Traveling by car with your dog: what do you need to plan and what does the law say?

The dog can travel in the trunk of the car if there is enough bed space. (© LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/AdobeStock)

If you are planning a vacation, or a long weekend in the Ascension Bridge, with your four -legged friend, you’re probably wondering if he should should be tied to the car or if he can move freely in the passenger compartment.

What does the law say?

Alexandre Balzer, veterinarian and president of the Société centrale canine, agreed: “No animal needs to be loose in the car”. In fact, according to article R 412-1 of the Highway Code, “in traffic, any driver or passenger of a car must wear an approved seat belt “. If we consider the animal as a passenger, it must also be included.

On the other hand, article R412-6 of this same code stipulates that “the possibilities of movement and the field of vision of the driver must not be reduced”, especially in the number or position of passengers. A dog that jumps on the handler’s lap, for example, can be considered as such difficulty driving.

Added to this order is the fact that, in the event of sudden use of the brakes or an accident, the danger to the animal. planned by cabin in the car. For your safety and that of all passengers, it is therefore important to include your dog when you go on the road.

What equipment is available?

There are particular lanyards attached to the clip on the safety belt and attached to the dog harness: “on the harness instead of the collar because if it has to be pulled hard after a sudden stop or accident, it is better to pull it at shoulder level. instead of the neck, ”Veterinary advice.

the transport cages is also an interesting possibility, especially for small dogs. “It’s safer, it’s better to hold and it’s easier to move.”

Finally, if you have a station wagon, you can put your dog in the trunk a net or a separation grid so that he cannot escape. Note that it is clearly prohibited to place an animal in a sedan trunk, without lighting or ventilation.

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Balancing animal safety and well -being

Article R214-50 of the rural code states that “the carrying of animals in private vehicles is done under the responsibility of the guide so that the animals have space and ventilation meet their essential needs ”, under the pain of a fine imposed for violations of 4and classroom.

For Alexandre Balzer, “it’s a matter of common sense. It is up to everyone to check if their dog has enough space to move and lie down. Whether you’re 10 or 1,000 km away, he obviously doesn’t need the same comfort. »

It is also necessary to check if the suitcases are strong and they will not fall on him, which can crush him or scare him, especially if he is small.

Alexander BalzerPresident of Canine Central

If the car is too full of luggage and passengers, it is possible to put the dog on the ground, just behind where he would be more protected, and whether he would have enough room to sleep.

Travel pain

To make the trip as smooth as possible for your dog, plan regular stops every two hours so he can walk, relax himself and drink. We can give him croquettesunless he has a tendency to vomit.

Like humans, dogs can easily develop motion sickness, from simple anxiety to vomiting. In this case, “avoid giving him food before leaving. If that’s not enough, there is specific drugs for dogs. »

You can also remove small first aid kit with bandages, eye wash and his health record.

Watch out for heatstroke

Another important point: you have to be careful not to not too hot in the carwhich happens when you drive without air conditioning on a very hot day.

Dogs with difficulty breathing may be more sensitive to rising temperatures: this is the case with brachycephalic dogs – bulldogs and other flat -faced dogs – but also older dogs who may also have difficulty breathing. -ventilate, because it is through ventilation that the dog lowers its internal temperature. If the dog is in a hurry to hang the tongue, it means heat.

Alexander Balzer

However, there is no question of leaving your dog put your head in the window, at risk of receiving dust or small stones in the eye. Ear infections in the fridgebecause of the cold and wind, too often.

For prevention of heat stroke, place your dog in the shade and turn on the air conditioning if necessary-not to turn it on completely to avoid any cooling-; you can also refresh it with a wet towel or a water spray bottle.

And the puppies?

Young dogs even more sensitive in temperature rise and dehydration than in adults. So it is important to take regular breaks, keep them cool and always offer them a drink.

Alexandre Balzer also recommends that he get used to the car “so that he doesn’t find himself all night having to drive for fifteen hours. You have to show him that’s it. positive experience and nice to meet you “.

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