U.S. Pet Travel Laws Guide

Pet Safety Harness Laws

­You wouldn't ride in your car without a s­eatbelt on. Why would you let your pet ride without o­ne? You don't have to: Pet harnesses are a set of straps that work together to best restrain your pet and attach to a seat's safety belt. Nearly half of the states in the U.S. have laws in place that require a restraint for your pet when traveling with you in your car [source: Pet Travel].

They may seem like overkill, but pet harness laws exist for good reason. In an accident, for example, your pooch can easily go flying and become seriously injured or killed. Even a sudden, hard stop can slam a pet into your seat, floor or dashboard. Not only can the impact hurt your pet, but it can hurt you or other people in your vehicle. Dogs in a car traveling 30 mph (48.3 kph) can slam into you with hundreds -- or thousands -- of pounds of force behind them, leading to disastrous injuries for you and your pet.

Your pet can be a distraction even in the safest of environments. Your pet might see another dog, get excited, and start running back and forth in your backseat or jump up into your lap. That's enough to cause an accident. Generally, cats aren't comfortable traveling in cars, so you should keep them in their carriers and use harnesses to restrain your canine companions.

We've explored how to prepare to travel with your pet, and you're going to need lots of preparation if you're heading to Hawaii. Read on to learn about Hawaiian quarantine laws.