SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Summer is finally here, and if you're planning a road trip with your furry friend, you might be surprised at how much prepping you'll need to ensure comfort and safety. In a partnership with Consumer Reports, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney has some helpful tips to make sure traveling with your pet goes off without a hitch.
Lauren Fidge has been prepping for a 6-hour road trip to Vermont. Along for the ride: one-year-old Mabel. Fidge says, "We started doing small trips around town, going to our neighbors' home in the car, that sort of thing."
Dog trainer Holly Santana says consistency is important when planning travel. "So you want the same food. You want the same schedule. And so if they eat at 6am and 6pm, keep it 6am and 6pm," she says.
Santana also suggests bringing a towel or bed with the scent from home, keeping the car cool, and taking breaks at least every 3 hours. Also useful - cleaning supplies, doggie bags, leash, collar and ID tags with your dog's name and your contacts.
Don't forget about safety. Jen Stockburger, Consumer Reports Auto Expert, warns, "Pets can act as projectiles if they are not secured."
Securing your pet is a must. The Center for Pet Safety, along with Subaru, conducted crash tests on dummy dogs.
They found some of the most secure restraints include: the "Sleepy Pod Air" carrier, about $160; the "Gunner Kennels G-1 Intermediate Crate," $500; and the "Sleepypod Click-It Sport" harness, between $65 - $75.
The Center for Pet Safety recommends dogs up to 90 pounds be secured in the rear seat opposite the driver's side. In larger cars, use the rear seat or a crate in the vehicle's cargo area.
For three row vehicles with captain's chairs, dogs up to 20 pounds should be secured in the second row; larger dogs in the third row.
If traveling with children, secure the child in the second row, and the dog behind on the opposite side.
Safety is top of mind for Fidge. "Family trips to Vermont are very important to us. I want to make sure that everyone in the car is safe," she says.
All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2018 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit ConsumerReports.org.
For more stories, photos, and video from 7 on Your Side and Consumer Reports, visit this page.
Consumer Reports helps plan for trips with your pet
7 ON YOUR SIDE