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Seen At 11: Do Dog Seat Belts Really Protect Pooches?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Should your dog wear a seat belt in the car?

As CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, new video shows what can happen to your dog with and without restraints.

The nonprofit Center for Pet Safety tested several popular car restraints for pets on the market today, using crash test dummy dogs of three varying weights buckled into the backseat. The restraint devices are tested in 30 mph crashes, said Ann Hohenhaus of the Animal Medical Center.

“How much the animal flails around after that crash is measured to see if the harness is good or not,” Hohhenhaus said.

LINK: Center for Pet Safety StudyMore On Pet Safety Restraints

Using a 75-pound golden retriever dummy in a safety harness, “we experienced a 100 percent failure rate to protect either the consumer or the dog,” said Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety.

“There were straps that broke, buckles that came undone, and dogs that didn’t look like they were restrained very well,” Hohhenhaus said.

However, one of the pet restraints, Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness, did keep the crash test dog in place on the back seat, the Center for Pet Safety found.

As a result of the tests, the center is recommending that the pet restraint industry adopt standards that all harnesses must meet.

Without restraints, one video shows a crash test dummy dog without a seat belt flying from the backseat toward the dashboard, indicating animals are at risk for any number of injuries, including head trauma and broken injuries.

Hohhenhaus said one good option is using a hard carrier than can be placed on the floor behind either the driver’s or passenger’s seats.

“That way, if a crash occurs, the pet is protected in that little area, and the carrier can’t become a projectile,” she said.

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