Experts warn dog owners of safety harness failures - KCTV5

Experts warn dog owners of safety harness failures

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The Center for Pet Safety has put pet harnesses to the test.  In a recent crash test, a dummy dog's safety harness snap apart on impact.  The test showed just how dangerous it is even if a dog is strapped in tight. The Center for Pet Safety has put pet harnesses to the test. In a recent crash test, a dummy dog's safety harness snap apart on impact. The test showed just how dangerous it is even if a dog is strapped in tight.
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Before drivers think about strapping their family dog into a safety harness for their next road trip, pet safety experts want to warn drivers about some safety concerns.

Several pet car restraints on the market are advertised as being crash tested, but what the companies fail to mention is that they actually failed those tests.

The Center for Pet Safety has put pet harnesses to the test. In a recent crash test, a dummy dog's safety harness snap apart on impact. The test showed just how dangerous it is even if a dog is strapped in tight.

Alarmingly, moving at just 30 miles per hour, none of the devices were deemed safe enough even though the makers say they are.

Veterinarian Stephanie Pierce sees dogs come into the animal hospital with all kinds of crash-related injuries from bleeding and broken bones to brain trauma.

"I've seen several patients that have died, passed away from injuries that happen from motor vehicle accidents," Pierce said.

But while some harnesses may not be effective, they are more safe than leaving a dog free to roam around a vehicle, Pierce said.

"Just like a person, you can imagine if a dog or cat gets thrown from a vehicle. The injuries can be very serious and potentially life-threatening," she said.

It's not only important for the dog's safety but the driver and passengers too.

According to BarkBuckleUp.com, a 60-pound dog traveling at 35 miles per hour can turn into a 2,700-pound missile in an accident. A loose animal can distract a driver, causing a crash.

Pierce recommends a harness for larger dogs and placing smaller animals in a kennel in the back of the car.

"Think about the what-ifs. It is not likely there will be an accident but if there is, their injuries could be very serious," Pierce said.

Right now there are no safety standards for pet restraints. However, results from the crash test could put the brakes on that. The Center for Pet Safety is going to release the results from its tests in early October.

If you're worried about a product you own, make sure you look for the maker's website and find the full crash test video to make sure it passed the test.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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