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Safe and hound: dog-loving Brits spend £4,000 a year on pooches but forget kit to keep them safe in cars

New research* by ŠKODA UK has revealed that Britain’s dog lovers spend more than £4,000 per year on their pet, but just half safely secure their dog on every car journey.

To mark International Dog Day on 26th August, ŠKODA, in partnership with BorrowMyDoggy – a national organisation that connects dog owners with trusted local people to help take care of their dogs – is highlighting how simple solutions can help keep dogs safe on the move.

Of the estimated 9.6 million dog owners** in the UK, ŠKODA research revealed more than seven million travel with their dog in the car at least once a week. However, just 51% said they always correctly secured their dog while driving, with 14% only doing it some of the time and 9% admitting that they have never secured their dog safely in the car.

The nation’s dog owners spend an average of £4,087.20 on their pooches, with food, pet insurance and edible treats the main outlay, but are risking doubling this cost for not securing pets safely when on the move. Nearly half (44%) are unaware of current laws around travelling with a dog in the car which can lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and invalid insurance.

According to the Highway Code, dogs need to be suitably secured so they avoid distracting the driver and to prevent injury in the case of a sudden stop.

The ŠKODA dog study revealed 12% of owners let their dogs sit on their lap or even on the dash (9%) while driving, while some let their dogs move freely around the car. This figure was even more pronounced among younger drivers (18-24 years old), with over a quarter (27%) letting their dog sit on their lap while driving.

In total, 68% of drivers said they drove more carefully with their dog in the car, though nearly a quarter (24%) said they found themselves to be more stressed.

ŠKODA has teamed up with BorrowMyDoggy to give tips to dog-lovers on the best way to travel in the car with a dog:

  1. Keep dogs on a lead when getting in and out of a car
  2. Securely fasten your dog in the car with a harness or in-car carrier
  3. Keep toys, food and water on-hand, for example in the glovebox
  4. In-car dog accessories make travelling much more secure and comfortable, such as the ŠKODA rear-seat dog hammock
  5. Extras like blankets and dog beds can help to keep a dog calm and relaxed
  6. Take regular breaks for fresh air and to allow your dog to stretch their legs (and yourself)
  7. Never leave your dog in the car on a warm day, even if you have parked in the shade

 

When thinking about their car, dog owners said that the most important aspects were firstly that it should be easy for the dog to get in and out (60%), followed by good boot size (51%), interior space (44%) and durable materials (43%).

Combined with ŠKODA’s extensive range of dog accessories, the KAMIQ – and entire ŠKODA range – ensures dog owners can rest easy knowing they have a spacious and practical car that keeps their dog safe and comfortable on every journey, with enough clever storage spaces for the extra items that are needed when travelling with pets.

For further information visit www.skoda.co.uk/discover/driving-with-dogs

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