RAC Cars News


Travelling With Your Dog And Other Pets

By raccars Published

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Whether you are the kind of pet owner who likes to take your dog to work with you every day, or you have decided to take advantage of the Pet Travel Scheme, which allows you to take your dog abroad without having to put it into quarantine when you come back to the UK, make your dog - and other pets - travel safely with you.

You and your passengers doubtless apply a seatbelt automatically when you are travelling by car, and you should remember to do the same for your dog, for the same reasons. While there is, as yet, no legal requirement for your dog to wear a safety harness in the car, your dog and any other passengers in the car will be safer if they do.

Even if your dog is very well behaved and doesn't wander around in the car, an unrestrained dog can be very dangerous in an accident. RAC research suggests that a collision at 30mph can throw a dog forward with massive force towards the windscreen. The larger the dog, the more dramatic the impact. Not only will your dog be seriously injured or killed, but so could you.

There are a couple of solutions to the problem. The simplest is to make your dog wear a travel harness specifically designed for the purpose. These are available from good pet shops and are inexpensive and easy to use. They strap around the dog's chest and are clipped into the seatbelt, to hold your dog in place. You should always put the dog, in its harness, in the back of a car, as airbags in the front passenger seat can injure your dog if they inflate in a collision.

An even safer way to travel is to put your dog in a special travelling crate in the boot, which will not only keep it in place but offer some additional protection in the event of an accident.

Securing your dog will not only help to prevent injuries if an accident should occur, but will also stop it jumping out of the vehicle onto open roads.

Similar advice applies to travelling with any kind of animal in the car. Cats, rabbits, birds and any other kinds of pets should be placed in an appropriate carrying case while travelling. Remember to strap the container safely in the car, so that it cannot move in the event of a collision.

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