Keeping your Pup safe
on the back of your Ute
They are called man’s best friend for a reason. Whether your pooch comes with you to the job site on a daily basis or joins the crew for those big family camping trips, you need to make sure while traveling they are taken care of. Under the Animals Care and Protection Act 2001 it is not specifically against the law to have your dog unrestrained in the back of a Ute. It is completely up to the owner to tie or cage their dog. Although if it is deemed that you are putting the animal in compromising position, with the potential to fall, you can face some massive fines. Also if you are found responsible for an animal that falls from your vehicle you can get bigger fines and also potential jail time. None of that sounds good, but besides those consequences, you don’t want to lose your best buddy because you were too lazy to do the right thing. At Savannah Camper Trailers we have the perfect solution, grab one of our affordable dog boxes and chuck it up on the back of your ute to make sure your best friend is safe no matter where you are travelling. Here is a quick guide exploring the different options on how to keep your dog safe on your ute.
When using tethers, it is important that you get the length and the restraint mechanism right. If the length is, even slightly, too long you risk your dog sliding off the tray. Another thing to make sure of is the restraint mechanism. Don’t go for the cheapest leash at the shop, make sure it is going to hold tight and that the dog can’t slip it. The RSPCA has a great leash that they sell specifically made for dogs on utes. They also have some guidelines to follow to make sure you are doing the right thing by your dog, which you can find here – https://kb.rspca.org.au/is-it-legal-to-have-unrestrained-dogs-on-ute-trays-or-trucks_501.html
Attach the tether behind the cabin in the centre of the deck. It should be long enough to allow the dog to sit easily and lie down but short enough, so they can’t lean out over the side. Swivels are a great idea to add so that the lead does not become tangled during the trip. They also advise against choker chains. Tethers can work if you are unable to contain your dog another way, although cages are the safest option.
Although tethers are a popular option, they are not the best. When simply tethered a dog is not protected from debris and the weather. If something comes up off the road or falls from a car or tree your dog can be struck easily and hurt if they are not covered. Also, tethers offer no protection from the sun and heat. Another important thing to keep in mind if having your dog in your tray without a box is to strap down all other equipment and tools so that they don’t move during the trip and hit your dog or constrict him.
Dog cages are the safest way to travel with your pup on the back of the ute. Unlike tethers cages give a dog protection from the elements and flying objects. If there are loose branches or stones in the terrain you drive. Loose debris can fly up from the road or fall down from the trees and hit your dog. Cages offer a lot more protection for your dog by preventing loose debris. It is important to make sure that the cage you use is big enough for your specific dog. The dog needs to be able to easily sit, stand and lie down and should be well ventilated. When driving in certain conditions it should also be covered to protect from smaller debris as well, such as rain and dust. Using a cage also prevents any risk of falling or hanging from the leash.
Weather & Options
Always think of your dog if driving in extreme weather conditions. Too common dogs suffer from dehydration and heat stress when on the back of utes. Most people are aware enough to protect from falling and getting tangled but commonly forget that dehydration and heat stress make up for a huge amount of injuries and deaths of dogs while travelling. Make sure your cage is well ventilated and that the dog is not left without access to water or in the sun for extended periods of time. Dehydration and heat stress are a common occurrence in dogs tethered to utes on very hot days. Metal floors can easily burn footpads so take precautions such as covering the areas where the dog will lie or stand.
At Savannah Camper Trailers we design toolboxes that can accommodate for both your dog and your tools. Our SCT25D range of toolboxes are a cross deck dog box with two different sections, allowing space to keep two dogs separate or for one larger space. We also have our famous SCT25C range which is a hybrid dog and tool box. This great bit of gear allows for one section to be occupied by tools and such and one exclusive for your dog.
Look After Your Pal
Your dog is your best friend. He’s been with you through thick and thin. He’s there for you through good times and bad. He is loyal to you, no matter what. It only makes sense that you want to bring him along on the road of life – both literally and figuratively.
Before you load your dog into the back of your ute and head out on the road, it’s important for you to do your research and find out exactly what is legally required for you as a dog owner when you are travelling with your dog. The laws in your state are put in place to help protect your dog and abiding by these laws will keep your dog healthy and happy for years to come and remaining compliant with state laws will help you avoid a hefty fine. For a well-priced and designed dog box look no further than our range at Savannah Camper Trailers.