Saturday, March 12, 2011

Better Safe Than Sorry

Since Zoe has been going to obedience class twice a week for the last month or so, I've spent some time thinking about her safety riding in the car so often.  I always drive carefully when she's along for the ride, but I certainly don't have control over other motorists, or Zoe if she's launched by a collision.  

Soon after we adopted Roxie in 2001, I had similar concerns.  With good intentions, I purchased a safety belt harness for Roxie right before she was to travel with us to the beach on vacation.  We buckled Roxie up and took off down the interstate as one happy, beach-bound family.  About an hour into the trip, we were jolted by the sounds of a SCREAMING greyhound in the back seat!  I immediately pulled over, and found that Roxie had somehow managed to turn around in the seat and tangled herself in the safety harness like a pretzel.  It was a challenge to free her, and after the trauma we all experienced, the harness was never used again.

On the way home from class on Tuesday, Zoe and I stopped at Petco to check out the safety belt harnesses.  While I don't wish to relive the dog-pretzel incident ever again, I know that Zoe's safety makes the harness worth a try.  Today will be our first time trying the safety belt harness with Zoe.  I'm hoping for a positive experience, and welcome your comments regarding traveling safety tips or harness trials with your own dogs.  Please wish us luck!

Petco photo, for example purposes.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we'll leave you with a cute JibJab video of Xander Leprechaun, and a couple of photos of the Dogs Rock hounds relaxing.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Roxie and Zoe

Xander and Zoe

Welcome to this week's Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!  Thanks, as always, to the Hop hosts, Life With DogsTwo Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume.  Happy hopping, and happy weekend too!


  1. Love the darn cute! I decided to get the back seat hammock that slides over the back and front headrests so if I have to break hard Nitro will be thrown into a hammock instead of anything hard. He has the kind of personality that I think he would go crazy and chew the harness and seat belt. Let me know how the harness works for you and maybe we will give it a try. Happy Tails!

  2. Xander, how did you grow hair on the end of your nose like that?

    We have tried the seatbelt harnesses with similar experiences to yours with the Greyhounds. We have used it with more success with Morgan, and we actually use it with her in the car to keep her on her side of the seat and out of Bunny's way. The princess doesn't appreciate being crowded or stepped on! :P I'd like to find something that lets her move around a little bit in the van, but still keeps her safe. So far I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for, but I haven't given up.

  3. Nothig is as sweet as snoozing greyhounds.

  4. We have tried using the harness that is in the picture, and Luna got all tangled up in it. It was not good! We now use (every time with ease) the harness by Guardian Gear. The fastener it comes gives Luna room to turn around if she wants and not get tangled. Look online for Guardian Gear Car Harness. It's a good one!

  5. Ah, yes, nothing as great as a greyhound 'scream'.

    I have always found crates to be the greatest way to restrain pets in the car. In case of collision, they can only travel so far (and so only generate a little force) and so less risky crashes. However, I must say I have not yet invested in a greyhound sized crate for my foster greys.

  6. Hi Y'all!

    Great post.

    I usually travel in the SUV in a crate. I got tangled and chewed out of every seat belt harness and once partially through the car seat belt where my harness fastened. The Humans had to sell the car and get the SUV cause my crate didn't really fit in the car. (I weigh in at 100 lbs)

    Some of the newer seat belts are more like a jacket and make me too hot.

    The Humans are looking for something I can wear in the truck when it's too cold to ride in the crate in the bed. I also like to turn around and stretch out and sleep, so it has to be tangle proof. We don't stay sittin' up like you Humans.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  7. I'm also looking for a better safety device. We've used a soft barrier between the backseat and front to prevent any unauthorized puppy flying. But I'd like something more secure. I'll be curious to see what you find with the seat belt harness.

    And thanks @Elizabeth for suggesting Guardian Gear. I'll check it out.

  8. We use Champion Canine Designs seat belt system for all of The Herd.

  9. We'd thought of using that kind of seat belt harness for Eva but it seems she is too small for it so in the end, we keep in a flight crate when we travel. Although she can't move much in it, we feel it's much safer for her. If the journey is long, we make more stops and let her do some stretches whenever it's possible. So far, she behaves very well in the crate and she likes being in it because she loves the rides.

  10. A friend of mine has this whole hammock/zip-line system in the back seat of her car. It's pretty impressive. I have no doubt that any dog would be quite comfortable and quite safe for hours, in any sort of accident.

    However it's not something that is very practical for our truck. Nor is it affordable. We have a harness for our dog but I dislike it for long trips because she is forced to sit up. I would like to find something that would enable to to lay down and sleep if she wants to.

    Good luck!

  11. We've had the same experience - we don't curently use one, but it makes me nervous. I'd like to know what you think of yours.


  12. I've been looking for something and like all the suggestions. Sage has been known to chew through harnesses, but hopefully she is "outgrowing" this. :-)

  13. We hope the new harness works out for you. Great pictures of the dogs relaxing! My computer is acting funny so I couldn't watch the jibjab video.

    I considered a seat belt for Riley but never have gotten her one. She rides in the cargo area of my car. I have some hooks I can tie her leash to so that she won't go too far.

    Elyse (and Riley)

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  15. Good luck with the harness. Let us know how it goes. We used to travel in our crate but after we got rear ended Phoebe got too scared to ride in it. Mom's been looking at some special car seats for us.

  16. You guys were obviously woken by mom or the pawparazzi again
    Benny & Lily

  17. I have one of those but I don't like it much.

  18. We have a harness like that - purchased it after Bella got the bright idea to climb into the back window of our car and promptly fell out of the window onto the seat and almost hurt herself. She's not the brightest...

    In any event, we've had good luck with the harness, although I am very nervous about a pretzel-type incident, so I'm always checking to make sure she's not tangled herself up too much.

  19. We joined your blog after joining the blog hop today! Thanks! PS: The seat belt harness is wonderful!

  20. It looks like you have some photogenic sleepy hounds in your house! I want to curl up with them.

    We always use safety belts for our dogs. We used to crate them but K had carsickness inside a crate so we switched to seat belts so that she could see out the windows. It's worked out great for us. I don't remember the name of the safety belt company that we chose... but if you don't like the one that you bought, I can send it to you.

    One issue that I keep seeing mentioned in articles is whether a safety harness is actually strong enough to withstand a collision. Apparently, some models are not but I don't know how to find ratings. I think that the weak point is usually the clips holding the harness on the dog.

    One more thing - just to avoid a pretzel scene when the dogs are alone, we always unclip them when we leave them alone in the car.

  21. Hello,Cute video!!!!Happy sunday.


  22. my big sis asa has always been able to work her way out of the harness...she's a mama gave up on using it. i hope it works well for miss zoe and that she doesn't get the tanglies like miss roxie did!
    oh, and xander, how did you grow those thick red furs so fast like??

    the booker man

    pee s -- i'm so glad you think my mama won't notice!! teehee.

  23. I love your greyhounds!! the nexr dog i have will dfinatly be one!

    meanwhile my greyhound/collie cross,who goes to all horse shows with me, had a similar dog pretzel experiance so now continues to ride loose, leaping up everytime the indicator goes on just to ensure i havnt taken a wrong turn. If she thinks i have theres a series of long low whimper and growsl to be heard. shes definatly my co pilot!

    check out my blog to


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