TRANSPORTING your pooch to the vet, the local park, or away for a weekend of off-roading? Here’s how to stay within the law and keep your furry friend safe.
1: If a long voyage in on the cards, ensure there’s fresh water and plenty of snacks. It’s even a good idea to bring water for short trips, as plenty of dogs are likely to encounter bouts of carsickness.
2: If it’s a stinking hot day, protect your dog from the heat. Likewise, if it’s a freezing winter’s day, keep pooch away from the cold – this can mean putting them in the cabin instead of tethered out back.
3: Dogs can remain in the cabin or behind a cargo barrier in the rear of a wagon or SUV – not on a driver’s lap… obviously. According to the Victorian State Government: “It is recommended that dogs travel in the cabin of the vehicle and are kept either on the backseat in a restraining device or in the open cargo area of a wagon-type vehicle behind a cargo barrier.”
4: We see dogs hanging their heads out of windows all the time, but the Victorian State Government advises against this: “Dogs should not be allowed to travel with their head out of the car window; particles of dirt can enter a dog's eyes, ears and nose, causing injury or infection.”
5: Victorian law dictates that dogs travelling on the back of utes need to be restrained via a tether or a cage. However, farm dogs that are actively working livestock are exempt from this rule.
6: If travelling for hours on end, remember to take regular breaks to give your dog toilet breaks and exercise.
7: Finally, whatever you do, don’t leave your dog unattended inside the vehicle.