We’re getting to that time of year again where we’re travelling more with our pets to the beach, staycations and even trips to a different location for a long walk. No matter how long the journey - even if it’s a trip to the local vets - you should ensure your dog is properly restrained and safe to travel. Here in the UK it’s the law when travelling by car your dog needs to be restrained. In this blog, we breakdown how to travel safely with your pet.
What is the law with dogs in cars?
The Highway Code states in their Rules about Animals, when in a vehicle, dogs are to be suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you’re driving or injure you, or themselves, if you should need to stop quickly.
If you were in an accident caused by your dog distracting you whilst you were driving, this could be considered as ‘dangerous driving’. It’s also good to check your insurance policy, as car insurance providers may require you to restrain your pet.
Is it the law to restrain a dog in a car?
It is the law to restrain your dog when travelling in your car. So as fun as it is for your pooch to sit with their head out of the window, they must be suitably restrained so they cannot distract you and potentially hurt either you or themselves.
When it comes to where your dog should be when travelling, although there are no laws against your dog travelling in the footwell of the car, unfortunately they would not be properly restrained and if you did have an accident, you may be prosecuted for ‘dangerous driving’.
When choosing where your dog should be properly restrained, no matter what method you choose, your dog should not sit in the front seat - securing them in the boot or back seat behind a front seat is considered a safer option.
How to secure a dog in the car
There are many safety products you can choose from, which can help with travelling safely in the car. It’s most important you choose a solution that’s suitable and comfortable for your pooch, and it has been installed and executed correctly to ensure the safety of your pet. Here at Lords & Labradors, we’d recommend the following for safe travel.
Our pet carriers come in different sizes and weights which will vary for the suitability for you and your dog. It’s a lighter option to our metal crates and are easily packed away if you’re staying away from home. Carriers are great when travelling by car and when taking your dog from the car into a safe place to let them out and stretch their legs. They keep your pooch safe and settled whilst travelling.
Our pet-friendly harnesses come in a variety of sizes, suitable to your dogs breed and size. Travel harnesses are easy to fit onto your dog and it’s quick to clip them into place. They’re specially designed to prevent your dog from moving around whilst in the car, all whilst keeping your pet safe and comfortably restrained.
Crating your dog keeps them safe & secure - using a crate to transport your pet has the added benefit if they’re already used to being crated at home. If your dog is used to being crated, often when travelling they’ll feel safer and their surroundings will reduce any anxiety your dog may have around travelling.
How long can a dog travel in a car
Being stuck in the car can be hard for your dog! Not only will your dog need regular toilet breaks, they’ll also need to stretch their legs and get some of their energy out. When stopping for your dog to toilet and stretch their legs, you could also give them some food and water to avoid any spillages whilst travelling. Ideally you should try to keep to your dogs routine where possible (even when travelling) - every 2 to 4 hours for about 15 to 30 minutes is a good guide to follow, however you’ll know what is best for your dog and how they travel. If you’re planning a lengthy trip, try to go on few shorter journeys to see how your dog is likely to react.