There are few things in life as awesome as seeing a dog with its head out the window of a moving car. Sadly, it could cost you your licence and invalidate your car insurance to boot.
Why? Well, the Highway Code states drivers need to ensure ‘dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly’.
The law recommends a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or guard as ways of restraining your pet while driving.And Gocompare.com warns that drivers who don’t restrain dogs and cats while on the move are not just breaking the law, they could also be invalidating their car insurance.
Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. You can pick up a pet seat belt (that clips on to their collar like a lead, then into a seatbelt socket) for less than £4 or a car harness for less than £10.
If you'd rather let them roam free in the boot, pet-barrier safety nets can be found for less than £5.
Gocompare also has the following tips to staying safe travelling with your pets:
If you are travelling with a dog, try and take it for a long walk before you set off so it doesn’t have any pent up energy for the journey ahead.
Don’t feed your pet for two hours before you travel as many suffer from motion sickness.
Restrain your animal properly with a harness, crate or guard. There are many on the market so shop around and see which one is best for your car and your pet.
Keep the car cool when driving. Cars can get very hot and cats and dogs are already wearing their coats, so use sun blinds or open a window to make sure they don’t get overheated.
Plan your journey for regular breaks. This will allow your animal to go to the toilet as well as have some fresh air.
Ensure that your animal has plenty to drink so they don’t become dehydrated.
Take a supply of their normal food, in case of a breakdown, or if you are travelling a long way.
Never leave an animal alone in a car, especially on hot days, as this could lead to dehydration.