Dogs sticking their heads out the window should be banned, experts say
26 September 2022, 14:28 | Updated: 26 September 2022, 14:35
An expert has revealed why you should never let your dog stick its head out of car window.
An insurer has said dogs should be banned from sticking their heads out of car windows.
According to new research, almost half of motorists allow their pet to poke their head out of a moving car window, which results in 28 per cent sustaining an injury.
The Direct Line Pet Insurance poll discovered that in the past five years, 18 per cent of motorists who didn’t restrain their dog in the car have had an accident while driving.
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Speaking to The Telegraph, a spokesman for the insurer said: “Is it time to ban dogs putting their heads out of car windows?
“While breaking the Highway Code does not carry a direct penalty, if you are deemed to be distracted and cause careless driving, you could be fined up to £200 on a ‘fixed penalty notice’ by the police, and depending on the severity, up to nine penalty points on a driver’s licence.
"Careless driving penalty points must stay on driving records for four years from the date of the offence.”
Under the Highway Code, drivers must secure their dog - or any other small animal - in a seatbelt harness or a carrier when driving.
Rule 57 of the 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.
"A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”
Dogs Trust has also given advice to owners who are preparing to take their dogs on a car journey for the first time.
A statement reads: "Until they’ve got used to car journeys, dogs may not understand what is happening.
"They may find it confusing, worrying or frustrating when they can see people, other dogs, or traffic through the car windows, and some might bark at what they can see.
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"Others might feel they need to protect the car because it’s valuable to them or is full of valuable things, such as the dog’s family, toys or blanket. If your dog is struggling, then ask for professional help.
"Use treats to reward your dog for simply being in the car. Some dogs can be worried or excited about what might happen when they’re in a small, confined space and find it difficult to relax.
"If they get treats every time they get in the car, they’ll soon really like it in there! Your dog also needs to get used to the sound and movement of the car.
"It’s useful to give them something enjoyable when there is a change in their environment, so when the engine starts give your dog a tasty treat, and another when the car starts moving.
"They’ll soon learn that it’s nothing to worry about as it means good things happen."