When I first got my miniature schnauzer Sawyer I put him in a small dog carrier when we were going out in the car, however when he outgrew that the bigger size of carrier would have had to have been put in the boot rather than in the passenger footwell beside me. I would rather have him beside me when I'm driving, so when I was in my local pet store and saw these car harnesses, I decided I would use a harness for travelling rather than a carrier.
Since the day I got him, Sawyer has been very good travelling in the car. He's never been sick and he seems happy enough lying on the passenger seat while I drive. I know a lot of owners just let their dogs sit in the car unsecured, however if anything ever happened to us in the car and he got hurt or worse because he wasn't secure, I would never forgive myself. I was rather it was me that got injured to be honest! You wouldn't let a child rattle around in the back or front seat without a seatbelt on, so I don't understand why (some) people let their dogs.
Ancol's range of car harnesses comes in 4 sizes, ranging from around £13 to around £18.
* 1-2 (small) - fits Yorkshire Terrier sized dog
* 3-5 (medium) - fits Beagle sized dog
* 6-8 (large) - fits Dalmation sized dog
* 7-9 (extra large) - fits Labrador sized dog
I got the medium size for Sawyer, particularly as the plastic packet for the medium size features a picture of a miniature schnauzer on it. As above, Ancol do recommend which certain types of dogs fit each size, but it's really down to each individual dog's measurements. As the harnesses are adjustable, you will have no problem getting one to fit.
The main part of the black harness is a padded bit of nylon-esque material that covers your dog's chest. You put this over the dog's head, and then put a paw through each side. The straps are then secured with clips under the dog's body. The straps can be loosened or tightened depending on your dog's size. I do prefer to keep them a little tighter, as long as Sawyer is still comfortable. The part of the harness that lies across the dog's back has a metal D-ring on it.
The harness also comes with a seat belt clip. It is a black strap, and one end is the same as a seat belt clip which you just plug into your regular seat belt holder. The other end has a clip like a regular dog lead which you attach to the D-ring.
The seat belt strap can also be adjusted. I keep this as short as possible - when I first got the harness, I kept it rather loose, which was stupid, as one day I had to do an emergency stop thanks to a moron coming the other way far too fast practically on my side of the road. I stopped so fast that Sawyer fell off the passenger seat and into the footwell. He was fine but it taught me that the seatbelt strap was too long. I have kept it very short ever since and nothing else bad has happened.
Sawyer has never gotten tangled up in this while we have been in the car. He seems comfortable enough in it and happily lifts his paw when I put it on him so that I can secure it.
The D-ring on the harness means that you can also use this when out walking. Sawyer is terrible for pulling the lead sometimes, and I'm afraid of him hurting his wee neck, so this has come in very handy.
I would recommend this product, especially for small to medium sized dogs. I am not sure what this would be like for larger dogs, but I assume the straps on the bigger harnesses are thicker and catered for a bigger dog's needs. It is a good price too - just make sure it is tightened securely!
Thanks for reading.
I bought one of these for my Rotti as I had thre dogs and and small Peugeot 307. I am very careful of dog security whilst travelling so wanted to keep them as safe as possible. Having three large dogs in a small car needed some organisation. My Mali and Lab were placed in the boot with a double Barjo tail gate guard and dog guard but this left no room for my large Rotti. I decided the make a little are for him on the rear seat but as he liked to spread out, to try and keep some of my car clean for taking people in it I put a little barrier up so he was only on the one seat. Putting one seat forward he had a nice paltform to sit on and the rest of the car was kind of dog hair free!
The problem I then had was the fact he was in the seat behind me and if I did have an accident there was the possibility he could either crush me by being flung forward or go out through the wind screen.
I saw these belts in Countywide and thought it was worth a go. Anything for my dogs safety. I picked it up at £11 but they really do vary in price and can be bought on line or in a ot of pet shops.
I got the large size and found that it only just fitted my Rotti. If you do have a large dog then this may not be the best option as I found that it may get uncomfortable for him if left on for a long time. Any larger dog than a Rotti and you may be struggling.
It was very easy to put on. One leg goes through one strap and the other fed through to then be clipped together on the dogs back. The front plate was nice and wide so it seemed to privide a bit of comfort.
There is then a length of seatbelt material which comes off the back of the dog which is fed through the seat belt of the car and seat belt clipped in as normal.
My Rotti, he is perfectly behaved in every way, so just accepted the harness on him as he does with everything.
The problem came when we got to nearing our favourite walk location. My Rotti tends to get very excited and tried to do spins as he is so excited about his walk. This became a problem with the harness on and even got tangled around his legs, for this reason I started not to like this item. I tried tying the item higher up on the seat belt and this helped a little bit but not a great deal and he still got himself tangled in it.
Luckily, I never had to test this item to it's fullest so I dont know how strong the material is to be honest I'd rather this way than find my self in a situation of an accident and having the belt tested to its fullest!
This item is okay but I prefer caging dogs in cars for safety. Also safer driving when the dogs are in the car.
Ancol Dog Car Harness
When we first brought home our gorgeous little puppy he sat on a blanket curled up on my knee snoozing away quite sweetly in the front of the car. I was all concerned that he would be anxious about leaving his family and his home up until that point, but he seemed content and relaxed, he must have released that he was off to lead a pampered life. The second time he was in the car he also sat on my knee, but I had already decided that this just wasn't going to be a habit that I wanted to build. Especially since he started off as a cute size for my knee but now you can hardly see me when he does decide to play lap dog, and he still does from time to time when I am watching the TV.
For your money with this Ancol dog car harness kit you get an independent car harness for your dog and a dog seatbelt strap. The dog seatbelt strap is very similar to a normal car seat belt, all you do is plug one end into the seatbelt clip and then the other end has the same sort of clip you find on the majority of dog leads. The car harness feels and looks really well made, it has an hour glass shaped panel that is slightly padded that will sit on your dogs chest, it's quite wide which means that if he ever does find himself pulled back it won't dig into any skin. It is also easy to adjust, especially after you have done all the initial adjustments to get it fitting snug without being overly tight or uncomfortable, because I still have a growing dog I tend to check its fit every time I put this on him. Mine differs slightly from the picture above and it looks a bit more padded especially in the chest section, I think the slight difference being that I own the - Ancol luxury padded nylon car harness.
A car seat is as much for the dog's protection as it is for your own. If for some reason you ever find yourself in a crash the weight of the dog being flown forward and hitting any of the front seats could severely injure or even end fatally to someone sitting there. The majority of time this car harness just keeps the dog secure if you need to break suddenly or give them some support if like mine he wants to stand up to go around roundabouts. I hope that we will never have the opportunity to test out this car harness in any serious circumstances, but it does give me some peace of mind that I am doing all that I can to ensure his safety and comfort. I have a friend whose dog is a nightmare in the car, jumping and scrabbling around, I just couldn't cope with that. My pup is pretty laid back on a regular basis but I like to think that training him with this car harness has helped him to settle in the car, he just gets comfy either sitting or lying and I don't often here a peep out of him until we arrive at our destination.
When we first started using this I was worried that he might get his legs tangled up in the seat belt section of the car harness. He has shifted and fidgeted and from time to time and he has got a leg wound round the wrong way, but he has always corrected it by himself without any need to intervene on my part. There really isn't that much extra seat belt to get tangled up in unless he is really fidgeting so he shouldn't get caught up in it to easily. For smaller dogs there will be more excess seat belt so they might have more of a chance to get tangled up. However, the dog seatbelt also has a certain amount of adjustment to it so you can reduce the amount of excess depending upon your own dog.
The car harness also turns into a rather good walking harness. I usually unclip the dog seat belt and then just attach his lead before I ask him to jump out of the car. I can imagine that with these sort of harnesses if your dog is a puller then he will really be able to put his back into it. Thankfully mine very rarely pulls so I find walking him with this an easy substitute that saves me taking even more of his accessories with us when we go out for the day.
The car harness is comfortable enough to be left on for hours at a time (of course under supervision and provided it has been checked to make sure it fits properly). Over the Christmas period when we were visiting family, I forgot to take a separate collar for my pup and I wanted to be able to grab a hold of him if need be, I didn't want him jumping all over elderly relatives. The car harness was by far better than his collar because I could get a firm and good hold of him without fear that he would struggle and hurt his neck. When avoidable I really don't like to hold onto his collar, which this car harness greatly helps with.
We are quite lucky with our dog that he really just doesn't mind us putting this or anything else on him, he just stands waiting patiently and helps by lifting his paws when asked. The car harness is not the simplest thing to get on the first time you try. It took me quite a while to figure out which hole was meant for which paw and which clip fastened around which part. However, that being said as soon as you have done this more than a couple of times it really is no bother at all and I now can get this on and off within minutes.
I own a labradoodle and being a labradoodle they can dramatically range in size, I have seen ones that are half the size of my pooch so it is best to not go with the recommended dog breed sizes (not that labradoodle is covered). However, some people suggest using a Labrador as a reference, but in my case he is larger than the majority of same age Labradors or at least the ones that live around beside us. I found it best to take him into the pet store and try the car harness on, depending of course if you have a local pet store that will let you do this, or at least order the car harness from somewhere that will allow you to return it if it doesn't fit correctly. There is the ability to fasten or tighten the straps of the car harness so you can get a bit of give, the one we bought has had to be adjusted several times now as he has grown and I suspect it won't be much longer until we need to invest in a new one. I will definitely be buying this same Ancol car harness again but just in the larger size.
Personally, I found this car harness to be a fantastic price. You can expect to pay somewhere between £10 - £25 depending upon the size you require for your dog and if you can track this down cheaper online. In my opinion, I feel that you get a great product and fantastic value for money for what you pay. Unless like me you have a growing dog then I wouldn't think that this wouldn't be an item that you would not need to buy or replace often. The car harness being mostly made from Nylon has been easy to clean with some hot soapy water, especially in those occasions where he spotted the muddy puddle before I did. Even with after quite a lot of use this looks pretty much like it did the day when I bought it.
This is something I feel strongly about so I would happily recommend this dog car harness to other pet owners for both your safety as well as your dogs. This gets a full five out of five stars from me, it really is a great car harness and so much more as the harness part itself, it is well made and has already come in useful on a number of occasions. Definitely recommended by both me and the pup.
Just as a side note, if you are planning on investing in a car harness it is worth also looking into some sort of car seat protector to keep muddy paws off the interior, unfortunately I had to learn that the hard way!
It's now a legal requirement for you to wear a seat belt when driving or being a passenger, if there is one available in the vehicle. You can be fined up to a maximum of £500 if you are caught not wearing one, unless you are exempt for medical reasons. The driver is responsible for anyone under the age of 14 years and they will be fined personally if the child fails to comply with the law. There are a variety of different requirements for children and different restraints that need to be used. You wouldn't transport your newborn on somebody's knee so why when travelling do so many people travel with their dogs on their knees or loose in the car?
A dog car harness is a brilliant device that ensures that your dog travels a safe and comfortable journey.
In a crash, having your dog properly restrained could prevent serious injury, not only to your pet but also yourself and any other persons in the car.
Travelling at 30mph with a medium sized dog (23kg) could be thrown forward in an accident with a force equivalent to nine 12 stone men, causing alot of damage to itself and other people.
Recently my partner and I got a puppy, he is about 6 months old now, and he is a very energetic dog and doesn't like to sit still for very long at all. I made the mistake of once travelling 5 minutes down the road with him loose in the car, as my partner was at work and I needed to take him to the vets for his second injections. I have to say it was very dangerous and not a thing that I would ever do again, he just wanted to sit with me and it's not very practical when driving.
We were travelling back up north for Christmas, about a 5 hour journey, and decided to take Benji with us. So I searched the internet for how to travelling a puppy on a long journey. The two most used products were a cage or a car harness and seen as though we don't have much room for a spacious cage for him I decided to opt for the car harness.
I purchased an "Ancol Car Harness" from my local pet shop for £12.99. However I did find it on the internet at a cheaper price of £9.81.
The harness is fully adjustable with extra padding for comfort and support down the middle of the harness. The harness is made out of soft nylon to ensure that it doesn't rub on your pet and additional swivel to avoid tangling. The harness is secured onto your dog by two clippers, there is a strap that loops through their leg and round their neck and another strap that goes under their tummy and fastens round the side. Attached to the harness is a loop of material with a "D" ring on the end, you pass the seat belt through the material and simple fasten the seat belt. The "D" ring is used to clip your lead onto, so it can be used as a walking device as well.
The car harness comes in a plastic packaging. On the front of the packaging is a dog wearing the harness in the car and on the reverse of the packing is a diagram and instructions of how the dog should wear the harness. I found these instructions very useful as I got a little confused were his legs should go at first.
The car harness is available in sizes: small, medium, large and ex large. All have adjustable straps to find the right fitting for your dog.
The harness has room for your dog to move around and get comfortable in a position that he/she is happy with. Our experience of using the car harness for the first time was great, the harness enabled him to lay down comfy enough and sleep all the way. This enabled us to concentrate on where we were going and drive without having to worry about where the dog was.
We now use this all the time when we travel with him in the car. I would definitely recommend one if you are having trouble travelling your dog or just get one to be that little bit extra safe.