Pet insurance company Trupanion has released a list of tips to help pet owners prepare for road trips with their pets this holiday season.
(PRWeb.com) December 13, 2010 — Due to more pet owners including pets in their holiday travels, Trupanion, North America’s fastest growing pet health insurance company has released a list of tips that will help everyone get to their destination safely.
First, Trupanion advises to prepare for your trip with several short car trips prior to the big travel day. This is especially important for pets that have never traveled before, as some dogs and cats can become car sick and need time to get used to the motion of the car.
Second, if you don’t plan to crate your pets when you travel, Trupanion recommends investing in a pet barrier that keeps your pets contained behind the rear seat, or harnesses that allow your pet to move around and lie down, but will keep them restrained in the event of an accident.
“Not only is it dangerous for the pet to be unrestrained, can be very dangerous for the owner, too,” said Darren DeFeo, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce at Trupanion. “Pets can be a major distraction to the driver if they try to access the front seat.” In fact, a study conducted by AAA and Kurgo revealed that 31% of dog owners who drive with their dog in the car admit to being distracted by their dog when driving, and 21% have allowed their dog to sit in their lap while driving. This causes a very unsafe environment for everyone in the vehicle, as well as others on the road.
Third, it’s advised to make a list of everything you need when traveling with your pet so you never leave home without something important. The following are a few things to include on that list.
Collar with ID Tag & Leash – It’s important to have your name and your cell phone number on the pet’s tag, so you can be easily contacted if your pet goes missing.
Food – To make it as easy as possible to feed your pet while on the road, separate each day’s food into separate bags so you don’t have to bring a big container with you each night.
Toys – Your pet may be a little confused or anxious during the trip, so bringing a favorite toy and/or blanket with you will ensure some familiarity for the pet and help him stay calm.
Towels – If it’s raining or snowing during your pet’s relief break, towels can save your car’s upholstery once you are back on the road.
Documentation of Shots – Important to have with you in case you need proof of vaccinations.
Plastic Bags – Never assume that rest areas will have bags for relief clean-up.
Cleaning Supplies – Unfortunately, some pets can get car sick, so be prepared to clean up the result of an upset stomach.
Fourth, if you plan to stay at hotels, make sure you understand their pet policy. Some pet-friendly hotels have weight restrictions, or make you leave your pet in a crate during your entire stay. Make sure you are comfortable with the policy before booking.
Finally, while on the road, remember to schedule stops every two hours or so to allow your pet to take a break, stretch its legs and drink some water. When taking your pet out of your car, always put a leash on first. Even the best-trained dog may become nervous in a new environment. Also, never leave your pet unattended in the car. Even though it may not be hot, it is still dangerous to leave them alone.
Following these five simple steps can be the difference between a frustrating and enjoyable trip. No one wants to spend their holidays unhappy, so plan early to ensure a fun holiday experience for all.
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.