Keep your pet safe in the car these holidays

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said many pet owners didn’t realise it was an offence to drive with an animal in their lap.

“Having a dog or other animal on your lap while driving is against the law and it can interfere with your control of the vehicle. It can also be a serious distraction,” Ms Hunter said.

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“It’s risky not only for you, and others on the roads, but you could also be putting your pet in harm’s way. We recommend animals travelling inside your vehicle be restrained in some way for their own safety and welfare – this might be in a crate, cargo barrier or with a harness.”

Ms Hunter said dogs travelling on back of utes also needed to be secured appropriately.

“We don’t want dogs to jump from a moving vehicle and injure themselves or be hit, so it’s important that they’re either tethered correctly or in a suitable enclosure,” she said.

“Don’t forget, particularly during the hotter months, it’s important not to leave your dog on the back of trays. Animals’ paws are sensitive and can burn easily if they’re not protected from the heat of the tray. So remember if a surface is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.”