Dear Davi,
I’ll be taking a cross-country road trip with my family this summer. Do you have any travel tips before we hit the road? 
Sansa the Shiba Inu

Tagging along for the family vacation can be super fun for everyone if you plan carefully, but understand that car travel is more than just jumping in the backseat and motoring off, especially if you are driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. Before you load up and hit the road, check out these trip tips to make your travels safe and hassle-free:

•    Visit your vet for a checkup before heading out of town.
You’ll need a copy of your vaccination records if you are traveling across state lines because some states require proof at interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s smart to be on the safe side.

•    If you’re not accustomed to the car already, get geared up for a long trip by taking a series of short rides, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. This will help ease any travel anxiety.

•    Make sure you have identification: Getting lost far from home is bad, but getting lost far from home without any form of ID is bad. Even if you are microchipped, it is still important to wear your tag and collar, as well as a temporary travel tag that has a cell phone number, destination phone number and any other contact information.

•    Prep a pet friendly travel kit that includes food, your leash, some poop bags, any medication you need, and a first-aid kit. Have doggie wipes on hand for cleaning muddy paws or sticky snouts from roadside breaks. Don’t forget to pack a favorite toy or blanket so you have some comforts of home.

•    When it comes to H2O, I say BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an unfamiliar area can cause a tummy ache. No fun for anyone!

•    Stay safe in a well-ventilated crate or carrier that’s large enough for you to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. It also should be secure so you won’t slip or slide in the event of a quick stop. If you forgo the crate, make sure you’re harnessed to a buckle in the backseat.

•    You should never, ever be left alone in a parked car, especially in the summer. Even with the windows cracked, on a hot day a parked car becomes a furnace in no time, and can cause heatstroke, which can be deadly.

•    Travel on an empty stomach to avoid carsickness. Eat a light meal a few hours before you hit the road to ward off hunger pangs and prevent nausea.

•    Plan on making frequent stops. Taking potty breaks and time out to exercise will make you a happier traveler. Just be sure one of your family members picks up your poop!

•    Do not ride with your head sticking out of the window. I know you love the feeling of your ears flapping in the wind, but flying debris can damage your eyes and cause other injury.

Happy Trails to You!

Sources: LoveThatPet.com, DogTime.com

Davi the dachshund doesn’t do much (or any) driving but he does love watching the world go by from the backseat of his mom’s car.