Car safety for your pets

Making Tails Wag Better

by Deb D’Andrea

Summer time is here and I’m sure we are aware that we should leave our pets home if it’s hot out! We’ve all heard the stories of both pets and children being left in the car, and they die due to heat. If you see either children or pets in a car during the high temperatures we are currently experiencing, there are some who say break the window and save the being. Others say call 911 or animal control, and others say try to find their person. I won’t say which course of action is better, and will leave that to your own conscious.

For pet car safety products, you’ll be surprised, or not, that Subaru of America and the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) completed a study testing pet car safety restraints. Many will buckle in their loved ones, kiddies, adults and Fido will be left to wander the car, sit quietly in the back, or be harnessed in. It’s a little known fact that there are current no testing standards for pet travel products so CPS was formed with a mission to “have an enduring, positive impact on the survivability, health, safety and well-being of companion animals and the consumer through scientific research and product testing.”

In 2011 CPS did crash-tests using a crash-test dummy dog wearing popular pet harnesses. What did they find? That despite crash-testing claims, none of the harnesses held up! Examples of problems experienced in a simulated collision of a car traveling 30 miles per hour are:

  • “Extremely      low likelihood of survivability for the animal.”
  • “Danger to humans when the      dog becomes a missile.”
  • “Choking and/or other bodily      harm to the animal when harness materials cinch tightly upon impact.”
  • “Extensive      damage to fixtures within the vehicle caused by the projectile animal.”

As Subaru knows many of their car owners have dogs, so Subaru is underwriting a program to hold manufactures accountable for their safety claims. The testing will be wrapping up this June and the findings will be published this fall.Until then, you can read through the “Center for Pet Safety” at for updated information and to view slow-motion videos of what happens to a large, harnessed dog in a simulated collision.

Until next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz, provides mobile Canine Massage, PawQuatics, Canine Agility and Petz Nanny Services. Her homemade dog treats are sold at local stores, and K9Birthday Cakes are available directly from her. Deb pet sits for dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, etc. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or

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