Forty-seven per cent  of dog owners targeted in a poll for Direct Line Insurance admitted that they drove with their dog unrestrained in the vehicle.

Forty per cent of those asked also allowed their dogs to stick their head out of the window while the vehicle was moving. As a result, 28 per cent of those dogs were injured. 

Veterinary nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, Madeline Pike said: “Securing your dog helps to prevent injuries or avoidable distractions.

“While it may be tempting to have your beloved pooch enjoy the ride in the front seat or freely in the car, dogs should always be secured whether that is using a seat belt, dog guard or pet carrier, and usually keeping them in the backseat or boot.”

The highway code stipulates that all animals must be restrained so the driver cannot be injured or distracted while driving.  Where there are distractions, the driver is not able to steer correctly, or their focus is taken away from the road.

While breaking the Highway Code does not carry a direct penalty, the police can issue a fine up to £200 and issue a fixed penalty notice carrying up to nine penalty points.

Madeline added: “It is really important that owners are looking out for their pet’s wellbeing, as well as other road users. Securing dogs and other animals properly can help prevent injury, potential collisions and keep attention on the roads.”

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