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Pet travel checklist

You have heard the old saying, "Failure to plan is a plan to fail"? This could not be truer than with traveling with pets. It is not always as simple as loading the pooch up in the kennel and heading out. Below is a list of items you will want to make sure you consider before heading out:

Kennel/Carrier: Seems easy enough but don't forget a few details about your pet's home away from home. First, make sure the kennel has adequate ventilation on the sides and door. You may also want to check out specific regulations from your department of transportation if you are flying. While most airlines allow soft sided as well as hard wall kennels there are different size requirements. Also worth noting is that if you wish to leave your hotel room without your dog/cat, many hotels require that the animal be kenneled. This is as much for your pet's protection as it is for the establishment.

Identification and Documents: You would not leave your home without your driver's license and your pet's information is equally as important. You will want to keep your pet's license number written down along with a photo, identifying marks and microchip numbers. Most jurisdictions require up-to-date vaccination records including rabies shots. One other piece of information many people forget is their veterinarians contact information for emergency services.

Bags, Pads, Litter Box supplies: You will likely spend some time away from your hotel so prepare by having ample supplies available for your pet. I will also mention that there are some great calming sedatives out there for traveling pets and will help them to handle the stress of long distances. What will also help is if your pet has a favorite pillow or blanket; bring it along.

Food for Fido: It can be frustrating to arrive at your destination only to find that you have forgotten your favorite pet food. For this reason, we recommend you pack a good amount of dry food and extra water isn't a bad idea as pets get thirsty too. Don't forget their water bowl and if your pet eats canned food, bring along a can opener. These are all small things that will make life easier on the road.

Collars and leashes: No doubt your pet will be walking a lot so bring along their leash and even an extra one if there is a chance that it might break. I recommend bringing along those waste bags in case as well as some paper towels if your pet's paws get wet or muddy.