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March vets give advice on keeping your pets safe while travelling

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The monthly Pet Subject column, with Laura Dickens of Amical Veterinary Centre in March.

On January 2 we saw National Pet Travel Safety Day. Therefore in this month’s column, let’s discuss ways to keep our animals safe when travelling.

Rule 58 of the Highway Code deals with travelling with pets and 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. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

National Pet Travel Safety Day (54001146)
National Pet Travel Safety Day (54001146)

Therefore, all cats must be secured within travel baskets or crates. Dogs need to be restrained using the boot with a guard across the opening to the rear of the car, a seat belt restraint or a travel crate. Ideally the seat belt restraint should be fastened to a harness and not a collar to prevent neck injury in the event of a collision.

They should never travel on the lap of a front passenger – the safest seat for your dog is on the back seat. Also, consider having a basic First Aid bag in your car, not just for the humans in your family, but for your pet also. Simple things include a bottle of sterile saline wash, cotton wool, antiseptic (hibiscrub) and gauze dressings.

If travelling on trains, then ensure that dogs are wearing a well fitted harness and use a short lead so that they are safely restrained.

Ensure all animals are microchipped and that your details are correct and up to date.

If you are taking your pet on holiday, ensure that your holiday insurance policy covers them.

Travel sickness? Travel your pet on an empty stomach, but if nausea persists then please do seek medical advice from your veterinary surgeon as there are many things that can be done to help.

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