19 Jun 2011

Dogs in cars

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The law on dogs in cars is often confusing and not well known. Here is the law on dogs in cars as of 2011 in the UK and how to travel with your dog safely.

There is no specific law on dogs in cars. However, the law states that a person must be in control of the car. This means no dogs sitting on drivers’ laps and no distractions from the dog. The Welfare of Animals Act does state that dogs should not be in a car in a way that is uncomfortable for them, or that would cause them unnecessary injury of suffering. Therefore, it is best to restrain a dog in a car using a crate or harness.

So, going by the law and advice, dogs can go pretty much anywhere in a car. Options can include the boot in or out of a crate, in the back seat, or even in the front seat, if restrained.

It is definitely advisable to use a dog guard or harness when travelling with your dog. These are easily bought from shops such as Halfords and Pets at Home.

Travel sickness can be a problem for some dogs, so make sure you visit the vet if this is an issue for advice and medication.

Lastly, don’t forget, never leave your dog in a car, especially in the summer. The car can heat up extremely fast leaving your dog to dehydrate and suffocate. On long journeys, your dog will need rests just as you do for water, food and toilet stops.

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