6 Best Dog Car Harnesses For Safe Travels (2022 Guide)

What Is A Dog Harness?

A dog harness is a piece of equipment that typically sits around the dog’s chest and upper torso to help control them. They are often used by owners who have dogs with medical conditions or behavioral problems, like pulling on their leash while walking. Besides that, dog owners also use harnesses for training purposes to make it easier for them to teach specific behaviors and tricks.

On top of that, if you love traveling with your furry friends or going to dog-friendly restaurants, you can also use a particular harness in your car. The main goal of using the best dog car harness for dogs is to reduce pressure on the neck area, leading to pain, discomfort, irritation, and even injury over time if not properly controlled.

Best Dog Car Harness: Top 3 Picks

Preview
Best Overall
Kurgo Direct to seat belt Tether for Dogs, Car seat belt for Pets, Adjustable Dog Safety Belt Leash, Quick & Easy Installation, Works with Any Pet Harness, Carabiner, Swivel, Bungee, Zipline
Runner-up
SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seat Belt Set, Dog Vest Harness for Car Adjustable Mesh Breathable & Vehicle Safety Seatbelt Tether with Elastic Bungee for Small Medium Large Size Dogs Puppy Cats (Red,M)
Best Value
Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness, Pet Car Harness Vehicle Seat Belt with Adjustable Strap and Buckle Clip, Easy Control for Driving Traveling Safety for Small Medium Dogs Cats, Medium, Black
Pros
It has a swivel that improves your dog’s mobility while helping them avoid any accident of getting twisted from the seat belt.
The protection it gives is in line with the standard set in Europe, Australia, and the US.
The design of the buckle clip will give your dog enough movement while staying on the spot of your car seat.
Cons
Not the best for XL breeds.
Can make the dog tired if the car ride is long.
Not suitable for large breeds.
Prime
Best Overall
Preview
Kurgo Direct to seat belt Tether for Dogs, Car seat belt for Pets, Adjustable Dog Safety Belt Leash, Quick & Easy Installation, Works with Any Pet Harness, Carabiner, Swivel, Bungee, Zipline
Pros
It has a swivel that improves your dog’s mobility while helping them avoid any accident of getting twisted from the seat belt.
Cons
Not the best for XL breeds.
Prime
Check Price
Runner-up
Preview
SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seat Belt Set, Dog Vest Harness for Car Adjustable Mesh Breathable & Vehicle Safety Seatbelt Tether with Elastic Bungee for Small Medium Large Size Dogs Puppy Cats (Red,M)
Pros
The protection it gives is in line with the standard set in Europe, Australia, and the US.
Cons
Can make the dog tired if the car ride is long.
Prime
Check Price
Best Value
Preview
Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness, Pet Car Harness Vehicle Seat Belt with Adjustable Strap and Buckle Clip, Easy Control for Driving Traveling Safety for Small Medium Dogs Cats, Medium, Black
Pros
The design of the buckle clip will give your dog enough movement while staying on the spot of your car seat.
Cons
Not suitable for large breeds.
Prime
Check Price

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What To Consider When Buying A Dog Car Safety Harness?

Before purchasing a dog car safety harness, there are various factors that the pet owner should consider. These include:

Type Of Harness And Material It Is Made From

  • Possible need for a booster seat or whether the product makes this mandatory
  • Whether they will be able to fit and use with all cars and car sizes
  • How easy is it to use and put on

Safety Features

Look for features such as:

  • Reflective areas
  • Energy-absorbing foam
  • Seat belt clips/attachments
  • Does the harness come with a chest plate and belly strap
  • Is there a non-slip feature

Comfort Features

Look for features such as:

  • Padding – to help keep the pet comfortable and to prevent them from chewing at their harness during a journey.
  • Padded handles – these make it easier to grip your pup when they are in the car as well as soft enough for you to hold onto without hurting them.
  • Mesh – is a material that allows air to circulate through it, this helps to stop moisture from building up and therefore reduces the chance of skin irritation or damage. Mesh harnesses can also prevent your dog from overheating in hot weather.
  • Softness – some dogs can chew and chew at their harnesses, if this is the case then finding one that is more stretchable and flexible will be beneficial to both you and your pup.

Size

Make sure you purchase a car safety harness that fits your dog perfectly. A poorly fitting harness can cause discomfort and scratch as well as come off during a journey. Important measurements to consider are:

  • Your pup’s chest size – measure around the chest directly behind the front legs.
  • Length of your pup’s back – this measurement should commence at the base of the neck and finish at the start/base of their tail. You may need to take into account your pet’s natural curve when taking this measurement.
  • Height of your dog – it is always best to measure them in their standing position.

Has Harness Been Tested

Not all harnesses have been tested and some may not meet the required safety standards. Pet owners should look for those that have been tested independently. This ensures the product is safe to use.

Testing criteria may include:

  • Energy-absorbing foam
  • Car seat belt attachments
  • Center of gravity/balance positioning
  • Pulling force on harness during a collision

Do not use a harness if it is old, damaged, or incompletely fastened.

Best Dog Car Harness Products 2022

Slowton Dog Car Harness Plus Connector Strap

One of the best harnesses you can have for your dog is the Slowton dog car harness.

Slowton Dog Car Harness

Many dog patients find this product one the best in the market today when it comes to safety and durability. In fact, the protection it gives is in line with the standard set in Europe, Australia, and the US. That’s why many people have so much trust in using this harness.  

Besides that, you can also find it easy to assemble the harness by inserting the seat belt through the harness’s handles and buckle it in to lock using a safe closure system. That’s it! You’re good to go and enjoy driving your car.

In addition, as mentioned earlier about the quality of this product, it has been proven by many dog owners that the materials used are strong and of high quality. 

Moreover, it also fits in most dogs of different sizes. You can quickly adjust it to the appropriate tightness to your dog’s body structure, and the dog harness vest is padded perfectly based on its chest for comfort and extra protection.

Sale
SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seat Belt Set, Dog Vest Harness for Car Adjustable Mesh Breathable & Vehicle Safety Seatbelt Tether with Elastic Bungee for Small Medium Large Size Dogs Puppy Cats (Red,M)
14,467 Reviews
SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seat Belt Set, Dog Vest Harness for Car Adjustable Mesh Breathable & Vehicle Safety Seatbelt Tether with Elastic Bungee for Small Medium Large Size Dogs Puppy Cats (Red,M)
  • New Match and Well Made --- Breathable Mesh Chest Vest Harness Strap: it’s made of the double mesh fabric with the...
  • Suitable and Humanized Design --- Breathable mesh chest vest harness would relieve the pressure. It is adjustable depending...
  • Keeping Safe and Comfortable --- The harness wraps around dog’s body and neck which could be instead of a collar. The...

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros: 

  • Keeps your pet safe in the car
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Adjustable to fit any dog’s body size 
  • Seat belt can fit different size cars

Cons:

  • Can make the dog tired if the car ride is long.

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Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness, Dog Harness

Next is the Kurgo smart dog harness. It’s another product that you can add to your list of favorites.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

You can surely see your dog comfortably wearing it wherever the both of you go. It’s also light and easy to assemble with a D-ring feature that will help you teach your pet not to pull.

Besides that, this harness also has a leash ring at the back part of it that you can use when you let your dog join you while you’re taking a walk or you’re jogging in the morning for your exercise.  

This product fits medium-size dogs with a chest measurement between 18 to 28 inches and between 16 to 25 inches for its neck. It also comes with a seat belt 10 inches long to make adjustments to fit.

On top of that, the quality is also something that makes this harness stand out among other products you can find online or in the store near you.  

Hence, when you decide to purchase this harness for your dog, Kurgo will give you a lifetime warranty for any damage or defect from the manufacturer.

It’ll surely provide you with peace of mind that whatever happens after your first purchase, you can get the best one for your dog. That’s why you can add this harness from Kurgo to your list.

Sale
Kurgo Dog Harness | Pet Walking Harness | Medium | Black | No Pull Harness Front Clip Feature for Training Included | Car Seat Belt | Tru-Fit Quick Release Style
8,093 Reviews
Kurgo Dog Harness | Pet Walking Harness | Medium | Black | No Pull Harness Front Clip Feature for Training Included | Car Seat Belt | Tru-Fit Quick Release Style
  • Everyday Dog Harness - Comfortable, lightweight walking harness with 5 easy adjustable points and plastic quick release...
  • No-Pull Training Clip - Pet harness has a front D-Ring to use as leash attachment to train dogs not to pull; it will turn...
  • Includes Dog seat belt - Comes with dog seat belt 10-inch tether that can be used during car travel as a pet seat belt to...

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros:

  • Made with quality breathable material
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • 5 adjustable points with plastic quick release buckles
  • The harness can be used for walking or jogging

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive

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Solvit PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Car Harness for Dogs

On the other hand, the Solvit PetSafe harness for dogs is also one of the in-demand harnesses in the market today.

PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Safety Harness for Cars - Dog Car Harness Includes Seat Belt Tether - Keeps Pets Restrained - Breathable Mesh, Adjustable Straps - Dog Travel Accessories for Car - X-Large

When you choose the correct size based on your dog’s body structure, you can surely maximize this product to provide your pet with adequate protection and comfort, especially when you’re traveling for leisure or a necessary appointment. 

That’s why if your dog is comfortable sitting in your car while using the harness, you can focus on driving without any distraction. Besides that, the seat belt that comes with this product is designed to keep your dogs from moving in your car and give them enough mobility while they’re in their seats. 

Like the other harnesses discussed earlier, this particular car harness won’t be left behind when it comes to quality. For many years, the company has kept producing products that provide owners and their dogs safety and happiness while having a long ride on the road. It aims for durability and innovations for its consumers.  

PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Safety Harness for Cars - Dog Car Harness Includes Seat Belt Tether - Keeps Pets Restrained - Breathable Mesh, Adjustable Straps - Dog Travel Accessories for Car - X-Large
2,021 Reviews
PetSafe Happy Ride Dog Safety Harness for Cars - Dog Car Harness Includes Seat Belt Tether - Keeps Pets Restrained - Breathable Mesh, Adjustable Straps - Dog Travel Accessories for Car - X-Large
  • CRASH-TEST CERTIFICATION: Small, medium and large size safety harnesses are certified crash-tested
  • SAFELY SECURE: Proper fit is important; to best protect your dog, please refer to the sizing chart to confirm measurements...
  • COOL AND COMFORTABLE: The harness has a fully padded vest area with a breathable liner to keep your furry friend comfortable...

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros:

  • Keep your furry friend safe and secure in the car
  • Decrease driver distraction
  • Attachment options for different vehicles
  • The harness is crash-tested and certified
  • Comfortable and cool for your furry friend to wear

Cons:

  • Can make the dog uncomfortable if worn for long.

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Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness

Next on the list is the Pawaboo car harness for dogs. It doesn’t only prevent your pets from roaming in the car that may distract you while driving, but it also protects them from getting any injury when you quickly stop the car.

Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest

Besides that, the design of the buckle clip will give your dog enough movement while staying on the spot of your car seat. 

Moreover, you can also easily attach this harness from your dog to your car seat. Just put it on through its head and chest, adjust its strap to the desired tightness, and lock it using the buckle for safety. After that, connect the D-ring to the dog harness belt and securely fasten the seat belt. That’s it! You can now start driving your car to your destination.  

Another thing that makes this harness interesting is the materials used to manufacture it. It uses a strong oxford fabric and a hundred percent polyester material. That’s why it’s not heavy, and it gives enough comfort for your dog. On top of that, the quality is also guaranteed to be durable and strong. 

Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness, Pet Car Harness Vehicle Seat Belt with Adjustable Strap and Buckle Clip, Easy Control for Driving Traveling Safety for Small Medium Dogs Cats, Medium, Black
10,177 Reviews
Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness, Pet Car Harness Vehicle Seat Belt with Adjustable Strap and Buckle Clip, Easy Control for Driving Traveling Safety for Small Medium Dogs Cats, Medium, Black
  • 【Driving Safety Comes First】: It prevents dogs from jumping out of the car window or moving around. Not only reduces the...
  • 【Easy to Use & Wide Compatibility】: (If our seatbelt does not fit your car, please see picture 2.)Fast-release buckles on...
  • 【Detachable Seat Belt for Different Usages】: Since the seat belt is detachable, you can use it in two different ways....

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable – made of high-quality nylon
  • Flexible design – clip allows your pet to move around making it more comfortable
  • The detachable seat belt is easy to use
  • Suitable for small and medium breeds

Cons:

  • Not suitable for large breeds

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Pet Gear Lookout Booster Car Seat

The next product is the Pet Gear Booster car seat. The exciting part about it is that it comes with a comfortable and removable pillow for your dog.

Pet Gear Lookout Booster

It’s not just soft, but it has a durable microsuede cover that will surely make your pet have the most enjoyable long ride on the road. You don’t need to assemble it because it’s a ready-to-use box with everything you need.  

Besides that, it also provides the best puppy harness, especially if you have cute little dogs that you want to join with you while driving your car. In fact, you can fit two puppies inside without any problem at all.

You can also easily use it by putting the seat belt under the booster and buckling it for safety. After that, make necessary adjustments to perfect it.  

Moreover, with the materials of this product, you can easily clean it up by simply taking out the pillow and its cover and washing them thoroughly. Hence, if you’re looking for something new for your dogs while traveling, you can put them inside this booster in place using the secure system of the seat belt. 

Pet Gear Lookout Booster Car Seat, Removable Comfort Pillow, Safety Tether Included, Installs in Seconds, No Tools Required, 2 Sizes, 3 Colors, Charcoal, Large (PG1122CH)
2,458 Reviews
Pet Gear Lookout Booster Car Seat, Removable Comfort Pillow, Safety Tether Included, Installs in Seconds, No Tools Required, 2 Sizes, 3 Colors, Charcoal, Large (PG1122CH)
  • Sturdy foam with soft microsuede cover and removable plush pillow; machine washable
  • Tether can be attached to pets harness to keep them comfortable and secure
  • Booster is easily attached to car seat

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros:

  • Keeps your pet safe while driving
  • Machine washable for easy cleaning
  • No assembly required
  • Easily transport your pet without worrying about them getting loose
  • Rest easy knowing your pet is safe and comfortable

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive

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Kurgo Dog Seat Belt Pet Safety Tether

The last product on the list is another dog safety harness by Kurgo. If you have too active and playful dogs, you’ll surely find it challenging to keep them still in one place.

Kurgo Dog Seat Belt

That’s why if you put a harness on them in your car, they might get twisted or, worse, strangled accidentally. Hence, you have to use this particular product because it has a swivel that improves your dog’s mobility while helping them avoid any accident of getting twisted from the seat belt.  

Additionally, the carabiner included in the tether system of this harness has been proven strong and durable. That’s why many dog parents always choose this product because of its high quality.

It’s also light that significantly adds comfort for your pets. Another good thing about it is that the lock isn’t easy to open even with how strong your dogs pull.  

Hence, if you want to purchase this particular harness in the store near you, Kurogo will give a lifetime warranty for any possible defect or damage from the manufacturer. It’ll surely assure you that you’ll only be getting the best product with the highest quality. 

Kurgo Direct to seat belt Tether for Dogs, Car seat belt for Pets, Adjustable Dog Safety Belt Leash, Quick & Easy Installation, Works with Any Pet Harness, Carabiner, Swivel, Bungee, Zipline
6,980 Reviews
Kurgo Direct to seat belt Tether for Dogs, Car seat belt for Pets, Adjustable Dog Safety Belt Leash, Quick & Easy Installation, Works with Any Pet Harness, Carabiner, Swivel, Bungee, Zipline
  • Reduces Distracted Driving - Direct to seat belt Swivel Tether keeps your dog in the Backseat and out of your lap while...
  • Tangle-Free Swivel Clip - Dog Carabiner seat belt includes a swivel Carabiner that attaches to your dog's harness....
  • Quick & Easy Installation - Pet seat belt clicks directly into the female seat belt slot. Easily switch the seat belt tether...

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros:

  • Keep your dog safe and secure in the backseat
  • Seat belt buckle made with steel for strength & durability
  • Universal design – can be adjusted to fit
  • Quick & easy installation
  • Tangle-free swivel clip on seat belt allows for extra comfort for your pup

Cons:

  • Not the best for XL breeds.

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Is It Lawful To Harness Dogs In Cars?

Yes, it is. Every dog owner wants their furry friends to be safe whenever they go for a ride in the car. Dogs are often part of families; thus, it is customary to see them occupy a passenger seat.

Traveling with your dog in the car can be dangerous if done inappropriately. This is especially if your dog is unrestrained, causing a distraction to the driver, in turn putting other drivers and passengers in danger. For this reason, many countries, provinces, and states have put in place laws for restraining dogs in cars.

In addition, in case of an accident, the harness will keep your dog just like a car’s safety belt.

If a dog owner is caught in these countries or states with an unrestrained dog in the car, they can face charges and pay fines for breaking the law. Besides,  some countrys’ laws state that dogs should not be left in unattended cars to protect them from extreme heat, cold, or poor aeration.

Certainly, if you care about your dog’s well-being and other people’s, you would not drive around with your furry friend unrestrained.

Walking Harness vs. Car Harness: Is There Any Difference?

If you love to travel with your dogs, you may find it challenging to keep your pets still, especially if they’re too playful and full of energy. With that, you’ll be needing a dog car harness. It’ll help your furry friends to stay in the same position and stop moving around in your vehicle using the seatbelt attached to the harness.

It’s also to help you not to be distracted, especially when you’re driving. For safer and peaceful travel, you can bring along with you a travel dog bed.

On the other hand, the walking harness is used when you bring your dogs with you outdoors, like in the garden or the public amusement park. It has the same purpose as the car harness: to manage your dog’s activity within a particular area.

If you are someone who loves to take your dog for outdoor activities like hiking, then you have come to the right place. Protect your dog paws with dog boots for hiking.

One big difference between them is that the walking harness doesn’t have any seat belt attached to it. You only have to attach the strap to the harness and lock it properly. Then, you can let your dog walk with you in the park without worrying about your pet roaming around without your knowledge.  

Injuries That Could Be Prevented By Using A Car Harness For Your Dog 

One of the benefits of using an appropriate harness for your dogs is to help you not to get distracted while driving. Besides that, it’ll also help your dogs avoid any possible injuries while you’re hitting the road. Here are some of them below. 

puppy sitting in front seat of a car
  • Steering wheel unattended. It’s a common reason for an accident that may cause severe injuries when a driver becomes busy keeping the dog from jumping and roaming around the car without a harness. 
  • Bone injuries. Using the best dog harness can help your pets avoid getting any bone fractures that may result in sudden immobilization.
  • A shock from the impact. Your dog may suffer from a traumatic injury caused by electric shock incidents, immediate impact, and others that can be prevented by a harness.
  • Dislocated joints. When your dog’s bones have moved out or dislocated can also be very painful for your pets, which may also be prevented with a durable car harness.
  • Dog’s hopping the car window. If your pets have no harness while you’re driving, they may climb and jump out of the window that may injure them badly from the fall or the other car running behind you.
  • Possible death. The worst thing that can ever happen to your dog is to die from any unexpected accident on the road that could have been avoided by putting a secure harness on them. 

You’ll surely find it fun to have a long ride with your favorite dogs. Just make sure to provide your pets with a harness for their protection.

Best Dog Car Harness Buying Guide

A harness for dogs will surely help owners manage their pets’ activity, especially when they are physically active and always full of energy. It’s because if you unleash these types of dogs outside your home, you’ll surely get stressed in following your dogs wherever they go.

That’s why a harness will give immense help in situations like these. However, many pet owners don’t know how to choose the best dog harness to face future problems.  

If it’s too big, it may choke your dog, and if it’s too small, it may also loosen up and unleash your dog. That’s why you have to choose the right one that perfectly fits the body size of your pet. Besides that, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying a particular type of harness.

You choose one with a back-clip feature if your dog is small and doesn’t have any injuries or health problems in the neck area.  

However, this type of harness isn’t best for dogs that frequently pull from the strap, especially for strong, aggressive, and big ones. It’s because if these are the dogs you have, the harness with the front clip is best to use. Hence, when you buy a new harness for your dogs, you have to remember a few things.

The harness should be strong enough to keep your dogs from running and roaming away from you. Besides that, you also have to check the features of the harness. Get one that can provide the best protection for your dogs. 

Car Harness for Dogs FAQs

What Is The Easiest Harness To Put On A Dog?

The easiest harness to put on your dog will depend on which way you find comfortable doing it. You can have the overhead harness that will only let you put it on through your dog’s head until it reaches its neck. After that, secure the straps on its belly and back to connect them. Once done, let your pet’s front legs step through the loop of the harness; then, attach the edge of both straps from side to side. 

What Is The Best Way To Restrain A Dog In A Car?

The best way to restrain a dog in a car is to place them in a harness and attach the seat belt accordingly. The safest method of securing your pup is using a booster seat as this provides more restraint than the basic harness. Owners should never use anything other than approved restraints for their dogs as they have been tested to meet certain criteria.

What Happens To An Unrestrained Pet In A Car During An Accident? 

During an accident, an unrestrained pet can move around inside the car, causing serious injuries or even death. They can also be thrown through a window, potentially breaking the glass and creating further hazards for them and other road users.

Are Dog Seat Belts Safe?

Yes, dog seat belts are safe as long as you have purchased a harness that has been tested. If the product you have purchased is not tested then it should not be used. In addition, if your pet is not correctly restrained they can become a projectile in a collision and cause further injuries to themselves and others. 

Do You Only Use A Harness For Training Dogs?

No, harnesses are also beneficial for everyday use. Some owners prefer to use them when they take their pups for a walk or when they take them to the park so that they can attach their dog’s lead and allow them more freedom than they would have if they were attached to a collar.

Should I Use A Dog Car Harness For My Puppies?

No, it is recommended that you wait until your dog is at least a year old before restraining them in a car. Puppies have yet to fully grow and therefore they are more susceptible to injuries when traveling with an adult harness. They should always be restrained using a booster seat during this time unless their weight exceeds the maximum allowance for one.

What Dog Harnesses Are Crash Tested?

Dog harnesses that are crash tested meet certain criteria and are approved for use. These products normally have a label on them so always check the packaging before committing to buy. Examples include the Ruffwear Load Up harness, Kurgo Tru-Fit, and EzyDog Drive harness.

Final Thoughts

You have to use a dog harness for car and walking to help you manage their behavior properly. It’s because when you drive with your playful dogs in the front seat, they can cause you to lose focus on the road ahead, which could lead to accidents. That’s why you have to be extra careful, and you have to use a car harness to keep your furry friend secured in a particular spot in your car. As a result, you’ll surely enjoy your ride with your lovely and playful dogs.

 

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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