With COVID-19 still impacting the United States, many New Jersey families are taking summer trips closer to home. If this sounds like your family, take a moment to review these pet travel safety tips before hitting the open road.

Prepare your dog or cat for road travel. If your pet doesn’t regularly take car rides, take them on a series of short drives, gradually increasing the distance as they become more comfortable.

Follow proper crate, carrier, and harness guidelines. If your pet is traveling in a crate or carrier, make sure it is well-ventilated and large enough for them to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around. If your pet is not using a crate, keep them in the backseat in a harness attached to a seat buckle.

Keep windows closed while driving. While many dogs love the feel of the wind in their fur, riding with their head out the window can lead to severe injuries caused by flying debris and bugs.

Never leave your pet in a parked car. Pets can experience a heat stroke within a matter of minutes. If you need to stop for food or gas, allow at least one family member to stay in the running car – or use the time for a quick walk and bathroom break.

Don’t forget the IDs and health documents. Identification is vital to your fur baby when away from home. Make sure they have a properly-fitted collar with up-to-date ID and rabies tags. Take photos or make copies of your pet’s medical history documents. Make sure that your cell phone is charged at all times so you can access your pet’s vaccine records through our app, available on our website.

Bring a pet-friendly travel kit. Don’t leave home without plenty of water, food, treats, bowls, leash, poop bags, and a favorite toy or two.

Prep an on-the-go pet first aid kit. Administering first aid can be stressful, especially if you are away from home and don’t have the right supplies. Make sure you have plenty of gauze, nonstick bandages, medical scissors, sterile saline eyewash, over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl and Pepto Bismol, a blanket, and a muzzle.

If an emergency requires you to fly with your pet, please be aware that many airlines have tightened their pet regulations during the pandemic. When booking a flight, make sure you know all the current rules and regulations for your four-legged companion.

Now that you and your pet are ready – go enjoy that summer road trip!