Ok...time for a quick rant. I cannot cope when I see people driving around with the windows down, dogs head & shoulders hanging out of said window wearing NO restraint!!! "Oh but my dog likes hanging out of the window" yes but this doesn't mean it's safe! It is by far one of my biggest pet peeves. Do you know that you can be fined £100 on the spot if your pet is seen distracting you whilst driving and insurance companies will not pay out (or pay out considerably less) in the event of a crash if its discovered that your pet was not properly restrained. Not only that, if you brake harshly where do you think your dog is going to go? Straight through the windscreen that's where. You tube has safety videos, I urge you to watch them. Get your puppy used to travelling in the part of the car where he/she will travel when older. As tempting as it is, it's not a good idea to travel with your puppy on your lap, not only is it not safe but it'll make your puppy think that that's his or her permanent seat!
So how should your dog be transported?
There are a few different options which I will now talk you through.
Easy peezy and low cost. Seatbelts attach into the seatbelt lock and have a clip at the opposite end which attaches to your dog's harness. They are adjustable. Seatbelts must NEVER be attached to a collar as a car crash would most likely result in your dog getting its neck broken. Not a nice thought and easily prevented. Make sure your dog is wearing a suitable harness to be attached to the seatbelt. The RAC specialise in these.
2. Seat Hammocks
I recommend these to be used in conjunction with seatbelts. Hammocks clip onto the back of the front seat head rests and the front of the rear seat headrests thus creating a hammock. There are waterproof and help to keep your car seats clean. They are useful for putting a barrier up to protect your dog from falling into the footwells or getting through the space in-between the front seats.
3. Boot Guards
A simple yet effective safety measure to keep your dog from jumping around the car. Boot guards are very easy to source and all available for all shapes and sizes of car. A word of warning, upon opening your boot, unless the dog is also restrained inside or he or she has very good staying power until the next command is given, the chances are he/she will try to jump out before the boot is fully open!
Cages come in all shapes and sizes and are in my opinion, the safest means of travel. In the event of a car crash and your doors open (either on impact or by the emergency services), it is less likely that your dog will escape and either get itself injured or cause another crash. They are easy to set up and install/remove from your vehicle should you choose to do so. Cage dividers and cages with double doors are available for those with more than 2 dogs.
Transporting Dogs and The Law
Motorists could recieve a £100 on the spot fine if they are seen to be distracted by their dog whilst driving. Failure to pay this could result in a court case and a maximum fine of £5000. If your in an accident, most insurance policies will not cover a motorist who is found driving with an unrestrained pet.