The sun is shining and your furry best friend wants to join you on a drive. We’ve outlined what laws are in place and how to ensure your pet's safety before you take that trip.
Where should you put your pet?
Your pet should not ever be sitting in the front of your vehicle, especially not on your lap while driving. If you were to be in an accident having your pet in the front could result in either an injury from the airbag or risk them going through the windshield. We all want to ensure the safety of our pets as they are part of the family, you wouldn’t drive in your vehicle if your children didn’t have their safety belts on! Not only is it dangerous for your pet, it can also be a major distraction for you while you drive.
What are the Ontario Laws with respect to having your pet in your car?
When it comes to having an animal in your vehicle, you must be aware of the pertaining Ontario laws. As outlined by the Ontario Highway Traffic Act;
- Insecure Load (section 111(2) of the HTA) Offence: Dog
loosein the back of a truck. No animal should be loose in the back box of a pickup truck. Animals need to secure by way of a crate and the crate also needs to be secured.
- Careless driving (section 130 of the HTA) Offence: Dog on the lap of a driver. Having an animal on the lap of a driver puts the operator of the vehicle, the occupants
andother drivers at risk of injury. Animals should be in the back seat secured by way of crateor seatbelt harness.
How to properly secure your pet in the car!
Luckily, you can find a variety of car restraints in your local pet store. Make sure you select what works best for you and your pet. According to the Ontario SPCA here are their recommendations for pet safety;
- There are pet harnesses that use the car’s existing seatbelt to tether the pet to the car’s existing seatbelt receptacle.
- Small dog booster seats are a great option and attach to the seat of your car and then the dog is attached to the booster seat.
- If your car has a cargo department, there may be a tether that you can use to attach your pet’s leash too.