Did you know that if you do not restrain your dog or cat in your car you could face up to a £5000 fine?!!
Well you can! Its official!
Back in the day…many moons ago!
About 40 years ago a close relative used to take their cat (and dog) everywhere with them. That was until one day they had to do an emergency stop and their beautiful cat, face planted on the dash board, resulting in a fractured jaw and their gorgeous dog ended up on the rear seats, thankfully un harmed. The cat never travelled again but the dog had a lead tied to its collar. All well and good but what happens then when they brake in an emergency and the dogs collar is the only way to stop it going forward? Best case, a sore neck, worst case death! (no he didn’t but he lived a very long happy life.)
In a recent study, 21% percent of dog and cat owners admit to not restraining them in the car properly. Four percent had near misses driving their cars because their pet dog or cat got in their way. A law to restrain them is long overdue!
If your pet is travelling loose in the car they could propel through the windscreen or into the back of your head killing you and them. If they are in the boot with just a guard and someone goes into the back of you the boot might pop, your pet might jump and run, never to be seen again, or to be killed by passing cars.
So how should we restrain our pets now and what is the law?
There are several ways to make sure your dog is safe. The most obvious way is a crate. You could choose the option of a basic crate you can buy ‘off the shelf’. This is also t he absolute best way to restrain a cat. A comfortable crate with a bed and water is all they need. In over 10 years of driving peoples pets around we have found that cats always prefer to be in a smaller area rather than run of the large crate. Then make sure the crate is secure using the seat belt or a bungy.
The safest option is to have custom made crates for your vehicle. These will be robust and high quality. Crates ‘off the self’ are not designed for use in the car but for the home. I have seen the damage a desperate dog will do to escape so a car hitting them would do some serious damage. A great example of high quality boxes are here. http://ddgtransitboxes.co.uk/
You could put a dog guard up behind the rear seats. This will be one of the cheapest options and easy to install. However, if the boot pops they can still run off.
Seat belt clip
This clip attaches to your dogs harness or collar. I would not recommend the collar for the above reason. However, it could clip onto a harness, this is the safest option, but it would need to be a well fitting and not loose at all.
Or you can get this fantastic little clip that attaches to your seatbelt when done up. This option is great for people who say that their dog is only happy sat on their lap.
There are so many harnesses out there but in our opinion, in a car you should be using a car specific harness. Good quality ones will have been tested and tested again to ensure they are the very best fit and that they perform the very best way in the event of an accident. There are many on the market but after much research the ones we use are the Bergen Car Harness. Yes they are more expensive but in our opinion, the best.
So there you have a few of the many options available for your dog to be the safest possible and for you to avoid being faced with a huge fine, or worse a critically injured dog or passenger.
Here is the full article on the new law:
Information available from the following sites:
It is up to owners to ensure their dogs are safe in the car. The above are just suggestions. We cannot be responsible for any incidents that occur when using any of the above devices.