Those who love to travel by motorbike and would like to take their dog with them can finally do so without fear of being fined. The important thing is to follow a few rules to protect yourself, your four-legged friend and the other motorists. Are you ready to go?
Motorbike riders get set! The good weather has begun and you can finally organise some trips out-of-town aboard your motorbike in the company of your dog. So, what does the law say about transporting animals by motorbike? Do you need to take any special precautions?
Highway Code for transporting dogs
Article 170 of the Italian Highway Code (“Transporting people and objects on two-wheeled motor vehicles”) says that:
“On the vehicles referred to in paragraph 1 (motorcycles and mopeds, ed.) it is forbidden to transport objects that are not solidly protected, that protrude laterally with respect to the axis of the vehicle or longitudinally with respect to the shape of it by more than fifty centimetres. Within the above limits, transporting animals is allowed providing they are kept in a special cage or container.”
Therefore, pets can be transported by motorbike, as long as they travel safely inside special carriers and the dimensions of these fall within the protrusion limits of the vehicle.
Taking your dog on a motorbike: what accessories do you need?
Whether you are a beginner or an expert rider, before transporting your dog by motorcycle, you need to have a series of accessories for your pet’s well-being and protection. It should be specified that transporting medium and large-sized dogs is more complex and, in this case, it would be better to travel with a sidecar. In general, however, the following things are needed:
1. PET CARRIER
When transporting small dogs on motorbikes, it is advisable to use a pet carrier, which should be firmly joined to the motorbike, or a specific tank bag. Obviously, they must all be chosen carefully, evaluating the presence of special openings to allow your pet to breathe properly and travel comfortably. Of course, the cage must not protrude on the sides.
2. CRASH HELMET FOR DOGS
The crash helmet is also a lifesaver for your furry friend: opt for a rigid or semi-rigid model of helmet that will adapt to the shape of your dog’s ears and has internal padding to ensure greater protection. The crash helmet is also used to protect your dog’s sensitive ears from wind and draughts.
Dogs are not born ready to travel by motorbike, so you need to get them used to it gradually, preferably as puppies. First, show yourself dressed in motorcycle overalls, gloves and shoes, then take short journeys, possibly avoiding riding on rough roads with numerous bends or particularly dangerous ones. To make the journey serene, remember to take your dog’s favourite dry food with you and give him some of it before setting off or upon arrival.
Be careful with the lead and the wind! The dog’s lead should always be unfastened from his collar, otherwise it could become entangled with roadside objects or part of the motorbike; then there is the wind, an enemy to dogs, which they should not receive directly on their snout or ears.
If you have a suitable scooter, you can go to the vet, the sea or the park with your four-legged friend, thus saving time or avoiding tiresome queues.