Dog Health

keeping your dog safe while travelling

Twelve Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe While Travelling

By | Dog Health, MIMSafe Blog

With over 30 years of experience in the functional design and manufacture of safety products for the automotive industry, we are specialists in every aspect of the safe transportation of pets. We focus not only on keeping your dog safe while travelling, but also on the safety of the driver and passengers.

keeping your dog safe while travelling

We build features into many of our pet transportation products that help with keeping your dog safe while travelling, as well as making journeys a more comfortable experience, but however your pets may be travelling, the one thing to always remember is to NEVER leave your dog unattended in a vehicle in hot weather. We would also advise against leaving your dog in your vehicle for extended lengths of time whatever the weather. The rise of dog theft in the UK in recent years has meant that we all need to be more aware of our pet’s safety and in the colder winter months, dogs can get too cold in vehicles when left for even small amounts of time.

Aside from these important safety factors, the following tips will make every journey with your pet easier and even safer:

  1. Always keep a mat or travel bed in your crate to make the journey more comfortable for your dog and to make him feel more secure.

  2. If your dog travels in your boot or cargo area, use a mat or boot liner with a 2 to 3 inch lip to protect carpets and keep spills and other accidents contained.

  3. Take a loading ramp, especially if your dog is injured or old, making it easier for him to get in and out of the vehicle.

  4. Carry a pet-friendly guide book, with tips on hotels, B&B’s, pet-friendly parks, beaches and other exercise areas. You can also look up dog-friendly pubs and restaurants to avoid having to leave your pet in the car unattended.

  5. Collar ID tag. Always ensure that your dog has all the correct, up to date details on their collar ID tag, with a mobile number so that people can reach you if he goes missing while you are away from home.

  6. Carry your pet’s favourite biscuits, treats and toys. Dogs are much likely to come back to you in new places while investigating interesting new smells if they know that they will receive their favourite treat as a reward.

  7. A water bowl and water. There are many types of water bowl available on the market including no-spill version for car travel, collapsible versions when space is an issue or resealable versions to keep water fresh. And don’t forget to carry a full container of water at all times in case you break down or are delayed.

  8. Dog towels – always handy for wet, muddy walks, an unexpected swim or to deal with spillages or accidents. Also, always carry plastic bags & cleaning supplies in case anyone has a stomach upset, rolls in something unpleasant, eats something they shouldn’t or has an “accident”.

  9. Ensure that you always have a photo of your pet with you or on your phone. If your pet gets lost, you will be able to show people who offer to help you search for him.

  10. Leads – this sounds obvious but don’t forget the dog’s leads! Even if you don’t think your pet will be leaving the car, it’s better to be prepared in case of the unexpected!

  11. For extra safety, train your dog not to leap out of the car as soon as you open the door to his crate. Ensure that he gets used to the door being opened and that he waits while you put on his lead. Doing this and rewarding him with his favourite treat before you let him jump out is a good way of training him to stay safe.

  12. Take regular breaks. On long journeys, plan to stop every couple of hours to give your dog some water and allow him to have a bit of exercise and go to the toilet if he needs to do so.

Most importantly, keep everyone in your family, both pets and humans, safe. Invest in their safety by using a fully crash tested, crush-proof pet restraint that, in the event of an accident, will protect everyone. There are no pet transportation standards and many pet restraints are not tested and will not stand up to the forces of an impact.

Dog in hot car

What Can You Do If You See A Dog In A Hot Car?

By | Dog Health

Dogs die in hot cars. Astoundingly, people either don’t know this or do not take appropriate care of their dogs and every year dogs are found in hot vehicles, suffering or worse.

Dog in hot carPeople still believe that it is ok to leave a dog with windows left open or if they are parked in the shade, but the reality is that it’s still very dangerous for the dog. People often expect that they will only be a few minutes but get held up or bump into someone they know and are much longer than they originally planned. When the outside temperature is 22 degrees, the inside of a vehicle can reach 47 degrees within an hour.

People need to be reminded that it is NEVER safe to leave dogs in vehicles in hot weather, whatever the circumstances.

So what can you do if you see a dog in a hot car?

There are two scenarios to be aware of:

1. If the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke

Signs of heatstroke in dogs include:

• Heavy panting
• Excessive drooling
• Lethargy, drowsiness or a lack of coordination
• Collapse
• Vomiting

If the dog is showing any signs of heatstroke call 999 immediately.

If the police are unable to attend straight away and you need to break into the car to release the dog, be aware that this could be classed as criminal damage. You have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the vehicle would consent if they knew the reason for doing so.

To ensure that you are protected as much as possible:

1. Tell the police what you intend to do and why.
2. Take pictures or video of the dog
3. Gather names & contact details of witnesses

Once you have removed the dog, the following advice will help him/her to recover:

• Move him/her into the shade
• Douse the dog with cool (not cold) water or use wet towels to cool him/her
• Offer small amounts of water at a time
• Continue to douse the dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle
• Stop if the dog starts to shiver

2. If the dog isn’t showing signs of heatstroke

  • Try and establish how long the dog has been left ( “pay & display” tickets may help)
  • Note the car’s registration
  • If the circumstances allow, ask venue staff to make an announcement asking the owner to return to their vehicle
  • Stay with the dog
  • Call 999 immediately if their condition deteriorates and follow the guidance above

If the owner returns before the dog is distressed but you feel the situation was dangerous for the dog, you can report the incident to the police.

Help keep dogs safe this summer.

(Advice taken from the RSPCA)