Exploring the great outdoors can be even more fun by having your furry best friend in tow. If you’re planning to take a pet along on your next hiking, camping or RV trip, there are a few details to take care of first. Below are a few tips and tricks on making the most of your upcoming, pet-friendly adventure.

To start, pet owners should visit the vet before hitting the road for an extended trip. That way, their four-legged family members are all set with flea and tick protection, vaccinations and other preventive care measures. It’s also recommended to gather essential information to have in case of an emergency. This should include proof of ownership, medical and vaccination records, a current photo and up-to-date contact information for their ID tags or microchip.

Another safety measure is to put together a first-aid kit with pet-safe supplies. Research should also be done on the destination’s potential wildlife encounters, the forecasted weather and the closest emergency veterinary hospital. Having these details and supplies on hand could make a big difference in the event of an injury or if there are signs of illness.

Next, take consideration when laying out the destination or stops along the way. Owners should look up pet policies at parks, campsite restrictions and any campground rules regarding pets before deciding on a spot to camp or lodge. For instance, there may be prohibitions on certain dog breeds, additional fees and limits on the number of dogs per campsite.

A major part of accommodating a pet on a trip is packing all the essentials. From must-have items like pet food, prescription medications, bottled water, bowls, bedding, waste pickup bags and leashes to items specific to the trip like booties, life jackets or a RV-fitted pet ramp, these necessities should be carefully considered and packed accordingly. It’s important to note that the water where you’re going may not be suitable for pets. That’s why it’s vital to bring an adequate supply of bottled or fresh water.

Lastly, owners need to dedicate a comfy, secure spot for their pets to be confined to during travel. While it may be tempting to let pets roam the vehicle freely or stick their heads out the window, these risky behaviors could lead to injury. It’s advised to either secure them with a harness that straps into the seat — much like a seatbelt — or to keep them safe inside a crate designed for road travel. Animals should never ride in the trailer or camper unattended but should be kept in the tow vehicle instead.

With the proper planning and prep work, adventuring with your feline or canine companions can be a rewarding experience you’ll never forget. For a more complete guide on RV camping with pets, please see the accompanying resource.

Guide created by Parts Via