Sussex dog owners could be breaking the law

Do you know the law?
Do you know the law?

Half of Sussex dog owner drivers could be breaking the law.

That is according to a study by Dogs Trust, which revealed that 15 per cent of dog owners regularly travel with their dog unrestrained in the passenger seat of their car.

The charity said 12 per cent even place their pooch in their lap whilst at the wheel.

Dr Rachel Casey, director of canine behaviour and research for Dogs Trust said: “Dogs are such an important part of people’s lives so it’s understandable that owners want to take them out and about with them.

“However, our survey shows many people don’t know the safest way to travel with their dogs and some are even unwittingly breaking the law by letting their dogs roam around the car whilst they are on the move.

“Fortunately, Dogs Trust Dog School is on hand to provide some handy tips on the best way to make your bank holiday trip with your pooch as smooth as possible.”

The survey revealed that half of dog owners in the region who drive with their dogs in the car are unaware that they are breaking the law.

The highway code says drivers must suitably restrain their dog whilst driving.

Here are some of the charity’s top tips for taking your pet on car trips:

There is a legal obligation for dogs to travel safely and they must be secured and not in the front of the car.

Dogs should be secured within the boot with a guard blocking access to the car passenger interior or within a crate/cage securely positioned within the boot or, if you use a harness for your dog, ensure that it is appropriately sized and correctly fitted. The dog should travel on the back seat and the harness should be secured to the seat belt attachment

If your dog is getting used to car travel, place something that smells very much of you/your dog in with him to help him feel secure – blanket/bed/pillow cases etc. – as the smell of this can give comfort and reassurance

For more information, visit: www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/dog-school/