Do I need to restrain my dog in the car?

I can barely contain myself when I hear the words holiday and car… the freedom as I poke my head out of the window, tongue lolling in the wind! There’s nothing better than going on holidays with the family but seriously that hanging out of the window bit isn’t going to happen. So before you hit the road with your overexcited pooch, find out how you can ensure we’re safe in the car.

Car restraints

Seatbelts are a must for humans, and the same thinking needs to apply to us dogs. Unrestrained, our over excitement means we will jump around and could distract the driver of the car – or worse, we could become airborne, should an accident occur. RSPCA statistics reveal the 5,000 dogs each year are either injured or killed as a result of jumping from a moving car. It’s best to keep us in the backseat of the car, or in the rear of a station wagon.

Vehicle restraints for dogs are widely available and include restraints that either attach to existing seat belts or have buckles that clip directly into the seat belt. Generally, restraints are attached to the dog’s collar or harness. Car restraints are easily obtainable from World for Pets, RSPCA Superstore.

To find out what rules apply in your state or territory, contact your state or territory transport department as rules, demerit points and fines may differ slightly between states.

Be safe around windows

Back to the notion of hanging my head out of the window… as much as I like the feel of the wind on my face, the possibility of dust, dirt and debris hitting my eyes, it’s worth considering. But don’t forget to crack a window open to allow for fresh air and ventilation, just don’t tempt us by opening the window too much because we may just jump out.

Pack a dog travel bag

You should pack a travel bag of necessities for us too, not just the kids during the drive. We will need food and water, as well as some treats to keep us happy throughout the journey. If it’s going to be a really long trip, please pack a few toys to keep us entertained. Don’t forget we need wee stops and to stretch our legs every couple of hours. Remember to pack the doggy bags, a lead, and make sure that our dog tag clearly states your current contact number. NEVER leave us unattended in the car!


  • car restraint - suitable for your dog
  • lead
  • fresh water
  • water bowl
  • treats
  • your dog’s usual foodZ
  • toys – favourite and new
  • bed
  • medication – if your dog is on any
  • poo bags
  • Now that you have a better idea on how to keep us safe in the car here’s to more happy holidays. Book NOW!

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