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Crash tests raise concerns over safety of pet carriers

How safe would your dog or cat be in a car accident?
Animal crash test dummies highlight safety issues for pets 01:36

Not all pet carriers and crates advertised as safe for travel perform well in crash tests, according to a new study released today.

The Center for Pet Safety, a non-profit organization, and Subaru of America teamed up to work with a NASA engineer to create specially designed crash test dog dummies - sized and weighted to fit different carriers - for the study.

The researchers identified three pet carriers and crates that performed the best in crash tests:

  • Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8' Tie Down Straps
  • PetEgo Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection
  • Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock

But not all of the carriers and crates passed the crash tests.

"We also found big concerns with the marketing claims of some of the brands," Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of Center for Pet Safety, told CBS News. "One carrier made very egregious claims saying the product was crash tested up to 30 pounds, 30 miles per hour. That product failed at 20 pounds, and the stitching was just not crash-worthy at all."

The Center for Pet Safety and Subaru of America used specially-designed animal crash test dummies to test the safety of pet crates and carriers. Daniel Bedell

The organization posted a complete list of all the models tested on its website.

A big problem for pet owners, Wolko pointed out, is that, unlike consumer products for people, these pet products are not regulated.

"In the pet product industry, there's not oversight, and that's what our organization works to bring to the industry to ensure pet owners have all the education they need to make informed decisions when they purchase pet products," she said.

The Center for Pet Safety provides additional tips to help people travel safely with pets. They recommend that pet owners avoid letting dogs hang their heads out the car window; use harnesses or place the carrier or crate on the floor behind the front seat rather than buckling it in with seat belts; and remember to bring pet-health essentials like water, food, collars, leashes and medications.

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