Travelling with Pets

Mar 2, 2013
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Have just come off another Motorhome and Camping forum where the discussion was about how people travel with their dogs in a motorhome. I appear to have created some lively discussion and fortunately a change of attitude in some of the actions that people were taking with regard to securing their pets on a journey. I would be interested in any Funster feedback as to what measures people take to ensure their dogs etc are safe when travelling. The sorts of things coming up were, dogs on passengers lap, unsecured, dogs on their blanket, rear lounge area, unsecured. Dogs in the front passenger footwell, unsecured, virtually everyone missing the point.:Sad:
 

TheBig1

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its been discussed a few times on here, but its always good to remind people. a 10kg dog or other unsecured load can easily kill somebody in a collision by hitting them with a force well in excess of the weight.

personally i secure my three dogs in harnesses clipped into seat belts. i have added 2 extra clips to my van by bolting a double seatbelt clip through the floor. i do it for their safety and ours. as puppies they travelled in a crate clipped to the seatbelts
 
Jan 28, 2013
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Ours has a harness that's used sometimes... But he often lays between the driver and passenger seats up against the bulkhead... In which case............... No harness.

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DuxDeluxe

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I just replied on the subject on FB

You are right about the lack of appreciation. One reason we got the Pilote was the huge lounge area and the fact that we could secure the dog crate to the seats. Not ideal as the dogs aren't secured directly but much better than nothing and they can't go anywhere or distract anyone. In the previous van the dog crate was similarly secured between the dinette seats but very little room so a smaller crate and only room for one dog.
 
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Jul 25, 2010
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Ours both have seat belt adapters that go into the seat belt clips and clip onto harnesses.
 

irnbru

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Mine lies under the dinette table or in between the 2 front seats until we get to near a beach and he must smell the air and get excited. I really should go buy another harness, he has one somewhere but I can't find it.

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Allanm

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We have 2 dogs that travel lying down between the front seats. We tried them in a secured crate but the Labrador cried and whined for hours and it drove us mad, she wasn't too happy either!
I'm afraid safety and sanity dont always go together.
I agree, a 35kg dog flying around inside the van isn't a recipe for safety, but I wonder just how secure the fridge, cooker and microwave are in the event of a serious collision!
Allan
 

plumbomb

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We have three miniature schnauzers, they sleep between the front seats,our Apache doesn't have any rear seats but were of to France later to day and have bought 3 harnesses to try them out.
 

scotjimland

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Surprisingly, The Highway Code only gives advice...

Rules about animals (47 to 58)

57
When in a vehicle[HI] make sure [/HI]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.

In France and Spain it is illegal to have unsecured animals traveling in a vehicle, they must be behind a dog guard, caged or secured. Haven't checked but probably the same for the rest of the EU. (except the UK)

Common sense dictates that having a an unsecured animal in a vehicle is dangerous.. but since when was common sense ever.. common.

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D

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Ours has a harness and seatbelt loop that lets him lie between the cab seats secured to the passenger seatbelt clip
 

laneside

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I keep reading posts in a similar vein and really do wonder if you all set out with the intention of having an accident, remembering that there is almost no such thing as an accident only driver error on some ones part.
 

Wyaye wires

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Two inside the van harnessed and secured to seat belt anchors in between driver and passenger seats. Two in individual cages in the garage. Common sense to ensure the safety and well being of the dogs while travelling.

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Wyaye wires

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I keep reading posts in a similar vein and really do wonder if you all set out with the intention of having an accident, remembering that there is [HI]almost no such thing as an accident only driver error on some ones part.
[/HI]




I fully agree Alan and I'm taking measures to ensure that when someone else makes that driver error my dogs will be safe and secure... ::bigsmile::winky::RollEyes::Cool:
 
Feb 24, 2013
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We don't harness our dog, apart from stopping her moving around I am not quite sure what good it would do in the event of an accident

Lola like a few other dogs on here is a large dog, she lies on the floor behind our seats and only ever gets up to change the side she is laid on maybe twice in a journey

A harness long enough to let her turn round is going to be long enough to let her move at least as far as our seats in the event of a serious accident

I didn't realise that dogs have to be restrained in France and Spain, we have already broken that law, I don't doubt the post, but wonder why we don't have regular posts regarding those police forces stopping and fining UK drivers

I am going to do some research today as to the best way to pin down a 50kg dog in our MH, there are no floor fixing points as far as I recall, best I can think of is a seatbelt attached harness / lead clipped to one of the rear seat belts.

My immediate worry is she will then be laid in the middle of the MH floor rather than up against our seats, and like the Labrador above, I predict some serious 'singing'

This is a serious post and I am genuinely intrigued as to what to do, maybe small dogs that wont stay still are a bigger issue than the sand bag type we have, but the law is the law
 

Billy23

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Yes you do have to secure a dog in a vehicle within Spain, and in most countries I guess you and your passengers have to wear a seat belt.
But reading these posts, I wonder if people wear a seat belt, because it is the law, or because they know it makes sense? If it is the later, then surely-as the animal means a lot to you- it makes sense to make them wear a harness.................doesn't it??

Just a thought!:Smile:

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Sep 5, 2012
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We make the double dinette into a bed and our 3 wear harnesses clipped onto seatbelts, keep reminding OH have room for one more.::bigsmile:
 

gibbon

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Harness

Our dog gets in a bit of state when we first set off and I have to admit that we let him get up and down onto my wife's lap until he settles down a bit. This is obviously unsatisfactory and we are definitely going to source a good fitting harness before we drive down to Cornwall in a couple of weeks.
Especially as some of you have pointed out the legal issues in the EU.
We should really have addressed this before we set off on our recent Scottish highlands & outer Hebrides adventure:Doh:
Oh well better late than never, I just hope he does'nt squeak & whine because of the harness::bigsmile:
 
Feb 24, 2013
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Yes you do have to secure a dog in a vehicle within Spain, and in most countries I guess you and your passengers have to wear a seat belt.
But reading these posts, I wonder if people wear a seat belt, because it is the law, or because they know it makes sense? If it is the later, then surely-as the animal means a lot to you- it makes sense to make them wear a harness.................doesn't it??

Just a thought!:Smile:

I think your point makes great sense, those of us with dogs generally treat them as well as any other member of the family

trouble is though as I see it (before todays research) until I can get Lola to sit up on a seat and use a three point harness, a single point lead attachment will stop her running off in the event of an accident but I am not so convinced on how well she would fare when garrotted by the lead

And worse the harness length may still be long enough when added to her body length for her to still impact with us

I will update here when I have researched options for large dog restraints, remember she is laid on the floor, not sat up right behind me like a 'real' passenger

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Wildman

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An unrestrained dog in a moving vehicle is a killer missile waiting to be fired. Our two are always secured by harness and chain behind the driver and passenger seat.
I have seen dogs on the dashboard and cringe. There should be a law against unrestrained animals in an open vehicle.
 
Feb 25, 2013
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We have a cage which we belt on the seat and trap in with the table .God forbid if there was an accident we have done all we can do to prevent injury to ourselves and the pets ,2 Yorkies and now 1 cat .Always better to be safe than sorry:thumb:
 
Feb 24, 2013
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And worse the harness length may still be long enough when added to her body length for her to still impact with us

I will update here when I have researched options for large dog restraints,

http://www.fleecedogharnesses.co.uk/

OK so with the help of Google I have found what claim to be the only tested harness on sale in the UK:Eeek:

Hopefully this is just a sales ploy or an outdated reference

I am still troubled by the issue of where to fix to, the suggestion is to use the seatbelt fixing in this link, but then by the time you have left enough lead for her to lie down on the floor there is a lot of length in that added to her length to move around still

It probably can be argued that some restraint is better than none, but I am not yet convinced, she lies on the floor immediately behind our seats, so unless we roll over, by which time we are probably all doomed anyway, I cant see what the harness will do other than stop her moving around which she does not do anyway

Best benefit I can see so far is that if I were to get out of MH, possibly in an emergency and not secure the door properly she could not follow me out, now that might be worth the money alone

However as we are off to France, Spain and Switzerland later this year I am wary of potential police fines, possibly more than the risk to my welfare, so have bought £50 worth of harness and lead from above company

Does anybody have practical experience of pinning down a 50+kg dog in their MH please

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Apr 9, 2013
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It probably can be argued that some restraint is better than none, but I am not yet convinced, she lies on the floor immediately behind our seats, so unless we roll over, by which time we are probably all doomed anyway, I cant see what the harness will do other than stop het moving around which she does not do anyway

I think there's a big difference between a dog on the back seat of a car and one on the floor of a motorhome in terms of the threat they represent to driver and passengers in an accident. As David says, I think by the time a dog on the floor becomes a danger to you in an accident, you're already in some pretty serious do-do already. I'm not anti-belting your dog in if that's what folk want to do but nor do I think it should be compulsary.
 
Aug 6, 2013
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I can't disagree with any of the opinions expressed - but I travel with a greyhound that lies on the seat behind the driver and a whippet that is so distressed by travelling that she spends the journey curled up, trembling, and panting on my wife's knees. I also ride a motorcycle, a pedal cycle, & occasionally drive a three-wheeler - none of which is remotely safe by any standard. You can use common sense without using every modern safety aid available to you. I have performed emergency braking in/on any vehicle only once in at least 10 years - and I wasn't happy with myself even on that one occasion. It was in the motorhome, last year. It was a full, ABS-operative, crash stop. The greyhound shuffled a bit once we'd come to a halt and the whippet was still on my wife's knee - it even stayed there when she told me off for frightening her ::bigsmile:. Not even close to accident deceleration know but I was still amazed that all objects & animals in the van stayed where they should be - I always feel as though I'm driving the lounge around ::bigsmile:.
 

Bailey58

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We have 2 dogs that travel lying down between the front seats. We tried them in a secured crate but the Labrador cried and whined for hours and it drove us mad, she wasn't too happy either!
I'm afraid safety and sanity dont always go together.
I agree, a 35kg dog flying around inside the van isn't a recipe for safety, but I wonder just how secure the fridge, cooker and microwave are in the event of a serious collision!
Allan

True but at least they are facing into the vehicle with some sort of containment around them however flimsy that may be in some vans.


Our dog is harnessed and lays in her bed behind the front seats.

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Aug 6, 2013
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True but at least they are facing into the vehicle with some sort of containment around them however flimsy that may be in some vans.


Our dog is harnessed and lays in her bed behind the front seats.


Bet this won't polish out:

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9vZdoomTuA"]Fiat Ducato Camper "Wohnwagen" (48 Km/h) Frontal Impact - YouTube[/ame]

::bigsmile:::bigsmile:
 
Sep 23, 2013
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It's a long time since I studied physics with any degree of seriousness, but from what I remember of it, there seems to be a danger here of confusing two objectives.

The purpose of a seatbelt for a person in the rear of a vehicle is twofold. It is to minimise the injury to the person wearing it & it is to minimise the injury to front seat passengers caused by that person flying forward.

The purpose of most animal restraints that I have seen is only to prevent injury to other occupants. Except in minor bumps, they will do little to prevent injury to the animal. They allow the animal some freedom of movement, which means that in the event of an accident, the animal will continue for some distance before being abruptly arrested by the restraint. Any benefit of crumple zones, pre-tensioned seatbelts, controlled deceleration etc will be lost. The animal will fly through the air at the original vehicle speed until brought to a sudden halt when the slack runs out. This is probably fine with a small dog. It will matter little to the animal whether the cause of its death is the back of your head, the windscreen, or reaching the end of the restraint, but you have an interest in avoiding the first of those.

With a large dog, I'm less certain. A dog of similar weight to a human on a slack restraint will put far more stress on a seat belt mounting that a properly strapped in person of the same weight. There will always be some benefit - even if it breaks, the dog will hit you with a lot less force than if it was unrestrained. As has been mentioned already - at that point you are probably more worried about the fridge & the microwave clouting you round the neck - at least the dog is softer!

The situation will be improved if there is hard braking before the final crash. Hopefully that will be enough to move the animal forward to the limit of the slack before the main impact - although tonyidle's experience casts some doubt on this.

Side impacts are a whole new story.
 

TheBig1

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has anyone thought past the point of impact? a few months back a motorhome carrying dogs to a show got smashed into on the hard shoulder. of the dogs that survived, the safest were those in crates. the other ran onto the motorway in a traumatised state. thankfully all were rounded up apparently

as a separate point, i keep a card in my wallet with insurance details for the dogs requesting that if we are in an accident, the dogs get prompt veterinary care regardless of cost. must get some stickers printed up saying the same to put on van windows

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lilac lill

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The 'dinette' bed is always made up. This is where they travel, in harnesses attached to a 'lap' seat belt.
Both settle well and barely move, the harness strap allows them to sit up or change their lying position, but not move around.
I have enough to think about coaxing Madge round country lanes (having no power steering) without having to wonder what the terrible twosome is getting up to. :Doh::winky:
 

Gorse Hill

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We have three small dogs, and they sleep under the table behind the front seats not really sure what restraints would do as pointed out the seatbelts are designed for a person not a dog and in a cars situation I personally think the restraints could do more damage. In our situation if the dogs are on The floor there more likely to shot forward into the footwell rather than upwards and hit the driver with the safety of a seat, on another point as far as am aware Baileys are the only manufacture to do a crash test in a Motorhome ( at millbrook) under test conditions and the first 4 impact test resulted In The fridge, microwave and cooker ending up outside the Motorhome on the floor hitting the passenger seat on the way out so more likely to get hit by these than the dog
 
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