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Driving with a dog - What applies?

There are a number of rules to follow when travelling by car with your dog, so it is important that you as a dog owner know what applies when your dog is travelling in the car. This is to ensure that your dog is comfortable and safe, and feels good during the journey - but also to ensure that other passengers have a safe ride.

As a dog owner, it's important that you feel confident about taking your dog with you in the car when necessary. Whether you need to take the dog in the car very often, less often, for longer or shorter journeys, it is essential that the dog gets used to the ride to make it feel safe for everyone.

Does the dog really have to go?

Before you plan to take the dog with you in the car, it might be a good idea to think about whether it is really necessary, and whether the dog would feel better travelling by car than staying at home or with someone else. If it's a long trip where the whole family is going, it's obviously necessary, but maybe not when you're going to the shops or just being away for a few hours. If, on the other hand, you want to take your dog with you in the car, whatever the destination and reason, it is important that the dog is comfortable during the journey. If you are going on an errand or trip that requires the dog to stay in the car, you also need to consider the temperature and weather outside - this can be critical to the dog's well-being.

Easy to get too hot or too cold

Dogs are much more sensitive than us when it comes to both heat and cold. And in a closed car it gets much warmer, and even colder, than the temperature outside. For hot summer days and chilly winter days when you should leave your dog unsupervised in a car:

  • The temperature inside the car must not exceed +25°C, and must not go below -5°C

  • There should be protection from sunlight and good ventilation, and the car should be in the shade

  • Warming mats should be available if it is cold outside

Rules and requirements for transport

Are you going on a road trip that requires you to take your dog with you? In addition to the guidelines for when the dog should be left in the car, it is important that you ensure that the dog is safe, secure and comfortable during transport. This should also be adapted to the climate and temperature outside. These rules apply during transport:

  • The dog should be transported in a cage or in a specially separated space, preferably with netting or grating. Safety belts for dogs within the passenger compartment of the car are also acceptable.

  • The space must be large enough for the dog to stand, sit and lie in a natural position.

  • You, the driver, should always keep a close eye on the dog and supervise it during transport

  • The dog must be walked at least every six hours, including water breaks

  • You must not leave the dog without food for more than 24 hours

  • Bitches in heat must be transported separately from males

  • Pregnant bitches must not be transported 2 weeks before planned whelping, and at the earliest 1 week after whelping (exceptions apply)

  • The puppy must be at least 1 week old, with a healed umbilical cord, for approved transport

  • Puppy or dog may not be transported if sick or injured (exceptions apply)

  • The dog must be able to get out of the vehicle without problems

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