Petmania Launches Buckle Up Campaign

Petmania has launched its ‘Buckle Up’ campaign ahead of the summer staycation season. Whilst many Irish families are busy making their summer travel plans, the Irish-owned pet store wants to remind pet owners that their four-legged family members must be carefully restrained when taking to the open road.

Pet care specialists will host free in-car safety events in Petmania stores across the country, from 24th to 26th of June. Focused on the helping pet owners ensure their pets are safe while travelling, Petmania will offer one-to-one assistance to pet parents reviewing their pet’s in-car safety. For those that cannot visit the store, Petmania is sharing tips via the Pet Care Advice Centre, a free online resource featuring advice from pet experts like Agility Trainer, Dawn Greer and Vet Dr Bobby Ortiz, AKA Dogtor Bob.


Vet and Petmania Ambassador, Dr Bobby Ortiz explains, 


“We strap ourselves and our children in whenever we get into the car, so we should do the same for our furry family members! Working as a vet I have seen numerous injuries to pets travelling in cars that have been in accidents. Some injuries include dislocations, concussions and even fractures. Restraining your pet can also ensure that animals don’t escape out a window while we might be focused on the road.”


Studies have found:


It is a legal requirement to safely restrain animals in a car in Ireland. Despite this, an Irish survey1 found that 15 per cent of respondents sometimes restrained their pet and 23 per cent admitted to never restraining their pet.


A 2019 study from Volvo Car USA2 found that unsafe driving behaviours more than doubled when a pet was unrestrained. Behaviours included climbing on a driver’s lap, jumping from seat to seat or hanging their head out the window and taking drivers’ eyes off the road.


It is important to restrain pets properly in the car because in a crash, not only could the animal be seriously injured, it could become a projectile inside the car hurting other passengers. Example from the RSA*: At 50 km per hour, a 25 kg Labrador, which is roughly the same weight as an average six-year-old child, would be thrown forward with a force equivalent to over 600kg.


Petmania has the following advice on its Buckle Up Campaign. 


  1. Always ensure that your pet is safely secured in a harness, a pet carrier, or behind a metal dog guard. The most suitable restraint will probably depend on the size and temperament of the pet.


  1. For medium or large-sized dogs, a dog harness that attaches to the seatbelt is recommended. It should go round the dog’s chest, back and shoulders and is attached to the car seat belt, which should be fastened.


  1. Ensure dogs cannot get entangled in the harness as this will be uncomfortable and could distract the driver.


  1. For smaller dogs, cats and other pets, a pet carrier is a good option. It needs to be the correct size and should be held securely in place with a seat belt or by wedging it firmly in the rear footwell. Pet carriers should never be loose in a car boot as pets may be thrown around in a crash.


  1. Never allow a pet to stick its head out of the window putting them at risk of injury, jumping or falling out of the car.


Petmania also wants to remind pet parents not to leave dogs in the car on their own, especially during the summer months when temperatures inside the vehicle can soar in a matter of minutes.


Petmania Team Member commented, 

“For many people, no road trip would be complete without the family pet in tow. We are urging day-trippers and holidaymakers to keep their pets’ safety in mind when driving with them. Keeping your pet properly restrained while travelling in a car will keep them and your passengers safe. We’re launching our Buckle Up Campaign to share all our safety tips and tricks so everyone can enjoy the open road this summer.”


For video guides, advice and to see the full range of safety equipment available for travelling with pets, visit