You’re all packed, fueled up and ready to head out on your epic summer road trip when you turn and look down at your four-legged companion wriggling at your feet. You may be ready to get going, but is your dog? Here’s everything you need to know to make sure that your pooch is ready for the open road-and that your journey together will be as smooth as possible.

GET YOUR DOCUMENTATION ORGANIZED
Making sure you have important information about your dog is the first place to start when planning a road trip. As long as you’ve got your phone, you’ve got your documents with apps such as the Red Cross Pet First Aid. Not only does it give you great information about canine first aid, but you can use the app to note your pet’s medical records, microchip number and what company he’s registered with, any medical insurance information, and of course your vet’s information. Th ere’s also a vet hospital locator in the app so that you can have this at the ready should you need it in an emergency.

GET YOUR DOGS GEAR READY
After you get your info in order, it’s time to get your gear in order. Your list will, of course, be specific to your dog, but here are things to keep in mind for your checklist.

  • Leash and collar with ID tags
  • Water bowl or collapsable bowl; plenty of water
  • Food bowl and food for each day on the road/2 days backup
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Doggy waste bags
  • Blanket, bed or pad for sleeping
  • Crate/Confinement

If you know road trips are in your future, it’s smart to start crate-training your dog well before the journey so your dog is ready when it’s time to hit the road. Even if you aren’t going to crate your dog while in the car, you’ll want one with you for when you’re traveling, which is why it’s on the packing list. They make it easy to keep your dog relaxed and secured when you’re stopping for breaks or when you arrive at an overnight location.