Most Land Rover owners seem to be dog lovers too and will take their dogs out in their vehicle at some stage. It could be a trip to the vet, across the fields to check the cattle, or even out to the next-door neighbour’s farm shoot! As dog owners ourselves we always recommend you apply common sense and care when travelling with your 4 legged friends. It can be dangerous for dogs and passengers if you do not restrain them appropriately whilst travelling.
What is the law when driving with dogs in cars?
Are you aware of Rule 57 of the Highway Code? It states that drivers are responsible for making sure dogs (or other animals) are suitably restrained in a vehicle so they can’t distract or injure you, or themselves during an emergency stop.
There’s a good reason for this. A 32kg dog, such as a Labrador, will be thrown forward in a 30mph crash with such a force that it would weigh the equivalent of 100kg – a phenomenon safety experts call ‘canine cannonball’.
How do you travel with your dog?
According to research, more than a quarter of owners fail to adequately secure their pets before setting off on a car journey. Vets have witnessed several dangerous restraints being used by some owners, including passengers simply holding the animal on their lap (yes that is not safe!), putting them in a cardboard box and even putting a chain or rope around its neck!
The Highway Code, states a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guards are the most appropriate ways of restraining dogs in cars. Not only is it safer for your dog to be secured in the back of the vehicle it also protects your Land Rover’s interior from getting dirty.
Here are three of JGS4x4’s best selling dog guards:
If you have an old or heavy dog who cannot jump into the back of your Land Rover it may be worth investing in a foldable dog ramp for easy access.
Things to consider when travelling with your dog
Always carry water
Cars can get hot even when they’re moving, and dogs may become dehydrated on long trips. You can buy travel water bowls to ensure a drink is always on-hand.
Make regular stops on long rides
If you intend to be in the car for a long time, be sure to plan your journey so you can make plenty of stops. Your dog will appreciate being able to stretch their legs, enjoy a drink and some fresh air and go to the toilet.
Use window shades
While these are designed for babies and young children, your dog may also benefit as they help keep cars cool and block out direct sunlight.
Drive to fun places
If your dog only ever goes in the car to visit the vet, he may associate it with distress rather than entertainment. Be sure to travel to places he loves visiting, too.
Remember your dog is not only your pet but often your loyal best friend – so look after them and travel with them safely!