DENVER (CBS4) – When you take your dog out in the car do you put your pup in a crate? Veterinarians are now urging pet owners to take extra precautions with their pets.

”If you slam on your brakes the dog can go flying through the window or jump out the window and get caught in traffic,” said Dr. Dana Waldbaum at Pets on Broadway Veterinary Clinic.

CBS4's Suzanne McCarroll talks with Dr. Dana Waldbaum at Pets on Broadway Veterinary Clinic (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll talks with Dr. Dana Waldbaum at Pets on Broadway Veterinary Clinic (credit: CBS)

The Center for Pet Safety recently conducted crash tests along with Subaru of America Inc. engineers to determine what works best to help keep animals safe. In many of the tests the stuffed animals, meant to represent an animal in a car crash, went flying through the vehicle.

Lindsey Wolko, Center for Pet Safety’s founder and CEO, says pet crates and carriers is an unregulated industry.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

”What most people don’t realize is the products we purchase for our pets for travel have never been tested or crash tested,“ Wolko said.

The Center for Pet Safety conducted crash tests on popular pet safety restraints using specially designed crash test dogs, not live animals. A 55-pound crash dummy dog was used to see how the seat belts would hold up in a collision at 30 miles per hour. Of the four popular dog car harness brands, none held up in the tests. All of them demonstrated that they either could lead to serious or fatal injuries for not only the canine but passengers in the car.

Here are the ones Wolko says performed the best:

– Gunner Kennel with Anchor Straps
– The Sleepy Pod Mobile Pet Bed with a Handilock
– The Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with a Latch Connection

Pet owner Laura Gillice always worried about her dogs when they took them on trips.

“I’ve always been scared of car crashes and the dogs getting out,” she said.

An image from the crash in Yellowstone National Park (credit: CBS)

An image from the crash in Yellowstone National Park (credit: CBS)

That’s exactly what happened to Gillice’s dogs this summer. Gillice and her boyfriend, David, were involved in a head on collision in Yellowstone National Park. Their dog got out of the car and was missing for 43 days. They finally found him.

Laura Gillice with her dog (credit: CBS)

Laura Gillice with her dog (credit: CBS)

For Gillice, her dogs never go in the car without being in a crate. She has seen what can happen in a collision and never wants to experience it again.

“They become missiles, and a 45-pound missile can do a lot of damage for them and for us.”

LINK: The Center for Pet Safety

Suzanne McCarroll is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. Her stories can regularly be seen on CBS4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @SuzanneCBS4.

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