In case of a car accident, airbags are a great safety device. Most cars nowadays have airbags for both the driver and the front passenger. But remember, airbags are made for adult people, not children or dogs. So if your dog rides in the car, be sure they are in an area that does not have airbags.
Most cars with passenger side airbags in the front seat only go off during a high impact car accident if there is someone sitting in that seat. Check with your car manufacturer to verify whether the passenger side airbags trigger automatically or only if there is a certain amount of weight in the seat. If your dog is a small dog, you may not need to worry about the airbag because the airbag sensor might not register anyone sitting in that seat. This is a safety feature that was set up to protect a child sitting in the front seat since you do not want the airbags to deploy for small children.
However, to be certain that the airbag does not deploy when your dog is in the front seat, check your car manual to see if the front passenger airbag can be disabled. If not, have your large dog ride in the back seat or have your small dog sit in a pet booster seat which hangs from the headrest of the seat rather than sits on the seat itself. With the pet booster seat hanging from the headrest, the airbag may not trigger since there is no weight in the seat. You can also push the seat as far back from the airbag as possible.