Dog safety out and about
Your dog is a big part of your family, so it’s natural that you’ll want to take him with you when you’re out as much as possible – whether you’re off on a big trip or simply running errands. Here are our tips for safe, comfortable and happy travels with your pet.
Car travel with your dog
Of course, we all know it’s the law to wear a seat belt when you’re travelling in a car, but you may not know it’s vital for your dog to be restrained, too. In fact, travelling without restraining your dog can lead to fines of up to £2,500 – so it’s important to know what’s what.
According to UK law, you can use a dog crate or carrier, a seat belt harness, or a dog guard when travelling with your pet. Restraining your dog when travelling doesn’t just keep him safe – it keeps you and your passengers safe, too.
If you drive an estate car, or have a car with plenty of space, a dog carrier or crate may be the best option when travelling with your dog. Various sizes of dog carrier are available, and you’ll need to make sure your dog has space to move freely – there’s nothing worse than feeling cramped on a long journey.
Dog safety harnesses are a great alternative if you drive a smaller car or your boot is full of luggage, while dog guards are fitted between the back of the seats and the boot. Dog carriers, safety harnesses and dog guards for travelling are all widely available online, or at your local pet superstore.
If you're planning a long trip with your dog, always remember to exercise him well before you set off. A well exercised dog is more likely to sleep on the journey, giving you the chance to make real headway with your travels before needing to stop to stretch both human and canine legs!
Of course, it’s vital to bring water for your pet (and you!), and schedule comfort stops every couple of hours along the way.
Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a car. Even for a short while, and even with the window wound down, the inside of a car can reach freezing temperatures in winter and boiling temperatures in summer – both of which are deadly dangerous to dogs. According to the RSPCA, if the outside temperature is just 22 degrees, the inside of your car can reach up to 47 degrees in just an hour.
Summertime may represent fun and freedom for us and our dogs, but your pet can suffer from heat stroke and sunburn, while chilly winter temperatures can lead to frostbite.
Need advice on travelling safely with your dog?
For expert help and advice for safe travels with your dog, get in touch with your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.