Monday, October 12, 2015

Product Review: Petco Premium Pink Seatbelt Harness

The Petco Premium Seatbelt Harness is a safety harness designed to reduce driver distraction, and is not intended to protect your dog in an actual collision. This appears to be a previous iteration of this product, as the one currently available looks more like the Kurgo True-Fit harness. Ours is pink and gray, with reflective striping on the back and metal quick-release buckles. This one comes in three sizes to fit dogs with chests up to 34" around.
Little Ru
Photo by Erin Koski

While this is definitely a sturdy and heavy harness, the package doesn't say anything at all about crash protection or testing. That means the Petco Premium Seatbelt Harness only keeps your dog from moving around the car, and won't help in an accident. I think it's important to explicitly state this because there is a very widespread misconception that extra-sturdy car harnesses will help prevent injuries in an accident. In fact, these untested products may actually hurt the dog when put to the test.

This particular harness is kind of weirdly-sized. It claims it will fit dogs up to 24" around the chest, but is a couple inches too short to go around 22" Sisci. (Maybe she grew when I wasn't looking?) It does fit Ru pretty good, but it's also super heavy and stiff on such a little dog. Even though they both fall into the advertised size range of "up to 24 inches", I think this harness is better suited for dogs 14-20" around and weighing 10-20 pounds.

Petco pink seatbelt harness

I'm sure the original design for the Petco Premium Seatbelt Harness was much larger. This small one looks like they took the big one and just made everything a little smaller without altering any of the proportions. The result is that the neck straps, while technically adjustable, actually have a range of well under an inch. The size range for the neck is about 10-11", why even have it adjust?

I've actually encourntered this harness in the wild, we have a couple of dogs at work who wear this exact size. It works better on dogs well in the middle of the stated range.

Pros: Sturdy, reflective, easy to put on. Inexpensive. Probably won't maim the dog wearing it if the car stops abruptly.

Cons: Doesn't fit well on dogs at either end of the size range. Neck adjustment is so limited it's comical. Rugged design and metal hardware can lead users to believe this product would provide some protection in an accident despite it not being explicitly marketed that way.

Bottom Line: For some reason this harness makes Ru look crazy long. He's pretty long, but I specifically use gear that minimizes it. This thing maximizes it. Soooo looong.

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