Sunscreen? Check. Bathing Suit? Check. Flip-flops? Check.

These are just a few of the quintessential items for any vacation by the beach this summer. But if you plan on taking your four legged forever friends with you, there needs to be more planning involved!

When looking for places to vacation with your dogs, be sure to look for dog friendly beaches. Some beaches only allow dogs on the beach in the early morning and after dinner time. You don’t want to be stuck in your hotel room because your pup can’t be outside with you during the day! Also, make sure to check leash laws, as some may require a certain length and type of leash.

After picking a destination based on beach time, be sure to call hotels in advance to make sure they accommodate dogs. Bringfido.com is my personal favorite! While you’re at it, make sure your dog’s breed is allowed, too.

If you’re planning on going somewhere your dog cannot, think about researching doggy daycares in the area. Always be sure to read the reviews! If they will take care of your pets like you would, you can trust them with your pets for a few hours.

Finally, research pet hospitals in the area. No one likes to think about emergencies happening, but being prepared is a large aspect of being a pet parent!

Once you’ve established where you can vacation with your pet, make sure to compile a list of dog essentials to take with you on your trip. You never want to assume the grocery store at the vacation destination will have the food and treats you usually give to your pet, especially if they’re special to your pet’s diet, or something that you get from your vet. Be sure to keep this list with your own vacation list.

Here is a quick list of things to bring for your pets: food, treats, bowls, towels, dog beds, dog soap, leashes, harnesses, toys, any medications they will be on during the trip, cages, blankets, gallons of water, Benadryl, poop bags, and your camera.

Because what’s better than taking your dog on vacation? Taking pictures to document the experience, of course!

Last but not least, if your pets are not microchipped, consider purchasing a GPS tracking collar. You can get one on Amazon, Chewy.com, or Ultimatebarkcontrol.com.

Once you’ve made the long trek by car with (hopefully) no issues, thanks to the Benadryl, finally take the time to relax. After all, that’s what vacations are truly for! – Lenae Walters

Lenae Walters has been an animal lover all of her life and has volunteered, and worked for, the Licking County Humane Society. She enjoys reading novels in her spare time, as well as running her two lab mixes in the neighborhood park. When she’s not reading, writing, or spending time with her pets, she’s enjoying time with her family and friends.

Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil