5 Jul 2018

What you Need to Know When Travelling with a Dog in your Car

It is not as simple as just putting them in the vehicle and heading off on the open road, however. In fact, there are several laws, and potential penalties, that you should be aware of while planning your journey.

Driving with your dog in the car

It can be difficult at the best of times to get an excitable animal to stay calm, but it is especially important that they do not distract you when you're behind the wheel.

The highway code states that dogs should be secured at all times, either within a carry case or by attaching a harness to keep them safe and secure. If an accident occurs due to your dog distracting you, then you could face a charge of distracted driving (if your pet hasn't been properly restrained), or even driving without due care and attention.

The latter could see you landing between three and nine points on your license, or even a disqualification from driving. More than that, if the accident is especially serious then a fine of £2,500 could be on the cards.

Leaving your dog in a parked car

If you leave your dog in a parked car then it could put their health at risk. Dogs die in hot cars, so it is imperative that you leave a window open for ventilation, or take them with you. It takes less than an hour for a car to heat up to a sweltering degree, and on a day where temperatures are 22 degrees outside temperatures will hit 47 degrees inside the vehicle in no time.

While leaving a dog in a car without a window open isn't technically a crime, you can be charged with animal cruelty if the dog dies due to the heat. The penalty can be severe, with an unlimited fine threshold and a potential six-month prison sentence.

So be sure to take care when going for a drive this summer. With a few preparations and a bit of forethought, you can have a wonderful time without putting yourself and your dog in danger.

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