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Driving with pets: How to keep yourself and your furry friends safe on the road

Posted at 5:39 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 19:17:47-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — There's nothing better than the wind in your fur, but short stops can be “ruff”.

“Head trauma, and neck trauma, things like that.,” said Dr. Richard Livingston owner of the Acoma Animal Clinic.

Livingston says a loose pet in the car can be a real risk for the human passengers too.

“A 30 lb. dog is a weight that could kill a human in a sudden wreck.”

There are no laws on the books about how many dogs can fill a car, but if they cause a wreck you'll be the one in the doghouse.

“What you end up doing while you are distracted, crossing that lane divider, or not coming to a complete stop, or staying stopped for too long at a green light,” said Tucson Police Officer Francisco Magos. “That is what will get you the fines.”

Vets and police suggest securing your pets safely. There are many affordable travel harnesses on the market right now. You simply attach a tether to the seat belt and connect the dog and harness to the tether.

Police say distracted driving in all its forms is dangerous and should be avoided.

“Not just because of the pets, distracted driving is a huge issue across the country I think drawing attention to this will definitely help us in reducing collisions,” said Officer Magos.

Veterinarians say they know people love their animals and hope people show it by keeping them safe and secured on the road.

“I don’t think they will ever make a law making it a necessity [to secure dogs], but it couldn't hurt for people to be aware its much safer for them and the dog.” Said Dr. Livingston.