Our fur babies are an important part of our lives, but what about traveling with your pet?

To many of us, they are a part of the family. It’s hard to leave them to go to work, let alone being away from them for days at a time while we travel. For this reason, some people opt to bring their pets along. Traveling with your cat or dog can be beneficial for you and for them, however there are important rules that need to be followed to keep your pet safe during the journey.

Here are six safety tips for traveling with your pet.

1. Update Your Pet's Tags

Before traveling with your cat or dog, make sure his or her tags are up to date with your current contact information. Keeping these up to date will ensure someone is able to reach you in the event you and your pet become separated.

Include pertinent information such as your pet’s name, your phone number (with country code), and a brief description of any medical issues your pet may have.

2. Have Your Pet Micro-chipped

Many countries require all pets to be micro-chipped, so if you are traveling to one of those nations, make sure your cat or dog has undergone this low-risk, beneficial procedure.

Micro-chips unfortunately do not contain GPS information, however, they allow your pet to be quickly identified as yours and, unlike tags, they can not be removed.

3. Visit Your Vet

It is essential that your pet be up to date on their routine vaccinations before traveling. Visit your veterinarian to review shot records and get your pet any shots or medications they may need. You should also let your veterinarian know of your upcoming travel plans to see if they recommend any additional shots based on where you and your cat or dog will be traveling to. Your vet will issue your pet a health certificate, which you will be required to show in order for your pet to travel.

4. Do Your Research

Each airline and hotel has its own rules and requirements regarding pets. Be sure to research thoroughly, so you know what to expect and can avoid any unpleasant surprises. Write down all important information and, when in doubt, call to ask questions and double-check.

Another important thing to research is veterinarians near where you will be staying. Keep this information close to you during your stay.

5. Be Prepared

Make sure you bring everything you will need to care for your fur baby for the duration of your trip. This includes food and bottled water, medications, clothing, brushes, and other cleaning and grooming supplies.

You should also bring a photo of your pet, in case they are lost, as well as treats and toys from home for comfort. Using a packing check-list can help you avoid forgetting anything.

6. Prepare Your Pet's Carrier

Airlines require an IATA compliant pet crate to keep your pet safe and comfortable, and ensure they have ample space. Line the carrier with absorbent pet pads or shredded newspaper in case of accidents. Label your pet’s carrier with your name and contact information.

You will also need to make sure to include your pet’s health certificate and any other documents the destination may require in a Ziploc bag attached to the top of the crate.

Related: The Best Pet-Friendly Hotels In The U.S.