Research has revealed that one in five dog owners regularly travel with their dog unrestrained in the passenger seat of their car and 10% place their pooch in their lap whilst at the wheel.
The survey also revealed that 48% of the British dog-owning public are unaware that they are breaking the law and not abiding by the Highway Code.
The Highway Code states that drivers need to ensure ‘dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you or themselves if you stop too quickly’.
The law recommends a pet carrier, dog cage or guard or a seat belt harness as ways of restraining your pet in the car.
If you are pulled over by the police for driving without due care and attention this can result in a fine and penalty. Furthermore, if an accident is caused by an unrestrained pet it is likely to invalidate your car insurance. Not only that but it is putting you, your pet and others lives at risk.
How do I safely restrain my dog in the car?
Crates & Pet Carriers
- Placed in the boot, or secured in the back/passenger seat footwell. Never in the passenger seat itself because of the risk of the airbag deploying.
Harness & Seatbelt
- Make sure you buy the correct size harness for your pet.
- Always use them on the backseat of your car – not the passenger seat.
- Use a harness so the seatbelt does NOT clip directly onto your dog’s collar.
- Make sure your pet cannot fall into the footwell.
Other tips for a successful journey…
- Keep the car cool, using air conditioning and a sunblind.
- Drive carefully and keep calm, avoiding loud noises and music.
- Keep yourself relaxed as pets pick up on our anxieties.
- Train your dog to wait before being asked to jump out of the car.
If you have any questions please do contact your local branch.