Fastening your seatbelt when you get in the car is a no-brainer for humans. But pets can't buckle up on their own, and should always travel in a safe crate or carrier.
Subaru of America, Inc. and the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) rigorously tested carriers and crates to find which devices keep four-legged travel companions safest in the event of a crash.
The studies used specially-designed crash-test dummy dogs, which had a size and weight similar to that of real dogs. They tested crate connections and structural integrity.
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CPS found Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8’ Tie Down Straps to be the 2015 top performing crate and both the PetEgo Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connectionand Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock to be the 2015 top performing carriers.
CPS said the leaders outperformed all other devices. The Gunner Kennel crate withstood the most significant force generated in the crash study and the two leading carriers fully contained test dogs.
But some crates failed completely. A full performance report can be found here.
Subaru recommends pet owners choose a crate or carrier appropriately sized for their dog - usually about six inches longer than the dog’s body. Owners should secure crates using strength-rated cargo area anchor straps, not elastic or rubber bungee cords.
Pet safety is not the only concern in the event of a crash. Should a crate or carrier become unfastened or the pet become unrestrained, human passengers could be injured by the animal or the device.
“We at Subaru recognize the importance of keeping the entire family safe on the road, including our beloved pets,” said Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications.
There are currently no performance standards or test protocols to verify manufacturers’ claims that their crates and carriers are safe. CPS hopes to establish such standards with data found through these studies.