The safest way to transport a dog in the car is when the dog has a suitable safety device. The safest way is to dress a dog with proper seat-belt harnesses that are securely attached to the car, either to the seat belt or to the luggage straps. Another recommended option is to transport the pet with a high-quality, robust box that is also attached to the car. This is the safest option for cats and other small pets.
Transporting pets in a passenger car
Animal welfare must always be ensured during the journey. Dogs, or any other animals, must not be transported in the closed luggage compartment of a passenger car. The pet can be transported in the luggage compartment with an open connection to the passenger compartment. For example, there is an open connection in vehicles with a combi body. In the luggage compartment, the dog must be connected so that it cannot escape to the passenger compartment or from the vehicle when doors or windows are opened. In the cabin, the animal must not be allowed to disturb the driver while driving. The driver must not have the pet on their lap while driving.
In a regular passenger car, pets usually travel in the cabin or in the back of the car. If the dog travels in the cabin, the safest way is by attaching the dog to the rear seat with a high-quality seat belt harness.
Dog harnesses suitable for car use are also designed to withstand crash situations.
Dog harnesses suitable for car use are also designed to withstand crash situations. The law does not require testing for pet products, but some product manufacturers test the products themselves. Do not rely only on advertising, but assess the product’s strength from the user’s perspective.
Harnesses with strong construction can be recognised from the fact that they are made with wide and durable seat-belt or cargo strap bands. The wide strap and harness structure distributes the impact over large areas, which improves the dog’s chances of surviving the crash. When selecting harnesses, prefer harnesses with metal buckles.
The safest way to transport smaller animals is in robust boxes securely attached to the car, for example, with a seat belt.
If your dog travels in the back of the car, transport the dog there, too, in a robust metal or hard plastic box or cage attached to the structure of the car, specifically designed for transporting dogs. Take into account the size of your dog, and verify with the product manufacturer that the product will protect your dog even in the event of an accident.
The dog should have a clamp or harness on during the journey, but the grip and leash must be removed. However, the leash should be left close to a dog passenger so that it can be easily found if necessary.
At the scene of an accident
If you have an accident or arrive at the scene of an accident and there is a dog in the car, you must also help the dog.
If you have an accident or arrive at the scene of an accident and there is a dog in the car, remember that it may defend itself if it is injured. It should therefore be noted that
- when a dog is in shock, it may bite even its owner. Therefore, you can tie the dog’s mouth or use a muzzle to keep it from biting.
- the dog may escape. Try to connect the dog to something.
- an attempt is made to treat the dog at the scene of an accident just like a human being. The dog must be treated as soon as possible by a veterinarian, even if the dog’s owner cannot be reached.
What information about a dog should be kept in the car?
For example, the most important information about a dog travelling in a car can be recorded on a double-sided (laminated) note, which should be stored in an easily accessible location with the contact side facing down. At least the following information should be recorded in the note:
- The dog’s official name and microchip identifier
- The dog’s date of birth
- The dog’s breed, identifying signs and any illnesses
- The personality of the dog, whether it is aggressive to strangers, etc.
- Contact information for ICE
Walking with a pet
When walking with a dog or another pet, move proactively and take other traffic into account. On a combined cycle track and pavement, you can move with the pet along either side of the path. In general, dog walkers try to keep the dog either by their side or in front of them, but it does not matter as long as the dog is constantly under the control of its walker. When moving with several dogs, try to make sure that there is also room for passers-by.
On roads outside of towns, the place of pedestrians is on the left side of the road, either on the shoulder or as close to it as possible. There, the safest way to move with a dog is with the dog on the side of the shoulder.
- Pay attention to other traffic and move along the edge of the path.
- Do not use flexi leashes on paths where other people are also moving.
- Teach the dog already as a puppy to calmly pass different road users and other dogs.
- Make sure your pet is visible at all times of the year.
Overtaking a dog and a walker and other pets
When you are passing a dog and a walker or another pet, make sure in advance that you are noticed. As a cyclist, roller skater or kick scooterist, it is particularly important to ensure that you do not surprise other road users. Use a signal sound or your own voice in good time, and slow down. If scared, the dog may rush towards the passer-by, and therefore the safest overtaking is done so that both parties have noticed each other in good time. The dog walker can also tighten their grip, making sure that the dog is under control.
The walker of a small pet may also want to lift their pet up. When we anticipate encounters, it makes overtaking a more comfortable experience for everyone.