(Dr. Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ - Pet Health Network)
2013 dog harness study
Luckily for dog lovers, the Center for Pet Safety* (CPS) set out to answer this very question in their "2013 Harness Crashworthiness Study." They had 3 main objectives:
- Evaluate and rank current safety harnesses.
- Collect harness performance data that could be used by the CPS to develop harness standards and test protocols and ensure harness performance.
- Determine the top performing harnesses.
The problem is that there are many different breeds, weights, and shapes of dogs out there so it is not that easy to create a universally safe harness.
Researchers created canine crash-test “dummies” with multiple weights and sizes, as well as a realistic center of gravity. They equipped each one of them with one of 20 harnesses -- made by 7 different companies.
Key harness safety factors -- in the event of an accident -- were determined to include the following:
- Does your furry loved one remain in the car seat?
- Is there enough rotation control to stabilize the spine and reduce potential injury?
- AllSafe by Klein Metal®
- Bergan Dog Auto Harness by Bergan
- Canine Friendly by RC Pet
- Clickit Utility by Sleepypod®
- PetBuckle® by IMMI®
- RuffRider® Roadie® by CoverCraft
- Tru-fit Enhanced Strength by Kurgo
Unfortunately, results of the study were very disheartening. Out of the 7 companies and 20 harnesses, only a single company provided a harness with optimal performance.
Sleepypod’s® Clickit Utility was the winner by far. According to the Center for Pet Safety the Clickit harness consistently kept the test dummies in their seats, and was the only restraint to offer substantial protection. The company provides harnesses to fit small, medium and large dogs.
So please remember, not all harnesses are created equal. In fact, most harnesses are not even adequate. When choosing a harness, make sure the proper testing has been performed. If you'd like to purchase the harness that outperformed the others in this 2013 test, it can be found at www.sleepypod.com/clickit.
Wishing you and you furry loved ones safe travels.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.