How to Travel Safely with Your Pets in Summer

Have you had your summer vacation yet? With school out, many families find this the perfect time to visit their favorite relatives, camping grounds, or seek cooler climates and beat the local heat. And unless you have a dedicated pet sitter or keep your pets at a kennel while you’re away, you need to figure out the best way to take them along for the ride!

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Aside from the main logistics of bringing along enough food, water, or necessary medication for your pet, what are other considerations you should keep in mind to ensure everyone enjoys the time away from home?

  • Call Ahead – No doubt you’ll be staying at certain locations such as campgrounds, hotels, or with friends and family while on vacation. Make sure to call ahead before you leave and double-check that pets are allowed on these sites or if there’s any extra fee for boarding them there. For friends and family, it’s just polite to make sure no one there is allergic to your pet or otherwise uncomfortable around animals.
  • Bring Toys! – We bet your pets have a few favorite toys they love to romp with and chomp on. Pets can be unsettled by being exposed to new and unexpected situation or locations, but you can help alleviate their nervousness by having a familiar toy or treat available for them to focus on—rather than wondering what strange place they’ve wound up in.
  • Keep Their Health Current – Before you take any pet on a vacation, be sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Get them to sign a health certificate, approving their ability to travel, and also update any vaccinations so they don’t pick up any illnesses during the trip. Have copies of their health and rabies certificate on hand at all times.
  • Keep Them Contained – Animals like to feel secure, and a moving car can be nerve-wracking for some. Help them feel more protected by keeping them in a kennel, a harness, a pet seat, or other  restraining device so they aren’t accidentally tossed around or injured if you have to brake hard or make a sharp turn.

Have you planned or already taken any vacations this summer? Did your pet come along? If so, how was the experience and what did you learn about caring for their needs while on-the-go? If not, what steps did you take to ensure they were cared for until you got back?

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