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Drivers risk being slapped with a hefty £5,000 fine if they break key pet rule this summer


The pet furniture company Lords and Labradors has warned motorists to take care of their animals when they go for a ride in the car, or else they could face significant fines.

With the summer months approaching, more families are getting ready to take longer journeys to visit loved ones and go on holiday, in many cases taking their dogs with them.

Johanna Buitelaar-Warden suggested that, whilst dogs may enjoy the fresh air, sticking their heads out the window could lead to them getting dust in their eyes.

She advised: “Now, most dog owners will know how much they enjoy the fresh breeze, new smells and faces as they smile headfirst out of a moving vehicle. However, this goes against the law.

“Not only are owners neglecting their duty to suitably restrain their dog if they allow it to hang their head out the window, but the potential that dust and debris from the road will blow into your dog’s eye, which is a sure way for a trip to the vets.”

According to the Highway Code, animals such as dogs must always be secured when travelling in a vehicle, typically by a seatbelt, safety harness or specialist pet carrier.

Making sure that pets are restrained will help to prevent them from leaping toward the driver, potentially causing an accident and can help them to stay calm on road trips.

Drivers who are found travelling in a vehicle with an unsecured pet could face fines of up to £5,000 and points on their licence, which could in turn raise their future insurance prices.

Johanna also warned drivers to never leave their pets alone in a vehicle for a considerable period of time, particularly in hotter climates.

She added: “Although it’s not illegal to leave your dog unattended in a car, any owner is highly advised against doing so.

“Cars heat up extremely quickly, particularly in the summer months, which can be detrimental for your pet. Ultimately, owners are legally responsible for the welfare or their pet. Therefore, if an owner is found to be neglecting its health, they may be reported and prosecuted against.”

According to the RSPCA, dogs who are stuck in a car on a hot day could begin to suffer from heatstroke in as little as six minutes.

As a result, it is important to avoid leaving animals alone in a car for more than a few moments, partially opening the window to help reduce the temperature.

Whilst on the move, the pet expert also suggested maintaining a good flow of air, either from the windows or the air conditioning system, and making sure that the dog has plenty of food and water.

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