As summer rapidly approaches, more drivers may bring furry passengers to dog parks, hiking trails or just for a drive around town.

However, we must treat our pets like any other passenger and protect them while we’re on the road. So what can drivers do to keep themselves and their pets safe?

Keep them in the back

Many drivers want to have their furry friends in the front seat while they drive. It seems like a smart idea because you can check on them and the pet remains close to you.

However, it’s dangerous to have a dog in the front seat because they may try to climb into your lap or cause distractions. Also, if the dog is restrained in the front seat, they are still at risk if the airbag deploys. Avoid the front seat and pop them into the back seat if you can.

Use a restraint

Most people have negative perceptions of restraints. However, if a dog is not restrained in the vehicle, they may fall or hurt themselves in the case of a sudden stop. Luckily, there is a vast market for restraints specifically designed for animals in the car, including harnesses, beds and even specialized dog seats.

Bring food and water

Depending on the length of the car trip, you may want to bring food and water for your pet because dogs need to stay hydrated, just like us. With longer car rides, you will want to take a break to allow your companion to eat, drink and use the bathroom if necessary. Remember, your dog may need a small break after eating and drinking to avoid getting car sick.

Train and prepare your pet

If your pet is still new to riding in the car, you will want to take short trips to train them about behavior in the car. If your pup is afraid of the vehicle, may use food as a lure to get them into the car and allow them to just sit in the car (without moving or having the engine on).

After your dog gets used to the car, try taking them to fun places, so they associate the car with happy memories instead of the vet.

Having a pet shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying the great outdoors. You should bring your best friend along on all your summer adventures.