- The law. In all states across Australia, it is an offence to drive with your pet on your lap and if on a motorbike, your pet mustn’t ride between the handlebars and the rider. Also, fines can exceed $400 and you can lose three points if caught and if an animal is injured as a result of being unrestrained, the fines and penalties increase dramatically under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, including jail time.
- Safety is paramount. Not only is it illegal for pets to sit on drivers’ laps, it also isn’t safe, for you or your pet. Pet restraints are highly recommended by all authorities. You can find out more about restraints here.
- Head to the vet and get any new vaccinations that are needed and the ok that your pet is healthy enough to travel.
- Ensure you book pet friendly accommodation and that you will spend plenty of time with them there to make them feel at home.
- Get your pet microchipped and/or update your contact details before you take off. Also, make sure your microchip register is recognised nationally if travelling interstate.
- Check your Road Assist membership level. If you’re an NRMA Premium Care member, you automatically get Pet Plus coverage which includes pet transportation, access to vets and an individually numbered pet tag to help return your pet safely. You can even buy a cute pet tag linked to your NRMA membership number.
- Get your pet used to car travel before embarking on a long trip. Take a few short trips first.
- Keep your pet’s things separate for easy access during the road trip – bowls, food, water, leash, toys, plastic bags and any medications should all be within easy access.
- Never leave your pet unattended in your car, especially on a hot day. NRMA rescued 1,500 pets from cars over the last 12 months. Keep these tips in mind to avoid accidental lock-ins.
- Stop for plenty of toilet breaks. Road trips can be exciting for your pet and with excitement can come accidents. Stop more frequently than you normally would.
- As tough as it is, don’t let your pet ride with its head out the window as they can risk being hit by moving objects, or worse, falling out of the car.
Do you have any tips to add? How do you find travelling with pets?
Caravanning with pets? Read our guide.