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Travelling with a dog these holidays? How to safely restrain your dog

 According to RSPCA, 19 percent of dog owners take their pets with them on holiday. Considering a study found that almost half of Aussies now own at least one dog, that’s a lot of dogs in cars.

However, cars are built for the safety of humans, not pets.

restraining dogs in cars

So if the car breaks and your dog isn’t restrained properly, it could become a 20kg projectile. In fact, 5,000 dogs each year are either injured or killed as a result of jumping from a moving car

In most states it’s illegal to drive with an animal on your lap, as they can distract you from driving. It’s also against the law in Australia to carry a load that’s not fastened, such as dogs on the back of a ute. So, what are the options for safely travelling with Bluey?

Safely restraining dogs in cars

Safely restraining your dog in the car depends on the size of your dog and the make of your car. 

Dog seat belt or safety harness

You may already have a harness for your dog. Dog safety harnesses work by slipping over the dog’s head, under the front legs and attaching to the back piece on the sides of its body. The anchor attaches the harness to the seat belt attachment.

The dog should be able to sit and lie down comfortably while wearing the safety harness in the car.

NRMA revealed that only two harnesses on the market passed their test, adequately restraining their crash test dummy dog. Purina Roadie harness and the Sleepypod Clickit harness passed out of the 25 tested. That’s because their webbing and buckles were stronger than the others. 

Dog transport crates

Dog crates can be made of hard plastic, metal or fabric with supports. Make sure the crate is large enough for your dog to lie down, stand, turn around and stretch. Your dog may feel anxious in the crate, so adding its favourite toy may help. The crate needs to be fixed to the car using the seat belt. If you have a ute, bolting the crate to the tray may be the safest way to go.

Cargo barriers

Station wagons and 4WD vehicles can get custom-made steel mesh bolted to the rear seat floor and up to the car’s ceiling, sectioning off the space behind the seats. This provides a separate section in the vehicle for your luggage or pet. But, if the space is too large, securing your dog with a harness could also help avoid an injury.

If you’re looking for a new car big enough for your best friend, get in touch with Private Fleet. We can discuss your needs and find the right car for you.