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Are Dogs Allowed To Travel In The Footwell Of A Car?

Can dogs travel in the footwell of a car? When traveling with your dog in the car, you want to make sure that your dog is safe and won’t be a distraction while driving.

However, many people prefer their dogs to travel upfront on the passenger seat or in the footwell of a car. But is this acceptable? and most importantly is it legal?

The short answer is Yes, your dog can travel in the footwell of a car! However, they can not be a distraction to the driver while the vehicle is in motion!

Is It Legal In All Countries?

Depending on what country you reside in each one has different laws when it comes to traveling with your dog in a car.

If you are unsure, it is best to check with your local authorities as some states and counties have stricter laws on traveling with pets than others.

In some places such as the United Kingdom, they have strict rules when it comes to traveling with a pet in the car.

For example, Rule 47 to 58 of the Highway Code states if the driver is involved in an accident resulting from being distracted from an unrestrained pet in the car they could face a fine or worse imprisonment.

Important: If a police officer sees you driving with your dog in the footwell of a car and they believe that this is causing a distraction, you could be at risk of being fined for not having full control over your vehicle!

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Think Of Your Dogs Safety

If you’re a dog owner, then you know that dogs are some of the most loyal companions. That being said, one of your top priorities when driving is to ensure that they stay safe and secure especially if they are traveling in the footwell of the car.

If you don’t, it can be a frightening experience for them and may cause many more problems down the line. For example, If there is any sudden breaking then your dog can be seriously hurt which is the last thing you want.

It’s always best to play it safe and make sure your dog is fully secure before heading off on your journey.

Dog Should Not Be Directly In Front Of AirBags

Your dog should never be placed directly in front of the airbags when you are driving. Not only will this cause an injury but if there is any sudden braking your dog will most likely hit their head on the dashboard and could sustain serious injuries.

Airbags are designed for people, not dogs! so make sure if you’re putting your in the footwell that they are well clear of the passenger airbags to avoid any injuries.

Dog in the footwell of a car

How To Secure A Dog In Footwell Of A Car?

When traveling with your dog in the car, it is important to make sure that they are secured properly. The last thing you want is for them to be injured in an accident or to cause an accident by getting loose and running into the road.

Important: Remember, safety is key! So, make sure you choose a proper carrier or container for your dog. It’s also important to make sure there’s enough room for them to sit, stand up, and move around comfortably in the carrier.

It’s always best to keep your dog secured while driving, but sometimes that’s not possible or it’s a bit tricky in certain areas of the car! So, here are some tips on how to secure a dog in the footwell of a car:

Step 1. Place The Dog Carrier In The Footwell

  • The first thing you need to do is put your dog in the carrier! once he or she is in. You can then place the dog carrier in the footwell of the car. You may need to adjust the passenger seat depending on how big your carrier is.
  • After placing their carrier in the footwell make sure all the zips are up so the dog can’t escape and jump out of the carrier while your driving. Once you have done this you can then proceed with step number 2.

Step 2. Slowly Move The Passenger Seat Forward

  • Once your dog is securely in place, you can then begin by gently rolling the passenger’s seat forward. Make sure you are rolling it slowly to avoid any injuries.
  • At this point, your dog should be safely nestled in the footwell of the car. This method ensures that both the carrier and dog are secure and won’t move around when the drive is in motion.

Step 3. Make Sure Your Dog Is Comfortable And Relaxed

  • Once your dog is safely in place, you can then begin to carefully check that your dog is comfortable. Remember dogs are just like us they get restless when cooped up for long periods of time so make sure that there’s enough room in the carrier.
  • Not all footwells will be big enough to fit a large pet carrier therefore we recommend using the car boot as an alternative. Make sure there’s enough room for your dog to relax comfortably and safely.

Are There Any Dog Footwell Restraints?

Now in our view, there is only one way to safely secure and restrain a dog in a footwell and that’s using a dog carrier that can easily fit without any struggle.

The key here is to use a pet carrier that allows for enough room for them to sit comfortably without blocking the airbags which again could cause serious injuries if deployed!

If the carrier is too big then as before we recommend the car boot as an alternative.

Generally, if your dog is too big for the footwell it would be safer to put them in the boot or backseat of your car as this provides more room and better protection from airbags should they deploy.

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Before You Set-Off

Traveling with your dog can be a fun and memorable experience. However, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared before hitting the road. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Here are a few things to consider before hitting the road with your four-legged friend!

  • Bring along a collar and ID tag. In case your dog gets lost, having a collar with an up-to-date ID tag will increase the chances of being reunited.
  • Pack food and water. Dogs need regular meals, even when traveling, so make sure to bring along enough food and water for the journey.
  • Your dog’s water bowl: It’s important to make sure they stay hydrated. However, without their water bowl, you will find it hard to give them water when they need it!
  • Stop frequently. Dogs need frequent potty breaks, so plan to stop every few hours to let your dog stretch his legs and do his business.
  • Pack any medications your dog takes, as well as copies of their medical records in case you need to visit a vet while on vacation. It’s also a good idea to bring along a first aid kit for both you and your dog.

Following these simple tips will help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for both you and your furry companion.


Well there you have it folks we hope we’ve answered your questions and provided some useful information about traveling with your dog in the footwell.

We recommend that if at all possible only travel with a dog in the backseat or boot of a car as this provides more protection from injuries such as airbags deploying unexpectedly!

We also recommend using a pet carrier but – remember not all footwells are big enough for some carriers so use the boot instead!

Many pet owners have a habit of not securing their dogs in the vehicle. This can be a dangerous situation, as the dog could get injured if they were to go flying during an accident.

So remember safety first everyone so please drive carefully!

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