You are about to travel by car with your dog or maybe you are already accustomed to this mode of transportation with his company. However, traveling in a car with a doggie is subject to strict regulations that aim above all to ensure the safety of everyone. In this file, we invite you to discover the regulations enforced in this area as well as our 7 safety tips to make your trips with your dog as smooth as possible.
Traveling with your dog in a car: what does the law say?
It is possible to travel with your dog by car, but provided that the presence of the animal is not dangerous for the driver. In fact, the Highway Code outlines the following points:
- according to article R 412-6, the driver’s movements and field of vision must not obstruct passengers or objects;
- according to article R 412-1, any passenger in the vehicle must wear a seat belt, knowing that the dog can be legally treated as such.
If the dog is free to roam the passenger compartment, the driver is liable to a 2nd class fine (about twenty euros).
In addition, article R 215-7 of the Rural Code indicates that all necessary measures must be taken to respect the welfare of the animal during transportation. Otherwise, the driver is liable to a 4th class fine (up to 375 euros).
Traveling with your dog in a car: why follow the regulations?
The law allows three provisions for carrying a dog in a car. But beyond the risk of fines being exposed to motorists who do not respect them, the risk is the greatest risk. When driving, everyone’s safety is paramount. However, let’s not forget that a dog that is not in a moving car is a projectile when it has an impact. In addition, driving while watching a stray dog is very dangerous for the motorist. Finally, if the dog panics, if he does not feel well or if he is disturbed, no one can predict his possible reaction to any passenger in the car or to the driver.
As you understand, any trip with your dog should be done in the best possible conditions of safety. The animal must have a safe place. He may:
- placed in a transport crate which he accepted and supported, but which also suited his comfort;
- tied to a safety belt connected to the dog’s harness (and not to its collar because of the risk of snoring!);
- or placed at boot and that it is separated from the rest of the vehicle by a grid or a partition net.
Traveling with your dog in a car: what are the essential accessories?
To travel with your dog in a car, you need some accessories to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone.
- If you are planning to carry your pet in a crate, you will need to purchase a crate that is the right size so that your pooch can sit on it, lie down on it and turn around quickly.
- If you plan to secure your dog with a seatbelt, be sure to invest in purchasing a sturdy harness with a tether to connect it to the belt.
- If you plan to place your pet in the trunk, you will need to purchase and place a grid or a separation net between the passenger compartment and the trunk.
Also, to make the trip more pleasant and more comfortable for everyone, here are some accessories that are important to give.
- Provide a bowl and a bottle of water to allow your pet to drink at any hour of travel. If it is too hot, you can cool the water bottle in a small cooler.
- Don’t hesitate to also grab a bowl with a small bag of kibble on your long trip to curb your pet’s hunger if you’re stuck in traffic or if you finally decide never to go home.
- Put two or three towels in the car to clean your pet after the walk. In fact, if he walks in the mud and takes a bath, you can avoid getting your car dirty.
- Always keep small bags in the car to pick up your dog’s litter during your breaks. Better to equip yourself first than have to improvise on the spot in this kind of situation!
Travel with your dog by car: our 7 tips!
If you are about to travel by car with your dog, here are the tips we recommend you follow to ensure that your trips take place in the best possible conditions for everyone.
Tip #1: Respect the law
In order for your trip to take place in 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 crate;
- put your doggie with a harness on the car seat belt;
- separate your boot -placed animal from the passenger compartment using a grid or a separation net.
Tip n ° 2: good interior condition
It’s important that the cabin is well ventilated, because our doggie friends can’t hold the heat like we do. During your summer travel, remember to open your windows slightly to let air into the car, refresh and renew the air around.
Tip #3: Get regular rest
For your long journey, plan regular breaks, preferably every hour. Your pet will be able to get outside to stretch his legs, comfort himself and drink. These breaks are also welcome for drivers, so be sure to take advantage of them too!
Tip n ° 4: keep the temperature high
If it’s hot, don’t leave your dog locked in the car if the window isn’t open or there’s no air conditioning. The animal is very easily dehydrated.
If you need to get away for a while, for example, to run errands or rest in the toilet, you can equip yourself with an open boot lid, an accessory whose function is to keep the boot slightly open to allow such that the better the circulation there. Your pet will feel more comfortable in the cabin.
However, the trunk cover is only a temporary solution, as long as you are away for a few moments. Don’t think of leaving your dog in the car like this for hours!
Tip n ° 5: basic learning
In order to travel in a car with your dog that is completely safe for everyone, it is important to teach your pet two basic commands.
- Teach him to get in and out of the car since childhood. This learning will allow you to move with your dog without having to carry him to get in or out of the car. With a small dog, of course it is 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 getting out of the car. This precaution is far from unnecessary, as it allows you to secure your doggie in car parks or on your outings in town. In fact, if your dog gets out of the car without waiting for your permission, he or she could be the victim of an accident or cause one.
Tip #6: Get used to traveling
For some doggies, car trips are real hardships. Most dogs take time to get used to this particular mode of transportation. From an early age, get your little companion used to being taken in the car. Don’t hesitate to bring the car for a walk, so that trips won’t be considered a deterrent if it’s limited to going to the vet.
By doing so, your dog will experience less stressful car transportation. He or she will be able to interact with the car more easily with happy and enjoyable moments in your company.
Tip #7: On an empty stomach
Dogs can suffer from motion sickness, vomiting easily in the car. Avoid giving food to your pet before a long trip, as he may vomit his food. Nausea is bad and a source of stress for dogs, pushing them despite themselves to account for the car in painful and bad times.