Is it Legal in Arizona to Drive with a Dog on Your Lap?
I love taking my dogs for car rides. They get so excited, I've been known to drive them around our property just so they can have the experience.
My two dogs even have worked out their favorite seats in my car. Nilla is a backseat girl. As long as I roll down the windows a bit so she can take in all the sniffs, she's a happy, happy dog.
Dog is my Co-Pilot
Latte, however, gives new meaning to the phrase "Dog is my Co-Pilot". She starts out in the back. Then she decides things are better in the front. Not a big problem if I don't have a passenger, but if I do, she tries to hop onto my lap.
She's no Chihuahua, either, so this is definitely a problem. As a Lab/Pittie mix, she clocks in at around 50 pounds, so she's not light.
She's also not very graceful. I guarantee she'd knock my shifter out of DRIVE and completely block my view with her giant pitbull head as she tries to balance on my lap. Thankfully she's only tried this little stunt once, and it was before we started moving.
I'm always tempted to try to settle her into a comfy position on my lap, just to keep her happy. But I began to wonder, is it legal to ride with a dog on your lap in Arizona?
Is Riding with a Dog on Your Lap in Arizona Legal?
There's no specific law in Arizona that prohibits you from driving with a dog on your lap. It would be ridiculous to let a dog as big and wiggly as Latte ride that way, but what about a smaller, less obstructive canine? A shih tzu, maybe, or a dachshund, perhaps?
According to gopetfriendly.com, Arizona drivers riding with a dog in their lap could be charged with distracted driving. Also, a police officer could determine that transporting your pet on your lap creates an unsafe situation.
Bad news for Latte: the police officer would be correct. Latte would be a big distraction!
Safely Transporting Your Dog in a Vehicle in Arizona
While there's no specific law about transporting your dog in a vehicle in Arizona, it's a good idea to restrain your pet while you're driving. First, a restraint would keep a dog like Latte from jumping between the front and back seats, which could result in injury.
Second, it's safer to restrain your dog in case of an accident. The Humane Society has some great tips for transporting your beloved pets.
The safest way for your dog to travel in a car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seat belt or other secure means. -The Humane Society
This goes for cats, too. Did you know seatbelt restraints now exist for dogs? You can buy a simple restraint that acts as a harness and buckles right into the car's seatbelt receiver.
As much as your dog may love it, it's also better to keep those furry heads inside the vehicle for safety. After all, you want to enjoy each other's company for many years to come.
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