Whether you’re planning on taking your pet on a short trip or an extended stay at a vacation destination, a little advance planning can prevent a lot of trouble.

Make copies of important veterinary records for each pet including rabies and other vaccinations and keep them were they can be quickly accessed. Multiple copies could be handy for your vehicle and the place where you are staying.

If you regularly go to a cottage or campground, become acquainted with the nearest veterinary office and ask them to keep your pet’s records on file. Check into whether a charge will be levied for maintaining the records. But it’s worth it to have the information on hand if your pet has an emergency and needs medical attention.

Make sure you pack adequate supplies for each pet, including a secure pet carrier or seatbelt restraint, leashes, bowls, water, food, clean towels and any medicines you pet is currently taking. Be sure to have more than just the amount of medicine needed for the duration of the planned trip. A good example is the 2011 flood when pets on vacation ran low on their medicine but roads were washed out.

Even if your pet is the most mild-mannered dog or cat, it’s not a bad idea to have a properly fitting muzzle on hand. Animals can react violently if they are injured and in pain.

For our dogs, we keep a bag of treats in a loud, plastic bag in the car and at the camper, just in case there is an escape.  Rattling the treats is usually the ticket to get their attention and get them back.

For more information, talk to your home veterinarian. Pet first aid information can also be found in a handy manual available through the American Red Cross.