Apr 20, 2021
In the UK, it’s legal to take your pets out on the road with you, however, what many motorists fail to understand is that they must be properly restrained, not sitting in the front seats and footwells, and you must not allow them to stick their head out the window for some fresh air.
If you’re taking a short trip or even heading on a long-distance journey, you may have found that on previous occasions your dog isn’t a great traveller and their distress may be distracting for you while driving. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the rules around driving with your pet in the car.
The Highway Code states that “When in a vehicle, make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seatbelt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or guard are ways of restraining animals in the car”.
It is not a legal requirement set out in legislation and there is no direct penalty for breaking the Highway Code but that doesn’t mean you won’t be pulled over for driving without due care and attention, which can come with up to nine points on your licence. If your pet contributes to or causes an accident for not being correctly restrained, your car insurance as well as pet insurance you could face a hefty fine and points on your licence.
There are a few different safety measures and products that you can use to help travel with your dog safely in the car and it’s important that you choose a solution that’s suitable and comfortable for your pet. As well as that, you want to ensure the solution is properly installed to prevent any distractions while driving.
1. Travel Harness - You can purchase pet-friendly harnesses that come in a variety of sizes in most pet shops across the UK. All you need to do is fit them and clip them into place, making it safe for your pet to travel in the car alongside you.
2. Crates - Using a crate in the car helps keep your pet safe and secure, and also has the benefit of your pet being familiar with this environment as it’s what you used during training.
3. Carriers - If you would rather use something lighter and portable compared to a hefty metal cage, then a pet carrier is the choice for you.
4. Boot Guards - Does your pet prefer to travel in the boot? You can purchase a boot gate that will prevent them from jumping into the back seats of the car and also protect them during an accident. The dog still needs to be secured in the boot.
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