In a survey conducted by NRMA up to 70% of people drive with their dogs unrestrained. Do you drive with your dog on your lap or in the front passenger seat? Do you have a dog restraint for your car?
It is an offence in every Australian state and territory to drive with your dog unrestrained and carries heavy fines and demerit points.
* Infringement notices can be given for:
- dogs moving unrestrained in the vehicle
- hanging their head out of the window
- creating a distraction causing the driver to not be in full control of the vehicle
We spoke to Shelley who owns Paws and Think dog training for her top tips on how to restrain your dog correctly
Tip One – Dog size
Check your dog’s weight and size before purchasing a restraint. Certain brands do not cater for larger dogs. If you cannot find a restraint for your larger dog, you will need to use a dog crate.
Tip Two – Choosing the perfect harness
It’s essential to choose an approved dog harness that has been impact tested. Shelley recommends the Purina Roadie Dog harness which has passed the NRMA impact testing.
You need to choose the right size – checking to see that it fits snugly but not too tight. The flat bridge needs to sit across the dog’s chest.
You will also need a connection strap that connects the harness to the car seat and a lead to get the dog in and out of the car, especially in car parks.
If your dog is too big for an approved car harness you can use a dog crate. You have the correct crate size for your dog when you dog can stand up, lie down, and turn around in the crate.
The crate needs to be secured to the vehicle with straps, using the installed anchor points.
Dogs love car coolant, so ensure you don’t have any near the crate.
It’s often easy to just jump into the car and not think about restraining your dog – especially on those ‘quick trips to the shop’, however, an emergency break can lead to an unrestrained dog slamming into the windscreen or passengers. In an accident, a dog hitting a deployed airbag can be fatal.
Thanks to Shelley for speaking with us! http://www.pawsandthink.com.au/