Summertime in Ontario is the best time to take your pet on a car ride! We’ve shared important safety facts you need to know before taking a drive with your furry friend.
There isn’t anything better than seeing your pet enjoying a summer drive! But, considering how much they mean to you, safety must be your first priority.
Preparing your pet for a drive
The Ontario SPCA recommends you do the following six things to ensure your pet is comfortable while on a drive.
- Feed your dog within 4 hours before leaving to avoid any motion sickness
- Ensure a comfortable temperature – it’s very easy for pets to overheat (even with the windows open)
- Keep the car’s sound system at a moderate level as dogs and cats have sensitive ears
- Plan for rest stops every 2 hours for water, the bathroom, and exercise
- Ensure your pet is secured properly you begin your drive (tips below)
- Put your pet’s leash on before opening the car door
Understanding Ontario laws pertaining to driving with pets
If you’re driving with your pet, it's imperative you’re informed on the Ontario laws that relate. The Ontario SPCA provided a helpful overview as outlined by the Ontario Highway Traffic Act;
- 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, and other drivers at risk of injury. Animals should be in the back seat secured by way of a crate or seatbelt harness.
- Insecure Load (section 111(2) of the HTA) Offence: Dog loose in the back of a truck. No animal should be loose in the backbox of a pickup truck. Animals need to secure by way of a crate and the crate also needs to be secured.
Where is the safest place for your pet in the car?
One of the most important things to ensure a safe ride is the location of your pet. They should never be in the front seat, on your lap, under your feet, or in the way of a possible blind spot.
If you were to get into an accident they could get seriously hurt from the airbag or going through your windshield. Not to mention, they are a dangerous distraction. It’s important you secure them to ensure their safety while driving – not to mention the safety of you, your passengers, and other drivers.
The best ways to secure your pet
There are many options for making sure your pet is secured in your vehicle. A seatbelt harness, a crate, and a back-seat barrier are some very common options that can be easily found at your local pet store.