Battersea has issued a warning after discovering dog owners have been unwittingly breaking the rules when travelling in a car with their pets.
The animal rescue centre is urging drivers toproperly restrain their dogs while driving so they cannot cause injure to the driver, or themselves, if they need to stop suddenly.
Under the Highway Code, motorists can be slapped with a heavy fine of up to £5,000 and points on their licence for failing to secure an animal in a car while it is moving.
Ignoring the rules could also invalidate their car and pet insurance, preventing them from issuing a successful claim if they get into an accident on the roads.
According to a new study, undertaken by Battersea in partnership with CarStore, more than two thirds of drivers aren’t aware of the current rules surrounding car travel with dogs .
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Driving with a pet against the Highway Code could invalidate your insurance
Rob Bays, canine behaviour and training manager at Battersea, said: "With the good weather returning, many families may be looking to travel with their dogs during their staycations and Battersea wants to ensure dog owners have the right knowledge before embarking on a car journey with their pets.
"When in the car with your dog, it’s important that they are comfortable in their environment to reduce stress and anxiety, so familiarising your pet with your vehicle before embarking on a long journey will help them get used to travelling.
"It’s also important to ensure they are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you’re driving or injure you, or themselves, if you need to stop suddenly.
"A seat belt harness, pet carrier, pet crate or guard are all suitable ways to travel safely with your pet.”
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