For dog lovers, pet care and safety can be just as important as your own personal safety while in the car. If you travel a lot or if you want to transport your pet safely, you need to fit your car with a seat belt designed specifically for your dog. Although there are dog seats and seat belts that are commercially available, these can be very expensive. Here are the steps to making your own doggie seat belt, without having to spend a fortune.
- Get harnesses. Visit the local hardware shop and look for harnesses. The length of the harnesses should be enough to fit into the headrest or backrest of the car seat, and should comfortably fit your dog. Add a few feet of excess length so that you can make adjustments for the seat belt, especially if you want your dog to be able to move a bit while in the car, or if your dog is yet to reach full size. Purchase buckles as well.
- Attach to the headrest. Attach the harnesses to the seat where the dog will stay during travel. If your vehicle is a van with love seats, you can attach the harness to the head rest. For passenger side seats, however, you can attach the harness to the backrest where you can loop the entire harness.
- Make a slipknot. To secure the dog into the seat belt, you need to arrange the harness into a slip knot. This knot will easily and comfortably fit your dog’s shoulders and body. In some pet shops, there are pre-designed harnesses that will fit your dog’s body. You can attach these to the harness that you have connected to the backrest or the head rest.
- Fitting. Make sure that the harness fits the dog comfortably. Keep in mind that you need your dog to be present during the fitting, since dogs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You need to tailor the tightness of the harness to fit your dog’s size. Also, add some room for the dog to move, since the pet will only feel restrained and frightened if he cannot move while in the seat belt. The movement, however, should still be restrained.
- Add elevation. For particularly small dogs, it is very useful to add an elevation in the car seat. This will make the seat belt more comfortable .the elevation can simply be an old flat basket filled with some pillows. Attach these using the spare harness that you have bought. Make sure that the elevation is secured tightly onto the seat, since a moving car can easily dislodge loosely fitted elevations. It should also be sturdy enough to hold your pet’s weight, even while taking in long travels. Cover eth elevation with a towel to make it easier to clean.
A doggie seat belt is very important, especially since dogs are usually lighter than humans and can easily be hurt in a car crash. Dogs can also panic and bite when the car encounters an accident. Through a dog seat belt, you can protect yourself and your dog while travelling.