Local News

Automakers Offer Car Seat Belts For Canine Companions

Posted May 21, 2000

— Chewy, a feisty Pomeranian, has lots of energy when he rides in cars, creating a possible danger for drivers. Car manufacturers are offering dog seat belts to protect him and other drivers from harm.

SAABoffers several types of pet restraints, including the VersaLeash, which hooks into a metal track.

"They're actually steel cables so they're not going to break. If you're in an accident or something, it's going to restrain them," says Gary McDonald, car salesman. "There are no sharp points or edges or anything like that."

TheBatziBeltgives animals the same protection people have by hooking onto the seat belt.

Veterinarian Dr. Lee Darch has run North Wake Animal Hospital for 22 years. He says the dog seat belts carry the same risks as regular seat belts.

"If they got it tightened around their neck, they might could choke themselves or say if the automobile caught on fire, but you know with a person, you're got the same risks of a seat belt or whatever," Darch says. "I think the advantages definitely would outweigh the concerns of mishaps."

Darch says the belt could save a pet's life in an accident and could keep animals from jumping out of open windows. Darch also says the belts can keep active dogs like Chewy from jumping around the car.

SAAB offers dog seat belts for $20 to $50 on certain models. Other versions of animal restraints are available at some pet stores.


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