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Animal on board: Best practices

Summer brings nice weather and the urge to head off on the road. For many dog owners, leaving behind their best friend is simply not an option.

It is not an uncommon sight to see small and large dogs in the passenger seat or moving freely in the back seat. We can’t forget those cute noses sticking out the window enjoying the fresh air.

However, are these practices safe for our pets and, above all, are they legal? According to the SAAQ, driving a road vehicle in which an animal obstructs your view or interferes with the proper handling of the vehicle is prohibited. Doing so, you face a fine up to $60.

But we agree that the price to pay – if an animal becomes the cause of an accident – is much higher.


Did you know that, in the event of an accident or sudden braking, the weight of your pet is multiplied by 20?

This means that your best friend becomes a projectile. That’s why it is recommended to use one of the following methods, according to the size of your pet :

  • Attach your pet using a harness.
  • Set up a safety net or barrier.
  • Place your pet in a pet carrier and use a seat belt to secure the carrier.

In closing, here is a list of things to never do when taking your pet along in the car:

  • Never drive with your pet in your lap or on your shoulder.
  • Never let your pet stick its head out the window. It could face any number of dangers: flying rocks, insects, vehicle that pass too close…
  • Never leave your pet alone in a car with all the windows rolled up. Heatstrokes can be fatal.