Bergan Dog Car Harness Review

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Bergen tested dog car safety harness

Bergen small tested dog car safety harness

The Bergan dog car harness is the only safety tested dog seat belt system currently sold in the UK.

Bergan have successfully tested the following sizes:

small dog car harness, medium dog car harness, large dog car harness and extra large dog car harness

Until we found out about the Bergan dog car harness, we, like many just assumed that manufacturers of dog seat belt/harness systems would by law have to have their products undergo some measure of safety testing, especially given that all other car safety products have to pass rigorous testing.  Shockingly, any one can make/sell a dog car safety harness without any testing whatsoever and claim it will keep your dog safe.  The truth is most of the flimsy nylon dog car harnesses that are sold, may give your dog some added protection, with some products being far better than others, but there is the likelihood of harness straps giving way, and certainly no guarantee of your dog staying safe in a car accident.  The untested dog car harnesses at best will keep your dog in one place but not necessarily if there’s an accident.  The bigger the dog, the more strain is put on a harness, given some dogs weigh as much as humans.  See the facts below:

News added June 23rd 2012

An American company called Sleepypod, manufacturers of dog car seats in the US published their shocking results of having tested a weighted 15lbs dummy crash-dog called Max, in crash conditions at 30 mph firstly with a regular non- safety tested dog car harness, the type you can buy just about anywhere, and secondly with the dummy wearing no dog car safety harness at all:

“Crash-testing of the ordinary dog car harness yielded a strangled crash-test dog; the crash-test dog was propelled forward with so much force that the stitching on the harness came undone, the harness buckle broke, and the crash-test dog was caught by the neck in the harness which twisted and flung the strangled crash-test dog backward into the seat. Lastly, an unharnessed crash-test dog was thrust into a barrier with such force that its head was crushed on impact.”

The above really demonstrates that there is no point whatsoever in equipping your dog with a car harness unless, like the Bergan harness, it has been safety crash-tested and passed.

Rory out for a walk in his medium Bergan dog car harness

Rory out for a walk in his medium Bergan dog car harness

Truffle the mini Dachsund in her large Solvit dog car booster seat,used in conjunction with the small Bergan car harness

Truffle the mini Dachsund in her large Solvit dog car booster seat,used in conjunction with the small Bergan car harness

Bergan are an American company who specialise in pet auto safety products and dog harnesses and they are 1 of only 2 manufacturers worldwide who have had their dog car harnesses tested and passed.  The other company also American, however do not have a full compliment of sizes that are tested, Bergan do, they have 4 sizes which are all tested, for dogs weighing upto 150lbs!  Crash testing dog car harnesses is prohibitively expensive but Bergan have set a very important safety standard and hence in the States have become the choice of best dog car harness for responsible, caring dog owners who demand the same exacting safety standards for their dog as themselves and their children.  We demand the same for our dog, if you do, read on.

Bergan large car harness in Mossy Oak design

Bergan large car harness in Mossy Oak design

Our research complete and positive, we sent away for one of these Bergan dog seat belt systems from the US for our dog first to try out and review, both as a harness for the car and a walking dog harness, as that is another advantage, the product doubles up as both.

In the UK, the Highway code rules that dogs must be safely restrained in any moving vehicle, this is the law, for your protection and that of your dog.

Our dog Dougieboy in his small dog car harness by Bergan

Our Westie dog Dougieboy in our car in his small dog car harness by Bergan

Bergan adjustable dog seat belt tether

Bergan adjustable dog seat belt tether which attaches to the back of the harness

The unique thing about the Bergan dog car safety harness is the way it fixes both onto the harness and fits in the car, no other product uses this method, attaching to the same latch in your car where a child safety seat is fastened in – makes sense as child safety seats have to pass rigorous testing, as do the fitments in a car to which they are secured.  For the XL size harness, Bergan recommend using the seat belt for fastening onto (see video) and equally, it is safe to simply plug-in your own seat belt into the normal socket and clip the end of the strap around the actual seat belt webbing.

Additionally the Bergan dog car harness is suitable to be attached to any secure anchor latch in a caravan,motor home, 4 x 4 vehicle or in the car boot of any estate car, making the product very versatile for different car owners and holidays where your dog gets to go too.

The video below shows how to put the Bergan harness onto your dog (it’s a step-in dog car harness) and secondly how to secure the harness tether.  Notice how the harness allows well for growing dogs, we don’t recommend cutting off too much of the harness strap if you have a puppy, just secure the excess for a few months.  The Bergan is therefore an ideal puppy car/walking harness.

The harness tether being adjustable is another unique feature, allowing you to adjust the freedom required for the size of your dog, for your dog’s comfort and making the product suitable for use with a booster cushion or dog car lookout seat, or your dog’s bean bag, dog bed, whatever would make your dog more comfortable on longer journeys.  As we have a small dog, he likes to lookout of the window, so for long trips, we put his wicker basket bed on the back seat and use the Bergan dog car harness with the tether extended.  Each different size harness has a different size tether too.  If your dog is a chewer, replacement tether straps are available in all sizes.

Because every size dog is a different height, you can choose which size tether you have with your size of dog car harness, to ensure your dog has ultimate safety and freedom as well as comfort without being restricted unnecessarily. Tethers do not permit enough freedom to roam around though, as this would defeat the safety objective.

Not many manufacturers make really large XLarge (extra large) dog car harnesses, but Bergan have, the sizes go by your dog’s weight, as the harnesses are so very adjustable at all 4 points, which means the harness will last for longer.  If  you are looking for a small dog car harness, a Bergan will fit provided your dog/puppy is 10lbs or over.

XLarge dog car harnesses by Bergan

extra large safe dog car harnesses by Bergan for dogs upto 150lbs!

Large safe, tested dog car harness by Bergan

Large safe, tested dog car harness by Bergan for dogs upto 80lbs (Labrador Henry pictured)

We like the fact that the harness is wipe-clean, (very useful after muddy walks) it’s made from a type of breathable rubber which feels nice to the touch, pliable and well-cushioned on the breast plate.  Many people prefer a step in dog harness for the car and for walking, simply unhook the tether from the back of the harness, leaving it attached in the car and clip on your lead, saving you the trouble of refixing the tether to the car anchor fixings each time.  We don’t have any children and wondered what do you do if you have a dog and a baby/child safety seat?  Simple there are 4 fittings in total along the back seat of a car, 2 needed for a child seat and only one fitting is used for a dog, so even if you have 2 small dogs and a child seat, it will work well, provided your dog is trained around your child.

Bergan now have a Patent Pending on this unique harness that actually saves dogs lives.

View full product details for this unique dog car restraint.  Every dog deserves the protection of a safety/crash tested dog car harness

Read our own customer’s reviews of the best car harnesses for dogs by Bergan.