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April is distracted driving awareness month and in almost every state, if your pet causes you to crash, it’s a violation covered under distracted driving laws. AAA says that driving with an unrestrained dog is equal to talking on a cell phone or texting while driving. Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April is a united effort to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. We love taking our pets on car rides and while some trips are voluntary and others are necessary to get our animals from point A to point B.  It is important that we are taking the necessary precautions to make these trips safe for both our pets and the other drivers on the road. To keep everyone safe follow the tips below!

TIP: USE A SEAT-BELT RESTRAINT

Dog seat belts are adjustable straps that keep your dog in place while he or she is inside your car. This is the best safety device intended to reduce the possibility of getting injured. Seat belt restraint ensures that your dog will behave properly while riding and prevents him from hitting the hard interior of your vehicle when there’s a sudden stop.

TIP: USE CRASH TESTED CRATES

Crates are another option to ensure your dog’s safety when traveling. Make sure to select the right size crate for your dog. It’s also critical to choose safety-certified, crash-tested crate.

TIP: KEEP YOUR DOG IN THE BACK

A car’s air bags can prove deadly to a pet. Restraining a dog in the back seat is safest for your pets. A wide variety of barrier systems are available to fit various makes and models of vehicles.

TIP: GIVE YOUR DOGS A BREAK

Traveling with a dog is a little bit like traveling with a child. Even if you can push yourself to keep going for hours on end to arrive at your destination faster, dogs have different needs. Expect to stop every two or three hours to let them get out, stretch their legs, and do their business.

TIP: LOCK YOUR POWER WINDOW

If you have a car with power windows, it’s quite easy for your dog to accidentally open them with a simple press of their paw. You might think that this is relatively harmless, especially if your pet likes to stick his or her head out in the breeze, but overexcited dogs have been known to jump out of moving vehicles, and simply taking a wrong step could lead to the window being closed on their neck and choking them.

TIP: BRING A WATER BOWL

Dogs need regular access to water. This is vital on a longer road trip, but even if you’re just headed out to the store, it’s smart to bring along. You never know what might happen. The best way to ensure that you always have water on hand is to store a bottle in the car as part of your emergency kit.