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Travel safety advice for you & your dog

Travel safety advice for you & your dog

Feb 26, 2018

We love our dogs more than anyone can imagine. That’s why we want to take them everywhere we go: on holiday, to shows or even down to the local shops. And of course, while we’re out and about, we want to be sure they’re as safe as possible – and legal.

Unfortunately, there seems to be lots of conflicting advice and scaremongering out there and it can be easy to stress about the subject, especially if we’ve had negative past experiences.

We at Dogrobes wanted to investigate - and sort out the fact from social media clickbaiting. In true bloodhound style, here’s what we found out about keeping your dog safe while travelling – and how to be sure you’re following the law too:

Following the Highway Code

We spoke to the Highway Code, the DVLA, DVSA and six of the top motor and pet insurance companies to find out.

Rule 57 of the Highway Code advises: “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”.

Breaking the Highway Code doesn’t carry a direct penalty, but drivers could still be pulled over for driving without due care and attention. This can result in a maximum fine of £2,500 and nine penalty points.

Reading the small print

According to the terms and conditions of the insurance companies we spoke to, there was no clause stating pets should be restrained whilst driving. However, each company advised drivers should take every reasonable precaution to avoid an accident wherever possible. It would be best to check with your own motor and pet insurance provider to query their T&C’s.

Showing plenty of restraint

There are many ways of restraining your dogs in the car, but is one safer than the other?

  • A dog in the boot will not be able to jump into the front of a car and cause a distraction. But if you have a rear collision, they may not be protected. Thankfully there are robust safety crates that can be fitted into your boot space that have been designed and tested to withstand car crashes.
  • A dog in a carrier will be zipped or locked away and cannot cause a distraction. But in the event of a serious car accident, this carrier may be thrown off a car seat and they risk being injured.
  • A dog harness is safer than a neck collar secured to a seat belt. In the event of an accident, pressure across a harness will be more evenly distributed over a larger body surface area. Though injury to the dog is still possible, it is likely to be less than that if wearing a collar, as pressure around the neck area risks damage to the spine, windpipe and major blood vessels.

At Dogrobes, we care for the safety of our dogs and their owners, that's why we recommend dogs be safely restrained in the car while travelling. 

Leading the way with a dog coat for a harness 

As all dogs' safety is of paramount importance, we made sure that all our drying coats are suitable for harness-wearing dogs. Imagine you've had a long, autumn or spring rain walk and your dog is soggy, filthy and panting in the car, waiting to go home for a sleep. 

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3: 

  1. Lay dog robe on their back - over the top of the harness
  2. Line up the harness access opening over the D-ring & lead clip
  3. Transfer lead clip from under the Dogrobe to clip to the D-ring through the access opening  (just make sure you hold your dog's harness firmly with your other hand, while transferring the lead) and tie as normal

And job well done!

Not only will your dog stay warm and dry while wearing their Dogrobe over their harness - and your car stay protected from muddy splashes, not to mention the mucky, wet harness - you are also committing to being a responsible driver and putting the safety of your dog, yourself and other road users first. 

Read next blog Our vet's top tips this summer