A dog seat belt harness is an extremely important piece of safety equipment for any dog owner. It takes only a matter of seconds for a driver to become distracted and that can lead to terrible consequences. In order to prevent this from happening and to keep you and your dog safe, most trainers and vets recommend using a harness to restrict him, much as you would use a seat belt for yourself.
Unfortunately, as with seat belts, often the thought of restricting movement can supersede any ideas about safety and this prevents pet owners from actually using a system of restraint. However, studies have shown that dogs are far safer when properly restrained and that the risk of causing an accident is reduced drastically.
That being said, it is extremely important that you choose the proper dog seat belt harness and use it only in the way in which it was intended. Like harnesses for walking, car harnesses are designed to fit across the dog's chest and limit movement without causing direct tension or choking. Most car harnesses connect directly to a car's seatbelt system, providing a tethering point and using the seatbelt's built in locking mechanism to further increase safety.
Because dogs come in many shapes and sizes, it is necessary for harnesses to be available in a variety of sizes to fit every age and breed. Most harnesses also have multiple points of adjustment so that you can customize the fit to your own dog. Some harnesses are designed particularly with active breeds like the Australian Shepherd in mind and include V-neck styles and handles at the back that can allow for more control.
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Using a dog car harness is a good idea to help keep you and your Aussie safe on the road. (Pictured above is an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix.)
Pawaboo Dog Adjustable Car Safety Mesh Harness with Car Seat Belt Lead Clip
In some cases, a dog seat belt harness may include a tether to allow for more mobility. This can be quite useful for dogs that like to stand up or stick their head out the window while traveling. You can even find a swivel tether that allows a dog to turn around and shift position, something that can work well for dogs that like to turn around several times before lying down.
The idea behind a good harness is providing safety without causing discomfort. It's not about completely immobilizing your dog, which can be distressing to both him and you, but rather about limiting his movement so that he doesn't become a distraction to the driver. And with such a wide range of harnesses available, there is almost no reason why you can't find something that will work for your dog.
Not only can a dog seat belt harness provide extra safety while riding in the car, but also some harnesses are even designed to go from car to walking, so that you don't have to change your dog in and out of the harness frequently. This can reduce the stress level for both you and your dog and make it easier for active dogs to go on the adventures that they so love without feeling hampered.
Safety is important to all dog lovers and it is never more crucial than when you and your pup are on the road. So consider all of the makes and models of dog seat belt harness available at major retailers or online and find something that will work for you and your dog. This way you can travel safely and focus on having fun.