How to keep your pets safe when travelling

19 Posted: 19th Feb 2024
How to keep your pets safe when travelling

Whether it's a routine visit to the vet, a weekend getaway, or even a trip to the shop, there are countless reasons why we may be travelling with our dogs and other pets in the car, and it's crucial to prioritise our pet’s safety in the car during these journeys.

From sudden stops and sharp turns to unforeseen accidents, the road can present a number of potential hazards for our four-legged friends, so it's essential to make sure they are well-secured and safe in our cars.

To help prepare for these journeys, Group 1 Automotive have put together 5 top tips to ensure your pet's safety in cars:

  • 5 Top Tips for Travelling With Dogs - And Other Pets - In The Car

  • 1. Strap your pet in

    Just as we would use a seatbelt, your pet needs to be strapped into the vehicle. It’s recommended to use a harness, crate, pet carrier or guard for this, and you can purchase these from many different retailers.

    While it can cause confusion at times, the law against dogs travelling in the boot shows that it isn’t illegal, but dogs and other pets should always be restrained in a moving vehicle.

    Rule 57 of The Highway Code states: “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 seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

    As important as this is on its own, it also ensures that you don’t receive any potential fines from getting distracted by a loose animal in the car. If you do, you could land a hefty £1,000 fine, and points on your licence. This can increase to £5,000 if you are taken to court.

    It’s always recommended to check the law when having pets in the car - especially for longer journeys.

  • 2. Always carry water

    For quick car journeys, this may not always be necessary, but if you are planning a longer trip, it’s essential to carry water when travelling with dogs, or other pets in the car.

    Even if the car isn’t hot, dogs can become dehydrated for other reasons, so ensuring they have water is a necessity. Window shades are also a good addition here if the weather is hot, as this can block out sunlight, and cool the car.

  • 3. Help them de-stress

    Our previous research shows that parents will spend four days a year trying to get their children into the car, and for some pets, getting them into a car can also be a difficult and anxiety-inducing time for them.

    We don’t want our pets to be uncomfortable - especially if the journey is going to take a while, so to help with anxious pets, bring their favourite toy or accessory (such as a blanket) to help them feel safe and cosy.


  • 4. Make regular stops

    It’s so important to take regular breaks when driving with pets in the car - especially on longer journeys.
    Whilst as humans, we can voice our needs, our furry friends can’t, so stopping every one to two hours ensures your pet can go to the toilet, stretch, and get some fresh air.

  • 5. Prepare for sickness

    Just like us, many animals can suffer from travel sickness - especially in cars. Whilst most dogs can grow out of this and adjust as they get older, for some, it can stick with them. To help with travel sickness when travelling with dogs, or other pets in the car, avoid feeding them a few hours before setting off, as well as setting down a waterproof sheet or tarp underneath them. It’s also important to ensure you have a steady flow of cool air from your air conditioning to avoid making the sickness worse.


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