While some states and territories have specific road rules requiring pets to be restrained while travelling in a vehicle, there’s no such rules in Queensland, although it’s a good idea to do so since pets can become a distraction while driving, as well as a dangerous projectile if you are involved in a traffic incident.
Nissan Australia has recently made taking your furry friend along for a car ride safer and easier, with the launch of a new Dog Pack for its Qashqai, X-Trail and Patrol models.
The Nissan Dog Pack is a suite of accessories ranging from an entry/exit ramp to an all-terrain dog beg, cargo barrier and cargo organiser, designed to ensure pets can travel in comfort and safety.
Owners can opt for the complete Dog Pack, or select individual items that suit their needs, and the Pack can be customised according to different size dogs, according to Nissan.
“For so many of us, our pets are like a member of the family, and now it’s easier than ever to bring your dog along with you on your next road-trip, whether to the local park or to the other side of the country,” says Nissan Australia managing director, Adam Paterson.
The Dog Pack includes a rear protection tray or mat (depending on vehicle model), a reflective boot-lip protector, a four-piece dog travel set (including an easy-store bowl, a lead, a waste-bag holder, and a sealable food bag), an over-seat cargo-area organiser and an all-terrain dog bed.
The Pack can also include a ramp that, when extended, stretches 1.6 metres from the boot lip to the ground, making for an easy and stress-free entry and exit from your vehicle for your pet, and a sturdy cargo barrier that separates the cargo area from the cabin, ensuring your pet doesn’t go on any in-car adventures while you’re on the move.
All the options can be ordered at Nissan Dealerships at the time of vehicle purchase, or added as an accessory to existing vehicles. Pricing varies according to vehicle type and the size of your dog.
While it’s not a legal requirement to restrain a pet that’s in the vehicle with you while driving in Queensland, it is an offence to drive with your pet on your lap or to not have proper control of the motor vehicle.
Utes and trailers are another matter, however, because an animal carried in the tray of a ute, or in a trailer, is classed as a load and must be safely restrained.
If travelling with your animal in the back of a ute it is recommended to avoid using a choker chain and to restrain the dog behind the cabin in the middle of the tray, using a secure neck collar or harness. Also ensure the lead is not too short or long so the dog can move from side to side comfortably, without being able to jump over the side.
Another alternative is to place your dog in an enclosed shelter or cage, which will help protect the dog from dust and wind and avoiding branches and other projectiles striking the animal while travelling.
In either case, if your ute has a metal floor, always remember to cover it in hot conditions to avoid burning your pooch’s paws.
For more information on travelling with animals, including horses, visit the Queensland Government website.
The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.