As a dog owner, it can be fun and convenient to let your dog accompany you when you hit the road. But as much as your dog may love tagging along for car rides, it’s vital that you take precautions to ensure both of your safety. If your dog is regularly a passenger in your vehicle, here are a few ways to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring:

1. Keep them in the backseat

While your furry friend may love riding shotgun, the safest place for your dog to be in your vehicle is the backseat. Airbags, unfortunately, don’t keep animals safe and can cause severe injuries to dogs. Additionally, having your dog in the front seat can be a huge distraction and take your focus away from driving. Keeping them in the backseat will help ensure both of you stay safe on the road.

2. Invest in a harness

While there aren’t any specific Colorado laws stating your dog must be secured when riding in a vehicle, investing in a safety harness can help protect them – and you – from serious injuries in the event of an accident. If you’re traveling at 30 mph, an unrestrained dog weight 50 pounds can exert 1,500 pounds of force. Just like a seatbelt, a harness will ensure your dog stays in their seat.

3. Roll up the windows

As much as your dog may love feeling the wind in their fur, allowing them to stick their head out the window while you’re driving is incredibly risky. They can suffer injuries from airborne debris or branches, which can be especially dangerous when you’re traveling at high speeds. You also risk your dog falling out of the window during a sharp turn or having them jump out if they see something chase-worthy.

4. Never leave them alone in the car

You probably know never to leave your dog inside a hot car. Even with the windows cracked, the 4them alone in the cold is just as dangerous. If you’re going somewhere that would require you to leave your dog in the car, it’s best just to let them stay home.

Dog safety often gets overlooked when it comes to riding in cars. By following these tips, you can ensure you and your canine companion get to your destination safely.

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