It’s no secret that Subaru has a huge owner base with dog-loving, outdoorsy people. Those owners love their dogs as they do any other family member, taking them everywhere with them. Yet, they don’t always have the same protection a human passenger enjoys.
Subaru, partnering with the Center for Pet Safety, is itching to fix that. The automaker and nonprofit announced a partnership designed to come up with a standard to properly test harnesses, wagging the dog before government steps in. New Jersey already proposed making canine harnesses standard.
“The Center for Pet Safety conducted a pilot study which showed that the majority of pet safety restraints currently on the market do not provide acceptable protection in a crash situation,” said Michael McHale, Subaru’s director of corporate communications, in a statement. “As many of our owners have dogs, we feel it’s our responsibility to help them keep their pets as safe as possible when they journey with us.”
The Center for Pet Safety had conducted tests in the past simulating crashes using a 55-pound dog-shaped crash dummy at 30 mph. Not one of the most popular brands of harness tested held up. The Center wants to help harness makers create ones that are more bite than bark.
“We have received requests from all over the world from manufacturers who want guidance on developing a safer harness and, through this partnership, we can finally conduct additional testing to help develop a suitable standard, provide the needed knowledge-base to manufacturers, as well as determine the top performers,” said Lindsey Wolko, Center for Pet safety’s founder and CEO, in a statement.
Recently–starting during Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl in February–Subaru unleashed a series of “Dog tested. Dog approved.” commercials, featuring four-legged friends comically showing their devotion to their cars and crossovers. While not everyone on staff here believes you should have to buckle in your dog before setting off on a road trip, we’re glad to see Subaru extending a helping paw and wagging its collective tail at the opportunity to make that wind-in-the-fur experience all the more safe for man’s best friend.