How to travel with a dog by car?


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The approaching holiday trips, and as every time this happens, doubts arise about how to travel with dogs in the car. Traveling with a dog, with a cat, with a bird, with fish or with a hamster is much more common than it seems, although dogs are surely the most traveled on board the vehicle. After all, they are the most loyal companion animals, so we should not be surprised if they want to accompany us on our trip.

And for the trip with our animal to come to fruition, there is nothing better than following some simple recommendations.

With dogs the car, the journey begins long before

Before going on a trip, it is important to verify that the animal is in good condition. A visit to the veterinarian will allow us to know the state of the animal. In addition, if it is an animal that is usually dizzy, perhaps the veterinarian can provide us with some type of medication to help you.

On the other hand, if we travel outside Spain, it is advisable to find out about the possible requirements that may exist to enter or leave the country with a companion animal.

When preparing the trip, it is important to bring water, food, some toy and hygiene articles of the animal. If we carry a suitcase, the dog needs it too. And this suitcase It will be the one that helps you, too, to be more relaxed during the journey.

Inside the vehicle, animals must be conveniently located. Let us not forget what the General Traffic Regulation says in the most successful article in case of fines:

Article 18. Other obligations of the driver

  1. The driver of a vehicle is obliged to maintain his own freedom of movement, the necessary field of vision and permanent attention to driving, which guarantee his own safety, that of the rest of the occupants of the vehicle and that of other users of the vehicle. via. For these purposes, you should take special care to maintain the proper position and that the rest of the passengers maintain it, and the proper placement of the objects or animals transported so that there is no interference between the driver and any of them.

Then comes the whole part of the screens and mobiles, by pure addition to the original text, but the first thing that was written in that article spoke, precisely, of placing people, objects and animals to avoid unnecessary risks.

Where to place the dog during the trip?

In the event of a strong braking or a crash, the dog can hit and hurt himself, hurt the occupants of the car, or get fired, even projected out of the car. That is why it is essential that the dog travel well located and subject.

If we talk about small or medium dogs, the ideal is to travel in a carrier. The best location for this is the floor of the car, behind the front seats. This location is the safest and is also where less heat will pass during sunny hours. It is very important to keep in mind that, in the event of a crash, it can be dangerous for the carrier to be placed on the seats, even if we use the seat belt to tie it.

Almost for any size of dog there are special harnesses that are attached to the seat belt or directly to the seat. Those who only hold the dog by the collar are not very safe, either for the animal, and if the harness has more than one anchor point, the dog will go safer, move less and there will also be less risk of dizziness.

If we talk about large dogs, it is best to travel subjects inside the trunk, if it is large and has a moon in the gate. If possible, it is recommended to place a fence or net of separation between the trunk and the area for people, and even between the area of ​​the trunk that we allocate to the animal and the area where the suitcases are located.

In any case, it is convenient that the dog get used to that space in which it will be spent, surely, a few hours. It is important to let you explore that place a few days before the trip. In this way, it will not be so difficult to cope with the journey you have to make.

And that brings us to the next point.

Don't get tired of the trip, he never would

Traveling by car is fun. If one is not born dog. For an animal, the journey on board a vehicle can be stressful. Traveling with dogs in the car is like that, and that is why we must anticipate that our pet needs to rest, almost as much as we need drivers. Or even more, if the dog is not used to traveling.

Let's take advantage of the stops we make every two hours or every 200 kilometers not only to rest as drivers, but so that the animal can stretch the legs. It is very important to fasten it with the leash before opening the car door, or the dog may be tempted to run around without further caution and run over.

Also in those moments you can give him some water, some cookie, but not too much food, just in case the animal gets dizzy when he is back in the car.

What if we don't travel with a dog but with another animal?

If ours are not dogs but cats, hamsters or cockatoos, more or less govern the same recommendations. If the animal is small, it should be very attentive to the loss of water that may suffer during the journey. If we talk about a bird, we will obviously carry it inside a cage if we don't want it to end up fluttering through the cabin.

In general, it is a series of tips for traveling by car with dogs, cats, birds or any type of animal that, in the end, appeals to our common sense as human beings.

Share This is how you should take your dog in the car

Spanish legislation on animal transport

There are several ways to transport a dog by car, however, some important factors must be taken into account, such as the comfort of the dog and passengers, as well as safety in the event of an accident.

It is important to highlight that a loose dog should never be transported in the vehicle since it can cause distractions, damage to the occupants, and even interfere with driving, with the risk involved.

Regulation in Spain of transport with animals

The regulations of General Circulation Regulation and the Road Safety Law They do not clearly specify how a dog should be transported by car in Spain, however, they do mention some basic driving characteristics that must be taken into account:

The driver must maintain freedom of movement, a necessary field of vision and permanent attention to driving. It must be maintain proper placement of objects or animals transported.

Documentation necessary for transport with animals

Apart from complying with the aforementioned indications, it is essential to have the sanitary card, a census plate of the corresponding municipality and the identification chip. If our dog is also considered a potentially dangerous dog, we must also have civil liability insurance and the corresponding license.

The separating mesh in the vehicle

To start this article on how to travel with a dog by car we show you the separating mesh. It is one of the most popular systems, however, does not allow the dog to be isolated correctly. It is likely that in case of an accident he could access the front seats.

Does not comply with regulations.

Travel belts for dogs

The second option is a pet belt. It is a safer retention system than the previous one and must always be attached to a harness. You should never use a collar, since before an impact the dog could hang himself. However, in case of a serious accident, the dog could suffer an impact against some areas of the vehicle and, although it is unlikely, the restraint system could break.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Double hitch harness

Following the article on how to travel with a dog by car we will talk about the harness. This retention system is very much safer than the belt that we mentioned above. Basically it has a space for us to tie the dog directly using the car seat belt.

As an inconvenience we could point out that limit the movement of the can, can cause stress on the trip.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Folding carrier and others

Folding carriers are another option to transport the dog by car. We can place in the rear seats or in the lower area of the back seats, on the feet. However, only dogs of a certain size can use it. It could cause injuries to the dog in case of impact, especially if it is not properly secured.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Rigid carrier>

The rigid carrier, like the folding carrier is a good option to transport the dog on a trip, but in this case, we talk about safer method. In case of impact the dog would receive the least possible damage and would not affect the drivers. It can be placed in the back seats, in the lower area or in the open trunk. Currently we can also find aluminum carriers, the safest in the market.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Dividing bars

This is another retention method that we can use. It is important to note that the dividing bars they must be specific to the car model, not of a universal type, since the latter may not bear the impact correctly in the event of a collision.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Tips for traveling by car with your dog

Before finishing with this article on how to travel with a dog by car we will offer you some necessary advice that every driver should keep in mind. Follow them to prevent your dog from showing stress or anxiety and getting used to this routine in a positive way:

  • It is advisable to accustom the dog from a puppy, when it is still in the period of socialization, to avoid the acquisition of fears.
  • Start by presenting the car to your dog and associating it positively with the use of treats or tasty prizes. You can also use caresses and kind words.
  • If you are going to travel by transport you must get used to it at home first. Leave candy and toys inside the carrier regularly so that you are not afraid to enter.
  • Do not force your dog to enter the vehicle, it is more indicated that you climb on your own foot. To do this, you can leave sweets and prizes inside the trunk or seats.
  • Do not offer him food or water in excess, he could vomit.
  • Start by raising and lowering the car, to later make short journeys, always in a progressive way.
  • Make the trip a positive experience for him, this way you will make your dog feel like traveling.
  • Try to make the place comfortable and pleasant. Have at your disposal a blanket or a small mattress so that you are calm and relaxed.
  • Do not let your dog stick its head out the window, it is very dangerous.
  • Do not take your pet in the front seats, it is prohibited.
  • If your dog is afraid of getting into the trunk, try using an access ramp.
  • During trips for every 2 or 3 hours so you can urinate, drink and walk.
  • If the dog is afraid to travel by car, review our guidelines to improve the association or go directly to a canine educator.
  • Stay relaxed at all times so that your dog does not alter.

And in case of stress and vomiting?

If your dog shows a lot of stress when traveling, completely avoid the use of drugs containing acepromazine. It is a muscle relaxant that causes high levels of anxiety in the dog, as it prevents him from moving. Instead, go to your veterinarian to prescribe anxiolytics to avoid stress (to be tested before the trip) or antiemeticsto avoid vomiting.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to travel with a dog by car?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.

1. Traveling with a dog: what you need to consider

Surely you have asked yourself about the most correct, comfortable and safe way of doing short journeys as well as long journeys. travel with a dog in the car. And it is not necessary to leave anything to free will, because both your safety and that of other drivers can be in danger in a simple blink of an eye.

The regulations for taking a dog in the car are quite specific, since, regardless of the duration of the trip, Your pet should always be tied and / or in his transport.

Preparations when embarking on a car trip with your dog start before starting the car: have on hand water and food, your favorite toys, medications or dizziness remedies, etc., so that the journey results in the most placid, comfortable and therefore safe of all.

2. How to take the dog in the car?

Even if it is a small dog, the dangers of taking the dog in the car without binding are endless. Statistics and studies show that an animal can extremely increase the risk of distractions at the wheel, as well as cause accidents of various kinds. When embarking on a trip, 82% of pets do so in tourism, and in case of accident or collision, your presence can become a major problem, a dog of normal size multiplies its weight by 35% in an accident at only 50 km / h, so if the animal weighs 200 kg., its body would be dismissed as a force of 700 kg. Pretty impressive, right?

To this we must add the danger they pose to other users on the road, since of course you can induce accidents by distraction or through the animal's physique, for example if it looks out the window.

In any case, taking the dog in the car without mooring incurs a fine of more than € 100, to which must be added the possible withdrawal of card points if it is responsible for more serious fractions.

3. The safety of dogs in the car

There are different ways and tools on the market with which to protect the safety of your dog and yours:

  1. Harness: They are the most popular, practical and cheap, and can also be adapted to other areas of everyday life. They are ideal for small or medium-sized dogs that can go in the rear seats.
  2. Divider grid: in the case of larger dogs, the ideal thing is that they go in the trunk equally protected with a dog safety belt, but thanks to the protective grille between the trunk and the seats there will be no danger of the dog pouncing against the passengers.
  3. Trasportín: Small dogs can also be placed in the trunk of the vehicle or subject to the ground between the seats, inside their transport. It is one of the safest methods available in the market.

4. How to travel with a dog in the car and get well to your destination

Taking into account these recommendations and safety regulations, you must also put into practice some techniques that will make your dog feel comfortable and comfortable during the journey.

  1. There are many animals that are stressed in these types of situations, especially if it is the first time they do it. In this case, try to reassure him by caressing or entertaining him with toys or games.
  2. Some animals also experience dizziness, especially the smallest ones, if the layout has many curves especially. If you suspect that your dog may get dizzy, the ideal is consult a veterinarian first in case you need medication or some type of tranquilizer.
  3. In relation to the latter, it is convenient do not make changes to your pet's diet on the same day of the trip or the previous days, since you risk your dog suffering from indigestion and vomiting during the crossing.
  4. Like you, your dog also needs to rest, stretch his legs and stay hydrated, so if it is a long trip, it is advisable to stop in rest areas.
  5. Must have special care in the summer when taking the dog in the car, since they do not cool the temperature like us and if they remain locked up for a long time they can suffer a heat stroke. Never leave them alone and make sure you have fresh water on hand and that the vehicle is well conditioned.

5. Travel with my dog? conclusion

Definitely, traveling by car with a dog involves certain risks, which can be safeguarded if the necessary security measures are taken. In this way, taking your best vacation companion will not be a problem and you can enjoy the journey with complete peace of mind.

An animal loose in the car is dangerous because ...

Increase driver distraction.

It can interfere with driving when getting on top of the driver or by affecting mechanical systems (pedals, gear shifting, etc.).

It represents a risk for the rest of the users of the road, such is the case of a dog with its head sticking out the window, due to the risk of falling that this implies.

It can cause very serious and even fatal damage to other occupants in case of slowing down or impact.

Retention systems for the transport of dogs, cats and other pets in the car

Choose a retention system that has proven effective through crash tests or that are approved by European standards, for example, ECE R17 or DIN 75410-2. There are different types depending on the size or weight of the animal:

Recommended especially for dogs. They secure pets by seat belt (consider their length) or Isofix devices. The leashes that are attached to the dog's collar do not retain the animal and pose a risk to passengers

Dividing grid

It allows to enable the trunk for the transport of large animals in vehicles with tailgate or family. The stability of both the seat backrests and the grille assembly must be taken into account. The safest and most recommended are those that are mounted from the roof of the vehicle to the floor of the trunk and that comply with DIN 75410-2.


It is one of the safest methods. If you place it in the trunk (for large dogs) it will be placed as close as possible to the backrest and in a transverse position with respect to the direction of travel.
For small pets, the transporters must be placed inside the cabin, on the floor behind the front seats. Never on the seat secured by a seat belt, since the tests carried out show that the box is broken and the pet is dismissed through the wall of the carrier.

Your pet also needs to rest

Your companion animal is also tired of traveling: standing without moving, the heat ... They also need to air out of the car every two hours at most, drink fresh water, eat ... When you take it out of the car take special care to avoid Run away and cause an incident. Walk your tied pet unless there is a rest area enabled.

Do not forget to include your pet in travel insurance

If you do not want to take a dislike, when hiring travel insurance make sure your pet is included.

And remember that you should not only take care of your pet when traveling inside a car, it must also be controlled when traveling as a pedestrian. An uncontrolled animal may be in danger, and also be a risk to road safety.

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