According to a new study released on July 24, 2015, not all pet carriers and crates that are advertised as safe for travel perform well in crash tests. Subaru of America teamed up with The Center for Pet Safety, a non-profit organization, to work with a NASA engineer to create dog dummies that were specifically designed for crash testing.
The dummies were sized and weighted to fit different carriers that were all advertised as being safe for car travel. Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety, said that the study found some major concerns with the marketing claims of some of the brands.
In fact, she said that one company said their product was crash tested up to 30 pounds at 30 miles per hour and it failed at 20 pounds. Wolko said the stitching of that particular carrier was not crash-worthy at all. There were three pet carriers and crates that performed better than the rest:
- Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8′ Tie Down Straps
- PetEgo Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection
- Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock
The center for Pet Safety posted a complete list of all the models tested on their website.
Wolko pointed out that the largest problem for pet owners is that these products, unlike consumer products for humans, are not regulated. She says that her organization works to bring this kind of information to pet owners so they can educate themselves and make an informed decision before making a purchase.
Currently the organization is focusing on pet travel safety. They use scientific testing and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard specifications to study pet products and create test protocols and criteria to measure whether or not these products provide the protection that their advertisements claim they do.
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The Center for Pet Safety conducts rigorous crash testing on these commonly available pet products using the realistic crash test dogs that they created with a NASA engineer. Although their research does not directly impact legislation, they advocate for meaningful standards that will lead to safer products for animals and improve travel safety for everyone in the vehicle.
The Center for Pet Safety does not use live animals in their crash testing and they are not affiliated with the pet product industry. They also do not endorse any products. They simply perform the testing and make the results easily accessible to pet parents via their website.