Dogs travelling in cars

Dogs travelling in cars

Have dog, will travel

Dogs are important companions for many families. It’s crucial to keep their safety a priority when they are travelling with you in a car. The City of Sydney works closely with state authorities to make sure pets are treated with the respect they deserve.

Road rules

You can be fined and hit with demerit points if your dog is causing you not to be in full control of your vehicle. You can also be fined if you drive with your dog in your lap.

A driver, motorcycle rider, bike rider or passenger must not lead their dog on a leash while moving. Pets should be in the appropriate area of the vehicle.

If a dog is injured because it was unrestrained, the owner can face heavy fines and a jail sentence. Carrying a dog unrestrained in the back of a ute also comes with heavy fines.

Pet safety tips

  • Never leave your dog in a parked car. Temperatures inside cars can rise very quickly, even if it is cloudy outside.
  • Get your dog used to a car. The more confident your pet is in a car, the more comfortable it will be. Start by taking your dog in a car while it is not moving, and then begin taking it on short, slow trips.
  • A waterproof sheet can come in handy. Carry paper towels and disinfectant in case your dog has a ‘doggy accident’. Consider stopping every couple of hours so your dog can stretch its legs. You will also appreciate the break.
  • Don’t let your dog ride with its head out the window. This can cause eye irritations. Your dog jumping out is also a possibility. Open the window enough so that some air can come in.
  • Take your dog for a walk before your journey.
  • Avoid feeding your dog for a couple of hours before you travel.
  • Carry your dog’s most loved toy or rug in the car during the trip.
  • Have a dog restraint properly installed in your car. Restraints can help to stop your dog distracting you and reduce the risk of injury in an accident.


RSPCA: Travelling with your pet

Last updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2012