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Pet travel and transportation

 

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Safety restraints for your pets could save their lives.

If you are involved in a car accident whilst transporting an unrestrained animal it could be seriously hurt, or injure other occupants of the vehicle. 

Travelling at 30mph (48kmh) an animal weighing 50lb (23kg) will be propelled forward with an equivalent force to nine 12stone (76kg) men. Pets which are not restrained during car journeys can also be the cause of road accidents by distracting the driver.

If something should startle your pet however well behaved it may be it could jump to the drivers lap or feet increasing the risk of car accidents.

If you are unfortunate enough to have been involved in a road accident an unrestrained pet could escape and run into the road and be hit by another vehicle, or cause others to have an accident, or attack people who may be trying to help.

When travelling with your pets always ensure that they are safely secured in a pet carrier, a seatbelt harness, a travel cage or behind a dog guard, the pets needs should determine the most suitable restraint. Pet Carriers are suitable for cats, small dogs and other similar sized pets.

They should be secured using a seatbelt or by wedging them into a foot well. Under no circumstances should they be placed in the boot of a saloon car where they could suffocate, and as with hatchback and estate boots they will not be secured and will be thrown around, especially in an accident. Seatbelt harnesses are suitable for medium and large dogs, one which fixes to the vehicles integral seatbelts is usually best.

They should go around the dogs chest, back and shoulders and be fixed to the vehicles own fastened seatbelts. When purchasing a harness ensure that it is suitable for your dogís weight and size and fits correctly not allowing your pet to become tangled up. Wide restraining straps are best as if you are involved in an accident the animalís weight is distributed across a larger part of your animalís body. Travel cages are suitable for larger animals including dogs, but you should ensure that it is the correct size for your pet. Cages can usually be secured to anchor points in the boot of hatchbacks or estates but again should not be used in the boot of saloon cars. In the car, seatbelts should secure the travel cage, not forgetting to allow good ventilation so your pet can breathe. Dog guards keep your pet away from the driver but will not protect it in a car accident. If you are required to transport a pet in an emergency, perhaps because it is injured, a sports bag or shopping bag may be used providing it is big enough, and allows it to breathe normally. These bags s

hould be secured using the vehicles seatbelts. If you need to transport a dog on an open backed vehicle it should be in a suitable cage that is secured to the vehicle. This stops it being thrown or leaping off the vehicle, and should help to stop objects blowing into the animalís eyes, ears and mouth. Pets should be in their carriers before you reach the vehicle, apart from dogs which should be taken to and from the vehicle on their lead before being secured.

Always use the door on the pavement side for entering and exiting the vehicle. If you are involved in accident whist transporting your pet always be sure it has calmed down and that you are in safe surroundings before removing it from its carrier.

If the accident is serious call a vet. Don't transport your pet where an active airbag could go off. Don't let your pet put it's head out of the window.

Is your pet covered by insurance if you need to make a car accident claim? The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) provides advice on many kinds of road safety issues.

 














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