A large number of dogs love to travel and the majority of pets require a trip in the car at some point, therefore, ensuring the safety of these journeys is vital. The importance and most obvious reason for following safety guidelines are to prevent not only your pets but other passengers from harm just like we do with ourselves by strapping ourselves in. By planning you can ensure every journey is made safe and comfortable for everyone!

Why pets need to be restrained in car?

Ensuring your dog is restrained during any car ride is the most important step to travelling safely. Unrestrained pets that are hopping around the vehicle can be a huge distraction as well as them being a risk to themselves and others in a crash; therefore you need must keep all pets restrained while you focus on driving.

How to restrain your pet?

There are several different methods to help restrain your dog during a car journey, the most effective ways include:

  • Feeding your pet: Before a car, ride feed your pet a light meal a few hours before you set off giving them time to digest. This reduces any chance of pet sickness and helps prepare for the journey.
  • Take breaks: If taking your pet on a long journey you must ensure to take several breaks along to way. This will allow them to stretch their legs and have a drink which keeps them restrained.
  • Keep them cool: It is very important to be aware of your pet's temperature as cars warm up very quickly. Ensure to use air conditioning or open a window to keep your pets cool.
  • Don’t let dogs still their head out the window: Please ensure you do not allow your dog to do this as it can be very dangerous and lead to potential injuries or road disruption. 
  • Prepare your car: Pack a travel kit for your pet including food, water, medications and bowls. It may also be useful to bring your pet’s health records and a pet first-aid kit. Remember pets consuming water from an unknown source can lead to an upset stomach. 

​There are also a variety of purchasable items to assist keeping your pet restrained in a car which include:

  • Pet seat belts: Using pet seat belts will prevent your pet from moving around the car which can cause distraction while you drive.
  • Crates and carriers: A carrier that’s been strapped to the seat with a seatbelt is the safest way for your pet to travel. Ensure the career is a sufficient size for your pet to stand up, lie down and sift around
  • Boot/luggage guards: These guards can be used to protect passenger in an accident however please be aware your pet won’t be protected from this.

A key Highway Code message from the UK government states “a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars”. The advice proposes how these are the safest and most appropriate methods to restrain your dog in a vehicle and alerts the importance of selecting the approach that suits your pet the best

MINI in Partnership with Dogs Trust

Here at Williams we’re paw-sitively passionate about pooches and this is why we’re on a mission to help the nation’s dogs travel happier. We have partnered up with Dogs Trust, the incredible dog welfare charity, in order to stimulate this mission. Visit the Dogs Hub to explore our helpful, expect tips and guidance on travelling around with dogs directly from our Dogs Trust specialists.

Want to see what happened when we kicked off our partnership with Dogs Trust, and some very excited hounds? Fetch the film below.