What are the rules around having your loyal best friend(s) in the car with you?

Approximately 2 minutes reading time

What are the laws governing having pets in the car in the UK?

Pets are considered family members at times, so you'll have them in your cars as passengers. It honestly feels nice when you travel with your pet since you feel like you are sharing happiness and enjoyable moments. As fun as it may seem, some rules govern this traveling with your loyal companion. In the UK, most pets are dogs. This article will make us understand what is needed of us whenever we travel with our pets.

Where can my pets go in the car?

The best place to make your pet comfortable is always the boot however if well-trained, the backseat is fine. This is because they are exposed to lesser injuries in case of accidents. You can still keep them in the front seat only if you have no option, but you should ensure they have been restrained properly. When in the front seat, ensure they have their harness on and push back the back seat. Airbags on the passenger side should be disabled to avoid harming your pet if they activate but make sure to turn them on for human passengers.

Do pets need to wear seatbelts if they are big enough?

When in a car, ensure your pet is properly restrained, whether transported or in a stationary car, so it doesn't distract you when driving. Proper restraining materials include a seat belt harness, dog cage and guard for dogs, and a pet carrier. Pet restraints are those accessories used to ensure your pet's safety when traveling.

  • A harness, for instance, is a special type of seatbelt mostly used for dogs or cats. For small pets or dogs, a doggy booster could be used.
  • A dog crate can be used and placed in the boot, used in places where the pet doesn't feel comfortable in a harness though it requires some prior training.
  • A dog guard is a grill of metal normally fit in your boot or back seat of your car. It allows your dog to have boot freedom but is still contained therein.
  • Pet carriers are preferred for small pets. They are pretty smaller than crates and have lightweight, so it is portable. They are mostly placed in the backseat.

Most dogs can simply wear a seatbelt with you or a fellow human looking out for them for things like sharp turns. 

On top of this, you should also ensure that your pet is comfortable throughout the journey. First, ensure regular stopovers to allow your pets to stretch and relieve themselves, just like human beings provide them with fresh water more often. Ensure proper air conditioning away from the pet, though. Open windows only if you're sure they cannot stick their heads out or even jump.

The breaks should be after 2 hours, and never leave them in the car to avoid heatstroke. For pets with car sickness: avoid feeding them two to three hours before travel time, have a waterproof sheet, and carry with you cleaning sprays and paper towels always. Sometimes talk to your vet; they can prescribe travel medication for your pet. Dogs above 8 weeks old should always be micro-chipped and have collar wear indicating their owner's name and residence (address).

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