A large number of UK motorists are unaware that failing to safely restrain a pet in their vehicle while driving could result in fines of up to £5,000.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly”.
Although there is no direct penalty for driving with an unrestrained pet, you can face charges of driving without due care or attention if you fail to safely and securely restrain your pet while on the road.
The Highway Code recommends that you use pet carriers, seat belt harnesses, dog cages or dog guards as ways of restraining animals in vehicles. Lets cover the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions.
One of our favourite picks out of every suitable restraint is the dog crate. There is a range of advantages that come with a pet crate but this is determined by a few factors, the main one being the space available and the breed/size of dog you have.
Advantages of Pet Crates
Pet Dog Crates are incredibly practical and offer the safest and most secure form of transport for your beloved pet. Our dog crates are uniquely designed for the comfort and safety of your dog. We ensure this by using a lightweight, impact-resistant, zinc-coated steel crate which features an emergency escape hatch at the top of the crate should it ever be unfortunately required.
We are able to guarantee absolute safety as well as the comfort of your dog because of the unique design of the crate. Each of our pet crates is specially designed to fit your vehicle, utilising all the available boot space to provide your pet with room to move and be comfortable. We also include a removable and stain resistant waterproof base as well as a comfort guaranteed mat, free of charge.
Another major advantage of pet crates is how easy they are to clean compared to other methods. You can simply slide out the waterproof base and wipe/wash it down. Muddy walks and clean cars do not typically go hand in hand but with a pet crate its an issue of the past!
Disadvantages of Pet Crates
As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to different methods.
The biggest sticking point of a pet crate is that if your boot isn’t big enough for your dog, then purchasing a pet crate won’t make any difference. The crate can only be as big as your boot space dimensions. As cool as a lion, witch and the wardrobe style pet crate would be, it’s just not possible.
Although not incredibly expensive, pet crates can often be a tad more expensive than other methods. However, can you really put a price on the safety of your pet?
Car Dog Guards
Dog Guards are designed to restrict your pet from interfering with driver/passengers of the car as well as providing protection from any possible collision by preventing the dog from going through the windscreen. Essentially, they create a safe partition which keeps your dog from jumping around the front seats while giving them the freedom to move around in the back.
Advantages of Car Dog Guards
Dog Guards are a great alternative to crates in a few circumstances, the number one benefit being that your dog will more than likely have to be crate trained in order for them to use the dog crate in a car.
(If you aren’t sure about how to do this check out our blog post guide on how to train your dog or puppy to use a crate)
A dog guard is simply creating a partition between the front or back seats, so your dog will happily jump in and think none the wiser about the environment.
Another benefit is that a dog guard allows your pet a lot more space to move around, if your boot is tight for space you can simply attach the dog guard and front panel to your front seats and let the dog move freely around the back passenger seats.
Dog guards are also typically the cheaper option but as covered in the next paragraph, it’s up to you to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Car Dog Guards
The benefit of a car dog guard can also be the downfall. Allowing your pet space to move around in the bag is great for giving them room and keeping them comfortable. However, if you’re driving back from taking your faithful friend on a muddy walk, this is less than ideal in terms of the mess created.
A dog crate is able to contain the mess to one area as well as providing a nice comfortable washable cover for your dog to lay on, a dog guard doesn’t offer the same luxury.
A dog guard is also unable to provide the same level of protection against any possible crash or collision, compared to a dog crate which are impact tested to protect your beloved pet.
In conclusion, the choice pretty much boils down to dog size, vehicle size and personal preference in the end but I hope we have helped to provide some clarity on the differences between the two.