Does Your State Require Dogs Be Harnessed in the Car?

Dogs and Distracted Driving

Does your state require dogs be harnessed in the car?

Dogs and Distracted Driving


What type of dog restraint law does your state enforce?

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Click Law Types Below

YesYesarrow

This state has a law enacted which prohibits driving with an unrestrained dog in your vehicle.

NoNoarrow

This state does not have any law enacted which prohibits driving with an unrestrained dog in your vehicle.

AmbiguousAmbiguousarrow

There is some language in this state's laws which indicates you should not drive with an unrestrained dog in your car, but it is not specific enough to determine if you can be penalized.

DefeatedDefeatedarrow

A law prohibiting driving with an unrestrained dog in the vehicle had been proposed but defeated. No new law had been introduced. This is currently a "no law" state but is labeled to indicate legislation had been considered.

ProposedProposedarrow

There was a law currently proposed in this state to prohibit driving with an unrestrained dog in the vehicle. This is currently a "no law" state but is labeled to indicate legislation is being considered.


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Alabama

ambiguous

While Alabama does not currently have a law requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured during transportation in a vehicle, animal cruelty laws may be invoked if a police officer determines the manner of transportation may violate animal welfare laws or endanger the dog. - Resource 1

Alaska

no

There is no law on the books requiring dogs to wear a seatbelt, however, the Alaska Driver Manual published by the Alaska DMV lists 10 ways to minimize distracted driving, including the recommendation to "Always secure your pets properly before you start to drive." However, individual cities may have their own animal control laws regarding unrestrained dogs, pets, or livestock in open pickup truck beds. Homer city council banned the practice in 2016 under Ordinance 16-38(S), and included restrictions on animals loose in the vehicle cab or on the driver's lap. - Resource 1

Arizona

ambiguous

Arizona does not currently have a law specifically requiring dogs to wear seat belts. However, drivers may be charged under existing distracted driving laws if they drive with an animal in their lap, or if a police officer determines the transportation method creates an unsafe situation. In January 2018, SB1116—a bill prohibiting dogs or other animals from riding in the driver's lap with a penalty of a $100 fine—was introduced by Arizona Senator John Kavanagh. The bill did not pass and was held in committee in January 2018.

Arkansas

no

There is no law in Arkansas which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. However, if a police officer deems the transportation of an animal to be cruel or unsafe, they may choose to ticket the driver. - Resource 1

California

defeated

While California does not currently have a law requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured within the enclosed space of a vehicle during transportation, dogs riding in the bed of a truck must be cross tethered to the vehicle or secured in a crate or cage to prevent injury from falling, jumping, or being thrown from the vehicle per Vehicle Code section 23117. Though the Governor vetoed CA A 2233 making it illegal to drive with a pet in the lap or arms and no official law has passed regarding dogs riding in laps, the LAPD will issue a ticket for driving at an unsafe speed to people driving with dogs on their laps as no speed is safe with a pet in your lap. - Resource 1

Colorado

no

There is no law in Colorado requiring dogs to wear seat belts while in a vehicle, however, an anti-distracted driving campaign lists looking after pets as a distraction while driving. - Resource 1

Connecticut

yes

While Connecticut does not currently have a law requiring dogs to be restrained or secured while riding inside a vehicle, drivers may be charged under existing distracted-driving laws if they drive with a pet in their lap.

Dogs being transported in an open truck bed must be in a crate or cage, or must be secured to prevent them from falling, jumping, or being thrown from the vehicle. - Resource 1

Delaware

no

There is no law in Washington, D.C. which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. - Resource 1

District of Columbia

no

Though there is no law requiring dogs to wear seat belts in Washington, D.C., the district’s distracted “Distracted Driving Safety Act of 2004” mentions ‘interacting with pets’ as a type of distracted driving, which is prohibited under § 50–1731.03. - Resource 1

Florida

proposed

There is no law in Florida which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport, though the distracted driving campaign provides a list of common distractions, including unsecured pets: "tending to kids or passengers in the back seat, eating, watching an event outside of the vehicle, interacting with passengers, unsecured pets, putting on makeup or grooming, adjusting radio or climate controls, checking your GPS app or system and even daydreaming." SB 320 was introduced by Florida senator Steube in 2017 to place restrictions on transporting dogs in truck beds without a crate or proper restraint, but the bill was withdrawn from consideration. - Resource 1

Georgia

no

There is no law in Georgia which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. - Resource 1

Hawaii

ambiguous

While Hawaii does not currently have a seat belt law for dogs, driving with a pet in your lap violates laws regarding obstruction to driver's view or driving mechanism. Hawaii Statutes, Section 291C-124 states "While operating a motor vehicle, no person shall hold in the person's lap, or allow to be in the driver's immediate area, any person, animal, or object which interferes with the driver's control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle." - Resource 1

Idaho

no

There is no law in Idaho which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. - Resource 1

Illinois

defeated

There is no law in Illinois which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. In 2012, State Sen. Martin Sandoval filed a bill to ban dogs from drivers' laps. This bill failed to pass the Senate. Afterward, Representative Daniel Burke introduced the "Safe Driving With Pets Task Force" which was also defeated in 2012. The task force would have recommended legislation regarding protecting drivers, passengers, animals, and more. - Resource 1

Indiana

defeated

In January 2017, Senator Dennis Kruse introduced SB 32, a bill making it illegal to drive with a dog in your lap or in a manner that the pet would obstruct the driver's view. The bill was referred to Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation but is no longer active. However, there is no law in Indiana which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. - Resource 1

Iowa

ambiguous

There is no law in Iowa which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. However, Iowa code 321.363 states that driving with an obstructed view is an operating violation that may carry a fine. Though this is not an animal-specific restriction, an unrestrained dog—especially riding in the driver's lap—could fall under this code at the discretion of law enforcement. - Resource 1

Kansas

no

There is no law in Kansas which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. - Resource 1

Kentucky

no

There is no law in Kentucky which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. - Resource 1

Louisiana

defeated

There is no law in Louisiana which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. The bill HB1091 was introduced by Representative Tom Willmott and would have allowed the transportation of dogs in pickup truck beds only if the dogs were properly restrained. The bill was vetoed by the Governor in 2014. - Resource 1

Maine

yes

While Maine does not currently have a law requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured during transportation within an enclosed section of a vehicle, Rep. Jim Handy sponsored H.P. 440 in 2017, a bill to prohibit dogs from riding on laps or sticking their head out the window. This bill has since been withdrawn. Maine state law dictates that a person driving a pickup truck, convertible, or other open vehiclemay not transport a dog in the open portion of that vehicle on a public way unless the dog is protected in a manner that prevents the dog from falling or jumping or being thrown from the vehicle." Additionally, drivers with pets on their laps can be charged under the existing distracted driving law. - Resource 1

Maryland

proposed

Senator Johnny Ray Salling sponsored SB1211 which prohibits the operation of a vehicle with a dog on the driver's seat. As of August 2018, the bill has not yet passed. If the bill becomes law, it will be effective October 1, 2018. While Maryland does not currently have a law requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured during transportation, the 2013 Maryland Transportation Code Section 21-1104 states "a person may not drive a vehicle on a highway with any object, material, or obstruction so located in or on the vehicle as to interfere with the clear view of the driver through the windshield." This could apply to dogs riding in the driver's lap, though it does not explicitly state this restriction. - Resource 1

Massachusetts

yes

While Massachusetts does not currently have a law requiring dogs to wear seat belts when riding inside a vehicle, dogs being transported in the bed of a truck must be properly restrained. In addition to requiring the sides and tailgate of the vehicle to reach a certain height, dogs must must be secured within a crate or cage, or properly cross tethered to the vehicle to comply with the transportation law in Chapter 90, Section 22H, Safe transportation of animals.

Further, though the language does not explicitly require dogs wear a seat belt, Chapter 90, Section 13 could prevent a dog from riding in the driver's lap or front seat, or even unrestrained in the vehicle; "No person, when operating a motor vehicle, shall permit to be on or in the vehicle or on or about his person anything which may interfere with or impede the proper operation of the vehicle or any equipment by which the vehicle is operator or controlled."

Additionally, cruelty to animals laws state that any person who "carries it or causes it to be carried in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhumane manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon" could be required to pay a fine or face jail time. The law does not state what would make transportation "inhumane." - Resource 1

Michigan

proposed

Rep. LaTanya Garrett introduced House Bill 5277—prohibiting the operation of a vehicle with a dog in the driver's lap—in November 2017. The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure but did not become law. The only restrictions on dog transportation in Michigan are related to wolf-dog hybrids. The law states that any wolf-dog hybrid must be transported in compliance with the International Air Transport Association's Live Animal Regulations for Dogs. - Resource 1 - Resource 2

Minnesota

yes

While Minnesota does not currently have a law requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured within the cab of a vehicle during transportation, the law does mention requirements while transporting animals in the open area of a truck. If suitable crates or other restraint is not provided, as stated in 343.24 of the 2016 Minnesota Statutes, an owner can be found guilty of a misdemeanor. - Resource 1

Mississippi

ambiguous

While Mississippi does not currently have a law requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured during transportation, the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011, MS Code Section 97-41-16, makes it a misdemeanor to "carry or confine in a cruel manner," which could apply to transporting a dog without proper attention to safety. - Resource 1

Missouri

no

There is no law in Missouri which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. - Resource 1

Montana

no

There is no law in Montana which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. - Resource 1

Nebraska

no

There is no law in Nebraska which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. - Resource 1

Nevada

no

There is no law in Nevada which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation, however, the statute NRS 574.190 bans "cruel and inhumane" methods of transporting animals. - Resource 1

New Hampshire

yes

There is no law in New Hampshire which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation within the cab of a vehicle, however, dogs being transported in the bed of a truck must be properly restrained. In addition to requiring the sides and tailgate of the vehicle reach a certain height, dogs must be secured within a crate or cage, or properly cross tethered to the vehicle to comply with the law. - Resource 1

New Jersey

defeated

New Jersey does not currently have a law that specifically requires seat belts for dogs, but a law does state that carrying an animal in a cruel or inhumane manner can result in a disorderly offense as stated in R.S.4:22-17. Violations may carry a fine, and if found guilty of cruelty to animals the driver may be fined between $250-$1,000 for each offense. In 2012, Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer proposed the law require dogs to wear a safety restraint or ride in a crate while in a vehicle. The suggestion was met with much debate—and a promise of a veto from the Governor. The bill failed. - Resource 1

New Mexico

no

There is no law in New Mexico which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. - Resource 1

New York

defeated

The bill A4541 was introduced in 2013 and would have prohibited the operation of a motor vehicle with an animal in the front seat or an unrestrained animal in the vehicle. This bill did not pass. - Resource 1

North Carolina

proposed

Under North Carolina's current cruelty to animals laws, Section 14-363 states that carrying any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. In February 2017, Rep. Garland Pierce introduced House Bill 73 that would prohibit the operation of a vehicle with an animal in the driver's lap. The bill has not passed. - Resource 1 - Resource 2

North Dakota

ambiguous

North Dakota's previous law, 36-21.1-03 Cruelty in transportation was repealed Aug. 1, 2013. It had stated: No person may carry, or cause to be carried, any live animals upon any vehicle or otherwise, without providing suitable racks, cars, crates, or cages, or other proper carrying container, nor may he carry an animal, or cause an animal to be carried, in any other cruel manner. - Resource 1

Ohio

ambiguous

Though there is no law in Ohio that specifically requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation, Ohio's current cruelty to animals laws state that no person shall carry or convey an animal in a cruel or inhumane manner. - Resource 1

Oklahoma

ambiguous

Though there is no law in Oklahoma that specifically requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation, Oklahoma's current cruelty to animals statutes state that it is a misdemeanor to carry an animal in a vehicle in a cruel or inhumane manner. - Resource 1

Oregon

proposed

In 2015, ORS 811.200 addressed the proper transportation of a dog on the external part of a vehicle (such as the bed of a truck). This law requires a dog riding outside of a vehicle's cab be secured by a framework, carrier or another device sufficient to keep it from falling from the vehicle. Laws proposed in 2018 and 2019 aimed to create stricter transportation requirements for dogs, but neither passed. - Resource 1 - Resource 2

Pennsylvania

proposed

Though it was not enacted, a bill proposed in Pennsylvania in 2005 would have required pets being transported in a vehicle to be secured in a crate, cage, dog seat belt system, or with a pet gate to keep the dog out of the driver's space and prevent distraction to the driver, as well as injuries in the event of a crash. This bill also would have required the dog's head and body to remain inside the window at all times. - Resource 1

Rhode Island

yes

As of 2012, Rhode Island requires dogs being transported in a vehicle to be in an enclosed area and either secured within a crate, restrained with a harness or pet seat belt designed for use in a vehicle, or under the physical control of a person other than the driver of the vehicle. Violation of the law carries a fine of up to $200 depending on the number of offenses. A bill introduced in 2013 would have made it illegal to allow a dog to ride in the driver's lap, but this bill has not been enacted. - Resource 1

South Carolina

ambiguous

As of August 2018, there is no law in South Carolina which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. However, you can be ticketed for negligence or another offense while driving with your pet in your lap if an officer considers the situation unsafe, such as if the driver's view is obstructed or if something interferes with the driver's control of the vehicle. - Resource 1

South Dakota

no

There is no law in South Dakota which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transport. - Resource 1

Tennessee

ambiguous

There is no law in Tennessee which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation, however, current cruelty to animals statues make it illegal to transport or confine an animal in a cruel manner. Tennessee bill TN H 2998 proposed to make it illegal to drive with an animal in the driver's lap or between the driver and driver's door. This bill was defeated. TN H 212 would have required animals to be restrained while riding in the interior of a vehicle; this bill was also defeated. - Resource 1

Texas

ambiguous

There is no law in Texas which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. However, current disorderly conduct laws state that it is an offense to transport or confine an animal in a cruel manner. - Resource 1

Utah

ambiguous

There is no law in Utah which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. However, current anti-cruelty provisions state that it is illegal to transport or confine an animal in a cruel manner. - Resource 1

Vermont

ambiguous

There is no law in Vermont which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. However, Vermont's animal health regulations and animal transportation rules stipulate that "no person shall transport any animal... in a cruel or inhumane manner." - Resource 1

Virginia

ambiguous

There is no law in Virginia which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. However, Virginia's dog laws require that owners provide adequate care for companion animals during transportation. The Virginia DMV website list unrestrained pets as a distraction and recommends all pets be secured while driving and recommends seat belt harnesses, dog car seats, and pet crates as options. - Resource 1

Washington

ambiguous

There is no law in Washington which requires a dog to wear a seat belt or be contained in a crate during transportation. However, Washington's prevention of cruelty to animals laws state that it is a misdemeanor to transport animals in a way that would pose a risk to the animal or public safety. There is a penalty for transporting or confining a companion animal in an unsafe manner. Additionally, a distracted driving law went into effect in July 2017. Unrestrained pets aren't specifically listed as a violation, but lawmakers and police officers have mentioned having a loose pet or dog riding on the driver's lap as a potential distraction—one that may be considered a secondary violation if a driver is pulled over for erratic driving or running a red light—but would not be enough to initiate a traffic stop. - Resource 1

West Virginia

no

There is no law in West Virginia requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured within a crate or cage while being transported in a vehicle. - Resource 1

Wisconsin

ambiguous

There is no law in Wisconsin requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured within a crate or cage while being transported in a vehicle, however, Wisconsin's crimes against animals statutes state that it is illegal to transport an animal in or on a vehicle in a cruel manner. Drivers with a dog in their lap can be cited for inattentive driving under Wisconsin Statute 346.89, which states: No person while driving a motor vehicle may be engaged or occupied with an activity, other than driving the vehicle, that interferes or reasonably appears to interfere with the person's ability to drive the vehicle safely. - Resource 1

Wyoming

no

There is no law in Wyoming requiring dogs to wear seat belts or be secured within a crate or cage while being transported in a vehicle. - Resource 1

Does Your State Require Dogs Be Harnessed in the Car?

We bring our dogs everywhere. If we’re hiking, they’re trekking with us. We’ve figured out all of the dog-friendly stores and cafés in town. And, we wouldn’t consider a road trip without our trusty canine co-pilot. Nose prints on the windows are a sure sign of an excellent journey—or are they? Distractions behind the wheel contribute to thousands of accidents per year. In addition to texting, adjusting radio dials, and eating, a loose dog in a vehicle can be a dangerous distraction. Additionally, an unsecured dog can become a projectile in the event of an accident or sudden stop, which can cause serious injury—or death—to the dog and passengers in the car. Preventing your canine companion from distracting you while on the road—and keeping them safe for the drive—can be as simple as using a seat belt harness or securing your dog in a crate while in a vehicle. This includes dogs of any age. If you have a young dog, you should still harness or crate your puppy in the car. While using a pet harness in the car is recommended by pet safety advocates and veterinarians, is a dog seat belt required in your state by law?

Throughout recent years, several states have considered legislation to make dog seat belts mandatory. New Jersey made headlines in 2012 when a proposed law called for seat belts for dogs—a move that elicited strongly-worded responses from those critical of the requirement. Other states have likewise proposed dog seat belt laws, Maine, New York, and Rhode Island among them. These dog safety belt requirements have been met with varying degrees of success—usually in the form of restricting dogs to the back seat of the car but not actually mandating a restraint system.

As of January 2019, only a handful of states had specific laws requiring a dog to wear a car harness or be otherwise restricted in a moving vehicle. Many states have passed laws banning dogs from the front seat, truck bed, or from hanging their head out the window. Some states, including Arizona, Hawaii, and Connecticut may charge drivers under distracted driving laws if they drive with a dog in their lap. Similarly, drivers in Los Angeles may be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed if they’re caught with a dog in their lap—the LAPD states that no speed is safe with a pet in your lap.

While several states ban the cruel or inhumane transportation of animals, what constitutes cruelty isn’t always clear. The language surrounding dogs in truck beds is easier to understand in some cases—states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Minnesota have laws in place to ensure dogs in open truck beds are properly contained in a sturdy crate or cross-tethered. Your dog will also feel more comfortable in a crate while traveling, as it gives them a sense of comfort and security.

The issue of properly restraining dogs in a vehicle is mentioned in the UK’s Highway Code. Rule 57 declares “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

Is your dog required by law to wear a seat belt harness for car travel? Lawmakers across the country stand on either side of the argument. Driving with unrestrained animals in the car could fall under state animal cruelty laws in some locations, and others may consider loose animals a distracted driving violation. Regardless of the law, the safest way for your dog to travel is secured with a dog seat belt harness or in a crate. And, if you get pulled over for swerving, speeding, or other faults caused by the distraction of a dog, you can still be ticketed for dangerous driving. Explore this interactive map of dog seat belt laws by state to see where dogs need to wear a seat belt harness.

78 thoughts on “Does Your State Require Dogs Be Harnessed in the Car?”

  1. Sad to say. I see Dogs riding unharnessed everyday in the back of a pickup truck. In my life I have rescued four dogs that fell out of the trucks while the driver drove on. We need a law to stop this.

    1. I totally agree people want dogs to be treated like humans they should also suffer consequences like jail time in dog dies in a car accident and was not buckle harnessed. These people I see all the time with dogs hanging out windows etc and they claim to love their dog but puts them in harm’s way. The police need to start enforcing the law.

      1. this is crazy talk come on people. dogs dont die because of riding in the back of a truck they dont die because they are riding in the front seat. something happend the drivers a idiot and not paying attention harness a dog in the car will solve nothing a crash can still kill them a harness dog in the bed of a truck even worst. if your dog is dumb enough to jump out of the truck while moving then you should have been smart enough to already know your dog might jump out so shame on you for putting him back there in the first place. this is crazy talk going to far. put your dog in the vehicle where ever you want (not in the trunk) and go to the beach or where ever.

        1. So you’re driving down the road and someone t bones you,you become an idiot, or someone rear ends you you then also becomes an idiot? Just because you have an accident doesn’t mean it’s your fault. But the not being restrained is hurt none the less.

        2. I personally saw a dog in the bed of a pick up truck fall out when the driver cut a hard left. Person behind the dog was unable to avoid it. Dead. Your argument is invalid.

        3. I just witnessed an idiot carrying his dog teetering on boxes in the bed of his pickup. Also, this Thanksgiving I was discussing the dog seat belt issue with friends. One of them had a disabling for her, for her dog it was worse because the dog slammed into her windshield. So much for the Red-Neck theory.

        4. Wrong on both counts, Mike. During an accident, animals that are unrestrained inside a vehicle literally become projectiles and can injure or kill people in the car as well as themselves. If they get out of a vehicle after an accident, they can be injured/killed on the road or lost. Dogs that are not secured in a truck bed can jump or fall out when the vehicle is moving. I saw a dog thrown from the back of a pickup when the driver swerved. I didn’t hit the dog, but I stopped to see if I could do something for it. Unfortunately, the dog was dead.

        5. Mike, too much common sense! Please limit your sharing to dribble, so all the idiots out there can understand! Thanks!! lmbo

        6. To each his on, you stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of yours.

          Love dogs, had several over the years, they always rode in the back of my pickup.

        7. Seatbelts accomplish more than what is obvious.
          The Driver’s belt keeps them behind the wheel where they must remain to regain control of the vehicle.
          Seat belts for the passengers (and dogs) keep them
          1) inside the vehicle and
          2) from getting thrown between the driver and the steering wheel.
          …one other thing. the “baby on board” signs must be removed if there is no child in the car because 1st responders will search for that child, wasting time, instead of rendering aid to someone who is actually in need and present.

        8. I work for our local Fire Departments and I will tell you that I have seen multiple canine deaths that could have been prevented by the use of a harness and belt. A side impact, rear or head on crash can turn unrestrained passengers into missiles. We have seen many a victim thrown 50 or more feet from their vehicle, and a good number didn’t live to talk about it. As far as truck beds are concerned, it’s not a good idea at all. If the truck rolls, the dog is almost sure to be injured or killed. A good number of rollovers are not the fault of the driver, rather another driver in a second vehicle. The real question should be,why not restrain?

        9. Amen Mike, I agree people are idiots , if I had to harness my dog he would hate me ! He loves riding in the back of the truck . People are just always telling other people what to do ! And on that note here’s what I say to them: “please do not procreate it’s not safe you could wreck into me and kill my dog that’s riding in the back of my truck “!

        10. This is one more way the government can get money out of an already over taxed public.
          Bet you this will also be a federal level penalty so they can take your guns as well.
          Shame on you Big Brother!

      2. I agree not only for the animal but for the people following behind who may lose a loved one due to an accident created by a dog falling from vehicle.

      3. Many people are against the setbelt law for people, wearing a setbelt in wrecks has also cost people their lives. The insurance companies are the ones whe created and pushed that law thru, and if u get sited not wearing it drives up your rates so they make more money.

    2. I agree. I’m watching Dr. Jeff Rocky Mountain pet vet show and one of the animals that was brought in by the owners is a dog who was in the back of the truck and jumped out and severely broke its leg. This is completely irresponsible on the owner and I hope Dr. Jeff contacted the authorities or at least gave them a good talking to about the merits of making sure their pet safe in a moving vehicle.

      1. If you care for your dog, have a custom restraint halter made that connects to your seat belt system…..otherwise you are an animal abuser and should be fined and jailed if your animal suffers an injury. tgood

          1. I love both my dogs but like children they need trained, and they listen.
            Oh wait, we’re not allowed to correct our children, bet the new dog law will carry a stiff fine and it will be a federal penalty, imagine that, then they can take your guns.
            When will this end?

      2. When I worked in Forensics, we saw passengers thrown out of cars just from blown out tires. Additionally, I can’t say how many times someone pulled out in front of me without looking and I had to hit the brakes. So to say that a driver can be 100% in charge of predicting and handling road conditions unbuckled, is sadly naive. If you love your pets, your children, yourself, wear a seatbelt.
        It’s the only chance of beating the odds of an adverse event due to unexpected circumstances.

    3. Worse than that, though, are the animals who manage to jump overboard while still restrained.
      After having seen/treated an animal who has been drug down the road while it’s owner is trying to stop the truck, you may reconsider. Farm dogs riding in trucks are often safer if they are unrestrained.

    1. Hi AD,
      We had an outdated source. Thank you for your correction! We welcome any info/leads for changing laws or corrections. Please let us know if you see anything else fishy.

    2. I don’t want anyone calling me stupid. (I read a few comments.) I’m serious about my question. I have a Chrysler Town and Country van. It has 3 rows with seats. The back and middle row are put down so my dog can fit in the van. He has PLENTY of room. My question is, how do I restrain a St. Bernard? No negativity please. That’s not going to help me or my dog. Thank you.

  2. Hi, your interactive map seems to be broken.
    I hope you can fix it, it was a great resource I was hoping to link to in an article I’m writing about dog auto safety.

    1. Hi Ian,
      Sorry, the blog moved to a new subdomain and the map broke in the process. Should be all set now. Thanks for thinking of sharing the map with others. We hope you can still find a place for it in a future article. Safe travels.

  3. Is the map current?? I live in the state of Washington are the laws for or against your dog being restricted in your car??

    1. Hi Ronnie,
      The Washington law we found here suggests that transporting your dog in an unsafe manner is illegal. However, they do not state that the dog must be restrained in a specific way, which is why we labeled the law “ambiguous”. With that said, it’s safest to restrain your dog using a crate or harness at all times while in a vehicle.

      “Any person who wilfully transports or confines or causes to be transported or confined any domestic animal or animals in a manner, posture or confinement that will jeopardize the safety of the animal or the public shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. And whenever any such person shall be taken into custody or be subject to arrest pursuant to a valid warrant therefor by any officer or authorized person, such officer or person may take charge of the animal or animals; and any necessary expense thereof shall be a lien thereon to be paid before the animal or animals may be recovered; and if the expense is not paid, it may be recovered from the owner of the animal or the person guilty.”

      1. It doesn’t say anything about restrained at all just safe so my dog sets in my lap in the back seat or lays downs on the floor in the back we have been in two accidents with him and he has been safer that way he has never been hurt because I restrain him myself its safer and better that way I live in Washington state I have had 4 dogs and they all lived until they die in my arms at home at old ages never been injured in accidents or died from an accident ever
        I know what I am doing with my dogs they don’t like to be tied down in a car or caged or in a car seat so they get to lay in the back seat all the time or they lay on the floor in the back either way they sleep all the time for car rides

  4. Your interpretation of the NJ law is incorrect. If you read through the statutes that you linked to you will find no mention of crates or restraining devices. The law only covers transport in a “cruel or inhumane manner” and to date there is no interpretation by a judge, attorney, or police officer that includes improper restraint. The intent as has been stated publicly is to reduce animals in truck beds, on drivers’ laps, or with their heads fully out the window.

  5. I think dogs should wear seat belt required or not my dogs are like family want them to ride safely to as we wear seat belts also it very quick and simple to do and some are not expensive I’m real lol

  6. I think it should be illegal for pets to move freely while driving. It’s a distraction, and also dangerous for everyone as well as the pet. Pets should have the same laws as a child would, in a moving vehicle. Honestly, I get mad when I see someone driving and a dog in their lap it hanging out the window.

  7. Well it will be a problem if a dog would try to jump, just like what happened to my maxi he tried to jump but luckily I got the handle of collar nearby in my hand, and I think it was kind of my fault haven’t trained him yet cause I’m still a newbie haha, and he really loves to explore and I think an accessory might be a great help you know to prevent the unfortunate events.

  8. Jay,
    If you have let your dog ride in the back of your pickup truck, consider yourself and the dog lucky! All it takes is for someone else to speed thru a red light and T-bone you. It will not go well for the dog!

  9. We restrain our children because we love them, we don’t want them to get hurt or killed, and it’s the law. We restrain our dogs and other pets because we love them and don’t want them to get hurt or killed, and it SHOULD be the law. It’s just that simple…

  10. Millions of kids everyday ride in school buses without any restraint, yet here we are trying to focus on dog retraints?

    Somewhere, we have lost our priorities.

  11. Sir Ji, my name is Dharmend Singh, I am a diver by profession, I am a resident of India. My father had brought a puppy of a leopard door nine years ago. He and my whole family loved him so much that he died at the age of no. Since then, my father has been ill. I have become very weak, I do not have that much money. Because I was married to my sister in April, in which I owed a lot of debt and my father went ill here, I do not have much money to buy a dog so that I can help the poor, please give me a puppy, it will be great compassion for the doctor. Also have to say. Bring them a dog to walk outside, I do not have that much money. Because I put up more than two lakhs for the treatment of my father, just married a sister, there is a lot of debt in that, if you help me, my father’s life will be saved. Please be great mercy

  12. Sir Ji, my name is Dharmend Singh, I am a diver by profession, I am a resident of India. My father had brought a puppy of a leopard door nine years ago. He and my whole family loved him so much that he died at the age of no. Since then, my father has been ill. I have become very weak, I do not have that much money. Because I was married to my sister in April, in which I owed a lot of debt and my father went ill here, I do not have much money to buy a dog so that I can help the poor, please give me a puppy, it will be great compassion for the doctor. Also have to say. Bring them a dog to walk outside, I do not have that much money. Because I put up more than two lakhs for the treatment of my father, just married a sister, there is a lot of debt in that, if you help me, my father’s life will be saved. Please be great mercyI’m sorry that I asked you for help for my father’s health, but what should I do, I do not have money at this time. Fifteen years ago, my mother also died due to illness, in that too my father had invested a lot of money for his mother’s treatment. There was also a lot of loss. I was studying in class eight at that time. My sister was also four years old, there was no one to take care of us at that time. The father used to remain unhappy, the entire burden of his family fell on me. Here my hotel was closed and there was a lot of loss on my father too. Above was the responsibility of the family, so I used to work part time with my studies, there is a field in our village. And ten is buffalo. My family feeds on him. My father has a lot of debt. Annas born in my fields are produced for our food, the milk of buffalo is sold. With which the money lent goes to Daro. I drive for other expenses of myself and my family. I do not have the budget to buy a dog at all. Because in April I had married my sister, it cost a lot, I am in trouble, I am wandering here only for the hope of a puppy that some kind hearted person will help me

  13. My comment is one of what do. We have a very well behaved yellow Labrador Retriever and at turning three still has a lot of puppy in her and muscle at 50 lbs. We live in suburbs of Chicago, where dogs are not allowed in public places, but “Ginger”loves to tool around with me and love stopping at new “woods” for a nice long walk and play. To get around I put her in the back, use the hand of the leash to hook around the gear shifter in the floor “automatic “ so no gear shifting. We love our trips but worry about her safety. Any constructive criticism or suggestions?

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