TOLEDO, Ohio — As the summer days are underway, many of you might be getting ready to take some vacation and maybe thinking of bringing your furry family member along.
This summer, AAA expects 700 million Americans to travel, with 97 percent of people going by car. Allowing families to take their furry friends along for the ride.
This comes as COVID-19 guidelines go away and more people feeling eager to get out and explore.
But before you pack the bags, there are some tips to taking your animals with you.
First, make sure your 4-legged friend's microchip or ID information is correct.
"Just in case something goes awry, those are the two real, key pieces of information that can help us get reunited with our pets. And then to start introducing them to the car, you want to make it fun" Lead veterinarian with Merrick Pet Care, Dr. RuthAnn Lobos said.
Some animals may not be comfortable in a car, Dr. Lobos says start with small trips, maybe to the mailbox or gas station.
She says having the positive reinforcement of being in the car, can set you up for success during the real trip.
The next tip is safety.
"We wear our seatbelts in the car and our pets should too" Dr. Lobos said. "I know it's really tempting to let them roam around or sit in the passenger seat, but they really should be in a pet-specific seatbelt or harness".
Finally, pack a pet suitcase.
Dr. Lobos' says to make sure it includes their food with a few extra servings, their leash, bed, some toys and anything else to make the ride and trip more enjoyable for you and them.
"Where they are and what vaccines they've gotten and what dates those were given, any sort of medical history that they've got. You've got all printed out and right in your hands if you should need it" she said.
Other tips include making sure your pet gets enough water and bathroom breaks during the car ride.
You can find more information here.