Student’s car seat will stop dogs having ‘ruff’ ride

They may be man’s best friend but beloved pet pooches can become lethal projectiles when caught up in car accidents.

However, an ingenious new system developed by a University of Dundee student could herald the beginning of safer doggy days out for all when it is unveiled at this year’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and Architecture Degree Show.

Minrui Jiao says that her prototype travel system ‘Out Dog’ will satisfy pampered Poodles and lanky Labradors alike, eliminating the threat of injury or death to both animal and human should their vehicle be involved in a collision.

The Product Design student from Beijing says that she was inspired by her family’s puppy back in the Chinese capital to develop her idea.

“Our puppy is very cute but every time we want to go out in the car together we don’t know how to transport him safely,” said the 21-year-old.

“Usually we put him in the back by himself, but because he’s curious he likes to stand up and look out of the window.

“But if a dog is moving about then that can distract the driver, which is not particularly safe.

“People also want to treat dogs as family members, and quite often they are not very comfortable, so these are two things I wanted to address.”

While a range of dog travel harnesses are already on the market, Out Dog features a base plate – like a child seat - and is designed to work with the international standard ISOFIX safety system.

While providing a protective cocoon for both the dog and human passengers should the worst happen on the road, space has been created to allow Fido to lounge in comfort while in transit.

A harness is also integrated into the design, though installed with some forgiveness to allow the animal to move without too much restriction.

While the Out Dog prototype is made from wood, Minrui says that she would ideally like to see a version constructed from plastic, similar to that used for child safety seats.

An exchange student from Beijing’s University of Science and Technology, she said that she wanted her creation to make no distinction in the needs between human and animal family members, adding, “Child seats keep children safe and comfortable and this is what I wanted to do for dogs.”

Her work will go on display as part of the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and Architecture Degree Show, one of the highlights of Scotland’s cultural calendar.

Taking place from May 18 to 27, admission is free with further details available online.

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University of Dundee
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