The rules for driving in cars with dogs in Victoria
Does my dog have to be restrained?
No, but Victoria Police strongly recommend you restrain your dog while on the road. Why? “In the event where a car has to brake quickly or is involved in a collision, there is a significant risk that an unrestrained animal could easily move around the cabin or project [fly] through the windscreen,” a police spokesperson says. “This could cause serious injury or death to the animal, as well as other occupants in the vehicle.”
Can my dog sit on the front seat?
Although it’s not illegal, police say it’s not safe for your pet if your car is fitted with airbags. If an airbag deploys it could kill your dog.
Can my dog travel in the back of a ute or in a trailer?
Yes, but it must be restrained, or you could face a $330 fine.
Can my dog sit on my lap while I’m driving?
No. If caught, drivers face a $248 fine.
Can I leave my dog alone in a parked car?
It’s an offence to leave an animal unattended inside a vehicle for more than 10 minutes when the outside temperature is 28 degrees Celsius or above, say police. Drivers face a fine of $3304.40.
Is it legal for my dog to lean its head out the car window?
Yes, but police strongly discourage this because debris on the road may fly up and hit the dog or objects sticking out from other vehicles may hit it, causing serious injury.
Can I put my dog in the boot?
No. The state government’s Department of Agriculture says this is illegal.
VicRoads says although there are no specific laws about restraining your dog inside a vehicle, if you put your pet at risk you could face charges under the prevention of cruelty to animals laws.