Do Pets Need to Be Restrained in Cars in Minnesota?
Yesterday, on my way home from work, I saw a woman driving an SUV on Highway 52 with a dog on her lap. The dog was huge and had its head sticking out the window. I wondered if this was legal because the woman's line of vision was clearly obstructed.
I reached out to Sgt. Troy Christianson from the Minnesota State Patrol who said there are no specific statues on how animals are secured in vehicles. He did urge pet owners to use common sense when transporting their animals. Christianson said an officer can pull you over and ticket you if you are seen driving recklessly: Weaving, crossing center line, etc.
The DMV's website has an article on the subject and says no dog should ever be allowed to hang its head out the window. They warn that the heavy airflow, especially if it is chilly, could damage the animal's respiratory system. The second reason a dog should be restrained is your airbags. An airbag might save your life, but it could potentially kill your pet.
So there is not technically a law saying you have to restrain your pet in vehicles in Minnesota but common sense says you should!