Keep travelling dogs safe

As lockdown restrictions ease, more of us will be enjoying longer trips in our cars – and our dogs will be keeping us company.

 

 

 

As lockdown restrictions ease, more of us will be enjoying longer trips in our cars – and our dogs will be keeping us company.

Recent studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of UK motorists are unaware that driving with an unrestrained pet could lead to hefty fines.

If your dog puts its head out of the windows it could cost you £1,000 if you’re pulled over by the police for driving “without proper control” of your vehicle.

That could rise to failing to drive with due care and attention which carries a maximum fine of £5,000 and nine penalty points if the case ends up in court.

Dog welfare charity Dogs Trust is urging pet owners to ensure that animals are kept in a properly fitting seat-belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or in the boot behind a dog guard. These need to be fitted correctly to ensure your dog can’t interfere with whoever is driving.

Other top transportation tips are:

  • Keep pets cool and calm while driving, leaving a non-slip bowl for dogs to drink from and breaking up journeys with short walks.
  • Avoid making the journey at the hottest part of the day and never leave a pet on their own in the vehicle.
  • Keep your dog calm and ensure that it is paying attention to you before they get in or out of the car. Allowing your dog to leave the vehicle immediately after you stop could cause them to expect this each time you stop, which could be dangerous.
  • Dogs should ideally be taught to wait for you to attach their lead properly before being allowed to carefully exit the car.
  • Keep a lead close to hand in case they need to leave the vehicle quickly in emergencies.

A Dogs Trust spokesperson said: “Not all dogs love travelling in the car, so please be aware of this before embarking on a trip. If you know your four-legged friend enjoys a car ride, it’s important to make sure they are safe, comfortable and feel confident.”

Remember that if you ever see a distressed dog in a vehicle, call 999.

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