lenny dowMake sure your next adventure in the car is a safe and successful one by following these pointers.

Health Certificate, Motion Sickness and Information
If you are traveling out of state you will need a health certificate- this proves to authorities that your pet has been examined and has been shown to be free of infectious diseases. Even if you’re not traveling out of state, discuss any vaccinations or parasite control if you’re going to a area you’ve never been before. Some pets also become nauseated while traveling-if this is the case, give the hospital a call to discuss using a great anti-nausea medication called Cerenia.

Update your pet’s identification
Make sure your pet’s ID tag has your cell phone number on it—or use a temporary travel ID tag with this information during your trip. If your pet has a microchip, make sure it’s registered with your current contact information, too. And keep a current picture of your pet on your cell phone so you can share it in the event your pet gets lost.

Check your accommodations
Make sure pets are welcome at your destination, whether it’s a hotel or a friend’s or family member’s home. It’s also a good idea to bring a kennel for your pet if you need to leave him unattended for any period of time.

Think safety first
Make sure you’ve got an appropriately sized carrier or a safety harness for your pet. If your pet is traveling in a carrier, make sure it’s level in the back seat. And consider putting a breathable piece of fabric over the carrier to conceal sights and sounds from surrounding traffic.

Prepare for pit stops
Make frequent stops to allow your dog to stretch his legs and relieve himself. But think twice before using the designated pet relief areas at rest stops. With so
many dogs visiting those areas, they’re a prime target for unwelcome parasites and disease. Instead, take another exit and find a fresh patch of grass near a school or church (please pick up after him).

Put together a pet care package
Don’t forget food, water, dishes, toys, treats, bedding, leashes and collars, and your pet’s medication, if applicable. Make sure your pet feels just as comfortable and safe on the road as he would at home.