7 safety tips and rules

You are traveling by car with your dog, or you may already be used to this mode of transportation in his company. After all, traveling by car with a doggie is subject to strict rules, which are primarily intended to guarantee everyone’s safety. In this file, we invite you to discover the current rules in this area as well as our 7 safety tips so that your trips with your doggie go as smoothly as possible.

Traveling with your dog by car: 7 tips and safety rules

Traveling with your dog by car: what does the law say?

It is possible to travel with your dog by car, but on the condition that the animal’s presence is not a danger to the driver. In fact, the Motorway Act stipulates the following points:

  • Whereas, in accordance with Article R 412-6, the movements and field of vision of the driver must not be obstructed by passengers or objects;
  • according to Article R 412-1, every passenger in the vehicle must wear a seat belt, knowing that the dog can be legally considered as such.

If the dog moves freely in the cabin, the handler can pay a fine in 2nd class (about twenty euros).

In addition, Article R 215-7 of the Rural Code states that all necessary measures must be taken to respect the welfare of the animal during transport. Otherwise, the driver risks a fine in 4th grade (up to 375 euros).

Traveling with your dog by car: why follow the rules?

The law allows three provisions for the transport of a dog in a car. But beyond the risk of a fine to which the motorist is subjected who does not respect them, the danger is the greatest of risks. When you drive, everyone’s safety is paramount. However, we must not forget that a dog loose in a driving car is a projectile in the event of a collision. In addition, it is extremely dangerous for the motorist to drive while looking at a loose dog. Finally, if the dog panics, if it feels bad, or if he gets agitated, no one can predict the reaction he is likely to have to passengers in the vehicle or to the driver.

As you will understand, any walk with your dog must take place under optimal safety conditions. The animal must have its safe place. He can be:

  • installed in a transport box which he accepts and supports, but which is also suitable for his comfort;
  • fastened with a seat belt attached to the dog’s harness (and not to its collar due to the risk of suffocation!);
  • or installed in the trunk and that it is separated from the rest of the vehicle by a grille or a partition net.

Do you travel with your dog by car: what are the essential accessories?

To travel with your dog by car, you need certain accessories to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort.

  • If you are planning to transport your pet in a box, buy a box of the right size so that your dog can sit in it, lie down in it and easily turn around.
  • If you are planning to secure your dog with the seat belt, be sure to invest in purchasing a sturdy harness with a leash to connect it to the harness.
  • If you plan to place your pet in the trunk, purchase and install a grille or separation net between the cabin and the trunk.

To make the journey more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone, here are also other accessories that it is important to provide.

  • Provide a bowl and a bottle of water so your pet can drink at any time during the trip. If it is very hot, you can store the water bottle cool in a small cooler.
  • Do not hesitate to also bring a bowl of a small bag of food with you on your long journeys to prevent your pet from getting hungry if you are stuck in traffic or if you finally decide not to go home at all right now.
  • Keep two or three towels in the vehicle to clean your pet after a walk. In fact, if he has gone in the mud and bathed, you will avoid soiling your vehicle.
  • Always keep small bags on board the car to pick up your dog’s feces during your breaks. It’s better to equip yourself in advance than to have to improvise on the spot in these kinds of situations!

Traveling with your dog by car: our 7 tips!

If you are going to travel by car with your dog, here are the tips we recommend you follow to ensure that your travels take place under the best conditions for everyone.

Tip # 1: Respect the law

In order for your trip to take place under the best conditions in terms of safety and comfort, be sure to respect the law. So you have three options:

  • place your dog in a suitable transport box;
  • fasten your doggie equipped with a harness to the vehicle seat belt;
  • separate your pet located in the trunk from the cabin with a grille or a separation net.

Tip # 2: Good interior conditions

It is important that the cabin is well ventilated, because our doggie friends do not handle the heat as well as we do. During your summer trips, remember to open your windows a little to let a seeping air get into the car, refresh and renew the surrounding air.

Tip # 3: Regular breaks

For your long journeys, plan very regular breaks, ideally every hour. Your pet will be able to walk outside to stretch his legs, relax and drink. These breaks are also welcome for drivers, so be sure to take advantage of them too!

Tip # 4: Beware of high temperatures

When it is hot, never leave your dog locked in the car without the window open or without air conditioning. The animal can become dehydrated very quickly.

If you need to be away for a while, for example to run errands or take a break on the toilet, you can equip yourself with a trunk lid opener, an accessory whose function is to keep the trunk a little tight so that it appears to circulate better there. Your pet will feel much more comfortable in the cabin.

However, the boot lid is only a temporary solution while you are away for a moment. Imagine not leaving your dog in the car this way for hours!

Tip # 5: Basic Learning

To travel by car with your dog in full safety for all, it is important to teach your pet two basic commands.

  • Teach him to get in and out of the vehicle from an early age. This learning allows you to move around with your dog without having to carry him to get him in or out of the car. With a small dog it is of course possible, but with a dog over 20 kg it is better to avoid taking it in your arms!
  • Teach your dog to wait for your signal before leaving the vehicle. This precaution is far from trivial because it allows you to secure your doggie in parking lots or during your city excursions. In fact, if your dog gets out of the car without waiting for your permission, it could fall victim to an accident or cause one.

Tip # 6: Get used to traveling

For some doggies, car rides are real ordeals. Most dogs need time to get used to these very special means of transportation. From an early age, you need to get your little companion used to being transported by car. Do not hesitate to take the car for a walk so that the journeys are not perceived as a limitation if they are limited to going to the vet.

By doing so, your dog will experience car transport with much less stress. He will be able to more easily connect the vehicle with happy and pleasant moments in your company.

Tip # 7: On an empty stomach

Dogs suffer from motion sickness and are slightly nauseous in the car. Avoid feeding your pet before a long journey as it may throw up its meal. Nausea is uncomfortable and a source of stress for dogs, and pushes them in spite of themselves to associate the car with painful and uncomfortable times.

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