MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The first thing you do when you get behind the wheel is buckle up, but what about our four-legged friends who could be seriously injured if they're not properly restrained.
"Just for your safety and your peace of mind, just restrain that dog, it takes five seconds to do, your pet will be safe and you'll be safe," said Melissa Hepnar, Berkeley County Humane Society
Often times, veterinarians say drivers will have their pets riding in their laps or roaming in the backseat. They say both can be distracting.
"In their lap is not very safe for you the driver because you know the dog might get scared, it might try to climb your face or something, and then you're distracted and there's a potential car accident waiting to happen," said Carol Pierson, Veterinarian at Inwood Animal Center.
Kennel officials said having your dog roaming around in the backseat isn't safe for you or the animal. They suggest using a carrying case to make sure you and your four legged friend get to your destination safely.
"We've seen pets which have come in here that have jumped out of the car windows while they're driving, that have jumped out trucks definitely restrain your dog for his safety," said Hepnar.
And for extra protection, veterinarians also recommend microchipping your pet.
"Especially if you're traveling with your pet in case they get loose then a microchip may be a good, is a good way to get the pet back to you," said Dr. Pierson.
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