SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – If you’re traveling with your dog this summer, these tips will help keep your canine buddy in tip top travel-ready form.

People used to think summer travel with dogs had no special travel needs. Years ago, no one thought twice about letting toddlers ride loose in a car going 70 mph down the highway. Parents today cringe at such reckless disregard for child safety, and today’s doggie Moms and Dads also need to worry about how to travel with pets safely.

James Nelligan, owner of Pacific Pet Transport, encourages all pet parents to keep these tips in mind when traveling with your dog:

• It’s not safe for your dog to sit on your lap while you drive. Many road fatalities have occurred this way.

• When you take a break, take your dog out to stretch his/her legs too.

• Make sure your dog gets plenty of water. Hydration is key to healthy travel.

• Put your dog on a leash when taking a break – it will keep your buddy safe and protect everyone from unpredictable circumstances.

• If using a travel crate, make sure the crate has enough ventilation.

• When traveling over 40 mph, don’t let your dog stick its head out the window. Nelligan recommends dog goggles to protect your dog’s head and eyes from flying objects.

• Exercise your dog before you travel to make them more relaxed during the trip.

• Check the laws in states you may be driving through about traveling with your dog. New Jersey law, for example, states that all dogs must be harnessed or crated when traveling by car.

• Consider micro-chipping and have an ID tag on your dog’s collar – better safe than sorry should you get separated!

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