Dog Travel Harness
We wouldn’t think of putting our kids in the car without a safe and comfortable seat, so why is it that only 2% of dog owners in the UK use a safety harness for their dog?! Is it because you would be breaking the law by not to buckling up your child in a car, but not your dog? I don’t believe that to be true, I think we all have the general safety of our children uppermost in our mind, therefore why do we take risks with our precious pets who are just as much a part of our family as our children. I believe that it’s down to the fact that we need to raise awareness on the fact that there are products we can buy to ensure our pet’s safety whilst travelling.
So why use a safety harness when travelling?
Always be prepared for the unexpected – Every year there are cases of both dogs and their owners being seriously injured, or killed as a result of road accidents where the dog wasn’t safely secured. A lot of people don’t realise that by not buckling up their dog whilst in the car they are not only putting their pet’s safety at risk but also their own safety, along with other passengers in the car.
The benefits of using a dog harness when travelling
Avoid Driver Distraction – Travel pet harnesses minimize driver distraction and provide basic protection from impact forces due to vehicle collision or emergency stops. There really is nothing more distracting on a car journey than your dog jumping around from seat to seat and this probably is a bigger cause of accidents than is anticipated.
Avoid Injury or Death – In a collision your dog may not only injure themselves (or worse!), but also the driver or other passengers as they are flung forward.
Avoid Distress to your dog and the Consequences – If you are in an accident, your dog may become very distressed and a harness would prevent him from being able to move around freely & potentially injuring himself further, or worse, if he manages to escape from the car in a panic, and hit oncoming traffic.
Some points to note when purchasing a harness
It’s extremely important that you purchase a harness which has been specifically designed for the purpose of travelling, rather than just a standard dog harness, as travel harnesses have special safety features and extra padding to absorb the impact of a collision.
It’s also vital to buy one that fits correctly and is appropriate to your dog’s size and weight. You will probably need to measure your dog to get the right fit. NEVER attach your dog to a seatbelt by its collar as it could get tangled and end up accidentally strangling your dog!
An alternative to a dog safety harness is a travel crate which is possibly more suited to dogs who don’t like being restrained, as they have the freedom to move around the crate. The wire cage fits in the boot of your car and they are available in a number of sizes. It’s important that the cage is the right size for your dog as too large and your dog will be thrown around in an accident, and too small and it’ll be uncomfortable to travel in. You must also ensure it’s secured and can’t move around.
You can also buy a booster seat for your dog which allows them to be secured, yet able to move around slightly and look out of the window.
All in all, there are various options available and there really is no excuse not to ensure your dog’s safety whilst travelling. Some other European countries have made it law to buckle up your dog and it may not be long before it’s more than just common sense in this country too.