Let’s face it – we all love to travel with our furry friends! And while many of us consider them part of our family, there are many of us that are unaware of the rules that apply to our dogs when driving with them.
Rules and regulations that regulate how you travel with your beloved pets are important – it can be incredibly distracting and dangerous to have your dog moving around the car!
In 2013, Australia actually introduced stricter road rules outlining where your dog should be seated and how to be safer when traveling with your four legged friend. Here are a few of the rules – but it’s important to remember that no matter what state you are traveling in, it’s prohibited to drive with your dog seated on your lap.
In our own state, NSW, police can fine and issue demerit points if you break this law. It’s generally accepted that:
- An animal must not ride on a motorcycle between the handlebars and the motorcycle rider
- Dogs who travel in utes need to be restrained by either a cage or a tether
- Dogs travelling in a motor vehicle are required to be located in an appropriate area.
These regulations are in place to keep both you and your furry friend safe – but be warned, if you get caught in breach of these rules, the RSPCA has authority under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to issue hefty fines if an animal is injured due to being unrestrained. You could even face jail time.
So how should you properly restrain your dog? Restraining your dog while driving is essential to decreasing injuries should you be involved in a car accident – whether you’re at fault or not. Even accidents that were not your fault could have serious implications for your unrestrained pup.
The best restraints for your four legged animal will depend on their size. Most pet stores sell harnesses that attach to your seatbelts, but you could also investigate a crate. And while there are no rules about seating your pup in the front seat with you, it’s advisable to give this a miss – airbags when deployed can seriously injure your dog and can even be potentially fatal.