Smorgasbord Pet Health – Cars and Dogs – Are you breaking UK driving laws?

We have all seen the funny videos of dogs in cars with their heads out the windows or through the sunroof, but in the UK there is a driving law that states that a driver must restrain all animals in a vehicle appropriately.

I know that not all of us have an estate car or hatchback but even if we do, a small dog can be flung from the back into the back passenger seats and even front seats with enough force to kill someone. Which is why it is important that you install some form of dog barrier across that area. If your dog is travelling in the back seat of the car then you can buy a harness that slips around their body and through a seat belt. This is not just to protect them if there should be an accident but for you safety too.

Tavelling with even a small dog on your lap can be potentially fatal for the dog especially if it is between you and the force of an air bag.. It is much safe for dogs to be restrained in the back passenger seats in my opinion rather than the hatch back when on long journeys where you are more likely to be at risk of high impact crashes.. the middle of the car is cushioned and there are plenty of ways to protect the seating with waterproof covers and towels etc. Buying a seat belt harness for you dog may save its life and yours.

Anyway.. here is an article that all dog owners should read, especially in the UK where is it law that your pets be suitably restrained in a vehicle.

In the Eastern Daily Press and contributed by The Dog’s Trust

Is Your Dog Wearing a Seatbelt – If not you may be breaking the law

Many of us would never dream of setting off on a long Bank Holiday car journey before making sure our children and loved ones are safely strapped in.

But today the Dogs Trust warns that even though our pets are much-loved family members, more than one in five dog owners in East Anglia regularly travel with their pooch unrestrained in the car.

Some drivers, according to the Dogs Trust – which has a rehoming centre in Snetterton, near Attleborough – even daringly drive with their dogs on their laps while they try to control the car at the wheel.

As many families set off on long Bank Holiday car journeys, the charity is today launching a dog safety awareness campaign to ensure people stick to the law and ensure their pets are properly strapped in.

Dr Rachel Casey, director of canine behaviour and research for Dogs Trust, said: “Dogs are such an important part of people’s lives, so it’s understandable that owners want to take them out and about with them.

“However, our survey shows many people don’t know the safest way to travel with their dogs and some are even unwittingly breaking the law by letting their dogs roam around the car whilst they are on the move.”

What the law says

Rule 57 of the 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, or themselves, if you stop quickly.

“A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

Read the rest of the article and even if it is not law yet in your country it is something you need to think carefully about as it might mean the difference of life or death for you and your pet:

24 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Pet Health – Cars and Dogs – Are you breaking UK driving laws?

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Pet Health – Cars and Dogs – Are you breaking UK driving laws? | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Whatever country you live in, please check the laws regarding pets in your vehicle – if in doubt, ensure they are secured and cannot distract you.
    ALSO – Please do NOT leave them unattended in vehicles during hot weather – even if the window is open / the motor and air conditioner is on and you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tink’s car carrier straps onto the passenger seat high enough for him to see out the [closed] window but most of his body remains safely IN the carrier.

    I admit that I sometimes have him on my lap (in his carrier) for the few [very] short trips to the store, etc. when my friend Jason is at the wheel of his vehicle and I am merely the passenger. I’ll have to figure out a better system – thanks for the nudge.

    He is NEVER left alone in hot car, however – and I take him inside (in his carrier) most of the places I shop. If I can’t do that, they don’t get much business from me, even if I’ll only be gone for a moment and a friend remains with Tink in the car (AC ON) — and Tink stays home for large grocery runs.

    Dogs can get heat stroke in a heartbeat – even with ALL the windows cracked. It’s stunning to me how many dog owners aren’t aware of this. Important post, Sally, law or no law.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Party Guest Playlist, Honey, and Tony Bennett | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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