If you’ve followed me on Tik Tok, then you know that I’m an advocate for seat belts for my dogs. However, not all dog seat belts are good. I’ve come to find that out with Muse, actually. Muse is a rambunctious kind of dog. She loves to follow me everywhere, all the time. Even if she’s currently buckled in, in the car.
Since bringing Muse into my life, I had to order some more seat belts. See, I’ve been in car accidents. Twice in fact. First, they suck! Second, they’re immediate, no warning, no possible chance of dodging that bullet. In order to keep my babies protected (as much as possible) I keep them buckled up. Now, seat belts for dogs aren’t a fail-safe. They basically just make sure my dogs don’t go flying out the windshield.
How do I know this? Well, they’ve been tested since I’ve bought them. Not on purpose, obviously!
Driving in Anchorage, AK?
In Anchorage, we have some pretty crazy drivers. I mean, we do in all states, but I seem to find them no matter where I live. Up here, people love to slam on their brakes, no blinker to turn. Fun, fun! As for my dogs, I know this freaks them out. And no, for you that want to throw out your comments, I’m not tailing people. However, let’s use Tudor road as an example here.
Tudor is a fast street and it’s through the city. Unfortunately for Anchorage, we have no bi-ways. In fact, it’s the only big city I’ve lived in where we don’t have bi-ways. Tudor road has a speed limit of 50 mph. Which, no one does! Not even myself. I typically cruise doing 55 mph. Yes, I know, I know, that’s speeding! Whatever.
Now imagine, you’re going 55 mph and someone decides at the last minute they want McDonald’s. They slam on their brakes and turn abruptly. Well, going that fast, guess what? You’re slamming too, no matter if you have a five car distance.
How do the seat belts do? Pffft.
How Well do Seat Belts hold up during Braking?
Now, I pay attention, really well, to the road. Remember, I’ve been in accidents, and it’s awful! The first time, I was side swiped by a box truck that didn’t want to brake for traffic stopped in front of him, so he merged into me. Second time, I hit black ice – which you can’t see at all. Tires spun out of control, and I hit an electric pole. Boom, totalled my Suburban.
Anywho, traveling at 55 mph, the person in front of you wants to eat and decides to just slam their breaks to turn. My dogs, poor babes, when I slam my brakes, they go to the floor. The seat belt allows for a give, even when it’s at its shortest length. Yes – they’re adjustable. I’ll get to that next.
The elastic allows enough slack for them to hit the floor. Now, I will say, the seat belt is at its max length. So, it means they wouldn’t fly out my windshield in the event of a collision. But, they would get hurt, even from the floor. Now, because of the brake checkers, I do try to keep more a distance between myself and others cruising down fast roads. But, it can be hard up here, especially since we have a lot of traffic in the mornings and afternoons.
I did mention the elastic, so I’ll touch on that.
The Elastic of the Seat Belts.
All the seat belts I’ve ordered have an elastic strip at the end, or beginning, however you want to look at it. This allows for the dog to have a little give in case of a collision. Collisions are very abrupt, and you stop very suddenly. If the seat belt didn’t have this, it would hurt the dog from some other injury such as broken bones or an injured neck. You want a little give, just like with regular seat belts.
This elastic is also adjustable. You can make the seat belt shorter or longer depending on the need. In the front of the car, I make it as short as possible. In the rear of the car, I give a little slack so they can lay down and be comfortable during car rides.
Now, not all are good. Meaning, some of the seat belts elastic starts to stretch, and it no longer functions as it’s supposed to. I’ve bought a few, so I know. My dogs, as much as they love going on car rides, hate seat belts. They can’t move around, or move seats. Once they’re buckled in, that’s it! Muse hates them and loves to get tangled up. I’ve had to pull into a lot of parking lots to fix her seat belt. The last thing I want is for her leg to be trapped in the event of something awful.
So, what makes me say, not all dog seat belts are good?
Not All Dog Seat Belts Are Good – Why?
Yes, I don’t like them falling to the floor. There’s one part of it. The second? How the seat belt attaches to the car in the first place. There are two styles that I’ve ordered. One style actually attaches to the buckle of the car, just like human seat belts that clicks in place.
The second kind attaches to the car seat metal loop in the seats. This is my favorite style. The buckle portion, that attaches to the car buckle tends to bend under Muses rambunctious nature. See, she loves to leap from the car! Literally. To get to me. When she leaps from the car, the buckle will bend enough to snap away from the car buckle. That’s right, she actually rips it from the car buckle. Crazy kid. She’s done this with all of them. All. Of. Them. This means, in a major collision, these things wouldn’t hold up to save their life. What they’re designed to do.
So, I’ve stopped using the buckle portion and I only use the clip function that attaches to the baby seat clips in the seat. Or, when they’re sitting up front with me, I wrap the seat belt into itself around the metal portion of the head rest. I’ve tested this with whole lot of blunt force, that head rest is staying in.
It’s not Perfect, but it Works.
Some might be cringing at the belt attached to the head rest. I know, I get it. However, they can’t get to the floor with this method. The seat belt is actually tighter than when it was clipped to the car. I’ve had to hit my brakes for a moose since doing this, and they stay in their seat. Yay.
So, while most dog seat belts are terrible – just in that they can’t seem to stay clipped in for Muse, I still like the clip for the metal clip function. I don’t know how these will hold up in a collision, but I do know it’s better than them not being buckled at all. I’d rather the belt holds them for the blunt force of the initial impact and break after, rather than my dogs fly out the windshield.
I am still looking for a better seat belt overall. Trust me, these ones aren’t the best. But, ordering them online is the only way to get them, and Amazon can be tricky. So, while not all dog seat belts are good, at least it’s okay for now.
What do you use for your dogs? Share your seat belts so that we can all keep our dogs safe!