Planning a trip with your best friend?

Planning a trip with your best friend?  Before you do it’s important to plan ahead and always keep the best interests of your four-legged friend in mind.  Traveling with your pet can be a wonderful experience. It can also be a not so pleasant one if proper planning and preparation are not taken.

Your first decision is whether to bring your pet along with you on your trip.  Not all pets are suited for travel. Things to consider include your pet’s temperament, any physical impairments, or if your pet suffers from an illness.  If you’re uncertain whether your pet is suited for travel, we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian.

If you determine that your pet is up for the trip, below are some pet travel tips.

Are pets welcomed where you are traveling to?

Here are three great websites that can help you find pet friendly lodging and activities to do with your pet while on vacation.

Bring Fido

Trips With Pets

Go Pet Friendly


Once you know where you are going, start planning what you will need to take with and check to see if you need to update any vaccines for your pet.

  • It’s very important to make sure your pet is properly vaccinated. Rabies, Distemper booster and the kennel cough vaccine would be the three most common. You should also consider Lepto and Lyme boosters depending on where you are traveling to and what activities you have planned.
  • Even if your pet is up to date on vaccines, it’s a great idea to have your veterinarian examine your pet before traveling just to make sure they are healthy enough for any adventures you have planned.
  • Make sure to have an ID tag with a cell number in case your pet is lost while on the trip.
  • Getting a microchip placed is a great idea as well. If your pet already has one, GREAT, but make sure to have updated information listed online.

What to bring for your pet:

  • medical records, especially the rabies certificate
  • collar and leash
  • plenty of food
  • dishes
  • water
  • beds/blankets
  • extra harness/collar and leash
  • baggies to clean up after your pet
  • toys
  • calming aids such as lavender oil or D.A.P. spray/collar
  • first aid kit
  • vehicle restraint harness or kennel your pet can safely ride in

Two great places to find a vehicle restraint harnesses and other travel essentials like first aid kits for your pet are:

Vehicle Safety

I mentioned above getting a restraint harness or having your pet ride in a crate and I really meant it. It’s a very important step to traveling safely with your pet. You will be less distracted while driving and it prevents your pet from becoming a projectile if you have to stop fast. In the event of an accident you are both better off being safely restrained.

The number one rule while traveling in a car is don’t leave your dog in a car, especially when it’s warm out. Even with the window cracked open, a car can quickly turn into an oven. I know we live in the U.P. and there are plenty of days where your pets would be safe in your car because of the cooler temperatures. Our weather can change fast though and it doesn’t take long for your car to heat up. Please always use your best judgement with this one.


You’re away from home and that means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, and possibly new dangers. Depending on where you are traveling to please take some time to find out about poisonous plants and animals that might be in the area.

You will also want to find out if the city you are visiting has leash laws and many places unfortunately have breed restrictions as well. Knowing these things ahead of time can save you a lot of hassle.


Traveling with your pet can be such a wonderful bonding experience. I hope this article encourages you to start planning a trip for you and your best friend. The main thing is that you and your pet have a great adventure together. You will thank yourself for planning ahead!