It is not much of a secret that Subaru thinks its target buyer cares about pets. From eschewing Super Bowl commercial time in exchange for air-time during the Animal Planet Puppy Bowl, and its full “Dog Tested. Dog Approved™“ advertising campaign, Subaru has made a dedication to our furry friends. It seems there is reason for Subaru to promote so much time to pets; the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that nearly 70-percent of Subaru owners have a pet. Subaru has decided to take this commitment one step further and has now partnered with the Center for Pet Safety to develop and test safety restraints for pets.
As it stands, there are no standards or protocols for the performance and testing for pet safety restraint devices. So while there are many restraint products on the market for your furry friend, there is no way to accurately compare their effectiveness or levels of safety. Subaru and The Center for Pet Safety have taken a collection of these safety devices and are creating a standard to test them by. The test involves a collision at 30 miles per hour, and a 55-pound dummy test dog is used in the simulation. This testing protocol mirrors the government mandated testing for child safety restraints.
“The Center for Pet Safety conducted a pilot study which showed that the majority of pet safety restraints currently on the market do not provide acceptable protection in a crash situation,” said Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications. “As many of our owners have dogs, we feel it’s our responsibility to help them keep their pets as safe as possible when they journey with us.” The results of the testing were quite eye-opening. Of the four popular dog harness brands used in the testing, none passed. Each safety device failed to prevent injury of the dog, with many demonstrating that they could lead to serious and fatal injuries.
There were also instances that showed even the driver may be injured during a collision when using these devices. “We are thrilled to have the support of Subaru as its love for pets is as deep as ours,” said Lindsey Wolko, Center for Pet safety’s founder and CEO. “We have received requests from all over the world from manufacturers who want guidance on developing a safer harness and, through this partnership, we can finally conduct additional testing to help develop a suitable standard, provide the needed knowledge-base to manufacturers, as well as determine the top performers.” Just remember now, folks. Just because the box says it will keep your fur covered buddy safe, doesn’t mean it will always will. We look forward to safer and more advanced safety features for our canine pals soon.
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