Although human road safety is something we are taught about from an early age, pet road safety is an important issue that is often overlooked. Just like us, pets need to be properly secured when travelling in cars to ensure that they remain safe and do not distract the driver. In this week’s blog, we discuss how to ensure your pet is appropriately secured when you are driving.
Restrain your dog – to save their life and yours
Many dogs are killed or injured every year when travelling on the back of open and moving vehicles. Not only can unrestrained pets distract you while driving, they also risk being thrown from a seat or the back of the car upon heavy braking. Additionally, there are some instances of unrestrained pets jumping out of open windows and hurting themselves.
Each state in Australia has laws governing the transportation of animals in cars. In Victoria, it is illegal to put a dog in the boot of a sedan but they can travel in the cabin of the car of behind a cargo barrier. Dogs are permitted to travel on the back of a ute or trailer but they need to be properly tethered or caged. Additionally, dogs must have adequate ventilation with multiple ventilation holes on at least 3 sides of the container.
A dog car restraint system is best when it anchors your pet down without restricting their movement. The harness should go around your dog’s neck, in front of its shoulder and behind their front legs. There are several different materials available such as nylon, leather and fabric, so choose the one that is best for your dog. As mentioned above, it’s important to consult your state standards before purchasing your car pet restraint or cargo barrier.
Smaller pet carriers
Even if your pet is small, it’s important that they’re properly secured in your car. A robust carrier, secured to the car seat with a seat belt or a designed carrier restraint, is a good way to protect your smaller pet. Make sure you choose a carrier that is the right size – it should be wide enough to let your pet lie down flat, turn around, stand erect and stretch with clearance.
Are you planning a road trip?
Make the most of your road trip by planning ahead, researching the relevant road rules, having proper pet transport restraints ready, packing your pet’s favourite toys, and bringing a first aid kid in case of an emergency. Also make sure there is an adequate supply of food and water.
At Vets on Parker, we want you to enjoy your travels – with your pet right by your side. If your pet needs a checkup or you just have a question about travelling safely with your pet, please call our Templestowe veterinary clinic on (03) 9850 1355.