Carrying Dogs in Cars: Staying Compliant with the UK Law

If you are planning on travelling with your dog in the car then there are UK laws that must be complied with for the safety of your dog, yourself and other road users. Even the calmest dogs can act out of character when in a different environment, so UK laws are in place to help prevent accidents.


Rule 57 of the Highway Code states that you must “make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained” in a vehicle. This rule is in place to ensure that your dog cannot get into any danger by putting their head through the window or jumping out, as well as stopping them from jumping around the vehicle and distracting the driver.


Additionally, if your dog is not restrained then if you have to make an emergency stop, they would be more likely to get injured or even die. There is also the possibility that if you were to have an accident, your dog could jump out of the car and run away because they are scared.


If the police stop you and find that you have failed to suitably restrain your dog then you could face a large fine.


Tips for travelling with your dog


To help your dog to feel as comfortable and relaxed in your vehicle as possible, you should try to familiarise them with the crate and put their favourite toys and blanket or bed inside it. Go for shorter journeys to get them used to travel in a vehicle before you build up to longer journeys.


You should avoid feeding your dog at least two hours before you set off, to minimise the chance of sickness. Give them enough water to make sure that they will not be thirsty as this can also cause sickness. Take a large bottle of water on your trip so that you can stop and give your dog a drink regularly.


You should plan out places to stop if you are taking a long journey so that you can take your dog for a walk to give it a short break and to go to the toilet.


Best products for taking your dog in cars


There are a few different choices for restraining your dog in a vehicle and your choice will depend on how much you will be travelling in the car and the size of your dog and vehicle. Your dog may prefer a crate to a harness or vice versa, so you might want to try both options to see which they feel more comfortable with.


Crates are recommended if you will be regularly travelling with your dog on longer journeys and if you have enough room in your vehicle, you can buy a large enough crate so that your dog can move around a bit.


Mad About Pets UK has a range of dog crates and boxes that will enable you to travel safely with your dog, complying with UK laws and providing as much comfort as possible for your dog.



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