With restrictions lifting and a likely increase in our UK trips and holidays this year, we thought it was a good time to raise and encourage safe car travel with your pets.
Did you know that it is now a legal requirement to restrain you dog in the car? The Highway Code states ‘when in a vehicle, make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving.’ This is to prevent them injuring you or themselves in the event of an accident or if you have to stop quickly. Certain car insurers may also require you to restrain your pet. If you are not following this Highway Code rule, you may be liable for a hefty fine or points on your driving license.
There are many options to restrain your dog in the car ranging from a crate in the boot of the car or using a dog guard. The crate is something that your dog may already be accustomed to and should feel like a safe area for your pet. Some car crates have actually been crash tested to maximise your pet’s safety during travel, so it may be worth some research! You can also purchase a carrier for smaller pets which is an alternative to metal crates. A dog guard will only prevent your dog from jumping through to the front of the car so you may still need a harness of some kind.
A car harness is an option for smaller dogs that clicks into the seatbelt holder and can be an alternative if they are happier in the passenger seat or back seat.
Some top tips for travelling with your dog:
- Pack plenty of water to help your pet stay cool
- Take regular stops so your dog can go the toilet and have a stretch
- You can provide a familiar blanket or toy to relax your pet
- Don’t allow your dog to have their head out of the window
- Don’t ever leave your dog in a hot car. It doesn’t take long for a car to heat up causing your dog to overheat
- Don’t leave your dog in the car unattended due to the increased rise in dog theft
For cats and smaller animals travelling to the vets or boarding place, restrain them in a secure carrier and maybe cover with a towel to keep them calm.
We wish you all safe travel and lots of fun outings with your pets this Summer!