Anyone who owns a dog will, at one time or another, have to take it in the car for either short distances – to go for a walk or to the vet – or even on holiday. It’s a good idea to be aware of the laws that govern the transportation of dogs in cars, both for the safety of the driver, the passengers and, of course, the dog itself.
Current laws do not allow dogs to move about the car unrestricted. They should not be held on laps, lie on the ground between feet or be able to jump from one place to another. These conditions pose a grave threat to both our safety and theirs. And if you have to transport more than one dog, they should be in the back seat or in the trunk, in carriers, and the car should have a net dividing the front from the back. If there is just one dog in the car, the driver can decide where he or she wants the dog, based on his knowledge of the dog’s behaviour and habits. The important thing is that the dog doesn’t get in the way of driving and doesn’t hurt passengers.
The most common item used when travelling with the dog is a carrier, which is especially useful for long journeys. All of Ferplast’s Atlas line are especially hardy and guarantee safety should there be an accident, but they were also designed with the dog’s comfort in mind. The latest model is Atlas Trendy, available in three cheerful colours: green, red and pink. Atlas Car and Atlas Car Aluminium, on the other hand, were especially designed to fit into the trunk and can be fitted with a dividing panel for accommodating two dogs.
If you prefer to have the dog with you on the back seat, then you might consider the highly practical dog seat belt. It is easy to use. Remember that it is a good idea to protect the seat of the car with some sort of cover, which is also more comfortable for the dog. Once the dog is seated, you can easily hitch the seat belt onto his harness (not onto a collar!) with the hook. There are two models of seat belts with different attachment methods: the Dog Safety Belt hooks onto the end of the car’s seat belt and has a lively geometric pattern, while the Dog Travel Belt is mounted onto the belt itself and, for this reason, is suited for use in any type of car made anywhere in the world. Not only, but the latter has an elastic end to soften any jerking. Both safety belts are made of strong nylon and come with their own hook.
When there’s a dog in the family, planning a road trip is not as hard as you might think, but the important thing is to get the dog accustomed, little by little, to spending time in the car, teaching him that it’s not a punishment or torture! With a just a bit of patience, your dog will soon see jumping in the car with you as a fun thing to do!