Road safety

Travelling with your pet

If your pet travels with you in your car, this information will help ensure they stay safe.​

Buckle up—even pets

Just like people, animals need to be buckled up for safety. Having your pet properly restrained can prevent them from escaping, flying forward in your vehicle, or being hurt in a crash.

Keeping your pet secured in your vehicle also prevents you from driving while distracted. Driver distraction is a leading cause of car crashes in B.C.

Pet safety

Cats take road trips less frequently, but it's just as important to keep them safe while they travel.

If you leave your cat loose in your vehicle, they could crawl around your feet, causing problems when you need to brake. Also, your cat can easily escape from your vehicle if you open your windows.

  • The BC SPCA recommends "airline type" (not cardboard) cat travel carriers to keep your cat safe. A sturdier carrier provides greater protection and security for your cat. It will protect your cat from escaping and from injury in the event of a crash.

  • Keep your windows lowered for ventilation.

Training your cat to use a carrier

Cats are often not used to being in carriers, which can result in both fear of the carrier and fear of your vehicle. To be your own cat whisperer, see the training video, Cats and Carriers: Friends not Foe from Catalyst Council.

You may have a lap dog at home, but in your vehicle, always keep your dog in the back seat. Buckle up your dog with a dog harness (dog seatbelt) or crate.

Dog harness (dog seatbelts)

  • Harnesses come in various sizes to fit your dog. Make sure the harness fits properly and is easy to put on. A rule of thumb is to leave an allowance for two fingers to fit between the harness and the dog for a comfortable fit.

  • With a dog harness, your dog should be able to stand, sit, or lay down comfortably, without having to brace themselves while you're turning, reversing or stopping. A dog harness can be quite comfortable once your dog gets used to it.

Dog crates

  • The crate must be secured in place by a seatbelt, cargo hooks, or placed by the rear seat to secure it in place. If unsecured, the crate can bounce around and even become a projectile.

  • When you're buying a crate for your dog, look for one that has been crash-tested.

  • Keep the windows down for ventilation.

Dogs riding in the back of pickup trucks are particularly at risk. The safest way to transport your dog or other pet is to keep them inside your vehicle.

Remember, it's the law: Section 72 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act prohibits the transport of an unsecured pet in the back of a pickup truck.

See the BC SPCA website for more information about transporting your pet in a pickup truck.

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