Your pet could land you a £2,500 fine and nine penalty points on your driving licence

Millions of Brits will be getting away they bank holiday hitting the roads to enjoy a long weekend break. It is estimated that around 22 million journeys will be made across the whole weekend and roads are expected to be more congested than usual. Families will also probably be looking to take their beloved pet away on a day trip apr long weekend, but this could cause some issues. There are around eight million pet dogs in the UK and with 56 per cent of owners stating they enjoy their holiday more when with their dog.

Driving with your dog or cat can be incredibly difficult even if it is just short trip to the vets. Car journeys can be made incredibly stressful as a result and actually put the driver at risk of a fine and points.

Many Brits may not actually know this, but Rule 57 of the Highway Code states animals should be suitably restrained so they cannot cause distraction to drivers.

If a pet is the cause of a road traffic accident, insurers will be unlikely to pay out.

Travelling with an unrestrained pet would warrant drivers to be pulled over and charged for driving without due care and attention – carrying a fine of up to £2,500 and nine penalty points.

The team at CarShop has revealed some top tips when driving with your pet:

 Safety advice for travelling in the car with your pet

1. Ensure pets are strapped in the back seat and away from any airbags that could cause harm.

Dogs should wear a harness which can be clipped into the seat belt fastener and should be placed behind the passenger seat, NOT the driver’s seat so no distractions can occur.

Cats, hamsters and other pets should travel in a cage that can be strapped in securely with a seatbelt. 

2. If pets are anxious travellers, make them feel more comfortable by bringing familiar surroundings such as their favourite toys, chews, blankets and bedding.

If they live in a small enough cage, bringing the whole thing should limit restlessness. Anything that smells like a pet’s owner or their home will chill them out.

3. Try not to feed pets within two hours of a journey to minimise car sickness and upset stomachs. However, if the journey will take quite a few hours then make sure there is food stocked in the car especially for smaller pets such as hamsters.

4. When taking dogs on a road trip, preparation is key. Planning journeys in advance and making sure there are plenty of places to stop, nice parks and long walks along the route will make it a much nicer and more relaxing experience for both pet and owner.

Try to regularly take dogs in the car to fun places before a big road trip so that they associate the car with having fun, enabling them to be happier travellers.

5. Use sun shades on windows in warm weather and be sure to always carry plenty of water so there is no chance of animals overheating. NEVER leave a pet in a car on their own – even in cooler temperatures.

Make sure windows are open slightly but not enough so that pets could jump or hang their head out as this is extremely dangerous.

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