Car Safety Rules for Dogs in Australia
Most Australians have little idea what the road rules are regulating dog travel in vehicles. No matter where you live in Australia, there are rules and laws you must abided by when your canine is travelling in your car or vehicle. Travelling with a canine is similar to travelling with a child. You wouldn’t drive your car with your child standing on the back seat …would you?
Avoid Fines and Demerit Points
Follow these tips to keep you and your K9 Traveller safe and avoid the fines and demerit points. More Australians are choosing to take their dogs on holiday with them. With the growing demand for dog-friendly accommodation and activities, it’s time to do some research on good old Mr Google to check out the dog-owners responsibilities that relate to travelling with a canine.
Searching Google for the answers proved to be more difficult than I expected. The information online was both conflicting and unclear. However, after calling several road authority bodies and dog organisations, I was able to find the answers I was looking for. Each State and Territory in Australia has the power to enforce infringements to motorists who break the road rules relating to their K9 Traveller.
It’s An Offence To Drive With An Untethered Dog
The police can give a driver an infringement notice for allowing a dog to hang out a car window, jump or run amuck inside a vehicle. It is an offence for your dog to obstruct your vision or distract you or other drivers, as this could result in an accident and put lives at risk. Driving with your dog on your lap or allowing it to stand on the centre console is an offence in some parts of Australia. It is illegal under the Cruelty to Animals Act to place, or drive with a dog in the boot of a sedan.
Not tethering your dog on the back of a utility or truck is very dangerous and irresponsible. Failing to tether a dog on a ute is an offence in all parts of Australia. Dogs must be by some means, enclosed and restrained to prevent the dog from escaping or falling from a stationary or moving vehicle.
Car Related Dog Deaths
Around 5,000 dogs die or injured in road accidents around Australia each year. An unrestrained dog in a vehicle can become a deadly missile! The majority of car-related dog deaths and severe injuries are a result of dogs being ejected through the front windscreen according to the RSPCA and consumer reports. Second to windscreen related deaths in dogs; is from dogs riding in the front seat when airbags have activated in a collision.
Even in minor accidents and heavy braking, your unrestrained dog can be killed or injured. Heavy unrestrained items such as your dog, sporting equipment, laptops, power tools, gas bottles can cause death and serious injuries to the car occupants, including your dog. It is worth noting that your car insurer may not pay out your claim if your dog is found to have contributed to the cause of the accident.
Dog Travel Crates
There are several solutions available to protect you, your passengers and your dog. You should always secure your dog when travelling, with only safety-approved restraints inside your car and on the back of a vehicle.
MIMSafe Variocrates and gates are top of the range products offering the best safety. Their products are also the most expensive options on the market. Swedish designed and built, these crates are no ordinary dog crates. Each product undergoes the European SPCT standards stringent crash tests to ensure they are delivering the best safety options for your dog. Some pet crates are fitted with crash bags to provide extra protection.
Crate design is important, make sure you select a model that allows for good air circulation so your dog can breathe easily and comfortable in all seasons. Dog ramps and steps are designed to help your dog climb in and out of crates, vehicles, caravans and boats. Don’t forget to pack an emergency water bowl and adequate water supplies in the car boot for longer road trips.
Lock Power Windows Before You Drive
Most cars today are fitted with power windows. Your dog can accidentally open a window with its paw. An overexcited dog can easily jump or fall to their death from a moving car. Make sure to centrally turn off power windows for your dog and family’s protection.
Regardless of your countries laws, it is never safe to drive with a dog unrestrained in or on the back of a vehicle. Driving with your dog on your lap is irresponsible and downright dangerous for you and your pet. A responsible pet owner provides more than just adequate food, water and shelter. Your pet’s welfare is entirely dependent on you, the pet owner.
Dog Specific Medical Kits
Many people consider their animal companions to be part of the family, and wouldn’t think twice of holidaying without them. Dog-specific medical/first aid kits offer pet owners a comprehensive medical solution for their travelling canine. Provision of a dog medical kit can be beneficial in a variety of situations from minor wounds and scrapes through to road traffic accidents or heat stroke.
Pet-Friendly Car Rental Companies in Australia
So you’re taking your pet on holiday and need a pet-friendly car rental. Unfortunately not all car rental companies in Australia permit pets in their hire cars. The final decision is often left up to the manager’s discretion.
Pet policies differ from country to country so don’t automatically assume your pet will be welcomed at the car rental agency counter! Like all insurance policies, the terms and conditions can often be hard to decipher. It’s important, you read the fine print and know what you are liable for. Surprisingly, many rental companies don’t mention in their terms and conditions an extra cleaning fee charged for pets.
So, always check beforehand with the car rental agency and also from the location you plan to collect your hire car from. Furthermore, ask whether there are any additional charges to bring along your pet otherwise you may incur a charge for cleaning.
Most Australians have little idea what the road rules are regulating dog travel in vehicles. No matter where you live in Australia, there are rules and laws you must abided by when your canine is travelling in your car or vehicle even a hire car. Travelling with a canine is similar to travelling with a child. You wouldn’t drive your car with your child standing on the back seat …would you?