Could you be breaking the law by taking your dog out?
Brace yourselves guys because this is quite a strange one! Do you ever put a seatbelt on your dog when you take it out in the car? If not then there’s a strong chance that you could be breaking the law believe it or not!
If your dog has its head hanging out of the window whilst your driving then you could even risk invalidating your car insurance so best get them belted up!
Many people aren’t actually aware of what the rules and regulations are surrounding driving with pets, or even that there are any. But if you break any of these rules there’s a chance you could be fined or even risk losing your license. The Highway Code states that it is a drivers responsibility to ensure dogs or other animals are restrained so that they cannot distract you whilst you’re driving or injure anybody or themselves if you stop suddenly.
It is recommended that a seat belt harness, cage, dog carrier or guard is used to keep them safe. However, if your dog has it’s head hanging out of the window, although it may be lovely to see, it also draws attention to the fact that your pet isn’t secured in its seat!
If you, like many others, didn’t know anything about this then not to worry because this is an easy problem to fix!
Here are some top tips for keeping your pet safe whilst travelling:
- If you are travelling with a dog, try and take it for a long walk before you set off so it doesn’t have any pent up energy for the journey ahead.
- Don’t feed your pet for two hours before you travel as many suffer from motion sickness.
- Restrain your animal properly with a harness, crate or guard. There are many on the market so shop around and see which one is best for your car and your pet.
- Keep the car cool when driving. Cars can get very hot and cats and dogs are already wearing their coats, so use sun blinds or open a window to make sure they don’t get overheated.
- Plan your journey for regular breaks. This will allow your animal to go to the toilet as well as have some fresh air.
- Ensure that your animal has plenty to drink so they don’t become dehydrated.
- Take a supply of their normal food, in case of a breakdown, or if you are travelling a long way.
- Never leave an animal alone in a car, especially on hot days, as this could lead to dehydration
Please pass this on to anyone with a dog in the family…