Subaru UK, the AA and Dogs Trust have joined forces and called for pets not to be left in cars as the northern hemisphere heads into summer. It’s a timely reminder for Australian drivers.

THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES travel with their pets in their cars and no doubt we’ve all seen pets left unattended in cars with the windows cracked a few centimetres while the owner goes shopping. Well, there’s a few things you need to consider, or know, before deciding to load your pet into the car particularly during the warmer months.

Research out of the UK suggests that at least one quarter of all pet owners have left their pets unattended in their car. And almost half of pet owners think that, as long as the window is cracked, that it’s okay to leave pets in the car on their own. Wrong.

Research conducted by the Dog’s Trust in the UK, shows that “in reality partially lowering the window has no significant effect on the temperature inside a parked car and less than 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog should its body temperature exceed 41°C”.

And the other thing we’ve seen is too many people travelling with their pets loose in the car. In the same way you wouldn’t travel in a car without your seatbelt on, you shouldn’t let your pet sit unrestrained in the car. And you certainly shouldn’t let them travel sitting on your lap, or the rear parcel shelf – we’ve seen both those things.

According to Max Holdstock, AA Patrol of the Year, says: “Any loose object in the car can become a dangerous projectile in a crash, whether it’s a first-aid kit, golf umbrella or even a pet. Unrestrained in a sudden impact of emergency stop, dogs can become ‘canine cannonballs’ with potentially fatal consequences for both the animal and other passengers – for example, at 48km/h a 32-kilo Labrador or German Shepherd is thrown forward with the force equivalent to being hit by a baby elephant weighing 100 kilos”.

Subaru calls for in-car pet safety

There are plenty of restraints available for dogs of all shapes and sizes. So, make sure you go out and buy one and use it the next time you take your dog for a ride in the car. Restraining your dog could save it and your life in the event of a crash.


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