Summertime is a prime time for family outings, be they daylong excursions to the beach, ball tournaments or family road trips. Little feet and big feet pile into the car, as do paws sometimes.

Taking the “fur family” along on road trips is commonplace, but preplanning is essential to ensure a good experience for both pets and their people.

When traveling with pets, AAA suggests families:

• Make sure your pets have readable, secure, and current name tags that include their names, your cell-phone number, and someone else’s number who will be home while you travel.

• Carry vaccination records, as some places won’t admit animals without them. Also, keep your vet’s number handy in case of an emergency.

• Bring double the amount of your pets’ regular meals to be sure you won’t have to buy a different brand in a pinch.

• Familiarize yourself with lodging options to make necessary arrangements for your pets. Does your hotel require that your animal be crated? Are there required charges associated with your pet’s stay?

Families also should consider the safety of their pet while traveling. A loose pet wandering inside the car could cause the driver to become distracted. In addition, an unrestrained or non-crated pet could be injured during sudden stops.

People traveling with pets — or just taking them on a trip to the grocery store — also should be mindful of the time their pets are left alone in the car. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that interior air temperatures inside vehicles can rise rapidly in a short amount of time: 10 minutes, 19 degrees F; 20 minutes, 29 degrees; 30 minutes, 34 degrees; 60 minutes, 43 degrees; and 1 to 2 hours, 45-50 degrees F.

Being a responsible pet owner isn’t optional — it’s an obligation to a trusting family member.

— News and Tribune Editorial Board members are Publisher Bill Hanson, Editor Susan Duncan, Assistant Editors Chris Morris and Jason Thomas, and Digital Editor Elizabeth DePompei.