Subaru Funds Research on Pet Safety

Man’s best friend has a new favorite car company: Subaru. After debuting its “dog tested, dog approved” advertising campaign, Subaru is now funding research for advancements in pet safety thanks to a new partnership with the Center for Pet Safety.

The Center for Pet Safety is a nonprofit research agency that focuses on pet travel safety. The organization, which is not affiliated with the pet product industry, tests pet safety products like harnesses, crates, and barriers to ensure that they provide the claimed protection. Dog-loving Subaru says that many Subaru owners have dogs and wants to acknowledge the importance of keeping these pets safe.

As one of its main projects, the Center for Pet Safety previously tested dog car harnesses intended to keep the pet restrained in order to minimize distraction for the driver. However, since there are no standards or protocols for pet travel products in the US, tests found that the majority of restraints were not up to snuff in a crash. The tests used a 55-pound crash dummy dog in similar tests as child safety seats to see how the restraints harnesses would hold up in a 30 mph collision. Not one of four popular harness brands was able to properly restrain the dog dummy, as each harness broke upon impact, sending the dog dummy flying forward into the passenger cabin and possibly injuring the driver in addition to the pet.

The partnership’s next project will include another crash test with an accelerator sled simulator. Subaru has chosen to use three dog dummies in order to represent different breeds, including a 25-pound terrier, a 45-pound border collie, and a 75-pound golden retriever.

Ultimately, Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety intend to create standards for pet restraint testing and publicize which restraints perform better than others. See the slightly disturbing video below for a demonstration of the first round of pet crash tests, and keep an eye out for more tests from this research partnership in the future. In the mean time, Subaru already offers an array of dog-friendly accessories for a number of its vehicles, including a dog grate that attaches to factory-installed mounting points in the cargo hold.

Source: Subaru, Center for Pet Safety

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