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Choosing the right animal transport

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Most pets aren’t keen travellers. But there are safe ways to make a journey easier for both you and your pet.

dog in a carry case

When driving with a pet in the car, getting the right animal transport is essential to keeping you and your furry friend safe.

According to our research, one in 10 drivers have had an accident or near miss caused by driving with a pet that hasn't been restrained correctly for the journey. 

And two thirds of drivers with pets don't realise that letting pets travel loose in the car could affect your insurance if an accident occurs. 

Preparations

If you and your pet are off on a long adventure, it's important to help them to prepare for it. 

Cats and rabbits in particular should be confined in carrying cases. It's a good idea to let them spend some time exploring the carrying case before you set off, just so it feels familiar. 

For dogs, there are special safety harnesses that act like seat-belts to make travelling in a car a safer experience for your dog. Ease them in by going on short journeys before setting off on a lengthy trip. 

If you introduce your pet to its travelling restrictions slowly, a carrying case or harness can feel like a comfortable and safe place to be when they’re on the road.

Dogs

maltese in a car harness

For it's own safety, a dog should be restrained when travelling in a car. If the car stops suddenly, your dog could be injured just like any other passenger.

It's also important that dogs are secured, so they don’t distract the driver. A car harness is an option here - these secure your dog by using the car seat belt.

Measure your dog so you get the right size harness, and check you've fitted it properly before setting off. This'll help make the journey as comfortable as possible for your pet.

Travelling crates and containers are also a popular way to transport a faithful friend. It's a good idea to make sure your dog has enough room to sit and stand up at full height, turn around easily and lie down in a natural position.

It’s important that dogs are able to clearly see out of the container, and there should be plenty of ventilation. 

Make your dog as comfy as possible by putting some bedding in the container or crate. 

Cats

Kitten in case

It can be dangerous to have cats loose in the car. If a cat's left to wander round the car, he or she can easily distract the driver and cause accidents. 

So if you’re driving your cat anywhere, or taking it on a bus or train, it needs to be housed in a suitable carrier.

This should be a secure box with a solid base, so that if the cat is sick or urinates on the journey, there isn’t any mess. It also needs to be well-ventilated. 

There’s a wide range of carriers on the market, from wicker to fibre-glass, plastic and plastic-coated wire mesh. 

It’s best to avoid the cheapest carriers made of cardboard, as they won’t last.This can work out more expensive in the long run.

Line the base with absorbent paper and take some spare bedding along. If you sit the case on your lap, if you’re not driving, you’ll be able to see your pet and keep it calm on the journey.

Rabbits

two bunnies

Rabbits also need to be safely kept in a cat-carrying case when they’re travelling. 

If it’s an emergency and you don’t have a cat-carrying case, you could move a rabbit in a cardboard box as long as you make enough holes for ventilation. 

When returning a rabbit to its home, you should lower in it's hind legs first. This makes it impossible for the rabbit to kick out and scratch you.

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