Safe driving with pets

Safety is a priority every time you get in your vehicle.

You adjust your seat, check your mirrors and fasten your seat belt, all to get to your destination safely.

But what if you're travelling with your pet?

Usually you just open the door and let the animal hop in.

That may not be safest option for you or your pet.

KHQA's Jarod Wells found out the best ways to travel with your furry friends for this KHQA Safe Family Consumer Report.

Our pets are part of the family, and many of them will be traveling for the holidays, too, but think about this before you take off.

QPD Officer Kelly VanderMaiden said, "They can interfere with your steering or they could get on the floor board and interfere with the brake or the gas pedal."

Quincy Humane Society Executive Director Sally Westerhoff said, "Sudden acceleration can make your pets become a projectile."

VanderMaiden said, "It can be very dangerous, you never know what they're going to do."

The best way to travel with your pets is to keep them in the back seat.

Westerhoff said, "If they're in the front passenger seat, should you have an accident the air bag can crush a pet carrier with a cat in it and probably could kill a dog."

You should use some sort of restraint. The most obvious is a pet carrier, but there are other options.

Westerhoff said, "There are actually seat belts that also double as a harness for your dog. If you have an SUV or a station wagon, there are some dividers that you can buy so you can actually put that up and actually keep the pet restrained in the back part of the vehicle."

And your dog might like it, but letting him stick his head out the window isn't a good idea.

Westerhoff said, "Flying rocks from vehicles in front of you, debris from the roadway and even bugs can hit and injure their eyes, it can get sucked into their mouth and their nose and just that rushing air can actually cause damage to their lungs."

Here are a few other tips if you're traveling long distances.

Make sure all luggage is secured so it does not fall on your pets.

And take a few days to get your pet acclimated to driving and your vehicle before your long trip.