The Columbine Ford Guide to Pet Safety

March 1st, 2019 by

The Columbine Ford Guide to Pet Safety

Many of us have welcomed a four-legged companion into our life. They steal our hearts and become members of the family. With the average pet’s life span lasting 15 years, odds are that at some point your pet will ride in a vehicle with you and possibly be in a car accident. Many of us would be devastated if our furry family member was injured in a car accident. Luckily there are new products available to make our pets safer during road trips.

There are three main things you need to consider for keeping your pet safe when driving; prevent distraction, managing your pet’s deceleration rate upon impact, and keeping your pet restrained after the crash. If you are going to use a safety system in your vehicle, it needs to be something that is easy, fast and convenient for you and your pet.

One of the easiest ways to secure your pet is with a divider between the back seat and the load area of your SUV. Just load the dog into the back of the SUV, and it is contained. A step up from the divider is a crate that if the rear windows get broken out during a rollover the crate will continue to secure your pet.

Purchase a divider or crate that is not made of flimsy material and can be bolted to the frame of your vehicle. It is highly recommended not to use plastic crates. Plastic crates are unlikely to withstand an impact from a crash.

Dividers and crates may help keep humans safe from a dog in the event of a crash, but it is essential for a dog to stay restrained in the event of a car accident. There have been reports of pets panicking and fleeing from accidents through a broken window, only to be hit by oncoming traffic or lost. Panicked dogs may also delay treatment of an incapacitated owner, believing that they are protecting their human parent.

For both human and pet, it is essential to manage the deceleration rate when in an accident. We, humans, have seatbelts to do that for us, but what options are available for our pets?

We turn to the Center For Pet Safety; they adopted the Federal Motor Vehicle Standard 213 which regulates child restraints, they use the regulation as a guide for testing pet restraints. They found that the most effective pet harness holds your dog in the same position as a child sitting in a car seat.

The following is a list of products tested and approved by the center for pet safety:

Sleepypod Clickit Sport
Sleepypod Clickit Terrain
ZugoPet The Rocketeer Pack

Until someone designs a vehicle with pet safety in mind, you can purchase a crate or harness from Petco in Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction. Make sure that whatever you are buying has the Center For Pet Safety stamp of approval on it.

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