For many people, summer means travel—whether it’s a road trip, camping adventure, or a fly-away vacation. If Fido or Fluffy is coming along for the ride, here are some tips to keep your pet safe and happy so that you both can have a great time:

· If you’re taking your pet out of state or out of the country, health and/or travel certificates from an accredited veterinarian will likely be required. Check the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pet travel information site to find out what specific documentation will be needed for domestic and international travel, then make an appointment with your Southwoods Animal Hospital veterinarian to get those started.

· You should also be aware that many airlines have recently changed their restrictions for animal transport, limiting breeds and destinations. It’s important to consult with your specific airline about their pet travel policies before you purchase tickets.

· Road trips mean making sure your pet is secured safely. Depending on where your pet will be riding, a travel crate or seatbelt harness is the best way to go. If you opt for a crate, the Center for Pet Safety recommends that crates be attached to vehicle walls.

· Make sure your pet has ID inside and out. Your dog should not only have a collar and identification tags, but a microchip as well. Collars can get removed or lost, but a microchip—with your current contact information—will greatly increase the chances that your pet is returned to you if he or she goes missing.

It’s always a good idea to get your traveling buddy in for a check-up before you take off to make sure that your pet is current on vaccinations, has the parasite protection needed, and that he or she is healthy enough to travel. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 336-387-6956