Breaking News: Seat Belt Safety Laws for Dogs

Summer is your dog's favorite time for road trips! But is it safe to take your dog in the car without a safety restraint? Studies say no.

We would never put our children in the car without a seatbelt. Why should our dogs be any different?

I've seen trauma cases where dogs sustained serious injuries in a crash. The most tragic case was a little Jack Russell Terrier named Maxi. After the crash she jumped out of the car window and was hit by on-coming traffic. Maxi died and her parents blamed themselves. They never thought a safety restraint was necessary – until it was too late.

Safety restraints can save your dog's life in a crash… but 84% of pet owners don't use them.

Today I'm going to give you the facts so you will take the necessary steps to protect your dog.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, looking away from the road for only two seconds doubles your risk of being in a car crash. And a recent AAA study shows pets are definitely a distraction. This study of dog owners found:

One of the main reasons people don't think about using pet safety restraints is that they don't understand the dangers. Here's why you should never give your dog free reign of the car.

This is a serious safety issue. In fact, soon pet safety restraints may not be a "choice" – they may be the law.

Many states already have pet vehicle safety laws and others are following suit. States like Arizona, Florida, California, Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey issue fines of $250-$1,000 for driving with a pet on your lap. In Hawaii, driving with unrestrained pets is forbidden. If your state has no pet vehicle safety law, it could be coming soon. But don't wait for legislation to start using a pet safety restraint. Now that you understand the dangers, act now. The risks are simply too great.

It's our job to keep our pets safe – and that includes vehicle safety. Please consider getting a seat belt safety harness for your dog. And remember, airbags can kill a dog. Never restrain your pet in the front seat. Use your pet safety restraint in the back seat only.