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Many pet owners enjoying taking their dog or cat for a ride in the car, but experts say that when you do, you should keep your pet restrained — for your own good as well as theirs.
"In the event of a crash they can be a projectile hurting everyone, including themselves," said Dr. Flaura Winston of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She advises: "Keep your pets restrained on every trip."
But experts say many of the restraints being sold in pet stores don't work in a crash. In crash tests by the Center for Pet Safety, a nonprofit watchdog group, 25 of 29 products failed in one way or another.
"Pet owners should be screaming about this," Center for Pet Safety CEO Lindsey Wolko told TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen. "If you get into an accident and one of these products fails, it puts you, your family members and it puts other drivers on the road at risk."
Wolko pointed out that "pet products are not defined as consumer products by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, so they bypass any kind of any oversight or regulation." The Commission told NBC News: "Based on our mandate from Congress, CPSC does not have jurisdictions over these products."
The American Pet Products Association declined a request for an interview, adding that they can't comment on the Center for Pet Safety tests, but they "back car safety restraints."
The products that Center for Pet Safety found to be top performers are:
- Sleepypod Clickit Utility
- Gunner Kennel G1 Intermediate with Strength Rated Anchor Straps
- Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock.
- PetEgo Jet Set Forma Frame Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection