Travelling with your dog in the summer months can be a fun and memorable experience, but requires a certain level of preparation. Dr. Chip Coombs, Pets Plus Us Chief Veterinary Officer has developed the following pet travel checklist for a safe trip filled with happy memories:

Medications and checkup – Before you leave on vacation consult with your vet and ensure your dog is in good physical health. Pick up refills of any medications your dog will need while you are away and find out whether there are any concerns about the area to which you are traveling. For example, common medications include flea and tick control, and heartworm pills.

Vaccination records and other documents – Be sure to check what types of vaccinations your dog will need, especially if travelling to another country and bring an up-to-date record of vaccinations with you. Also check with both your home country and destination to see whether there are any special requirements for either traveling into the country, or returning to your own. In some cases, you may not be permitted into a country without the proper records.

Pet identification – Make sure to have identification on your dog and recent photo on hand, just in case your dog gets separated from the family. ID tags should include the dog's name, your name, and a contact phone number.

First aid kit – Purchase an animal first aid kit or assemble one yourself in case your dog encounters any injuries. Include sterile gauze pads, bandage rolls, first aid tape, a lubricant, styptic powder or pencil, a product that discourages dogs from chewing or licking where applied (like a ‘bitter apple’), cotton balls and swabs.

Travel crate – Some hotels ask that you kennel your dog if you are leaving them alone in the room. A kennel is also a safe way for your pet to travel. Your dog should not ride loose in the back of a pickup truck or in the car, as they could fall out and suffer serious injuries. Be sure the crate is well-padded!

Familiar foods – Keep your dog on their typical diet to help prevent the dreaded diarrhea or vomiting. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you may also want to bring water; it will be easier to get your dog to drink if it's familiar water from home. Water in different places can taste and smell different and they may not want to drink it.

Research local pet by-laws – Dog owners should check local by-laws to ensure their breed of pet is welcome, and to find out what parks require your dog to be on a leash. You should have a leash on hand at all times just in case.

Dr. Chip Coombs has practised veterinary medicine for almost 40 years in the UK, Western Canada and Toronto. He has worked in an advisory capacity to industry professionals for almost 25 years and is a strong believer in pet insurance.