Brynn’s Critters is not “for” or “against” certain brands within product areas, but we do believe that we owe our customers current information regarding the reporting of safety and/or hazards associated with pet products. We were alarmed to discover that the claims of safety that were made by some manufacturers were not supported by scientific fact, and we support any efforts made by other companies to provide safety facts to pet owners.
Center for Pet Safety is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and safety of pets and pet companions. Their initial focus has been on the safety of pet harnesses. To achieve this goal, the Center for Pet Safety partnered with Subaru of America in 2013 to test safety harnesses for dogs in vehicles. No actual formal crash testing had been done prior to this testing which means that any claims of crash safety were marketing claims only. The Center chose harnesses that claimed “testing,” “crash testing,” or “crash protection” in their marketing of harnesses.
The Center for Pet Safety studied whether the dog remained on the seat or whether the dog rotated or projected forward since rotation or movement could injure the dog’s spine or other occupants in the vehicle. The Center also tested across several sizes since some manufacturers had done minimal stress testing with only one size.
Eleven common brands were chosen for testing:
- AllSafe (by Klein Metal)
- Bergan (by Bergan)
- Canine Friendly (by RC Pet)
- Champion (by USA K9-Outfitters)
- Clix (by Company of Animals)
- EZ-Rider (by Coastal Pet Products)
- PetBuckle (by IMMI)
- Ruff Rider Roadie (by Cover Craft)
- Sleepypod Clickit Utility (by Sleepypod)
- Snoozer Pet Safety Harness & Adapter (by O’Donnell Industries)
- Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength (by Kurgo)
(For the remainder of the blog, only the brand name will be used.)
The Center developed realistic “dummy” test dogs with appropriate weighting and sizes. To see more specific testing criteria, see the test at http://centerforpetsafety.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2013_cps_harness_study_summary_final_rev101113.pdf.
The Center’s first test was a “static” test in which the harness was stressed but not through an actual crash test. If the harness did not pass this part of the test for all the sizes that were tested, it did not move into crash testing since it didn’t meet the basic safety requirements for this test. The following harnesses did not qualify for further testing:
- Snoozer Pet Safety Harness & Adapter.
Of the seven remaining harnesses, the Sleepypod Clickit Utility harness showed the best results. The dog remained seated for the entire test and did not rotate. The “large” size did allow the harnessed dog’s head to project too far forward, but all other criteria were met.
The ranking from best to worst for the remaining seven was:
1) Sleepypod Clickit Utility
3) Ruff Rider Roadie
4) Canine Friendly
6) Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength
Brynn’s Critters is not endorsing any one product over the other. We are, however, committed to promoting safety for pets and pet companions. We were looking for data related to harness safety for our own pets and found this study. Please be aware that there are not established safety standards for pet-related products, and purchase products with this in mind.
The Center for Pet Safety is working to develop standards of safety for pet products, not to promote any brand over another. They are looking for partners to aid in this endeavor. Their website is centerforpetsafety.org, and they are also on Facebook.