Travelling by vehicle The United Kingdom (UK) ‘Highway Code’ states:
‘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 if you stop quickly’. In some European countries, the law does not allow dogs to travel loose in vehicles. Your pet should preferably travel in a crate which meets particular standards or be restrained with a harness and seat belt attachment or in the boot behind a dog guard
If using a crate for your dog the crate should be placed where it:
- Cannot move when you accelerate, brake and go round corners;
- Is easy to get to; and
- Is not exposed to strong sunlight or cold draughts.
If your dog travels loose in the vehicle,
- It should not be able to interfere with the driver
- It should not be able to escape through any window. When windows need to be left open, we suggest you use ‘window guards’ to prevent the animal escaping.
- Use a harness and connect a seat belt attachment that can be plugged into the seatbelt to ensure your dog is secure.
If your dog is travelling on the front seat the airbag MUST be switched off.
If the dog is travelling in the luggage compartment of an estate car or hatchback, you should fit a secure dog-guard, and the floor should have a non-slip surface. Providing enough ventilation at all times is essential – both when the vehicle is moving, and even more so when it is not moving – particularly in hot or sunny conditions.
If you do not follow the above safety measures for your dog whilst travelling and you are in an accident your insurance may be invalidated and you could be held liable for the car accident whether you caused it or not. Your dog could get out of the car if it isn’t restrained which could potentially cause another accident and it will cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for your dog.