Restraining Dogs in Cars

The Animal Welfare Act 1992 requires that dogs traveling on the back of utility vehicles and trucks be in a secured container or on a lead short enough to prevent their hind legs reaching either side
of the truckbed. 

We all ‘belt-up’ whenever we jump into a vehicle without giving it a second thought. Taking a child anywhere involves the use of a car-seat, which all parents use without hesitation, but do we also secure our dogs? And if not, why not?

The thought of injury or death caused to a beloved pet whilst unrestrained in a moving vehicle when the unforeseen happens makes me shudder. No one plans to do an emergency stop – a dog being thrown forwards through a wind- screen, or off the side of a tray truck, as I witnessed as a child, is not something I wish to see again!

There are various types of restraint mechanisms on the market for dogs. Such as one that caters for small to medium dogs at around $10. A simple strap that clips onto the dogs collar, and then into the base of the seat-belt, is quick and easy to use. It still allows the dog some movement, being able to sit
or stand, whilst still being restrained.

Another is a more complex harness at around $30, which the dog wears. It is then clipped into the base of the seat belt as above. It can also be used to walk the dog on lead, so needn’t be removed once the dog is out of the car.

My dogs seat-belt attachments are permanently in our car, so its just a matter of attaching the dog when we wish to go somewhere. But then, so is their travel water bowl, poop bags, a tennis ball or two plus spare leads for that unexpected guest found wandering away from home!