Since youth, we were all taught to fasten our seatbelts when we set off in the car, but what about our pets?
Alarmingly, a recent study has found that 34% of drivers do not secure their pets when travelling by car and 64% of drivers are unaware of the rules surrounding car safety for animals. As such, we’re here to help spread the word on car safety for pets and encourage you to look up the law in your state or country.
Overall, rules outline those animals travelling by car must be restrained or secured in order to avoid distraction, injury or even death. If your dog is riding up front, leaping around or barking excessively in the car could be pulled over for driving ‘without due care and attention’, This could also be used as evidence against you if you were to be involved in an accident.
If your pet is found to have caused or contributed to an accident, your car insurance could be invalid, as well as any pet insurance. You could also face a fine of thousands if you’re taken to court, as well as points or penalties on your licence.
From a welfare point of view, we should also not be allowing our dogs stick their heads out of the window. This could damage their ear drums or suffer injury if they hit an object. If you are going to have the window down, it is wise to secure your dog so they cannot climb up or out
“Unsecured dogs” is a global issue:
- UK: 69% dog owners not aware of the law.
- USA: 84% of drivers do not secure their dog in car.
- Germany: Up to 52% of drivers do not secure their dog in car.
- Netherlands: 51% of drivers had an emergency due to their dog.
- Australia: If an animal is injured because it was unrestrained, owners face up to six months’ jail and fines of up to $5,500.
How to secure your pet
Crates and pet carriers:
- You will find a wide range of suitable pet carriers and crates available in pet stores and online, in a variety of sizes to suit most pets and cars.
- A crate should ideally be placed in the trunk or secured on the back seat
- A small pet carrier could also be placed in the front passenger footwell but never on the seat itself as this will risk airbags deploying
- It is recommended that you use a pet carrier or small crate for puppies or use a harness for larger breeds of puppies.
- Crates in the car boot are also best for larger dogs over 35kgs. You can also use specially designed straps for the boot to provide better protection.
Dog Car Harnesses
- Specially designed car harnesses ensure your dog is safely restrained and the driver meeting any road law requirements
- If you prefer a harness, check out our range of CarSafe harnesses and find the right fit for your dog. No need for an extra attachment and doubles up as a great walking harness too! Available online and at some pet stores.
- Always place your dog in their car harness on the back seat of your car, never the front, with most good designs your dog can sit or lie down comfortably with the car harness on.
- Ensure you purchase a harness that attaches to the seatbelt strap and not directly to the seat belt socket to avoid the risk of jarring on your dog in the event of sudden stop or accident
- If you are going to use a basic car strap or sometimes called a ‘dog seat belt’ then always use with a harness to avoid the risk of severe injury to their neck should you have to stop suddenly.
- A Crash Tested Harness provides extra reassurance and features for those that want etc. Latest designs like the CarSafe Crash Tested Harness ensure they do not have to be heavy or uncomfortable for your dog.