In more than 40% of Spanish households there is a pet and many times they even accompany the family when they go on vacation, so ensuring their safety on journeys is important.
Summer is the time of year with the most trips and that is why we must be clear about how we should carry them in our car so that the trip is a success.
How do bring pets in the car?
In this context, the RACE auto club and the Royal Canin pet specialist have carried out a survey among more than 1,300 drivers, collected in the Companion Animals and Road Safety report, who usually carry pets in their car to find out their habits, profiles, if they know the regulations and ultimately how they travel with their pets.
47% of owners believe that the legislation is not as clear as it should be with regard to how to take animals on the move, which can generate doubts and risks when placing or restraining our pet inside the vehicle.
Likewise, three out of four drivers are concerned about taking their pet without a restraint system due to the danger it may pose to the rest of the occupants and to the animal itself (67%) and, thirdly, because of the possibility to be fined (50%).
The animal must be accustomed to the restraint system from the first moment.
On the other hand, pet owners do consider the needs of their animals during a trip. Thus, around 57% of drivers rest in suitable areas that allow, for example, the animal to get out of the vehicle and take a short walk or drink water.
The most common is to stop at a service area, something that 78.5% do, which, however, 68% of the point out that they lack adequate spaces for their needs. The most demanded is a closed enclosure to release it safely (56%), and to be able to enter the restaurant area with the pet (31%).
In this context, 4% of drivers traveling with a pet recognize that, at the time of making the stop, they lost control of the animal or it escaped, which is 1% caused a dangerous situation (recognized by owner).
Tips for traveling with animals by car
In fact, according to this report, in Spain, there are more than 100 accidents a year with victims (deceased and injured) caused by the run over of a pet, a figure that rises to more than 4,000 accidents a year with material damage, according to data collected by traffic authorities, which is why a number is estimated well above claims.
Given this situation, RACE and Royal Canin offer ten tips for traveling with animals in the car safely.
The animal should never be carried loose inside the car, as it can impact other occupants in the event of braking or impact. It must be attached to its strap to avoid possible risks.
Choose the appropriate restraint system for the weight and size of the animal. There are several options such as the double anchor restraint harness (with a short and stable connection system), carrier, or the passenger compartment dividers, which must be firm and well anchored to prevent them from coming loose.
Accustom the animal to the restraint system from the first moment, little by little, for example starting with short distances.
Avoid placing objects next to the pet since in the event of an accident they can be thrown, with the consequent danger.
When stopping to rest, be careful when opening the trunk or the car door, since it is common for it to run away and can cause an accident.
Do not leave it inside the car, not even in a shady area or with the windows open.
It is preferable not to feed or drink in the hours before the trip to avoid possible dizziness. At the stops you can take advantage of it to drink, always in small quantities.
Monitor the temperature of the vehicle and ensure adequate ventilation at all times
Do not forget the travel kit that must include your vaccination record and everything you may need at the destination (food, water, drinker or feeder, and bags for your stools, bed, and toys).
If the trip is abroad, the extra documentation that may be required must be taken into account. A health certificate may be required in addition to proof of rabies vaccination.