Today’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is writing about preparing to take your family vacation with your dog(s).

Aaahhh the dog days of summer; technically that is in August, but many families plan their summer vacation on or after Memorial Day because that is the “unofficial” beginning of summer.

If you’re packing up the family and the family dog(s) for a summer vacation you need to pack for the human as well as the furry family members. Do you have a packing list that you adhere to? Do you simply grab the family and a few essentials, hop in the car and hit the road?

Packing for a summer family vacation with your dog usually means you will need to have a plan in place and to prepare and pack for the dog as well.

9 Things You Need to Prepare & Pack For Summer Family Vacation With Your Dog

Here are nine things you will need to prepare and pack if you’re vacationing with your  family dog(s):

Prepare your dog for long car rides.

Does your dog ride well in the car? We’re assuming you’re taking a road trip to your family vacation destination. If that’s the case, make sure your dog enjoys the car. If you’re not sure, take some sort, local road trips to get him accustomed to riding in a car and to being in a harness or a crate in the car (safety first).

Prepare for dog friendly locations.

Is your location and any stops along the way dog-friendly? Don’t get to the hotel, campsite or other vacation destination only to find out it’s “no dogs allowed.” Call ahead to see if there are any restrictions on dogs, what proof of shot records you need and any other potential barriers to bringing your dog with you on the family vacation.

If you’re stopping along the way to the final vacation destination, make sure you know where the pet-friendly stops are along the way. Don’t forget to make frequent stops for your dog to do his business.

Prepare your dog’s shot records and veterinarian medical records.

If your dog has unique or ongoing medical and health issues, it is important you have immediate access to his record in case you need to make an emergency vet appointment.

Prepare for the unexpected.

Don’t forget to have your dog microchipped before the trip. If you don’t believe in microchipping your dog, then make certain he is wearing his collar with a tag with your cell phone number. Put more than one number on the tag if possible. Don’t let your dog out without his collar on.

Pack his favorite items from home.

Your dog will be happy to be with you on vacation, but it can still be stressful. Bring items from home to make him more comfortable. Bring his bed, his favorite toy and bring your tablet so he can watch DOGTV to help alleviate his stress and anxiety.

Pack your dog’s usual food.

When you’re on vacation it is is not the time to “sample new foods.” Your dog may already be anxious and feeding him food he’s not accustomed to will lead to stomach upset. The last thing you want is a dog who is vomiting or having diarrhea in the car or at your vacation home.

Many pet parents will bring water from home, or have their pet drink bottled water when they are on vacation as well.

Pack the human and pet first aid kit.

This should include any medications your dog takes, splints, bandages, wound cleaning ointments, tweezers, sunblock (yes, your dog can get sunburned) and other items unique to your dog that you need to bring with you. If you’re going someplace that has mosquitoes and ticks (and truly, there aren’t many places that don’t) bring along your favorite repellant and a tick remover.

Pack for quick and easy access to DOGTV.

It goes without saying that you will probably want to take the family and go to a local amusement park, restaurant or sight-seeing location that just might not welcome your beloved family dog. If that’s the case, check the television to see if you can tune into DOGTV or pull up the app on your tablet and have DOGTV running while you’re away to alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety.

Pack your dog’s special items.

Know your dog’s personality and pack for that. Will your dog be running and jumping into the water and getting muddy and dirty? If so, bring towels and even your favorite doggy shampoo to clean him off. Does he love fetch? Bring his favorite toy for that activity. Will you be going boating? Don’t forget your dog’s life vest. Look at your vacation destination and ask yourself, “What would my dog want to do there?” and add to your packing list to assure you have everything you need for a great vacation for everyone.

Do you have a packing list for your dog for your upcoming family vacation? Let us know what you would add to our list using hashtag #DOGTVPackingList.

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety? Does she get lonely when you leave the house? Does he seem depressed whenever you have to leave? If you answered YES to any of these questions, then DOGTV could be just what the veterinarian ordered. Sign up for your free trial.