Those of us with furry friends can all agree that there is nothing like watching a dog hang its head out a car window with its tongue flailing about wearing a wind-born grin.

Road-tripping with your fur baby or traveling with them in any way, shape or form is a true way to bond and share memories for a lifetime.  A trip to the beach, a mountain excursion for a hike in the cool shade, and even a nice dog-friendly B&B in the countryside are all ideal for your dog to be mentally and physically stimulated during your mutual free-time.  However, these trips also need to include some careful pre-planning to keep your pooch happy and safe.

1. Make arrangements so you don’t have to leave fido in the car.
We know that when the weather is warm and sunny, it is high season to take a trip with your pup.  However, because of that warm weather and hot sun, we should not be leaving our dogs in the car for any period of time.  

2. Plan ahead my researching dog friendly parks, beaches and resorts and practice proper social behavior.   Even when you find suitable amenities for you and your pup, you must remain vigilant of other canines.  Always yield to other pups coming through small spaces in hotels or B&Bs.  This establishes and maintains respect.  Also, keeping your side of the street clean is key.  One must always keep in mind that whenever you go, you are a tourist among the locals.  Keeping your dog leashed will not only keep them safe from conflicts with other dogs, but also allow you to maintain control in what is a strange, new place for your fur baby.

3.  Be sure that you have proper identification for your before traveling.  According to the American Kennel Club, you should carry a recent photo of your dog with you and make sure they are up to date on all their tags, including addresses and vaccinations.  You should also make sure that they have a secure leash and collar.  At Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, volunteers are taught to always walk the dog on a separate device than what their tags are on.  This way, in the event that your dog takes off it will still have its tags on it’s collar.  We recommend using a prong collar along with their flat collar and attaching the two using a carabiner.  You may also use a harness or martingale collar.

 4.  Keep a routine.  In the middle of traveling everyone needs to visit a rest stop, right?  Well, fortunately the world is your dog’s rest stop but it is important to try and keep their routine as predictable as possible.  Allow them to have bathroom breaks as often as they do at home.  Feed them at the same times and always keep water handy.  Even buying a spill-proof water bowl is essential for them lapping up a drink anytime they want in the car.  Dogs like a routine as they already live in a world they don’t exactly understand.  Keeping things as familiar as possible will allow them to relax.  Bring their own food, pack a kong - whatever it takes to ensure fun.

And now - for the secret weapon -  This trip planner works very similarly to any navigation device, but with helpful dog-friendly stops, hotels and fun activities along the way!  After all, it is a vacation!

Article Contributed by: Natasha Domanski