On the road with your dog- Travel advice
With thousands of people expected to take to the roads this summer, the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) is reminding people of their responsibilities when it comes to dog travel.
Following a survey completed by 700 pet owners, NAWT has produced a helpful infographic on the potential pitfalls of car travel with pets and associated advice.
Under the Animal Welfare Act owners have a duty of care towards their animals to protect them and prevent suffering which includes not exposing them to extremes of temperature. If a dog is left in a car on a warm day and suffers harm, owners could be at risk of prosecution.
The second reminder is around keeping dogs safe while travelling. NAWT found that 1 in 5 dogs would be unprotected in the event of a car accident because the animal is not restrained.
The Highway Code asks drivers to ensure a dog is kept secure with a crate, guard or harness so as not to cause a distraction to the driver and to protect them and their animal if there is an emergency stop. Since around 40% of respondents take one or more dogs in the car with them every day, that’s a high number of people at risk of flouting regulations.
Many car insurance policies require owners to follow Highway Code guidance on restraining their dogs but with only 7% of those surveyed stating they know what their insurance says, it would be worthwhile reading your insurance documentation before you travel.
Why? According to the Highway Code dogs or other animals** should be suitably restrained in a vehicle so that they don’t distract the driver or injure them if the vehicle stops quickly. Official advice from the RSPCA is that dogs are both secure and comfortable during transport.