It’s that time of year again – the car is packed to the roof rack with all the things we’ll need for our summer holiday.
And as if that wasn’t enough, as well as a back seat full of children, we’ve got our two four-legged friends to squeeze in somewhere too!
Now there’s nothing more life-affirming than seeing a dog with its head leaning out of the open window of a moving car, with ears flapping and excitedly barking all the way.
But travelling with pets is more complicated than that. And as much as we’d love to let our furry friends take in the air en route, we know we need to keep them safe.
In fact, it’s not just that we’re being sensible – there are rules in the Highway Code that say all dogs or other animals must be suitably restrained inside the vehicle. This is so they can’t distract the driver or injure anyone (or themselves) if the car stops quickly.
And if drivers ignore the rules, they could actually lose their licence or their insurers could refuse to pay out if the worse should happen and you’re involved in an accident.
So we’ll be making sure that as well as everything we need for the family for our trip, our fur babies will be safely secured too.
There are all kinds of options available when it comes to safety precautions – perhaps a seat belt harness, a pet carrier, a dog cage or a dog guard, there’s something to suit everybody.
And we’ll be making sure both Dottie and Luna get a long walk before we set off so they’re more likely to sleep during the journey.
We won’t be feeding them for two hours beforehand either to avoid the predictable consequences!
As well as keeping the car cool during our trip, we’ll be planning the route to include lots of regular breaks – not just for the furry ones, but for the rest of us too!
So rather than having both of them climbing all over the seats – and the family! – Dottie and Luna will get to travel safely, in style, and arrive refreshed ready for their well-earned break.
After all, you’d be insisting your children are safely strapped in, so what’s the difference with your furry friends?