed too. I guess it really doesn't matter what they're made of if neither is going to withstand an accident. :( I wish the results told where the products failed- the harness or the tethering strap and where.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-10-07 00:55:47
  • Rina_LinRina_Lin
    Posts: 37
    Bumping! I have read through a few of these car-safety threads and wanted to see if anyone has a harness/strap they recommend? It seems that most of the ones mentioned had less than stellar reviews in testing. :/

    Or if using a crate is the way to go, which one are you currently using?

    Thanks :)
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1073
    I've been thinking of getting the ruffwear car harness. I believe when researching it, I read that it was crash tested. But I don't know how it performed in those tests hah. Right now I use a generic seat belt strap with a carabiner... it just connects into the seat belt buckle.

    When we're going on longer trips, sometimes he's in his crate (it's a random travel one made by kong I think). But we only have a small car, so it doesn't fit that well. I make sure he's using a harness that distributes the weight across the chest, like his ruffwear front range.. but I think I should get a dedicated car harness cus we do a lot of traveling...
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3482
    Crates are best because in case of a car crash, your shiba will be in the cage and cannot bolt.

    A lot of people who don't Crate their dogs or use harnesses/dog seat belts that aren't certified/crash tested, break during an accident. The dogs bolt from the scene and either get hit by an oncoming car or become lost for days.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1073
    Once we were right behind a wreck where a guy drove off the road and flipped twice, and his dog was in the car and was just running off on the side of the road. For a while, we weren't even sure if the dog had been in the car or if it was just a random dog that showed up and was running by haha. We took it to the emergency vet and they didn't believe us at all when we told them about the car crash. I think they thought we were just making up a crazy story hoping they wouldn't charge us for checking him out, but we just paid for it and the dog was perfectly fine.

    Anyway, we eventually reunited him with the family of the guy in the crash. Guy in the wreck was okay by the way, but in the ICU for a bit. So surprised the dog wasn't hurt, it was like a tiny teacup chihuahua lol. But he seemed so confused and in shock and was just running off. So I can totally see that being the biggest concern with a dog not being well contained in a car crash. :(

    If anyone has any specific crate suggestions for cars, I'd totally be interested. I'm considering one by like Rough Tough Kennels. But that's more for once we have a more spacious car. Which we're currently in the beginnings of shopping around for but probably won't get for like another year or something.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-08-19 14:56:12
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 664
    Well, I can't really say much as Japan options tend to be a little different from the states. We settled with a crate that we could secure with seat belts in the car. I haven't seen much about safety belt harnesses for dogs here, but honestly I wasn't looking XD Coal would chew it to death.

    Crate
  • Do any of you have a specific crate brand/etc that you recommend for car use?

    And do you have a car-harness you recommend? (For temporary use in the meantime while I save up for a good crate)

    Thanks! :)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I know someone who uses this and her mom was rear ended and their shiba was fine. Might be worth checking out. I'm thinking of trying this eventually.
    http://sleepypod.com/clickit-sport

    For crates Petmate kind is used, but not sure how durable. Rough Tough Kennels are well tough and durable, but more pricier compared to petmate.
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    Post edited by Saya at 2017-09-14 19:08:05
  • Saya said:

    I know someone who uses this and her mom was rear ended and their shiba was fine. Might be worth checking out. I'm thinking of trying this eventually.
    http://sleepypod.com/clickit-sport

    For crates Petmate kind is used, but not sure how durable. Rough Tough Kennels are well tough and durable, but more pricier compared to petmate.



    Thanks! I'll check those out! :)

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