altSummer travel doesn’t always mean you need to leave your dog behind. With some careful planning, there are many opportunities for ways to take your pooch along on your family vacation.

The prospect of a Summer Vacation can be very exciting, but it can also make you a little bit sad if you need to leave your dog behind. So here are a few tips and ideas for some ways to plan a family vacation that can include the family dog too.

Plan Well and Pack Accordingly

Check to make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and ask your Veterinarian if your pet is fit and healthy enough for travel. If your pet will be traveling with you in the car, make sure they are safely secured or use a pet crate where appropriate.  It could also be helpful to take along a portable pet bed or mat that can be used to cover the car seat and then double to use as a pet bed for when you reach your destination.

Make sure your pet has a sturdy, secure and comfortable collar that includes all current ID tags, in addition to your cell phone number. Bring along plenty of water, food, a portable travel food bowl and always make sure you have plenty of disposable poop bags. It’s also smart to create a “emergency pet travel kit” with some basic first aid items, just in case an emergency situation should arise and if you pet has need for any medications, make sure you have an ample supply of those too.

As always, never leave your pet unattended in the car, especially in Summer, when the temperature inside a parked car can rise to life threatening temperatures within a very few minutes. If your pet will need to travel on a plane or train with you, carefully check the travel guidelines ahead of time for each transporter you will be utilizing.

Socializing and Training your Dog

As simple as this concept may sound, instilling proper socialization and training skills into your dog at an early age, will widen the opportunities for places you’ll be able to travel with your dog in the future. However, if your dog is older and has not received a proper training foundation, you can always seek the help of a professional dog trainer at any point in your pet’s life, to help you put some valuable training in place.

Choose Accommodations that are designated as Pet-Friendly

With the advent of the internet, it’s become fairly easy to research and locate accommodations that are designated as Pet-Friendly. Be sure you read their guidelines carefully however, so you’ll know what to expect. Oftentimes places that welcome pets have size and weight restrictions and will require additional cleaning deposit fees, on top of your room rental rate.

Research Kenneling Facilities that Correspond with your Itinerary

If part of your trip itinerary has dog friendly accommodations readily available, but portions of your itinerary do not, consider looking into local kenneling options or inquiring with reputable Veterinarians in that region for recommended kenneling facilities. You can also check out this online kenneling alternative that provides a pooling of individual dog lovers who have gone through a certified screening process, and will welcome your dog into their private home during the portions of your vacation for which there are no dog friendly accommodations available.