Guide to dogs in the car
Summertime is vacation time, and many people like to take their four-legged family members on long-distance trips. It can be cozy, but you should consider the dog's transport and stay in the car.
Dogs are considered property
There are no separate rules for the transport of dogs, as dogs are considered goods in the Traffic Act. At the same time, this means that there are no clear rules for restraint, but that it is applicable that dogs must not be a nuisance to the driver or the view while driving.
The Traffic Act states the following about the transport of goods:
§82. ... goods must not be placed in such a way that the driver does not have a clear view and sufficient opportunity to maneuver the vehicle.”
This also means that it will typically trigger a fine if the dog sits on the driver's lap or if the dog crawls around the car while driving. Therefore, it is most appropriate to fasten the dog or to transport it in a transport cage. It is also preferable for safety reasons, as the dog's weight in a collision will be significantly greater than the dog's actual weight, and will therefore be a danger both to itself and the other passengers in the car.
Your dog must be insured
In Denmark, it is a legal requirement that your dog is partly registered (typically via chip), that it wears a dog tag with the owner's name and address, and that it is insured against liability. The insurance covers if your dog damages other people or other people's property. The statutory liability insurance does not cover damage to the dog itself; there you have to buy additional health insurance.
When you take your dog on holiday, there is a greater chance that he will run away when he has to get in and out of the car and when he is in a strange place. Therefore, it is especially important in holiday situations that it is important to have control over both dog tags and liability insurance. Make sure to include the phone number on the dog tag, even if it is not required by law. This makes it easier to get hold of you if you are on holiday and thus far from your home address.
Beware of pets
If you want to take your dog on holiday outside of Denmark, you must have a dog passport. It requires your dog to be vaccinated, i.a. against Rabies. The vaccines must be renewed annually for the passport to remain valid. Please note that the vaccine against Rabies must be administered at least 21 days before departure, so it is a matter of preparing for the journey well in advance. Always remember to bring your passport with you on the trip.
Depending on where you are going on holiday, you should be aware that the rules for dogs in the car may be different than in Denmark. In Sweden, it is e.g. legally required that the dog is restrained while driving. There may also be other laws or norms for the dog when it moves on the street. In some countries you must e.g. like to walk your dog without a leash, while elsewhere it is legally required that the dog is on a leash. In some countries, dogs are welcome in almost all restaurants, while in other places it is frowned upon to bring your dog. Be aware of both rules and cultures.
Never leave your dog in the car
Regardless of where the trip goes, you should never leave your dog in the car. In less than 10 minutes, the temperature in a car can rise to over 50 degrees; even if it is in the shade and even if the window is ajar. It is potentially life-threatening for your dog to stay in an abandoned car, and every year many dogs unfortunately have to die in the heat of the moment in a parked car.
If you know that you are going somewhere where your dog cannot come, you should basically leave the dog at home.
If it is necessary for you to leave the dog in the car for a short period of time, you should park in the shade, switch on the air conditioning or air conditioning, and ensure that the dog has access to cold water. You should also draw attention to the conditions via a note in the window to prevent passers-by from calling the police or trying to get at the dog themselves.
In Denmark, it is legal to smash a car window if it is assessed that the dog is in danger of death and that there is no time to wait for law enforcement. However, it is up to the person who smashes the window to prove that the dog was in fact in danger, and the law also states that as little damage as possible must be caused to the car by intrusion.