Your tickets are booked for a trip to a pet-friendly destination, and while you might be procrastinating on packing, you are excited for your adventure with your furry companion. But before you hit the road, there are some things you should know about keeping your pet safe while traveling.
- 45 percent said their pets are unrestrained when traveling in a vehicle (and 63.8 percent travel by car or pick-up)
Pet health insurance provider Nationwide states the key to safe travel with furry family members is preparation. After analyzing its database of more than 750,000 insured pets, it determined the most common travel-related medical conditions:
- Vomiting or diarrhea–motion sickness in vehicle or airplane
- Heat stroke–exposure to hot temperatures
- Bruising or contusion–sudden vehicle stops
- Sprain–jumping in and out of vehicle
- Foreign object in nasal cavity–inhaling debris while sticking head out of the window
- Laceration or puncture wound–hit with debris, sudden stops, jumping in and out of vehicle
- Debris in eye–hit by debris in eye while sticking head out of the window
Nationwide encourages you to plan ahead and consider these travel tips to ensure that your dogs and cats are safe during vacation excursions:
- Pack a recent photo of your pet along with current vaccination records. If your pet becomes lost, having a photograph will make the search easier.
- Feed your pet a smaller meal before your trip to prevent an upset stomach. Also remember to carry plenty of water to prevent dehydration and offer it at regular intervals. If your pet has severe motion sickness, talk to your vet about medication that can help.
- Book a pet-friendly hotel. With more than 25,000 hotels in the U.S. allowing pets, there are plenty of properties from which to choose. But don’t assume all pets will be allowed, as some hotels place limits on the size of dogs they allow. Call ahead to check that your pet will be welcome.
- If traveling by car, secure your pet with a safety harness or a secured, well-ventilated carrier to restrain them in case of a sudden stop or accident. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.
- Never allow your pet to hang out the window. Opening the window just a few inches will allow your pet to enjoy the breeze safely without the risk of them inhaling debris or being struck by any objects. This will also prevent any temptation your pet may have of jumping out of the car.
- Bring one or two of your pet’s toys to accompany them during travel. The familiar smells can help comfort your pet and keep them occupied during the trip.
- Be exceptionally careful about leaving your pet in a car, even for short periods of time. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures in a car can increase drastically.
- Make sure your pet is wearing identification at all times in case he or she becomes separated or lost. Verify that their ID tag is up-to-date, durable and includes your mobile phone number. A microchip is an important addition; it can reunite you with your pet even if a collar and tag are lost or removed, but only if you keep your info current.
By keeping these tips in mind, you and your pet can have the stress-free vacation that you both want and deserve.