Are you thinking of travelling with your dog by car? The team at Port Veterinarios has a lot of experience with this since as a result of their job, they have been stopped by the police numerous times for transporting animals in the car.

The information they tell us is accurate and up to date, but their personal advice is to always appreciate and empathize with the officer who stops you since they are doing their job properly for our security.

The reality is that traffic laws regard dogs to be a form of good that must be linked to the automobile so that they don’t fall, move, or compromise the vehicle’s stability.

The only thing the traffic law says is:

The driver of a vehicle is required to maintain his or her own freedom of movement, the required field of vision, and constant attention to driving in order to assure safety.

To that aim, special care must be made to preserve the appropriate posture and position of other passengers, as well as the right placement of goods or animals being transported, so that the driver does not interfere with any of them.

In other words, as long as the dog does not have the potential to interfere with the driving and does not obstruct the driver’s field of view, the law is not breached.

DGT safety recommendations

Here is all of the DGT’s information on the different hitching systems and their behavior in the case of an accident:

Animal on the loose: The dog sprawled out behind the driver is the worst-case situation. In the case of a collision, the animal will be flung against the driver’s head restraint. Both would sustain significant, if not fatal, injuries.

The harness is fastened to the seat belt of the vehicle. The harness hook snaps in the case of a collision. The dog slams into the back of the driver’s seat, inflicting severe spinal damage. The animal would be seriously or fatally injured.

The harness inhibits forward displacement, resulting in no weight being delivered to the driver. They must have a short connection method to prevent the pet from colliding with the chairs, which might have fatal effects.

Restraints for seatbelts: The seatbelt’s attachment points are damaged by the carrier. Furthermore, the upper half of the carrier is shattered. The animal is severely injured, and the vehicle’s occupants are subjected to high weights.

Transport indication on the vehicle floor: Small carriers fit comfortably on the floor. Because they have little room, the energy of the hit is absorbed instantly, and in many situations, the animal’s passenger compartment is distorted while the animal sustains only minor injuries.

If the animal is large enough and the carrier is large enough, it can be placed in the luggage compartment in a transverse position to the direction of travel. The risk of rear occupant harm cannot be ruled out.

A dividing grille: A grille installed between the pillars of the automobile construction, separating the cabin from the boot, allowing the pet to walk freely without bothering the driver, but in the case of an accident, the animal might suffer quite serious damage depending on its location at the time.

El Port Veterinarios is clear about it, it is preferable to integrate the carrier with the dividing grille.

If you have any questions on this or any other topic to help keep our pets healthy, don’t hesitate to contact them.

Contact details:

El Port Veterinary Clinic

Calle La Mar, 159, Altea – 03590 (Alicante)

Phone: +34 966 880 612