As with most trips, the majority of things you should do to prepare your pets for traveling actually happen before you even leave. So grab a pen and some paper and let’s prepare to rock your summer vacation.

via GIPHY

Make a vet appointment

Before you go anywhere it’s a good idea to make sure your furry friend is in optimal traveling condition. A routine check-up will ensure that Fido is in tip-top shape for summer fun. You can use this time to ask your vet about any recommendations they have for car or plane rides as well.

Prescriptions and Medications

Make sure you get any prescription refills to cover the time you will be gone. If you don’t already have your pet on a monthly heartworm preventative now is the perfect time to start. Heartworm is spread through mosquitoes and it only takes one bite to infect your fur baby. This is especially important to consider during the warmer months when mosquitoes are prevalent. The warmer temperatures also bring out fleas so ask about flea control as well. These steps will give you peace of mind and ensure your pet will be comfortable and healthy on your summer trip.

Vaccines and Vaccine Records

If your pet is not up to date on their vaccinations this is the perfect time to get caught up. If you’re flying, most airlines require pet vaccination records so you’ll be one step ahead. But even if you’re driving it’s a good idea to carry a copy of the records with you. If anything should happen while you’re gone you will already have all the information you need without worrying about trying to track it down. And we know that your number one priority is to protect your furry family member from any communicable diseases they might be exposed to while on vacation.

Microchip

This step is essential before a trip. A microchip is a permanent I.D. inserted under your animal’s skin. They are registered in a national database so that if you and your pet ever get separated they can always be reconnected with you. Most vet offices do this in house. It’s a quick procedure that will forever link you and your pet to each other. If your pet is already microchipped be sure that your contact information is updated. Also check that your animal’s ID tags are up to date and securely attached to their collar.

via GIPHY

Beat The Heat GIF

Grooming

Summer temperatures soar and your furry friends are not immune to the heat. If you’re hot, they likely are too. A trip to the groomer will help them stay cool by removing any extra hair. Make sure that you make an appointment with an experienced groomer because the clippers and scissors can sometimes be stressful for animals.

Car Safety

No matter what, never leave your pet in the car during the summer. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a car gets hot very quickly and can become a furnace in no time. The best place for your pet on a hot day is inside, not in a vehicle. When you are driving with your pet make sure to use air conditioning and have water with you.

via GIPHY

Get A Carrier

Summer trips usually mean lots of travel time so make sure your pet has a nice carrier to keep them comfortable. Whether you’re flying or driving, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Make sure the crate you choose has proper identification such as your name, phone number and a photo of your pet.

Know the measurements of your dog so you can purchase a crate this is large enough for them to stand, sit down and turn around in.

Line the crate with some type of bedding that will absorb any accidents.

If you’re driving be sure to secure the crate so it won’t slide or tip if you have to come to an abrupt stop. If you would rather not have your animal in a crate during the car ride it’s best to keep them in the back seat. To ensure their safety, avoid letting them put their heads out of the window and secure them with a harness that is attached to a seatbelt.

via GIPHY

Make A Travel Kit

Have a bag that has everything you need at your fingertips. Include food, water, a bowl, leash, plastic bags, grooming supplies, travel documents, medications and a waste scoop. Don’t forget to pack a favorite toy or pillow to help your pet feel at home in an unfamiliar environment.  

Most of all, have fun! A little preparation before your trip and it should be smooth sailing for everyone.