Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. Considered by many as integral family members, pets regularly travel in the family car. It is also important to make sure all your passengers – including your pets – are appropriately secured when you are driving.
Restraining your dog can save its life – and yours
Over 33% of dog owners admit to having been distracted by their pet while driving. When unrestrained, your pet may distract you from driving, and they also face the risk of being thrown from a seat or the back of the car upon heavy braking. If the windows are open, your unrestrained pet may jump out of the vehicle and injure itself or cause an accident.
There are various laws in Australia governing the transportation of animals in cars. To gain a better understanding about the road rules involving animal transport specific to the state you are living in, consult your state’s road traffic authority.
Dog restraints or carriers
Typically consisting of two parts, a harness and anchor, a dog car restraint system works best when it anchors your pet down without limiting its ability to move, stretch or lie down. Do not use a restraint that goes only around your pets neck as this could cause your pet to choke.
It is always important to check state standards before you head off to purchase your car pet restraint or set up a cargo barrier. Recent media coverage has exposed the ineffectiveness of many of the “pet seat belts” on the market so be sure you have done your research.
If you have a small dog or a cat then a strong carrier, secured to the car seat with a seat belt or a specially designed carrier restraint may provide your smaller pet with proper protection. Be sure that your carrier is the right size. It should be wide enough to allow your dog or cat to lie down flat, turn around, stand erect and stretch with clearance. Often your pet won’t like his carrier so make it more comfortable with a familiar blanket or cushion.
Planning a road trip?
If your pet is joining you on your vacation be sure you pack all the items necessary to keep your pet safe and comfortable in the car and at your destination. Have a look at our Vacation Checklist and an easy DIY Pet First Aid Kit to make your preparations simple and easy.
This Blog was written by the furry family at Petplan Australasia. Petplan Pet Insurance specialises in animal and animal industry insurance. Our practices keep the role that pet insurance plays in responsible pet ownership and the health of the pet at the forefront. For tips to keep your pet healthy, make sure you follow us on Facebook.