Do you have a dog? Do you take your dog with you in the car? This post is for you!
If you’ve ever met with a CPST for a car seat check you may remember being told to contain your loose objects because they can move in a crash and injure someone. You know…put the trailer hitch, bricks, and hammer in the trunk or storage compartment please. Really anything loose should be contained, even a phone or a water bottle, because things move so significantly in a crash.
But what about fur babies? Does your pup ride in the back seat in between the kids? How about standing up in the aisle in the van, poking a head through to the front seats? On a lap? Please no. In a crash or hard braking event that unrestrained pet becomes a massive and potentially deadly projectile for the humans in the car, and that’s true even of small dogs. They could also be badly injured even if you aren’t.
So what to do? There are a few options, depending on what you drive, but one easy-to-use device to consider is a pet harness. There are a lot on the market, but there are no federal standards to meet as there are with car seats. The Center for Pet Safety and Subaru tested a range of pet harnesses in 2013 and gave their approval to the SleepyPod Clickit Sport, and now the brand new, more rugged, Sleepypod Clickit Terrain, offering better test results than the Sport and compatible with more Sleepypod accessories! Watch their crash tests with specially built dog test dummies. YouTube is full of dog crash test videos if you want to subject yourself to that.
Thanks to our three testers (and their humans) for helping to review! The Sleepypod Clickit Terrain will be available soon in Canada but we’re here to tell you all about it and give you a chance to win one for your furry friend’s (and your family’s) safety!
Meet our Testers
Gizmo is a 2.5 year old, 60ish-lbs hound mix who likes eating socks, sitting on people, and short walks around the block. One of his other favourite activities is riding in the car — preferably to the beach, Dairy Queen or the vet. He’s modelling his brand new Sleepypod Clickit Terrain in “Orange Dream” in size large.
Yoshi is a 5 year old, 30lb Labradoodle. He is a great running partner and is tennis ball obsessed. He can often be found lounging by the fireplace watching the rain fall. Here Yoshi is modelling a size small in “Robin Egg Blue.”
Sorcha is a 10.5 year old rescue from Arizona who loves hot, sunny weather and food. When she’s not trying to avoid the rain here on the West Coast, she can be found playing with the cats, sleeping on the softest surface she can find, or hiking on the local trails with her family. Sorcha is wearing a size medium in “Robin Egg Blue.”
The orange/turquoise part of the harness is a heavy duty nylon-ish material, and the inside is a black neoprene. This harness is sturdy, with strong stitching, quality materials, and metal hardware, and is padded for comfort. The harness is attractive and the colours are fabulous. Shown here are Orange Dream and Robin Egg Blue but the Terrain also comes in Jet Black and Strawberry Red.
We also love this part– reflectors! We’re often out in the evening, so this is great for extra safety! Patches on the shoulder can be swapped out for service patches for working dogs. The Terrain is also compatible with pannier-like accessory bags if you want your dog to carry gear.
Watching the instructional video for tips on how to adjust to the dog’s shape and size made fitting it straightforward.
Three flat fingers under the heavy duty metal buckle to gauge a snug but comfortable fit, and the top buckle has two heavy duty D-rings for clipping a leash to it.
One of our favourite things about it is the leash can stay on the rings while in the car, making for easy in and out. We will also be using it for regular walks as Gizmo has a thing against cows and has broken through more then one collar and a handful of harnesses….
It was a bit tough to get buckled up, but we think that’s a Gizmo thing– he’s trained to jump in and lie down– he will have to be trained to sit, buckle and then lie down. Sleepypod offers some tips for getting your pet used to their new harness. No big deal, and worth the time and effort knowing he’s safer in the vehicle and so are the human passengers traveling with him.
Yoshi got the hang of buckling quickly.
Gizmo and Yoshi both seemed perfectly comfortable during the ride. They were able to sit up and lie down although it may take them a bit to get used to the feel of it. A short walk before the car ride to get used to the harness – or even wearing it in the house for a while – is recommended. So far no chaffing or hot spots after using it.
Despite his ‘poor me’ expression, we think it’s going to work great for us!
Sorcha agrees, although her sad face may tell you otherwise.
The Sleepypod Clickit Terrain is intended for dogs weighing between 18-90 lb – humans with smaller pets might consider a secured carrier instead. Gizmo is sporting the large, because that’s what he sized to on the chart, but because of his body style (slim and trim), he may fit better in the medium. Slim and trim builds seem to fit better in the smaller size (if your dog measures on the edge of a size), whereas barrel-chested dogs may fare better in the larger of two sizes. Yoshi measured on the edge of the small/medium but the small was a much better fit for him. We recommend contacting Sleepypod and asking for sizing advice if your dog measures right in between two sizes.
We commend Sleepypod’s commitment to safety in the car — for our furry family members, as well as our children and ourselves. However you travel make sure everyone is properly buckled up. We are extremely impressed by the quality, durability, and comfort of this harness, and look forward to using it in our vehicles.
Enormous thanks to Sleepypod for providing review harnesses – and now a harness for one of you! Win a Sleepypod Clickit Terrain in the colour and size of your choice (subject to stock availability at time of shipping).
UPDATE: this giveaway is now over, thanks to all who entered!