Dog in crate

Travelling safely with your dog

Did you know that according to rule 57 of The Highway Code, if you’re travelling with your pet in your vehicle, you must ensure that they are “suitably restrained”, otherwise you could face fines from £1,000 to £5,000? The Highway code continues to state “so that they (pets) cannot distract you while you are driving, or injure you, or themselves if you need to stop quickly.”

It was also recently reported in the Scotsman that VW Commercial Vehicles carried out research that 41% of van drivers that own dogs, prefer to take them to work, but nearly a third don’t restrain them properly. By not doing so, you could be endangering yourselves and also risk invalidating your insurance if you are in an accident and the dog is found to be unrestrained.

Below are some of the options for keeping your dog safe in your vehicle:

  • Crates – You can pick up standard crates from Pets at Home and other pet stores, but you can also pick up slanted dog crates for the boot of your car from Lords & Labradors and Amazon have a wide variety of metal and fabric crates and travel bags.
  • Dog seatbelts and harnesses – Pets at Home do a range of seatbelts and harnesses from as little at £6. If your dog is quite relaxed when travelling, you could opt for a seatbelt, but if your dog is more excitable, Pets at Home suggest using a harness.
  • Dog seat – also known as a pet booster seat, these foldable, washable vehicle restraints are ideal for small and medium sized dogs. Some of them give the option to provide your dog with an elevated view, so they can watch the world go by. You can have them sat next to you in the front, or in the back. These are particularly useful if your four-legged friend is prone to travel sickness.
  • Dog guard – You can pick up either a mesh dog guard for £28 or a pipe guard for £16 from Halfords from around. The mesh guard is modular so will fit most cars and can be used for the boot, or behind the front seats. Amazon also have a wide range of guards, from safety nets to travel guards – so if you’ve got more than one dog, these can be ideal for the boot of your car and don’t encroach on the boot space too much.

And of course, we’re sure you’ve heard about the increase in dog thefts since the start of lockdown. Be sure to not leave your dog unattended in your vehicle or where they may be at risk of being stolen. Check out our recent article on how to keep your dogs safe when you’re out and about.