11-18-2005, 03:58 PM
I have an 85-pound standard poodle named Carl. If he's in the back and we were to get rear-ended, that space is called a "crush zone" and he would be dead. If he rides loose in the back seat area, he would be one serious flying death hazard to us if we had to stop quickly, not to mention that he goes bonkers if he sees a deer or a kid on a skate board! Not that I go around thinking about crashing...but half the reason I bought this car is crash test ratings. I want my family and my dog to be safe.
I did a lot of research and found the best solution for us was to take out one back seat (only one kid left at home, one kid plus one dog) and installed a "SURVIVOR BIG DOG SEAT BELT SYSTEM" available online at several places. It hooks perfectly into those big metal seat loops on the floor of the vehicle. www.canineauto.com/survivor.htm
What have others done for safe driving with a big dog?
11-18-2005, 04:00 PM
I think the way to go is with the large kennels.
scott from belmont
11-18-2005, 04:20 PM
I researched this a few years ago, and came to the conclusion there was only one company that had "safe" harness. It is RuffRider. Their material is made out of seat belt material. There are others that act as a tether or basic restraint, but, nothing that will hold a big dog in an accident.
Not only was I nervous about the saferty of my dog, I didn't want to become the 'airbag' for my 115 pound Rottweiler. I've used a RuffRider for about 4 years now. Love it. Have now bought a second one as we added a 95 pound lab from the local rescue.
They both love it...double as decent walking harness/leashes also.
Another alternate, however, I haven't tried it. Thought I'd use two of the extra long tethers for my Irish Wolfhound and tap into the child seat tethers at the rear of the Element. Pet Smart doesn't carry the extra long and won't order it. Don't want to order online and deal with Canada Customs and the shipping.
From a company that produces a variety of Automotive Restraint Systems (Child Seats, Off Road Harnesses, etc) and has a Test Lab.
Ottawa, (The one in Canada)
11-19-2005, 08:12 PM
SURVIVOR looked better to me than any of the others. It also uses seatbelt webbing, and stock (i.e. cows) strength fasteners. The nice thing is, the D ring on top rotates from side to side so the harness can be attached to the floor and the whole thing doesn't twist. SURVIVOR comes in two sizes beyond "Big Dog" They also have a rig for a dog in the back of a pickup, so it can't get thrown. www.canineauto.com/survivor.htm
A crate big enough for my dog will not fit in the ELEMENT unless I take out both back seats. Already tried it. Even if I could fit the crate in the vehicle, the crate itself would still need to be secured, front to back and side to side. Small crates should also be secured - in any crash, rollover, or God forbid, whatever accident that could happen, a loose and flying dog crate would only add to the horror.
Thanks for the posts. I am a member of the local dog-training club and we are trying very hard to raise the awareness of the necessity of restraints - both for the safety of the people and the dogs.