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Vehicle Travel and Dogs

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

It concerns me how many people are unaware of the safety of their pets whilst they are in the car.  I have seen many instances over the years where a dog has been sitting on either the front or the back seat of the car with windows wide open and the dog hasn’t been restrained or they are sitting in the foot well of the front of the car

If a dog notices another animal e.g. a cat or a bird or sees another dog or even a tennis ball being thrown the chances of them jumping out of the car window to get to what they want is very high.  Your dog will then become a danger to other road users and will also distract you when you will potentially become a danger to other road users when you are trying to get your dog back.

DOGS MUST BE SECURED IN A MOVING VEHICLE AT ALL TIMES – THIS IS THE LAW!

Please consider your dogs safety when you are transporting him or her in your car.

Vehicle travel with your puppy and dog is something that people don’t always consider.  What kind of car you have obviously helps you to decide where your dog is best placed in the vehicle.  There are laws relating to vehicle travel with your dog.

Vehicle Travel and the Law

Dogs should be secured into the car at all times.  There are various ways to safely transport your dog:

  • In a crate in the boot or secured on the back seat
  • In the boot with a dog guard secured in place so your dog can’t jump through to the front of the car
  • Harnessed on the back seat

If your dog is wearing a harness ensure it is one that is suitable for vehicle travel as this will need to be attached to the seat belt.  Your dog can also be harnessed into the boot as there are often metal rings welded into your boot, you can secure a lead onto the rings and attach this to your dogs harness.  Do not secure by the collar only as your dog could be injured if you are in an accident.

If your dog is on the front seat ensure your airbag is switched off, if you have an accident and your airbag goes off it will kill your dog with the impact.  He/she  is better in the back so he is not a distraction to the driver.

If your dog is loose in the car and you are in an accident you could potentially be liable for the accident whether you were at fault or not.  Think about the safety of your dog, yourself and others.

Dogs should not be allowed to travel with their head out of the window, this is dangerous for the dog.

Dogs or puppies should be accustomed gradually to vehicle travel.  Take your dog or puppy out to your car and play with him in there so it always has a nice positive association with the car.  Take your puppy or dog out in the vehicle for very short training journeys.  Start off just by having your puppy in the car with the engine running so they get used to the noise of the engine. Dogs learn to dislike vehicle travel if they are only taken by vehicle to places where they have an unpleasant experience.  Dogs learn to enjoy vehicle travel if they are taken by vehicle to a place where they have a pleasurable experience.

When entering and leaving your vehicle your dog should always be on the lead in traffic areas, including car parks.

Please think and keep your dog safe!!