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Monday, December 23, 2013

Dog Is My Co-Pilot = Distracted Driving

Charlie and I will be hitting the road today along with millions of other holiday travelers and while weather conditions are at the top of most people's minds when they travel, distracted driving is also a big problem these days.

You've probably seen the amusing "Dog Is My Co-Pilot" bumper sticker a million times, and honestly I don't think I've ever seen an actual dog in the co-pilot position in the vehicles with this slogan. But I have seen many dogs on their owners' laps while driving and with states cracking down on texting and driving, many are also enacting laws about unrestrained dogs in cars.

Charlie's favorite spot in my old Jeep was sitting on the middle console. I thought it was absolutely adorable when she perched herself on this spot, but there were two occasions when I had to stop suddenly and she hit her nose on the dashboard and once bumped the gear shift out of Drive and into Neutral. Scary shit.


Charlie riding without a restraint.

When I traded in my Jeep for a Kia Soul, the middle console was considerably smaller and not a good place for Charlie to sit, and after the previous scares mentioned above, I decided it was time to get her a car restraint.

Research showed that there weren't many options available that would protect her in a car crash, but I went with the best combination of products to help reduce distracted driving. I picked up a cheap-ish $20 car harness at one of the big-box pet stores and ordered a Kurgo Direct-to-Seat-Belt-Tether for $12. The Kurgo Tether works well with Charlie's Ruffwear Web Master Harness too.

I know that these products do not fully protect Charlie in a high-speed collision, but if I can prevent her from distracting me while driving, hopefully we won't have to worry about being in a collision.

If you think about it, our dogs are like kids to most of us; would you put your child in a car without a seatbelt? I admit, I miss having Charlie up front riding along with me and I know she misses being in front, but her safety is worth more.

Kurgo has some REALLY great products for protecting your dog in the car. I haven't tested many other brands, but this is a good place to start. They have a lot of different options to suit many different sizes of dogs.

Have a Merry Christmas and safe travels!


Direct to seat belt tether for dogs
Image courtesy of Kurgo.com