BarkBuckleUP puts focus on safety

BBU_NYC2010_03Several years ago, a frightening incident inspired automotive safety specialist Christina Selter to found BarkBuckleUP, a program that promotes pet safety.

“We had a near accident with our dogs in the car. (We were) only traveling about 2 mph from a stop sign, when a car ran a red light and our little Betty fell off the seat. (She) wasn’t hurt, but didn’t want to be on the seat or in the car. It took some time to get her confident again.”

Selter, who has an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) certification, created BarkBuckleUP to remind owners to restrain their pets properly in the car, using safety belts specially designed for pets. She travels the U.S. throughout the year, promoting the message and working with police and fire departments to support the safety program.

BarkBuckleUP also focuses on other safety issues, and Selter wants pet owners to stay aware. May is National Water Safety Month, and she reminds owners to keep a close eye on their pets while playing near or in the water.

Bark Buckle Up safety vest.

Bark Buckle Up safety vest.

While explaining that most dogs love water, she warns, “Dogs get tired just like us. They need to take breaks.”

Dogs should also wear a pet life vest when on the water with owners – in a boat or other watercraft, for example.

To keep dogs healthy, wash them off after they’ve finished their swim. “A few years ago in California at a pet event, there was a huge breakout of hot spots (on dogs) after going into the ocean,” Selter says. “Clean their fur thoroughly and their feet. Clean them off every time.”

The BarkBuckleUP website ( features safety products for pets, including restraints for dogs and for pet carriers, life vests, first aid kits, and more.

Images courtesy of BarkBuckleUP.