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Keeping your Pet Safe in the Car
Monday October 10th 2016
Whether you’re taking your pet for a check-up at the vet or maybe heading out for a walk, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to transport your animal in the car at some point.
But as much as we love them, our pets can pose more than a few challenges when we’re driving.
Here are some tips to help on everything from keeping your car clean to travelling safely.
What does the law say?
The Highway Code says that animals should be suitably restrained when in the car, so that they don’t become a distraction or prevent you stopping in an emergency.
Failing to properly restrain your pet could put you at risk of an accident and could even mean jeopardising the safety of other road users.
To make sure you put safety first, you could use a seatbelt harness, pet carrier, cage or guard to ensure your animal stays in one place during the journey.
A trouble-free car journey with your pet cat, dog or rabbit will start days before you even put them in the car.
If they’ve never travelled in the vehicle, you’ll need to introduce them gradually to it so that they don’t end up getting stressed out.
This could mean letting them sit in the car while it’s stationary for a few hours a day before the journey or even taking them on a short trip down the street.
Make sure you plan your route well so you don’t spend longer on the road than you need to and consider whether your animal is fit to travel in the first place.
If he or she is heavily pregnant, seriously ill or injured or a new born, you should think twice before you take them anywhere by car.
When you’re sure it’s safe to drive them somewhere, take steps to make the journey as enjoyable as possible by packing their favourite toys, some treats and plenty of water.
Laying down some blankets will also help to prevent against stains or hair marking your car.
Take a break
Two hours before the start of your journey, feed your pet a light meal – giving them lots of food could lead to them getting travel sick.
You should also ensure your pet has had the chance to go to the toilet and to burn off some energy by running around in the garden or going for a walk.
If you’re travelling with a dog on a hot day, try to avoid letting them stick out the window to keep cool, as they’ll be at risk of being hit by another vehicle or bit of debris. Instead, turn the air conditioning on.
On longer journeys, you should aim to take a break from the road every two hours for around 15 minutes to give both you and your pet the chance to stretch their legs.
Just make sure you stop at a safe place and put dogs on leads so that they can’t run off.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.