Like humans, dogs should be buckled up when riding in a car.  

But, 7 Investigates found some products designed for pet protection may actually do more harm than good.    

A frightening scene as a dog jumps from a moving car onto a busy highway in California, dodging a tractor trailer.  

The dog survived. But the video shows how important it is to restrain your pet in the car.  

“Those events are fully preventable,” Lindsey Wolko, a pet safety researcher and advocate, said.

Wolko founded the Center for Pet Safety after surviving a car crash with her dog Maggie. She learned pet safety products aren’t regulated- and there’s no government oversight for things like carriers, harnesses, and seats.

“In the eyes of the government, pets are considered no different than a piece of luggage. They’re property,” Wolko said.

The non-profit tests products designed to keep dogs safe in moving cars.  

“We are really the only one in the world doing what we’re doing,” she said.

Stuffed animals serve as crash test dummies for popular pet products.  

This one flew forward, ripping its car carrier apart

Pet owners were shocked when we showed them the video.

“It’s horrifying,” a dog owner said.

“It’s terrifying to watch,” one pet owner said.

Wolko says they’ve tested hundreds of items. This harness snapped.      

“That’s troubling for sure.  I don’t want that happening to my animal,” a dog owner said.

Wolko says beware of products with plastic buckles, 

Tethers that clip into seatbelts, and zip lines in the back seat. 

She says some of these items could increase the risk of injuries in a crash. 

“It is so sad when we see products that are marketed to pet owners saying these products are safe, but in reality they’re not,” Wolko said.

Since 2013, a majority of the products tested by the center have failed.  Only 13 have passed.  

“There aren’t that many products on that list that actually can hold up to this level of testing,” Wolko said.

The certified merchandise comes with a high price tag.  But Wolko says they’re well worth it.  

“You’re protecting your life your family’s life and your pet’s life so you want to make sure that somebody else is looking out for you,” Wolko said.

It’s important to do your homework before purchasing any items for your pets.

To see the whole list of certified pet products, click on this link.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox