Pets are members of the family and as such, of course we want to take them with us wherever we go whenever possible. But, we need to take some care so that this transport is done safely, in addition to making the trip pleasant for the four-legged friend.
After all, what does the Law say about taking a dog in the car?
First, it is important to say that the dog cannot go loose inside the vehicle. The Brazilian Traffic Code prohibits this practice and provides for penalties and fines for those who do not comply.
Article 169 warns of the danger of “driving without attention or without the essential care for safety”, which is the case of having a free, light and loose animal around, especially if it is in the front (or, worse still, on the driver’s lap). As dangerous as this practice is, in this case the law takes it easy and provides only a fine of R$ 88.38 and 3 points on the driver’s license for the offending driver.
Finally, in article 252 it is forbidden to “drive the vehicle carrying people, animals or volume on your left or between your arms and legs”. This is considered an average infraction, which gives you 4 points on your wallet and a R$ 130.16 fine.
How to transport safely
1. Use a shipping box! You know who usually hates cars, but loves boxes? The cats. This is a great way to make your pet calm, comfortable, safe and without any desire to jump in your face right when it’s time to make the conversion.
2. Use a seat belt: we are not talking about the seat belt you already have in the car, but a specific model for the animal. It costs less than the crate and is like the walking leash but made for that so it won’t hang the dog when you brake.
3. Use a special seat: it’s a kind of “baby seat”, only for pets. In fact, it is a kind of basket that, as it is not fenced like the box, also needs the animal’s seat belt. These seats are usually quite comfortable and are best for smaller dogs, especially those that would feel too confined in the crate.
4. Use a safety crate: if your dog is one of the big ones (or the desperate ones), none of the above solutions will work, so you’ll need to accommodate him in the trunk. Important: it is not allowed (nor would it be nice of you) to take animals in closed trunks, such as sedans. In the others, you can install a safety grid, to prevent the cat from wanting to join you in the cabin and cause fines/accidents.
5. Use a cage : if your pet is a bird, a reptile, a small mammal (such as a hamster) or another animal of that size, take it in a cage, accommodated in a way that it is fixed and secure (you can use the seat belt in the rear seat or the floor of the vehicle behind one of the front seats).
Tips for your dog not to get sick in the car:
- Get the dog used to the car
- Make the positive association: car = fun
- Consult the vet in case of persistent nausea