When it comes to travelling in a car with children, we couldn’t be more safety conscious. Many of us invest large amounts of money in state-of- the-art car seats, and wouldn’t dare to go as far as even the end of the road without strapping them in.
Sadly we can’t always say the same when it comes to travelling with pets, yet the laws around them are equally as strict. Gone are the days when we could let our prized pooches hang out of the car window with their ears flapping, or have them sitting upfront riding shotgun, as much as they loved it! If you don’t follow Government guidelines, you run the risk of breaking the law, as well as invalidating your car and pet insurance.
Here are a few pointers (if you excuse the pun!) to make sure you keep abreast of the law.
Keeping your pet secure in the vehicle
When travelling with a pet, the rules state that they must not be able to:
- Distract you when you are driving. If you have an accident and it is deemed to be because you were distracted by a pet, then you are likely to invalidate your car insurance.
- Injure you or themselves if you have to make an emergency stop. Failure to do so will almost certainly invalidate your pet insurance if your pet needs medical help.
- Escape if you and your passengers have to quickly exit the vehicle.
The general advice is to make sure your pet is well secured within your vehicle by either buying a crate (that is fixed and cannot move) or, if you have a larger animal, fitting a barrier that can be securely attached to the internal framework of the car – usually between the boot and the rear passenger seats.
Keeping your pet comfortable
Keeping your pet secure can end up being stressful for them, and you. The guidelines recommend you:
- Make sure they can stand up, lie down comfortably, and turn around easily. They should not be trapped in one position.
- Always travel with plenty of water, allowing them to drink at regular intervals.
- Take regular breaks if on a long journey.
- Don’t let them travel on a full stomach – usually avoid feeding them within two hours of travelling. If you are on a long journey and need to feed them, allow them to walk around after they have eaten, giving them time to digest their food.
- Never leave your pet in the car on their own – especially on a warm or hot day. It’s not uncommon for pets to die in cars.
- Don’t travel if your pet is ill or injured.
- Give them access to their favourite blanket and/ or toy to reduce stress levels.
At PayingTooMuch.com we do more than just find you the best insurance deals. We can help you understand what you are covered (and not covered) for, as well as help you with the application process. What we can’t do though is dig you out of a hole if you have breached the terms of your insurance, so please always read the small print, even if it can be a little bit boring. And please also keep your pets safe.