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RAC DOG HARNESS
I have a beautiful four month old Shih Tzu puppy called Pebbles. She is adorable, and rather like when a new baby is expected I have collected quite a lot of equipment for her from toys to leads, and one of the most important items I think I have purchased for her is the RAC Car Harness which is the subject of this review.
Taking dogs in cars can be a hazardous business if you don't prepare for it first. The number of dogs I see loose in the car as I drive around frightens me. I have a vet daughter and I suppose I am privy to her stories, but it has happened on more than one occasion, in her experience, that a dog unrestrained has either caused an accident, or been killed by the impact of a crash when a harness could have saved them. Unrestrained dogs are ready made missiles, and according to the AA a Labrador will hurtle forward in a crash with the weight of a baby elephant crushing all in its path.
ALL ABOUT THE HARNESS
This RAC harness is a fantastic piece of kit and is much better than the Ferplast one I owned with my previous dog. I wanted simplicity - something that would take me from car to walk effortlessly, without any danger to the dog when transferring leads or harnesses. The harness is available in several sizes and is available from the RAC web shop as well as many on line retailers. You can opt for Jumbo if you have a very large breed like a Newfoundland, or a small in my case which fits my Shih Tzu puppy perfectly at the moment. There are options to adjust the harness within each size choice so buying an extra large should fit a Retriever and a Labrador for example. This size fits girth 56 - 89 cm (22-35") so there is a wide margin to play with.
The harness varies in price according to size and place of purchase, but as a guide I paid £7.99 for the small and £9.95 for the XL.
Fitting the harness is very easy - it has two straps that fit round the neck and underneath click locking so that it is a comfortable and secure restraint around the dog. You then use the car seat belt to secure through the reinforced loop on the harness.There is an O ring on the top which allows you to clip your lead to it. I love this facility as it means that you can do this before opening the door at a busy service area for example, when a nervous dog could be startled and could bolt.
The strap is very comfortable as it fits to any seat belt. It does allow some movement, but not enough to allow the dog to wander into danger, but enough so he can get comfy on long journeys.
MY RECENT EXPERIENCE
Only last week I had the pleasure of using two sizes of this harness which illustrates the excellent attributes the product has. My daughter has a beautiful Golden Retriever called Rosie. She had been staying at the Royal veterinary College in London for a few days having tests, but when they wanted to send her home my daughter was on call herself so was unable to collect her. We bought a harness for her in the size XL from the RAC web shop on their overnight delivery service, as we needed it quickly. This was a positive experience, with the courier delivering within the agreed time frame. So the next day we had both dogs in the car on the way to Wales for 4 hours. Pebbles was able to rubber neck enough to see her companion, but not enough to hinder the driver or to cause any danger to Rosie, who having had a general anaesthetic didn't want a new puppy jumping all over her! I don't recommend putting the dog in the front as it is a more dangerous seat in any vehicle, and if you have air bags a crash may really hurt the dog if it is in the front and an accident happens. Air bags are not designed to protect dogs and may injure them.
The harness only comes in black, but this is fine for me as I tend to use any lead with it, saving my pretty leads and matching collars for times when I am walking Pebbles locally without a car ride first.
My daughter who is a vet also has an RAC harness, and she adores hers. She feels it is perfect as it keeps Rosie secure and out of mischief when she is on call. She often takes Rosie to farms and leaves her in the car if it isn't sunny, and sometimes has to leave her for a long time if she is doing a cow caesarian for example. So not only does this harness keep a dog safe when the car is moving but also when stationary.
I think it is a brilliant piece of equipment to keep dogs safe when in the car, and also makes transferring them to a lead safe and effortless. Highly recommended.
This review will also be published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
Safety in the car is as important for your dog as it is for you. An unrestrained dog can easily distract the driver or even worse get injured in the event of an accident. The RAC 2 in 1 Car Harness converts easily from a walking harness to a car harness. Once in the car simply thread your seat belt through the loop on the harness and 'clunk click'. With it's adjustable collar and chest straps it is easy to ensure a good fit.