(PET TRAVEL/CATS AND DOGS) Toting along the family dog for trips has become almost a necessity within every household. Checkers, Scrappy, and Mimi get to see the lights of Hollywood or the rolling green countryside outside their windows.

Before you pack up the whole family, dog included, there is still some business at hand. After obtaining flight insurance, or setting up rigid road rules for the family during a long haul, there are pet-specific items to make sure that your pet is happy and safe. Follow along for some simple and important tips for the pet-friendly vacation.

Safety First

In addition to sunscreen, floaties, and other safety items for your family, ARA advises that you should take time for your pet here as well. There are a number of points to consider for your pet’s well-being:

  • Food: No one can go wrong with juice, crackers, and sugary treats, but make sure the ol’ pooch in the back has a bone or two on-hand. When you make a stop for some chicken fingers, make sure your pet is eating too.
  • Medicine: ARA recommends that the vet’s phone number is within easy reach, just in case. After all, you never know when you might need more tranquilizers.
  • Hydration: Especially in the summer, hydration is key for not just the pet, but the whole family.
  • Restraints: A leash/collar/harness is a fundamental necessity, as Dr. Dog explains.
  • Pet Information: Don’t forget about pictures, health certifications, and immunization and medical records. Proper identification is also very important, including a microchip, according to Dr. Dog.
  • Carrier: How will you bring your pet with you? Either for the car or the plane, you’ll need to make sure that the carrier can provide space and comfort, as well as hold treats, water, and food. Bedding may fall into this category as well.

Make a list of safety items to perform for your dog as you’re securing flight insurance and checking on other important points.

By the way, as you’re observing the road rules during a trip – it is actually very dangerous to allow your dog to put his or her head out of the window. Flying debris, or the unfortunate possibility of an accident, are dangerous consequences – among other scenarios.

Everything Else

Here is the fun part, both for you and your pet – as long as there is enough room for all of the goodies, that is.

Don’t forget to take some snapshots of your dog on the beach, under a gigantic Redwood, or sitting on a bench in Central Park. Pets always make for a heart-warming Instagram photo op.

Perhaps most important here is with the reservations. Dr. Dog advises families to call ahead and make sure campgrounds, trailer parks, and hotels are pet-friendly. Calling before you hit the tarmac or the open road will help solidify plans for rest and relaxation.

Now to the goodies:

  • Plenty of treats to keep your dog a happy, peppy companion
  • Enough toys for the whole trip, making sure to bring his or her favorites; consider a new toy or two just in case you need something different
  • Grooming products can be important as well, as some pets enjoy a “spa-like” treatment with a nice brush

Overall, keeping your pet safe can be done relatively easily. In other cases, it may be easier and safer to keep the pet at home or with a trusted friend. At any rate, plan the checklist for your pet, along with your whole family, so that you don’t forget anything essential. With a few easy steps, you can make sure your pet is happy on his or her next vacation.

More on Pet Travel:

Jet Set Pets: Top 10 Tips For Safe Air Travel

Five Dog Friendly U.S. Vacation Spots

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