Distracted driving is a hot issue these days. But it’s not just cell phones that can distract drivers, eating and drinking while driving can do so, and having your dogs in your car with you can also be an issue. Our beagle Cricket is a prime example, because if she’s not secured, she’s all over the car and gets in places like on the floors where I don’t want her. If I’m trying to see where she is, my eyes are not on the road. We have a Solvit safety seat for her, but for a bigger dog like our Lab mix Luke we need something different.
*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Solvit Products; we were compensated in exchange for our fair and honest review. Wag ‘n Woof Pets only shares products we believe will be of interest to our readers. All opinions are our own.
We are not big travelers, but Luke loves to go for rides when either the Dadz or myself are out running errands locally (though never when it’s too hot to leave him in the car for a few minutes). His favorite thing is to go with Dadz to the dump on the weekend, and we sometimes go places to walk or swim. But he will move around a lot if he sees people or dogs on the side of the road. It’s safer to have him secured.
I also want Luke to be able to enjoy the ride and sniff the fresh air or watch out the windows if he wants to. I want him to have a little freedom, but not too much. Cricket can see out when she’s up high in her booster seat, so he should be able to as well. Luke can still tend to be a little nervous when riding, so I also want to be sure he’s comfortable so he doesn’t have any added stress.
Therefore, I was happy to get the chance to try out Solvit’s Deluxe Car Safety Harness. It consists of a padded vest with a breathable mesh liner, and an adjustable safety tether with carabiner. Once you have fitted the vest to your dog, which is fairly easy, it is easy to take on and off, as it works similar to any step-in harness. There is an attachment on the back for walking your dog on stops.
One of the things I like about this harness is that there are different options for securing your dog in the car, depending on how much range of motion you want to give them. If crash safety is your biggest concern, then you would choose the option that gives them the least freedom of movement. This harness has been crash tested in a certified facility and strength tested to 3,000 lbs. Solvit’s website gives full testing details.
I wanted to keep Luke on the seat but with some room to move, so I chose one of the “middle of the road” options, where I attached the safety tether to the lap portion of the seatbelt, and then through the twin loops on the back of the harness. I also opted to lock the seat belt in advance for further security. Luke was able to comfortably sit up or lie down.
Full instructions for the different options come with the harness. I tried out every different option per the instructions, though I did find it easier to lock the seat belt after attaching it to the harness, because I found it difficult to attach without the seat belt moving freely (I had the tether at its shortest size too which could have made a difference).
If you choose to carry safety even one step further, Solvit also offers a 3-point attachment kit. I don’t feel it’s necessary for us, but for someone that travels more, they might like that extra security (and the cost is only $10.99).
Luke will get upset if a stranger approaches the car, and I would not want to add to his fear by having him unable to move away from the window. I don’t as a rule leave him alone in the car for more than just a few minutes (and normally park well away from other cars), but that’s all it would take for someone to see the cute dog and decide they want to say hello. I would think his barking alone would clue them in, but well, you know how people are! Luckily it is easy to just detach the tether so he can move around in the car to retreat from anyone approaching the window when parked.
But if you have a dog that likes to bolt and isn’t firm on their “stay” (that’s our Cricket) it’s nice to have the option of keeping them tethered when you open the door and know that they must wait to be released.
We have a few products from Solvit, and I am always impressed with their quality and durability. They specialize in products for access & mobility (ramps, stairs, lifting aids), travel, and staying active (bike baskets & trailers). They believe in highly functional, easy-to-use products that dogs and their humans want. Most of their products, like this harness, come with a lifetime warranty.
They are also generously offering our readers a chance to win a Deluxe Car Safety Harness of your own. Just fill out the widget below, and good luck!