If you're a dog owner planning a UK getaway this summer, chances are you'll be taking your furry friend along with you.

But did you know that by doing so, you could be seriously violating the Highway Code?

According to the code, drivers need to ensure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot cause any potentially deadly distractions while you drive.

Rule 57 of the Code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly," reports our sister paper The Sentinel.

"A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.

Although breaking the Highway Code might not result in a direct penalty, drivers could still be pulled over for driving without due care and attention - which comes with a maximum fine of £2,500 as well as a total of nine penalty points on your licence.

Drivers could even face a compulsory ban and a re-test.

But it's not just points and a fine drivers could face by not properly restraining their pets. If an accident is caused, your insurance could be voided by the Highway Code breach.

So here's what to do when driving with pets.

1. Don't allow your pet to ride with its head hanging out of the window, as it's potentially dangerous and can cause injury.

2. Always carry a large water bottle (5 litres minimum) in case your pet overheats and needs to be rapidly cooled in an emergency.

3. Use sun shades on the windows when it is hot or the sun is bright and never leave a pet in a hot car.

4. Don't feed your pet within two hours of starting a long car journey to avoid car sickness.

5. Pack a favourite toy or blanket to give your pet a sense of familiarity.