Jack Russell dog out campingWith the kids out of school and longer days at hand, many families choose summertime for vacations and weekends in the outdoors. For those with pets, bringing along the car-ride-loving family dog (or the reluctant-to-travel cat) is an an attractive option. But, traveling with pets adds a different dynamic to road trips and hip destinations.

To keep your travel plans pet-inclusive, your friends at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates have compiled some tips to make your trip the tops.

Traveling with Pets to the Country

For many pet parents with canine kids, outdoor and rural destinations are a perfect fit. Being outside, whether camping, boating, lounging on the beach, or hiking the U.P., provides great opportunities for fresh air and exploration. Adventures dogs will love the chance to burn off some energy on the trail or run across a sun-kissed beach.

If your plans entail the great wild outdoors, take the following precautions to keep your pet protected from outdoor dangers.

  • Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite preventives, since most natural areas are rife with insects and wildlife that can present illness
  • Always supervise your pet, keep him on a leash or tie-out so he doesn’t wander off, and bring him into the tent, RV, or cabin at night
  • Pack plenty of drinking water, since natural bodies of water can be host to parasites, bacteria, and toxic algae
  • Discourage your pet from running ahead of you on the trail and be aware that tall grasses can sometimes harbor poisonous snakes
  • During the hotter part of the day, chill out with your best fur friend in some shade, saving the more strenuous exercise for mornings and evenings

Big City Lights and Action

If heading to a big city for some posh comforts and nightlife action is more your thing, bringing your pet can pose some problems. Unlike the outdoors, traveling to the city can be prohibitive with regards to pet participation.

To make the most of your urban travel plans, keep the following pets-in-the-city arrangements on your to do list.

  • Plan your visit well in advance by securing lodging that allows (and happily welcomes) pets – ensuring there is a place for daily exercise, too (such as a grassy area or park)
  • Have a back-up pet sitter or daycare in mind for those times when you need to do human-only activities
  • Scout out pet-welcoming venues, such as historical parks, amusement parks, urban natural areas, and restaurant patios that allow pets so your best buddy can enjoy some time with you and the fam

General Pet Travel Precautions

No matter what your exciting plans include, there are some things to be aware of when traveling with a pet.

  • No matter your destination, be certain that your pet is wearing legible tags (and a collar) with current contact info. You should also make certain that your pet is microchipped and that the chip’s informations has your up-to-date contact info.
  • Being on the road can be challenging, especially for senior cats and dogs. Before heading out to the wide open, we suggest having your pet examined prior to the trip. Ill or older pets are at greater risk for dehydration and are more susceptible to other risks, since they often have weaker immune systems.
  • While in transit, make sure your fur pal is secure in a travel crate or carrier. Some dogs prefer to sit on a car seat, so for these fellows a safety harness that can be attached to the seatbelt is a great choice.
  • Even though you may be anxious to reach your destination, keep your smaller friend in mind by incorporating extra time during travel for rest breaks, bringing plenty of clean water and a snack or two.

And please don’t forget: summer can be a scorcher – never leave your pet in the car or unattended.

Have a great trip!