How to travel with a dog by car?

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Traveling by car with your dog is an activity that you probably want to do often, whether it's going on a hike, taking him to the vet, or going on vacation. In this sense, it is essential to have a secure retention system, as well as comply with current legislation in Spain.

We must encourage from puppyhood that our dog gets used to traveling by car, always in a positive way, so that it is an enriching experience free of discomfort. In this AnimalWised article we will show you how to travel with a dog by car, following the Spanish legislation of 2019.

You may also be interested in: Indications for traveling with a dog to Argentina Index
  1. Spanish legislation on transport with animals
  2. The separating screen on the vehicle
  3. Dog travel belts
  4. Double hitch harness
  5. Foldable carrier and others
  6. Rigid carrier
  7. Dividing bars
  8. Tips for traveling by car with your dog

Spanish legislation on transport with animals

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 never transport a loose dog in the vehicle since it can cause distractions, damage to the occupants, and even interfere with driving, with the risk that this implies.

Regulations in Spain for transporting animals

The regulations of the General Traffic Regulations [1] and Road Safety Law [2] 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 constant attention to driving. It is clear that maintain proper placement of transported objects or animals.

Documentation necessary for transport with animals

Apart from complying with the aforementioned indications, it is essential to have the health card, a census plate of the corresponding town hall 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 screen on 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 properly isolated. It is likely that in the event of an accident you could access the front seats.

Does not comply with the regulations.

Dog travel belts

The second option is a pet belt. It is a more secure retention system than the previous one and must always be attached to a harness. A collar should never be used, as the dog could hang himself upon impact. However, in the event of a serious accident, the dog could be struck against some areas of the vehicle and, although unlikely, the restraint system could break.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Double hitch harness

Continuing with the article on how to travel with a dog by car, we will talk about the harness. This restraint system is a lot safer than belt that we mentioned above. It basically has a space for us to tie the dog directly using the car seat belt.

As a drawback we could point out that limits the movement of the can, can cause stress on the trip.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Foldable carrier and others

The folding carriers are another option to transport the dog by car. We can place on the rear seats or in the lower area from the back seats, on the feet. However, it can only be used by dogs of a certain size. It could cause injury to the dog in the event of an impact, especially if it is not properly restrained.

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 are talking about the safest method. In the event of an 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 on 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 must be specific to the car model, not universal, since the latter may not withstand the impact correctly in the event of a collision.

Yes it complies with the regulations.

Tips for traveling by car with your dog

Before ending this article on how to travel with a dog by car, we will offer you some necessary tips that every driver should take into account. Follow them to prevent your dog from showing stress or anxiety and get used to this routine in a positive way:

  • It is advisable to accustom the dog from puppyhood, when it is still in the socialization period, to avoid acquiring fears.
  • Start by introducing your dog to the car and positively associating it with the use of tasty treats or treats. You can also use caresses and kind words.
  • If you are going to travel in a carrier you must get used to it before at home. Regularly leave treats and toys inside the carrier so that they are not afraid to enter.
  • Do not force your dog to enter the vehicle, it is more appropriate for him to climb on his own foot. To do this, you can leave treats and prizes inside the trunk or seats.
  • Do not offer too much food or water, he could vomit.
  • It begins by going up and down the car, to later make short trips, always progressively.
  • Make the trip a positive experience for him, in this way you will make your dog want to travel.
  • Make sure the place is comfortable and pleasant. Have a blanket or a small mattress at your disposal so that you are calm and relaxed.
  • Do not let your dog stick his 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 to climb into the trunk, try using an access ramp.
  • During trips for every 2 to 3 hours so that you can urinate, drink and walk.
  • If the dog is afraid of traveling 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 get upset.

¿And in case of stress and vomiting?

If your dog shows a lot of stress when traveling, completely avoid the use of aceromazine-containing drugs. It is a muscle relaxant that causes high levels of anxiety in the dog, since it prevents him from moving. Instead, see your vet for a prescription anxiolytics to avoid stress (to be tested before the trip) or antiemetics to avoid vomiting.

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