Saab's unique Pet Gear line presents travel accessories for four-legged family members
Norcross, GA - As the summer travel season nears its peak and millions of people across the country ready themselves and their vehicles to journey to their favorite getaway, Saab Cars USA and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) remind travelers that pets are family, too. To help pet owners make travel safer and more comfortable for their animal companions, Saab is the first automotive company to offer a full line of vehicle accessories specifically designed for pets who travel.
Saab Pet Gear, which is reviewed by and meets the mission principles of The HSUS, debuted with the introduction of the 1999 Saab 9-5 Wagon. This custom-designed line of accessories was developed when Saab discovered that over 60 percent of owners have pets and travel with them frequently. Saab consults with The HSUS to provide these owners with products that improve the safety and convenience of traveling with pets.
Saab real-life safety—for owners and their pets
Saab's real-life safety philosophy, which stipulates that safety systems and structures in Saab vehicles be designed to protect occupants in real-world collisions, extends to all Saab occupants including pets. Pets are subject to the same safety hazards as their owners when traveling unrestrained in a car. In addition to injuring themselves if left free to roam in a moving car, they can injure occupants during an emergency evasive maneuver or in an accident.
Saab has included the Batzi Belt in its Pet Gear line-up, a unique pet restraint system that attaches to one of the rear three-point safety belts. It allows pets freedom of movement yet still provides safer restraint. The Batzi Belt is available in three sizes to accommodate both small and large pets.
Saab also offers the VersaLeash, a restraint system designed specifically for the cargo area of the Saab 9-5 Wagon. It provides a pet with the mobility to move about the cargo area but will restrain them when necessary through the use of an adjustable rubber-coated steel wire that hooks to the 9-5 Wagon's CargoTracks. Other safety-related Pet Gear specific to the 9-5 Wagon includes a Cargo Guard that separates the cargo area from the passenger compartment to restrain pets or cargo from moving forward and a Cargo Space Divider to keep pets safely separated from other cargo.
Saab also offers a Pet Harness that fits around the neck and torso of the pet for safe restraint. It should be utilized with the Batzi Belt or VersaLeash and can be used with a leash when walking the pet outside the vehicle. Saab and The HSUS advise that restraints should never be attached to collars.
Comfort and convenience are key
Saab's Pet Gear accessory line-up also includes a number of convenience items that make traveling with pets easier. Examples include:
* W.A.G. (Water and Gear) Bag - A gear bag that helps carry everything needed for a pet—including a bladder which holds up to a gallon of water.
* Travel Bowl - A unique bowl that features a flat bottom and a cinch-top to keep food or water from spilling.
* Approach Pack - A pet 'backpack' that lets a four-legged hiking companion help carry some of the load when exploring the great outdoors.
* A Pets Welcome Book that details "pet-friendly" accommodations, parks and other travel spots throughout the U.S.
Saab is continuing to consult with The HSUS on expanding its line of Pet Gear products and is donating ten percent of all Pet Gear sales to The HSUS.
All Saab accessories—including Pet Gear, Saab wearables and Saab product accessories—can be ordered at a local Saab dealership or by calling 800-SMB-USA. In addition, the complete accessory line-up is available on line (http://www.saabcatalog.com/).
Saab and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are working together to promote a safer, more comfortable travel experience for all companion animals—and their owners—and offer the following pet safety travel tips:
* When traveling by car, the safest place for your pet is properly restrained in the back seat or cargo area, or placed in a pet carrier.
* Never leave pets unattended in a parked car—they could suffer heat stroke or be stolen.
* Although your dog may want to hang his head out of the window when traveling, flying debris can easily injure his eyes. Open the window only enough to keep the air flowing.
* Whether you're headed to the park, the vet or on a road trip, make sure your pet is wearing a collar and up-to-date identification tag. If you're traveling away from home, affix a second tag with a temporary travel ID with the address and phone number where you can be reached. In addition, keep a current photo of your pet and his medical records with you.
* Attach your pet to a leash before letting him out of the car to prevent escapes or accidents.
* Before a road trip, see your veterinarian to ensure your pet is up to traveling. Get any necessary vaccinations, medications or health certificates.
* Call ahead to make sure your pet is welcome at your destination. A book like "Pets Welcome" —available at www.saabcatalog.com—can be very helpful to find 'pet friendly' locations.
* Carry water and a bowl with you, even on short rides. Plan ahead for longer trips by bringing your pet's food, medication, a litter pan and litter for cats, pet bed, and a toy or two.
Remember, as much as you love having your pet with you, many companion animals are generally happier at home, especially if you're only going to be gone a short period of time. If you decide not to take your pet with you, plan ahead to arrange a trustworthy pet sitter or boarding kennel. In addition, visit http://www.hsus.org for more information about companion animals.