Q. What is the best way to travel with a dog in the car?

Legal Notice: Regardless of what you read on social media... or even what an individual police constable might interpret from the rules... VicRoads DO NOT have any rules that require a dog to be secured inside a vehicle... Meaning they do not need to be enclosed in a crate or strapped into a harness. However if the police think your dog is impeding the driver then you might find yourself with a fine.

Dog is not to Impede the Driver : Therefore, do not allow your dog to sit in the back seat and wrap his front legs around the drivers neck... nor should the dog be hanging his head out of the drivers window.... nor should your dog be sitting on your lap... Your dog does not have a license to drive a car, therefore no part of the dog is allowed on the drivers seat or lap.  It is however, illegal to put your dog in the boot of a sedan, however if you have a Hatchback or SUV which has the boot area open to the rest of the car then your dog is fine.

Utes and Trailers : Remember in the back of a Ute or Trailer, the dog must be tethered or caged - you should also ensure the dog has ventilation and protection from the elements.... Dog is not allowed to be put on the roof of the car - even if in a crate such as was documented on facebook in 2017  driving on the ring road in Melbourne.

Teach good car manners with your dog... hence dogs should not be allowed to jump around in the car or bark as you drive. Correct these habits right from the beginning.  Larger breeds are best in a harness connected to the seat belt. For small breeds you can use a dog carry case and again secure with seat belt. Dogs should never be in the front seat so in a sedan the back seat is best. Perhaps the ideal is the back of a wagon or van, but for safety it should have a cargo divider to contain the dog.

Health & Safety : Dogs can dehydrate very quicily, especially in cars. Do not leave dogs in cars in hot weather - That means if the sun is out and it is over about 16 degrees Celcius - The police can legally smash a window to release the dog... Even in the shade would mean the dog is starting to heat up... if you have a sun roof ensure you leave this open to allow the air out and it is best to leave someone with the dog.

WARNING: Your dog should never travel on the front seat or the car.
Just like with small children the front airbags have the capacity to seriously injury your dog.

Note 2010: It is illegal in Australia for dogs to be sitting on the lap of the driver.