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10 Jan

Guide of UK Law & Rules – Travelling with pets in cars?

Humanity is governed by a set of rules and regulations society collectively agreed upon. Laws govern everyday society, and as society progresses and evolves, so do the laws governing it. For instance, in earlier times, laws pertaining to animal safety were few and far between.

However, with how important animal life is to the modern ecosystem, and the increasing number of people who own pets, there are now laws to protect the welfare of animals. Laws regarding the safety and well-being of dogs have been codified, for example, and are important to be aware of. Here are the new laws for dogs in cars.

What Does the Law Say?

In the U.K, the law is fairly conclusive when it comes to outlining how to travel with your dog in tow. Rule 57 in the highway code says you must “make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained” while inside a vehicle. This rule may feel unnecessary at first, but it is unsafe to let your dog roam freely around the car or with their head outside the window.

It is a picture book moment when they do that, enjoying the breeze, but also a dangerous one. What if you’re stopped at a set of lights and they jump out? What if you’re driving, and your dog sneaks up for affection or jumps in your lap? A momentary lapse of concentration while driving can be deadly, and its best to not imagine a scenario where you end up in an accident due to this.

If you do happen to have a crash, your cars airbags would deploy near-instantly, which may injure your dog fatally. The risk posed to other road owners and you is reason enough to invest in a harness or restraint, and use them as everyday essentials.

Preparing a Dog for a Long Drive

Before embarking on any sort of journey, it is important to make your met comfortable in the new environment. Ease them into it; start by sitting in a stationary car with them, and gradually extend the period of time spent in it. Before making a big trip, take your dog out for smaller drives so they can accustom themselves to the environment of a vehicle, and be comfortable traveling in it. There are a few methods of keeping your dog and yourself safe while on the road.

Pet Crate

A pet crate is an important accessory to have. Most mediums of transport require you to carry your pet in a crate while travelling, especially for international pet travel, so it is useful to have on-hand. It is also among the safest ways to travel with your dog in a car. A pet taxi or pet travel provider will also require your pup to be inside their crate for the duration of the journey.

Chances are your dog is already accustomed to travel in a crate, which should make their journeys less stressful. In case they are not, you will need to crate train them. To do this, follow a steady and daily process of acclimation. Start small, give them love and treats for interacting with the crate freely and take them on shorter journeys before embarking on longer ones. Carry their favourite toys and treats to keep them relaxed.

Travelling with your pet in a crate ensures that you meet the legal requirements for driving with your dog and keeps you safe from the possibility of your pup distracting you while behind the wheel, as well as protecting them in case of an accident, making crates an ideal way to transport your pet.

Pet Harness

Some pups don’t enjoy being inside a crate for extended periods of time due to their size or history with being restrained. In such a scenario, you can opt for a pet harness, as an alternative to a crate or cage.

A dog harness is fitted around your pup and attached to the seatbelt in the back via clips and straps. Harnesses should be adjustable enough to comfortably accommodate your pup. Do make sure that your car does not have airbags in the rear seats, if you plan to harness your dog while driving.

While you may be tempted to let your dog loose while driving, the repercussions can be extensive. Such matters should not be looked at merely from the law’s point of view; breaking the law is a bad thig, yes, but your pet facing injury or worse due to ignorance of safety protocol is far more heart-breaking.  Drive safely, obey the rules of the road, and always ensure your pet is safely restrained inside the cabin.

If you’re ever doubtful about the laws and how to safely travel with your pet, you can reach out to us at enquiry@carrymypet.com. As experts in pet relocation, we know how important it is to comply with the laws of the road, and provide safe and comfortable pet transportation services for the same.

AUTHOR’S BIO

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Carry My Pet

Passionate pet enthusiasts and globetrotters, dedicated to easing furry friends' journeys worldwide. Penning tales of compassion at CarryMyPet, where every relocation is a tail-wagging adventure.

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