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Why you could be fined for driving with your pets in the car; You could be fined and get penalty points on your license.

Byline: Carmella de Lucia

Pet owners are being urged to put safety first and plan ahead when travelling with their animals.

Your furry friends may often be a regular passenger in your car, especially on long journeys, but did you know that if they're unrestrained in your vehicle you could be in for a hefty fine and points on your license?

According to Rule 57 of the Highway Code, a dog or other animals must be suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you or themselves if you stop quickly.

If this is not the case, motorists could be penalised for driving without due care and attention, an offence which carries a fine of up to [pounds sterling]5,000 and up to nine penalty points if the case goes to court.

Other drivers could be banned and made to retake their test again.

Bizarre laws travellers need to know before heading abroad

Experts are now urging owners to use suitable restraints including harnesses for dogs, pet guards for larger, active dogs and cages or carriers for smaller animals.

LeaseCar.uk has issued some tips on how you can make the journey as safe as possible when travelling with animals.

Tim Alcock from the company said: "Travelling with your pet can be stressful, especially if they become anxious or suffer from motion sickness.

"These tips have been put together to help make the journey as easy as possible for both your animal and you. Preparing them ahead of the trip with a long walk and a light meal will get you off to a good start.

"Once the journey is underway, it's important to make sure your pet is safe, and you adhere to the guidance set out in the Highway Code. Also remember to have plenty of stops, keep water in the car with your pet and make sure they don't overheat.

"And when you finally reach your destination, let them run or take them on a good long walk."

Before you start your journey

Go for a walk

Take your pet for a long walk before you head off on your travels to burn off excess energy. They're more likely to spend the journey relaxing if they're worn out.

Feeding

Feed your pet two hours before travel -- they travel better on an empty stomach and it reduces the risk of travel sickness. Also make sure there's water in the car in a spill proof bowl.

On the journey

Keeping your pet safe

Make sure you stick to the rules in the Highway Code and keep your pet safe by using restraints. Harnesses are great for dogs. For larger, more active dogs, try a pet guard which can turn the boot into a dedicated pet area. For smaller pets, consider investing in a carrier, crate or cage.

Breaks

Remember to take plenty of breaks on the journey for toilet stops and exercise, especially if you're travelling a long way. And remember to keep your pet on a lead when you take them out of the car.

Window Shades

Invest in some window shades to help keep the car cool and block out direct sunlight. This will make the journey more comfortable for your pet.

Keep your pet relaxed

Journeys can be stressful to pet, so try and make them as happy and relaxed as possible. This could be as simple as their favourite toy or a blanket from home.

Cooling down

Don't let your pet hang out of the window to cool down. Not only is this illegal, they could injure themselves. Instead turn on the air conditioning and open windows furthest from your animal.

Breakdown

If you breakdown while travelling with your pet, don't let them out unless it safe to do so and make sure you keep them on a lead.

When you arrive

Let them free

As soon as you arrive and it's safe, give your pet a chance to stretch their legs and run around.

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Title Annotation:What's On
Publication:Chester Chronicle (Chester, England)
Date:May 26, 2019
Words:690
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