How do you choose the right seatbelt for your dog? Good question! There are some key factors to take into consideration, and that's all based on the product's features.
The Sleepypod harnesses are the most versatile, for dogs approximately 17-90 lbs (you need to measure the girth for exact sizing). You can use it wherever there is a shoulder seatbelt available. It works as a walking harness while not in the car, so it's extremely efficient. It also allows your dog to sit up, lay down, turn left and turn right. Your dog has great range of mobility in this product.
The Sleepypod Clickit Sport is a basic harness. It's great for everyday use and my personal favorite, because River and I are in the car A LOT.
I like the freedom that she has in the car, the fact that she can still move around, look out the window, and stick her nose out if she wants to. We can hop in and out very quickly and easily.
The Sleepypod Clickit Terrain is heavy duty and has additional features. It has removable patches on the side which you can switch out to describe your dog (ex. service dog, therapy dog, in training, etc). It also can be used with the Terrain Pack, which is a backpack for your dog. Really awesome for hikes or if you just want your dog to share the responsibility of carrying its own things!
Sleepypod carriers are the most portable and versatile. All of the Sleepypod carriers are crazy soft. It makes me want to shrink and sleep inside of there! They all have excellent structural integrity - you can feel how the carrier won't collapse into itself in a crash.
The cool thing about Sleepypod carriers is how it buckles into the car. Think of it as a travel sized pet bed that gives your dog a cozy spot to lay in the car. The carrier sits on the seat, and the shoulder seatbelt is pulled down and buckled in. There are various places along the carrier to secure the seatbelt and carrier together. Then, pull the seatbelt out all the way and let it retract back. This locks up the seatbelt, so that your dog and carrier are firmly secured. You can carry your dog in the Sleepypod carrier after you arrive to your destination, or just leave the carrier in the car. It's light and easy to use, however you choose.
The Sleepypod Mobile and Sleepypod Mini are great for dogs who like to curl up due to its round structure. The Sleepypod Mobile go for dogs up to 15 lbs, and the Sleepypod Mini is essentially the Sleepypod Mobile for extra tiny dogs up to 8 lbs.
The Sleepypod Atom is tall and slim, for dogs up to 12 lbs. It's a good basic carrier for dogs who like to lay flat.
The Sleepypod Air is awesome if you fly with your dog. It has a feature on the back of the carrier where you can slide it over your suitcase handle, making it really easy to transport. Its trapezoid shape makes it feel spacious, and is for dogs up to 17lbs.
If you are looking for something portable, sturdy yet lightweight, and versatile, then Sleepypod is for you.
If you want something that is big and indestructible, and have the space in your car, then go for Gunner Kennels. There are 3 different sizes for dogs up to 90lbs. You must use the tie down straps to secure the kennel to your car. It is heavy, and not something you will want to move around. However, its features are incredible.
Gunner Kennels has 3 locks on the door, so it's great for "Houdini dogs" who can get out of anything. It's insulated and has been through lots of tests. In addition to the crash testing by Center for Pet Safety, the crate has been thrown off a cliff, shot at, run over with a truck, and gone through crush test. Seriously tough and made to last. You can hose down the kennel to clean it, and there's a drain in the back, making it super easy and efficient.
If your dog gets carsick, this kennel is easy to clean. You can also put a bed inside to make it extra comfy for your pup. Your dog's mobility is not an issue with this kennel. If you have the space to permanently dedicate one spot to your dog in the car, then Gunner Kennel could be an option for you.
Note: Although the small Gunner Kennel is for dogs up to 30 lbs, if you have a very tiny dog, you may want to consider a Sleepypod Carrier so there is less space for your dog to move around if ever in a crash.
ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack
The ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack is also another product that you won't want to move around in the car. It is a car seat, and anchors in to your child safety locks. Your dog sits in the Rocketeer Pack, similar to how a child sits upright in a car seat. This product is good for dogs up to 25 lbs.
If you can get over the unique design and can train your dog to ride in it, the ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack is a really safe option that allows little dogs to be able to see out the window.
Plus, if you want to remove the Rocketeer Pack from your car, it comes with carry straps (like a backpack) so you can have hands free traveling with your dog on your body. Talk about cuteness!
What about giant dogs over 90 lbs?
Unfortunately, there is nothing certified that is available for dogs over 90 lbs yet. No product has been certified for dogs over 90 lbs. However, something is better than nothing, and if your dog fits a Sleepypod harness, or a Gunner Kennel, go for it. Remember, your dog still moves around if you have to brake suddenly or are in a minor accident.
Now, you decide if you're ready to change the way you travel with your dog. It is a lifestyle change, something that you commit to doing. If you're ever in a crash, you're going to want to be protected. Your pup does too. Think about it - you buckle up, why doesn't your dog?
Have an idea what you want and need? Visit www.piperswalk.org/getyourseatbelthere to grab your seatbelt today.
If you still need help deciding or want to try the different products out, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-337-1039. We can set up a consult and get things rolling for you and your 4-legged best friend. Piper's Walk is here to help!