Working Like A Dog Could Be Costly

Mon 8th Feb 2021

Taking Your Dog To Work Day could cost participants £5,000 fine after a new survey showed that some van drivers are risking their dogs travelling with them.

The research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has found that 41 per cent of van drivers with dogs actually take them to work, raising questions of whether the pets have been restrained properly.

Volkswagen have partnered with the Dogs Trust to publish a list of guidelines for those wanting to take their dogs to work to ensure they don’t fall foul of the law, particularly as one in ten drivers admits to having an accident while travelling in a vehicle with a pet.

Kate Thompson, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, commented: “After such an extended period at home last year, we know that, now more than ever, van drivers don’t want to leave their dogs at home or with dogsitters when they go to work. It is important to be aware, however, of the risks attached whether it is distractions while driving and near misses or the possible fines attached to driving with unrestrained pets. We aim to work with our customers so they can get back on the road safely.”

The financial penalty for not securing a dog safely in a vehicle begins at £1,000, but can rise to £5,000 if careless driving is proven.


How to keep your dog safe following the Dogs Trust guidelines.


  • Safety first: Dogs must be secured in a comfortably-sized seat-belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or in the boot behind a dog-guard. These must be securely fitted and positioned so your dog can’t interfere with the driver or hang out of windows.

  • Make the car an enjoyable place to be: Start by using your dog’s favourite treats to reward them for being calm whenever they’re near the car, even just walking around it to begin. Never leave your dog alone in the vehicle and always travel with water.

  • Gradually introduce your dog to travelling in the car or van: Dogs need to get used to the sound and movement of the car slowly. Giving your dog extra tasty treats whenever the van starts up and starts to move means they’ll begin to associate these changes with good things happening.

  • Acclimatise your dog to car journeys: Start with short, slow and gentle, familiar journeys that will allow your dog to get used to car travel in a positive way. Having a friend, who your dog knows well and is comfortable with, with you can be helpful so there is someone to be beside your dog if necessary while you are driving.