Millions of Brits will be heading out in their car over the next couple of weeks to drive back home for the Christmas holidays, bringing their beloved pet with them.
However, many could be unknowingly breaking the law by transporting their dog or cat in their vehicle unsafely, which could lead to a steep £5,000 fine.
According to findings from The AA, 19 million people are expected to get behind the wheel this Friday (December 21st) alone, whether to finish their festive shopping or start their trip to see friends and family, the Daily Mail reported.
However, many of those hitting the road on the busiest traffic day of the season might not be aware of the laws regarding driving with pets.
The Dogs Trust revealed that 2.5 million Brits are not aware they are breaking the Highway Code by not restraining their pooch while in the car. While 44 per cent do not harness their dog in the vehicle, as much as a quarter admitted they find their furry friends distracting.
A shocking five per cent even said they play with their dogs and take selfies with them while on the move, putting both their own and their animal’s life at risk.
Director of canine behaviour and research for the Dogs Trust Dr Rachel Casey stated: “Dogs are such an important part of people’s lives so it’s understand that owners want to take them out and about with them.”
However, she went on to say the survey showed a significant number of people are “unwittingly breaking the law by letting their dogs roam around the car whilst they are on the move”.
If you want to bring your pet with you to visit loved ones this Christmas, remember to stick to the Dogs Trust’s ‘Houndway Code’. Instead of leaving them unsecured in the car, use a dog crate in the boot or a dog harness.
A great item to bring with you is a foldable travel dog mat that can be used as a portable bed for home, car journeys or friends’ houses.