Do you travel with your dog in the car?
Does my dog need a seat belt when in the car?
To answer the first question first: From a quick run to the park to a day trip at the beach, the chances are your dog regularly travels in the car. Actually, insurance company research tells us 69% of dog owners regularly take their dog on car rides, so you’re not alone.
And for those wondering ‘Does my dog need a seat belt’, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ It turns out, this isn’t only a matter of the dog’s safety, but adequate restraint is a legal requirement.
OK, so let’s get the elephant-in-the-room (or rhino-flying-through-the-windscreen) out of the way. In the case of an emergency stop at 30 mph, an unsecured dog will fly through the windshield with a mass equivalent to a giraffe. Not only is the dog at severe risk of injury but he’s also a hazard to you. So vet bills aside, where does the £5,000 come in?
Legal Beagle: The Dog Seat Belt Law
That £5,000 brings us onto the legal aspect of traveling with a dog in the car.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code reads:
“When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A dog seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”
Here’s the thing, let’s imagine you’re driving along with the dog in the back and he starts climbing into the front. You try to push him back, which distracts your full attention from the road. If you then get pulled over by the police, the lack of a dog restraint, such as a dog seat belt harness, could result in a £100 on the spot fine.
Indeed, dog seat belt law is such that if you refuse to pay the fine, there’s a very real possibility of a court case and a whooping £5,000 fine. Ouch! Makes a dog seat belt seem an absolute bargain.
Reasons to Invest in Dog Seat Belts for Cars
If we overlook the small matter of a hefty fine, here are some other reasons why a dog seat belt is essential.
- Dog Safety: A dog loose in the cabin becomes a missile when propelled forward by the inertia of an emergency stop
- Vet Bills: If your dog survives the crash he’ll almost certainly need a vet to patch him up, at a cost of £££s
- Lost Dogs: It wouldn’t be the first time that a terrified dog runs off after a crash and gets lost.
- Dog Seat Belt Law: The law of the land requires you to have the dog restrained so that he can’t cause an crash. Not to do so may invalidate your car insurance plus end in a hefty fine.
- Distraction Risk: In this case the law is there for good reason. A dog that distracts you whilst driving or can move freely and get under your brake foot, could very realistically cause a crash…and no-one wants that.
Kinda makes the investment in a sensible piece of safety equipment like a dog seat belt seem a no-brainer, doesn’t it! Indeed, when a dog seat belt costing £15 could save you a £5,000 fine, that has to be bargain….plus it could save your dog’s life.
Don’t take another journey without ensuring your best buddy is safe! It’s so easy and simple to do with many excellent products on the market. Here are our recommendations.
Dog Seat Belt and Dog Car Harness; The Perfect Combination
You know that saying about the weakest link in the chain..?
It goes without saying that you should never secure your dog by the collar to a car seat belt. In the event of an accident, it’s the dog’s throat that slows them from 60mph to zero. You’re not going to sleep at night if you’re responsible for hanging your dog, so do things properly.
For safety’s sake chose a dog safety harness. But not just any harness. Sadly, not all harnesses are created equal. Whilst some claim to keep your pooch safe in a prang, not all products can back this up.
Don’t take any claims at face value and always research the product to make sure it’s been properly crash-tested and passed as safe. That’s exactly what Doggy Dream Team did with our hero products (listed below.)
Don’t take another journey without ensuring your best buddy is safely strapped in with a seat belt and dog harness set-up.