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Travelling with pets

Travelling with your pet has become more and more common as families are not wanting to leave their four-legged friends behind. There are so many things to think about when planning a journey, and for those taking their pets along with them, there are more things to take into consideration.

dog in car

Safety is key 

We don’t think twice about travelling without wearing our seatbelts so why should we forget about our pets? A dog harness attached to the seat belt is a way of ensuring their safety, or travelling in the boot, but make sure you remember to remove the parcel shelf.

Pet carriers and/or crates are also another safe option for your pets while travelling and can help those who are nervous travellers.

Safety is paramount; the Highway Code states animals should be suitability restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves.

While going against the Highway Code does not carry a penalty in itself, drivers could face a fine of up to £1,000 for driving without proper control of their pets distract them while behind the wheel.

However, this could be stepped up, as almost two-thirds of UK motorists are unaware that driving with an unrestrained pet is classified as careless driving and can face fines of up to £5,000, as well as 9 points on your licence if the case goes to court. In the more extreme cases, it may result in a driving ban and a compulsory re-test.

According to research by Confused.com, more than 50% of drivers with pets do not realise letting their pet loose in the car may also invalidate their insurance.

The study found 1 in 10 drivers has had an accident while travelling in the car with a pet or know someone who has.

Our top tips 

Here are some handy tips to ensure you and your four-legged friends enjoy a stress-free experience:

  • Take plenty of water, animals get thirst on long journeys just like we do.
  • Check the temperature in the back of the car and ensure your pet has plenty of fresh air at all times.
  • Use cooling aids: Pet cooling mats are a simple and effective way of helping keep your pets cool while in the car.
  • Stop regularly and take a break,  ensure you and your pet stretch your legs, drink plenty of water and visit the loo.
  • Keep the car cool: When you are parked, try and stop in a shaded area to help keep the car cool (this will benefit you and your pet).
  • Never leave your pet alone in your car, especially on hot dry days, this is extremely dangerous for animals.
  • Keep your pet harnessed: We're used to strapping ourselves in to stay safe, so make sure your pet is too. 

Date Created: 24/06/2021


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