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Published: Jun 01, 2012

Millions of Americans are planning a road trip this summer, and whether it is long or short, if you are planning on traveling with your dog, there are some safety and travel tips you should keep in mind to ensure the trip is enjoyable and safe for everyone.

One of the most important steps to take is to acclimate your dog to riding in the car if it is not yet used to it. Even short trips can be anxiety-provoking if a dog has never ridden in the car before. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that it's a good idea to take the pet on a series of short drives to get it used to traveling. Gradually lengthen the amount of time spent in the car. If your dog is used to crate training, keeping it inside its crate while in the car might offer an added sense of security.

Once the dog is used to traveling, owners must also remember to pack the appropriate pet supplies for the trip. The ASPCA recommends packing food, bowls, leashes, plastic bags, grooming supplies, all of the dog's medication and first aid for dogs. You should be prepared for dog emergencies like heatstroke, bite wounds, burns, poisoning, seizures in dogs and more, even if they seem unlikely, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Schedule a visit with your veterinarian before your road trip to ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite protection.  You should also obtain a copy of your dog’s medical records for your trip and keep your veterinarian’s contact information on hand in the event of an emergency.