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Dog Seatbelts


Guest reneern120
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Guest reneern120

I have seatbelts for all of my 3 greys. I was reading an article in USA TODAY about a year ago how many mva's result in pet deaths but the people live. The dog gets thrown thru a window or even worse. I was woundering if anyone else belts their greys up for car rides? I think it is the right thing to do however I may be in the minority.

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Guest GreytDogMa

I belt my houndie when traveling highways/interstates, but for just a short jaunt 'round town I usually do not. My houndie does not care either way, as long as he's going bye-bye's with Mom.

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I have always seat-belted my dogs, every time, even short rides. I am in the minority, but I am a nervous nelly about car accidents! It is also very helpful for preventing escape when getting them out of the car.

Jen 
Forever in my heart: my girl Raspberry & my boys Quiet Man, Murphy, Ducky & Wylie
www.greyhoundadventures.org & www.greyhoundamberalert.org & www.duckypaws.com

 

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Guest GreytDogMa

Bank is good about "waiting" so I can attach his lead. He has not bolted from the car...but I do not give him space to do so. I do agree with Greyholic about belting, but I guess it depends on your definition of "short". Anything less than 5 blocks I do not belt Bank...anything more I don't risk it. He is my brindle fur-baby. :beatheart:ghplaybow:beatheart

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I have a seat belt that I use with Katie, and just got one to use with Pixie. However, today when I was using it I got to watch her just squeeze her body right out of it, after I thought I needed to go up a size because it was too tight! So I am going to have to see what I can do with the adjustments, or go back to crating her, which I would rather not because that takes up much more space and is less likely to stay in one piece in an accident.

77f6598d-2.jpg

My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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I WANT to restrain them in some way to prevent them from going through the windows in an accident, but I can't figure out what would work. I have a Prius and they ride in back with the back seats down to make a platform. I've seen the harness-belts in Petsmart, but I don't think they'd work. First of all they have their own harness, and I don't want to have to be changing between the walking and riding harnesses all the time. The second issue I see is that the hounds need to be able to turn around and swap places and stuff and I can't see how they'd do that without getting into a tangle and lynching each other. Definitely need a clever solution for this, but it's beyond my engineering capabilities.

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

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With very few exceptions my dogs are in either crates or harnesses & tethers. Length of trip is not the deciding factor.

 

A key to keeping multiple dogs from getting tangled is to space the dogs out as much as possible & to use the shortest tether possible. My dogs are able to sit, lay down or stand but to lay down they do need to work a little to get comfortable as they have very little give in the harness/tether at that point. I use tethers that hook to cargo tie-down or child restraint attachment points. The child restraint attachment points may not be strong enough to hold a large dog moving at high velocity but since the dogs are attached on a short tether I believe that helps minimize the odds of the attachment point breaking. A safer alternative, if it can work in your vehicle, is to use the specially designed straps that clip into the seat belt receiver.

 

Feisty49, I made my own tethers using nylon webbing straps wit the strongest swivel clips I could find & attach them using stainless steel quick links. I use

 

In my case I'm using modified bucket straps from the livestock supply like this:

98%20P.jpg

 

(even without modification it is still better than no restraint)

 

This is a quick link:

clip-aa260QuickLink.jpg

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First of all they have their own harness, and I don't want to have to be changing between the walking and riding harnesses all the time. The second issue I see is that the hounds need to be able to turn around and swap places and stuff and I can't see how they'd do that without getting into a tangle and lynching each other. Definitely need a clever solution for this, but it's beyond my engineering capabilities.

 

First - What type of walking harness are you using? I don't need to switch harnesses for my dogs. Depending on the design it may well be that a properly fitted harness is safer than one of the seat belt harnesses that don't truly fit a Greyhound.

 

Second - Your dogs do not need to turn around & swap places. You may believe so & they may want to but they don't need to do so. Does that distinction make sense? They need the minimum amount of room necessary to sit, lay down & shift just enough to be tolerably comfortable. No, it isn't the most comfortable way but it is the safest way. You do need to stop often enough for them to be able to get up & walk around to stretch just like we people do.

 

The times I tried to harness my dogs to the human seat belts there were problems with the dogs tangling. When I started using tethers that hook to other restraint points it improved the problem 1000%. A few have gotten a leg in awkward position or with their head on the wrong side of a strap. None so far has done that more than a few times... except Su. Am going downstairs to load a crate in the van right now because of this. :lol

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Second - Your dogs do not need to turn around & swap places. You may believe so & they may want to but they don't need to do so. Does that distinction make sense? They need the minimum amount of room necessary to sit, lay down & shift just enough to be tolerably comfortable. No, it isn't the most comfortable way but it is the safest way. You do need to stop often enough for them to be able to get up & walk around to stretch just like we people do.

 

My parents had seatbelts in the back seat LONG before they were standard equipment (they had to install them themselves!), simply because they quickly figured out that three kids strapped in seatbelts were less likely to be poking, punching, and crawling on each other. So yeah, the dogs do not NEED to be able to wander all over the car.

 

I did have a problem in my Scion of not having any cargo tie downs. I put down the back seats, so I wound up attaching the restraint to the metal loop that keeps the seat backs locked in an upright position. It may not be ideal, but it seemed like the best option. I figured if they were strong enough to keep the seats stable in an accident, they would be strong enough to hold the dog.

77f6598d-2.jpg

My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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This may be a really stupid question, but am I right that the only safe way to tie a dog to anything inside a car is when he's wearing a harness? I can't imagine a collar would be safe. The reason I'm asking is that as soon as I put a harness on Tracker he flat out refuses to walk even an inch, so I never use a harness (he doesn't need one anyways--well, other than potentially in a car).

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First - What type of walking harness are you using? I don't need to switch harnesses for my dogs. Depending on the design it may well be that a properly fitted harness is safer than one of the seat belt harnesses that don't truly fit a Greyhound.

 

Second - Your dogs do not need to turn around & swap places. You may believe so & they may want to but they don't need to do so. Does that distinction make sense? They need the minimum amount of room necessary to sit, lay down & shift just enough to be tolerably comfortable.

 

I hear you. It's not that I want them to move around, just that I figured they would no matter what. But I guess if they had a very short tether to the tie-down hook, they'd figure out pretty quickly that they can't move around. So where do you get a short strap with a hook on each end? One would hook to the harness, and one would hook to the car.

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

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if you have the room, the SAFEST way to travel is crated. just make sure the crate can not roll over. i don't have the room, seat belts are not accessable, no seat belts here.

 

I'm not sure I agree. On the face of it, it sounds good. But a 60 pound greyhound in a 45 mph crash is going to hit the crate with 2700 pounds of force. At 60 mph, the dog will hit with 3600 pounds of force. (Numbers from http://www.bucklebuddy.org/crash-force-calculator) The question which needs to be answered is whether the crate, especially if it's plastic, can withstand that impact force without shattering. And that isn't something that crate manufacturers seem to advertise. If the crate shatters in impact, you now have the dog being a projectile, and lots of shards of really sharp plastic flying around. I'm not entirely sure that the seat belts will work in a crash, but they will hopefully keep the dog from moving around too much in the car. To be brutally honest, I see them more of on the lines of cargo tie-downs: meant to protect the humans in the crash from the dog, but not necessarily to protect the dog.

 

Here's some video of crash tests, unfortunately in German:

 

Please note in this case they are using a 4 kg (roughly 9 pound) cat dummy on the back seat.

 

They do say that the safest transport method is either crated in the footwell, or crated perpendicular to the line of travel and secured against the back seat, in the page I could find to translate.

 

Sorry.. the second link should be this:

77f6598d-2.jpg

My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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philospher77, am noticing a few things in the videos. First video shows a crate & a dog in harness hooked to the vehicles seat belts. The belts allow the crate & dog to go too far forward before they catch & hold. My question is, did they pull the seatbelt out all the way first, then clip it in & let it retract? This should keep the belt tight, not allowing the amount of give displayed in the video, at least theoretically. That is what should be done just as you would with a child seat.

 

The other thing I am noticing with the crates is that they seem to be relying on one belt/attachment point so the force is concentrated in one or two small areas rather than spread out. And in one case it looks like they aimed the door forward so the dog hit the door hard. That combined with the crushing force of the belt caused the door to fail. Loading the crate sideways or backwards would have helped. My crates are usually loaded with the door facing the rear. The crates are strapped down using the 4 tie down holes on the corner of the crate plus straps over the top in case of a roll over. This approach is to hopefully spread out the pulling force of the tie downs over a larger area. The crates are smaller than average. The dogs have just barely enough room to stand & turn. The Greys can't really stretch out their legs completely. The idea is to prevent them from sliding & getting banged around. Again, the hope is to prevent the type of thing seen in the video where the dog slides forward & crashes through the crate. I have in fact been in an accident but we were only going 35 mph. There was none of the drama shown in the video but the van was rear ended, not a frontal collision. Venus was emotionally shaken up but physically fine. I did get the best crate I could afford at the time but have been searching for some much sturdier.

 

The tether straps I use for harnessing the dogs range from 18" to 24". Dogs would still be thrown forward but would not hit the front seat. Straps are attached to what I hope are very sturdy spots. In the van those are the spots where seat backs latch into place. My theory is the same as yours. If it will hold the seats it should hold the dogs. In the second video it looks like the connector broke. Problems like that are why I use quick links. The weakest point in my system is the swivel clips. Am still searching for the best solution to that. It may be better in the long run to give up the swivel & use quick links at both ends. I've not opted to switch that yet though.

 

As mentioned, I have been searching for safer crating options. These solid wall, aluminum crates were my first choice. http://eastcoastcrates.com/StandardDogCrates.html Size would be custom made but close to D1 for my small-medium Greys. Larger Greys would need something closer to size F. Then I found these even stronger plastic crates, not at all your average plastic crates. http://northstarplasticsinc.com/Dog_Boxes/700E He can custom make them as well. Now I also have this type of steel crate to consider which is reputed to have been crash tested. http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=714 All have different pros & cons. The East Coast aluminum crates are the most expensive but have been around for a long time & are used by many on the show circuit. The Northstar Plastic dog boxes are the most affordable & have survived crashes including at least one where the truck rolled, bed topper was crushed but dogs survived because the dog box held. The Mim Variocage can be adjusted in size & I could buy, off the rack so to speak without needing it custom made. It already offers all the modifications I wanted on the East Coast & Northstar crates. I would get the double sized crate which offers the option or removing the middle panel so I could transport a larger dog if needed. Unforutunately it is very heavy so putting it in & out of the van would be a two person job or require a good bit of creativity. Not necessarily a problem but would make it not such a spur of the moment change.

 

So where do you get a short strap with a hook on each end? One would hook to the harness, and one would hook to the car.

Got it at the livestock supply store.

 

This may be a really stupid question, but am I right that the only safe way to tie a dog to anything inside a car is when he's wearing a harness? I can't imagine a collar would be safe. The reason I'm asking is that as soon as I put a harness on Tracker he flat out refuses to walk even an inch, so I never use a harness (he doesn't need one anyways--well, other than potentially in a car).

I think Greys are just weird this way. Have had to teach two of them to walk in a harness. It didn't take long but did take training. Would recommend you do it but for your purpose of riding in the car it doesn't matter much. Load him up, put harness on, clip to tether & then take the leash off his collar. Reverse the process at your destination.

 

ETA: philospher77, I do not think there is any one choice that is necessarily the safest. For my case, in a high top, cargo van the crates seem the best option with harness & tether second. What is clearly the least safe for us is to leave a dog or multiple dogs loose. It isn't that I never do it but I sure don't like to.

Edited by kudzu
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