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Whether it’s a routine visit to the vet, a weekend getaway, or even a trip to the shops, there are countless reasons why we may need to transport our pets by car. When doing so, it’s crucial to prioritise their safety and security.

International automotive retailer Group 1 Automotive has detailed five tips to safely and securely transport your pets in vehicles and issued a warning that not complying with the rules of the road could be costly. 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 vehicles.

Group 1 Automotive has worked with Sara Ochoa, veterinarian at The Animal Hospital of West Munroe and co-founder of How To Pets, who discussed common injuries from unsafe journeys and how drivers can prepare.

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.

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 for 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.

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