Safe & Hound: dog-loving Brits spend £4,000 a year on pups but forget low-cost kit to keep them safe in cars

According to new research by ŠKODA UK, just half of dog owners in Britain properly secure their dog in the backseat of every car, despite the fact that they spend more than £4,000 year on their pet.

In honour of International Dog Day on August 26, ŠKODA is emphasising how straightforward fixes may keep pets safe while travelling in collaboration with BorrowMyDoggy, a nationwide organisation that connects dog owners with vetted neighbourhood caregivers.

Over seven million of the projected 9.6 million dog owners in the UK, according to ŠKODA research, take their dog on vehicle rides at least once each week. Only 51% of respondents claimed to always appropriately fasten their dog while driving, 14% only occasionally did so, and 9% acknowledged that they had never done so.

Dog owners in the country spend an average of £4,087.20 a year on their canines, with food, pet insurance, and edible treats being the main expenses. However, they run the risk of tripling this expense by failing to secure their animals when they are travelling. Nearly half (44%) do not know the rules of bringing a dog along in a car, which can result in a £5,000 fine and void insurance.

The Highway Code states that dogs must be properly restrained to avoid distracting the driver and to avoid harm in the event of an abrupt stop.

The ŠKODA dog study found that when driving, 12% of owners allowed their dogs to sit on their laps or even on the dashboard (9%), while some allowed their dogs to roam freely inside the vehicle. Over a quarter (27%) of younger drivers (18 to 24 years old) allowed their dog to sit on their lap while driving, making this statistic even more stark.

While nearly a quarter (24%) of drivers reported feeling more worried, 68% of drivers stated they drove more carefully while their dog was in the car.

ŠKODA and BorrowMyDoggy have partnered to provide dog lovers with advice on how to safely transport a dog in a car:

  • When entering and exiting a vehicle, keep dogs on a leash.
  • Use a harness or in-car carrier to safely attach your dog into the vehicle.
  • Keep water, food, and toys nearby, for instance in the glove box.
  • Traveling with a dog is significantly safer and more enjoyable thanks to in-car attachments, such the KODA rear-seat dog hammock.
  • A dog can stay quiet and relaxed with the addition of blankets and dog beds.
  • Take frequent breaks to get some fresh air and give your dog a chance to stretch their legs (and yourself)
  • Even if you've parked in the shade on a hot day, you should never leave your dog in the car.

Dog owners ranked the ease of getting their dog in and out of the car as the most significant feature, followed by a good boot size (51%), internal room (44%) and durable materials (43%), in that order.

The KAMIQ, along with the full ŠKODA lineup, ensures that dog owners can drive with confidence knowing that their dog will be safe and comfortable on every trip, and that there are enough accessible storage compartments for the extras required when travelling with dogs.