Summer is near and most schools are out. That means it is time for a family vacation! And a family trip would not be complete without your furry loved ones. Dr. Ruth, “The Pet Vet” shares some simple ways to ensure traveling with your pets isn’t ruff.

Do Your Homework

Make sure your destination is pet-friendly. For example, if you were planning to bring the family pooch to Yosemite to enjoy the great outdoors, you would be disappointed to learn that dogs are prohibited on the hiking trails. Check ahead of time to avoid any last-minute surprises that could damage your trip, according to a news release.

Check to ensure your lodging accommodates pets. Not all hotels, campsites, or VRBOs are pet-friendly. Even those that allow pets may have restrictions on the number of pets, size limits, or whether they can be left alone in a hotel room.

Be Sure Your Pet is Travel Ready

Before embarking on your adventure, ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel. Take your pet to a veterinarian to ensure that your pet is healthy, and up to date with immunizations, and parasite preventatives. If you are traveling out of state or by plane, you will also need a health certificate. I also recommend getting a copy of your pet’s vaccination record. If your pet gets anxious when traveling, speak with your veterinarian about products and medications that can help keep them calm.

Packing for Your Pet

Depending on your mode of travel your needs will differ. If you are traveling by plane, you will need an airline-approved carrier and health certificate. If you have a small dog and are traveling by car, you may want to get a booster seat for your pup. My dog Jett loves his K&H bucket booster seat. He likes looking out the window and I love the peace of mind knowing that he is safe and secure. If you have a large dog, you may want to get a travel safety barrier to keep them in the back and prevent driver distraction.

Be sure to pack your pet’s food (enough for the whole trip), treats, and of course food and water bowls. Don’t forget to bring their collar with I.D. tags and a leash. If you have the space, bring your pet’s bed, and a few of their favorite toys. Finally, bring their health certificate, vaccine, records, and any medications your pet needs.

Travel Preparation

Before going on a long road trip with your pet, get them used to riding in a car. Start by taking them on frequent, short car trips. Use lots of praise and treats to make the experience positive. My dogs love Wellness® Old Mother Hubbard® Wholesome Indulgences Treats and now expect them after every car ride! If you are traveling by plane, get your pet used to their carrier beforehand by putting treats inside and leaving them open for your pet to explore on their own. If traveling with your cat, Wellness® Lickable Treats are a great way to make the experience positive.

Safety Reminders

Be sure your pet has a microchip and your contact information is up to date. Collars with tags are important but are not foolproof and can fall off. That said, never leave your pet unattended in a car as they can overheat and die within minutes.


Traveling with your pet requires some additional planning, but it is worth it and will give you and your family some priceless memories.

Source: Dr. Ruth MacPete — The Pet Vet