As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and we get closer to the summer travel season, many have started to think about where they want to vacation. Opting for locations closer to home, and those accessible by vehicle inspires the idea of bringing Fido along for the fun.

When bringing your furry family member on an excursion, there are things to remember, so the experience is as enjoyable for them as it is for you. Whether you are planning a staycation in Colorado or planning on traveling out of state, here are some helpful tips to make it a memorable journey for everyone involved.

Pack enough food and water for your trip:

While you may have grocery and pet stores along the route you take, they may not have the food you serve your pet. Packing an ample supply before you leave will ensure that this isn’t a concern when you are 500 miles away from your home. Putting water in refillable containers will also assist you in making sure your pet is well hydrated for the trip.

Practice makes perfect:

Have you ever taken your pet on a long car ride? They may be used to taking short trips in the car around town, but it’s key to make sure that they tolerate longer treks. Before heading out on your vacation, take your pet on a longer than usual drive and have them sit where they would for the actual trip. It’s key to remember that some pets can get carsick; it’s not just relegated to humans. Become aware of your pet’s comforts and discomforts before you get in the car for that five-hour drive.

Make time for play (and bathroom breaks) on your drive:

It’s recommended to stop every 2-3 hours to give your pet a chance to relieve themselves and also to be able to stretch. Sitting in a car for several hours has the propensity to make them very uncomfortable, which could lead to the trip being much less enjoyable for you as well. When you are packing for the trip, make sure you pack a few toys that your pet can play with at these stops to help them release some energy.

Make sure your pet’s license and microchip information is updated:

If the unthinkable happens, and you lose your pet while on vacation, their updated license and microchip significantly increase the chances of being reunited with you. When traveling, it’s good to have your mobile number attached to your pet’s identification information so they can be tracked back to you as quickly as possible.

Larimer Humane Society Supervising Veterinarian Dr. Lindsey Gapstur has another important tip, “Be sure to check with your veterinarian and share your travel plans. A veterinarian health certificate may be required for your pet if traveling across state lines.”

While preparation is essential when traveling with your pet, it’s also vital for you and your family to enjoy this quality time together. Enjoy seeing the sights and watching your pet take in every minute of the fun with you!