Dog Seat Belts
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Bergen Travel Harness

  • Observations:
    • Lightweight, easy to use, nothing going over the head, no metal except for the adjusting hardware and attachment carabiners, no load on nylon buckles, full flexibility on attachments, decent surface area on chest piece. doubles as short-distance walking harness.
    • Meets all of my critical design criteria; comes with climbing-grade (though light-weight) carabiners.
    • The metal adjustment buckles slip - I will overcome this by adding velcro to secure the loose ends.
    • I'd like to see a little more padding on the chest piece; I would prefer slightly wider webbing, and instinctively, I prefer the seat-belt style webbing that the others use rather than what I call luggage strap webbing. But that's not based on any science - for all I know, the stuff they use is fine.
  • Anecdotal Comments:
    • One person on the Clean Run forum mentioned that she had had trouble fitting the Bergen on a 15-lb dog. My friend uses one on her 9-lb Papi-Jack and loves it. I think that any harness is going to have a small subset of dogs that are between sizes that might be more difficult to fit. That's why I think the greater number of size options, the better.
  • Links: Bergen Travel Harness

Champion Canine Seat Belt System

  • Observations:
    • Nylon buckles do not bear load, many sizes for good fit (even for huge dogs), wide straps and chest padding, versatile car attachment options, relatively easy to use, doubles as short-distance walking harness, swivel hook allows dog to rotate and strap can be attached high on seatbelt.
    • Meets all of my critical design criteria; pick-up truck restraint system also available; heavy-duty metal d-rings and snap-hook; now available with Moonglow reflective trim.
    • Heavy and bulky; also, the slides are made of metal and could conceivably chafe or cut the dog under load, the designer assures me there has been no evidence of this.
    • NOTE: the slides on the original Champions tended to slip. The manufacturer acknowledged the problem and discontinued that slide two years ago - the new ones ones don't slip. If you bought a Champion during that time frame, check to see if they'll replace it - they replaced both of mine.
  • Links: Champion Canine Designs

Ruff Rider Roadie (Original model only)

  • Observations:
    • One-piece harness, wide straps, belt criss-crosses on the chest for load distribution.
    • Meets all of my critical design criteria; buckles are used for adjustment but do not bear load; detachable packs available to make it very multi-functional.
    • Harder to put on the dog - requires more handling.
    • NOTE: As I mentioned in the Intro, the original model has been discontinued and replaced with a less-effective design.
  • Links: Ruff Rider Roadie

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Pet Buckle

  • Observations:
    • Meets my design criteria.
    • Small contact point on the chest (simple webbing crossover - virtually no load distribution).
    • It does have to go on over the head, but the loop is huge (because of the bad chest design) so it shouldn't be an issue.
    • Feels heavy and clunky with several heavy metal things flapping around to bonk my dog on the head and nose - wouldn't take many of those before he would stop letting me get near him with it.
    • I have concerns about the limitations of the attachment - it looks like it is ONLY made to go on the child seat loop, which means that it won't work in older cars, backs of SUVs and wagons, and probably some club-cab trucks.
  • Anecdotal Comments: When I first saw this product a few years ago, it looked very promising.  But then a good friend of mine, also a Roadie user, got one for her young dog and she didn't like it. It was very easy to use, but it tended to slip and rotate around the dog more than the Champion, and her dog was able to back out of it even when it was tight.
  • Links:

Snoozer Pet Safety Harness and Adapter

  • Observations:
    • At first I was afraid that this broke my "stress on nylon buckles" rule, but I realized that the design of the attachment strap pulls in a completely different direction and puts all the load on the chest/vest portion.
    • I was very confused about how this goes on - I wasn't clear if I had to feed the tail through the loop and pull it over the butt. Unfortunately, the sample I had wasn't big enough for my dog so I never did figure it out.
    • I'm not sure the seat belt has enough flexibility for me - I like to attach my dogs high on the seat with a carabiner so they can turn around under it. With the attachment at the base of the tail, they would be restricted to lying/sitting in one direction, based on which side the seat belt clip is on.
  • Links: Snoozer Pet Safety Harness

Clix Carsafe

  • Observations:
    • I had the same reaction to this as to the Snoozer - appears at first glance to put stress on nylon buckles. But again, the design seems to mitigate that to some extent by pulling the load backwards. However, this one doesn't execute that nearly as well as the Snoozer because the connector strap is directly attached to the straps that use the buckles.
    • I do like the chest portion - nice padding. But in terms of putting it on the dog, it has to go over the head with a pretty snug opening and some dogs will object to that.
    • Same concern as the Snoozer about lack of flexibility in positioning the dog, although this one has the option to thread the seat belt through the loop.
  • Links: The Company of Animals

Solvit Pet Vehicle Safety Harness

  • Observations:
    • Fails the design test - load is on nylon buckles.
    • Otherwise, it has a well-padded and shaped chest piece and the flexibility of a carabiner-style attachment.
    • But it also has a lot of heavy metal to flap around during application - not as bad as the Pet Buckle, but still, some dogs might not like it.
    • Requires going over the head but has a decent-sized loop.
  • Links: Solvit Products

BeBop Secure Fit Car Safety Dog Harness System

  • Observations:
    • Uses the same double-D-link attachment as the Champion, which takes the load off the buckles, but it is far less heavy and clunky and thus might be easier to use.
    • The harness uses 1" webbing, which is probably fine for small to medium sized dogs, but I didn't like the load distribution on my big dogs.
  • Links: BeBop USA

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BatziBelt (NOTE: I have not actually touched this product)

  • Observations:
    • Nylon buckles appear to bear load, limited size range, narrow straps and no chest padding, attaches only to standard seat belt.
    • Easy to use, can be used with any standard harness (or they sell one), swivel hook allows dog to rotate, strap can be attached high on seatbelt.
    • Relies on standard harness - pick a harness that meets my critical design criteria.
    • Can also be used to secure a crate
  • Links: BatziBelt

Doggie Catcher (NOTE: I have not actually touched this product)

  • Observations:
    • Tether that hooks to standard seat belt buckle, fully adjustable length, no swivel feature.
    • Relies on standard harness - pick a harness that meets my critical design criteria.
    • Very easy to use, plastic shield to prevent accidental release of seat belt buckle.
    • Excellent instructional mpg videos available on-line
    • Can also be used to secure a crate.
    • No swivel, mounts low on the seat by design so harder for dog to turn around.
  • Links: Doggie Catcher

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Aspen Canine Car Seat Belt
Four Paws Pet Safety Sitter
Kwik Klip Harness
Premier Sure-Fit Harness
Easy Rider  Car Harness

(NOTE: I have not actually touched any of these products)

  • Observations:
    • These harnesses are all variations on a theme. They all share the fact that the load is borne almost entirely by the nylon buckles, thus failing to meet my critical design criteria.
    • Limited size ranges; attach to a standard seat belt using a nylon loop; no swivel.
    • Easy to use; double as harness for walking; low cost; very available.
    • These are standard pet store seat belts - better than nothing I guess, but not much, buckles typically fail under light loading according to the Tufts' study

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Last updated 06/26/2012

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