Wanna go for a ride? (Or…..how to have a successful road trip with your dog)

There isn’t a dog alive who doesn’t live to hear the words, “wanna go for a ride?”! And now that summer is officially in full swing, it’s time to hit the road with your best buddy, or buddies.

Before you program that GPS for the wide open spaces, take a few minutes to plan for your dog’s well-being and comfort. Here are some tips to make traveling with your furry friend stress- and problem-free:

• Make sure his shots are up-to-date, especially rabies. If you’re traveling out of the country, be sure to find out what protection and documentation you may need to cross the border.

• Be sure he’s wearing his I.D. Unfortunately, dogs do crazy things like jump out of windows or bolt out of gates that aren’t completely closed. That’s why it’s important that he’s wearing I.D., whether it’s tags attached to his collar, or a microchip implanted by your vet.

• Pack and plan for his comfort, too. Include his favorite blanket or bed, bring his bowls, pack his food and medications. And if possible, bring a supply of water from home.

• Keep an eye on the weather… and don’t leave your dog (or child, for that matter) in the car in hot weather. The temperature inside the car rises dramatically in just a few minutes, even with the windows open.

• Stop and stretch your legs frequently. Give your legs – and your dog’s – a break by making frequent stops. Most rest areas have designated pet areas, so be sure you locate them. And as a responsible pet owner, but sure to bring supplies to clean up after your pet.

With just a little bit of planning, hitting the road with your dog this summer will be safe – and lots of fun – for both of you!