If you're like many pet lovers, you wouldn't dream of leaving your best friend behind when you go on vacation. Sharing any joy always makes it better. And sharing a joy with your best friend makes it better yet. In order to help you keep your pet comfortable and safe while traveling,we've collected some tips that will help your pup enjoy the trip, too. Before leaving You may want to consider a visit with your pet's vet to make sure your buddy is healthy and vaccines are up to date. Your best friend will need a health certificate dated within 10 days of the flight if that's how he's traveling. If your pet isn't microchipped, do it now! And be sure that you register the chip immediately. Add an ID tag to her collar with cell phone numbers and other contact information. Also be sure to take a currentrabies certificate and photos of your pet with you. Practice short trips before setting off on that cross-country vacation Unless your pet already goes everywhere with you, you'll want to practice some short trips around town and maybe take a nice country drive. This will get your pet accustomed to the car's motion and give you a feel for how comfortable your pet is. Some pets suffer from motion sickness and are more relaxed, and less likely to be sick, when they travel in a crate or pet carrier. Add a comfortable bed to the crate and make sure there's plenty of ventilation. Use safety restraints Your beloved pet is just as likely to be seriously injured, or even killed, in an accident as an unsecured child; don't let either of those tragedies happen! If you choose a crate, be sure it's big enough for your pet to change positions comfortably and that it's USDA-approved for airline shipping if a flight might be in your pet's future. Secure the crate so it can't slide around or tip over in case you have to stop suddenly. If you choose not to use a crate, this article will help you pick a great pet safety harness. Food and water Take your pet's regular food and jugs of water from home to avoid tummy upset if you have a pup prone to tummy upsets. Feed him lightly a few hours before leaving and not again until you stop. Keep an eye on the temperature Never leave your animal in a closed vehicle! Even with the windows cracked, it can become an oven within minutes on even a mild summer day. Flying with your pet Book a direct flight if possible, especially if your dog is too large to fit in a carrier under your seat. Clearly mark the crateon all sides with "LIVE ANIMAL" and make sure your name, cell phone number, destination, and your pet's photo are securely attached. Also fasten a bag of your pet's food to the exterior of the crate along with feeding instructions; a travel dish filled with water, frozen, then clipped to the door of the cage will let your pet quench her thirst a bit at a time as it melts. Put one of your smelly t-shirts and a favorite toy or two in the crate to help pup feel secure. Discuss preflight tranquilizers with your vet. And, yup, you may need them, too. And no matter what you do Never, never tie your dog's cage with your dog in it on top of your car for a family trip to Canada (or anywhere!). Forget any ideas about running for president of the United States if you even think of it. Check out BringFido.com and the ASPCA for even more car and plane travel tips and if you just can't take your beloved pet with you, contact us for award winning, professional in-home care while you're gone. concact us!