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Survey highlights danger of unrestrained pets in cars

A survey carried out by Direct Line Pet insurance found that more than 20% of vets have witnessed dogs die as a result of injuries sustained when travelling in a car without proper restraint, and that over 25% of owners never restrain their dog in the car. 

Dogs can also be injured as a result of being poorly restrained in cars, from broken bones to bruising. Some owners travel with their pet sitting on their lap, others allow their pet to roam free in the car. 

Over Christmas, we treated two dogs who had been in a car that was involved in a serious collision, fortunately both survived with only minor injuries. Sadly, the owners/driver of the car had to be cut out of the vehicle and were air lifted to hospital.  The dogs had been in the boot with a barrier to the front of the car, otherwise their injuries would probably have been more severe.  

Another dog presented to us with a broken leg after he'd jumped out of the car window!! 

The Highway code states that, when in a vehicle, owners must make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained to reduce the risk of distraction while driving. Obviously it is also for their own protection! 

Options for restraining your pet include a dog seat belt and harness, a cage or crate, or a barrier between the boot and the back seat. Smaller animals such as cats or rabbits should be transported in a carrier or secure basket. 

For example, Buddy (pictured below) has a car seat belt which attaches to his collar and stops him moving around the car. 

If you would like any help or advice on this, please contact the surgery.