Every year, tens of millions of animals make journey with their guardians within the United States. Of course, since we consider our dogs are a part of our family, most of us want to take them along on vacations. Keep in mind, though, that travelling with your four-legged friend is more than just loading him off the backseat and motoring off.

If you are planning to take your dog with you, careful planning is important. Here are a few important tips you should take note off for a smooth and safe trip.

Plan for restraint

The safest way for your dog to travel is by putting him in a crate. It’s a lot safer for everyone if your dog is confined or securely fastened throughout the trip. This will not only protect your pet from injuries; it can also keep you from being distracted as you drive.

Make sure that the crate is large enough for your dog to sit, stand, lie down and turn around.

Identification

This is one of the most important aspects of travelling, but is also one of the most overlooked. In the unfortunate event that your dog runs off from you on your trip, an identification tag will increase your chances of recovering your pet. Attach an ID tag to your pet’s collar and include important details like your address and phone number.

Don’t leave them unattended

Never leave your pooch alone in the car. On a 78°F day, even with windows slightly open, the temperature in your car can raise to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Within 15 minutes, your dog can suffer and die from heat stroke.

Watch the food intake

Your dog’s feeding schedule should start at least 3 to 4 hours before departure. Do not over feed him. A light snack will do. Bring along a supply of his regular food and resist the temptation to feed your dog with fries and burger.

During travel, it is recommended to keep feeding to a minimum. Also, never feed your dog while the vehicle is in motion.