When we recall our fondest memories, they most often include our loved ones. And since our dogs are some of those we love the most, it’s only natural that they’d be a part of the moments we hold near and dear to our hearts—like that dream vacation or adventure-filled road trip.

So of course, we’ll want to plan accordingly.

Practice makes perfect 

Getting your dog comfortable with the idea of travel is crucial to ensuring a smooth experience. If you know you’ll be hitting the open road soon, you can simulate the experience now by helping them get used to getting in and out of the vehicle, being harnessed into a safety device like a seat belt or in a crate and spending time in the car with your dog making shorter trips and gradually increasing the time in the car.

"...be sure to check with all the places you intend to stay to make sure they allow dogs."

Think safety first 

If it is a car trip you’ll be headed on, plan on frequent stops to let your dog out for a drink and to do his business. Be sure to always pull off the main road or highway, onto a smaller street, and always keep your dog securely leashed or harnessed. Having your dog run away on a crowded or unknown street would be a nightmare—and very dangerous for your dog.

Do your homework 

If you are bringing your dog with you on a trip, be sure to check with all the places you intend to stay to make sure they allow dogs. Call ahead to hotels and other venues you plan to stop at to ensure both you and your pet have friendly accommodations. If you are traveling by plane, be sure that the airline allows dogs, that you have alerted them your dog is coming and paid any fees, and that you are abiding by all of their regulations regarding safely transporting a dog on a plane.