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Traveling Safely With Your Pets

If you’re planning a family road trip, you might also want to bring your fur baby. While traveling is fun, it can be stressful if you don’t take proper precautions to ensure you and the dog or cat are safe.

Before venturing out, be sure your pet is up to date on its vaccinations and check with the veterinarian to see if the animal can physically withstand an extended road trip. If your pet is in good shape, be sure to bring copies of their health records with you on your journey.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends researching 24-hour veterinary emergency hospitals along your route and keep a record of them should your pet need medical attention.

Other things the AKC recommends you do before leaving for your trip are:

  • Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar (with a proper identification tag)
  • Make sure your cat has a collar (with a proper identification tag)
  • Pack plenty of pet food and treats
  • Pack medications, (if needed)
  • Pack an emergency kit

You may also want to consider packing a crate for your pet in the event you plan on stopping each night at hotels or relatives’ homes. The crate, which should be large enough for the animal to stand, turn, and lie down, will keep your pet from wandering. It can also be used to keep your pet secure in the vehicle.

Once the car is packed and you’re ready to hit the road, make sure your pet has plenty of water. You might want to feed them 3-4 hours before leaving on your trip to avoid carsickness. Other recommendations from the AKC and The Humane Society of the United States include:

Keep your pet restrained
While you may want to hang out with your pet in the front seat, this is not a safe place. Cats should be in carriers, and dog restraints or seat belts should be used. Crates are also recommended for dogs to prevent them from roaming around and being distracting to the driver. Another reason pets should be secured is in the event of a crash.

Keep heads inside windows
Dogs love to ride with their head out the window, but it’s dangerous because they could get hit by passing debris or, even worse, injured or thrown from the vehicle in a potential collision.

Keep your vehicle ventilated
Make sure your vehicle has plenty of fresh air flowing, especially if your pet is in a crate.

Stop frequently
To avoid accidents in the car, stop often for potty breaks. This is also a good time for exercise, pets need a leg stretch just as much as you do on a long car ride.

Don’t leave pets unattended
Never leave a pet in a hot, closed vehicle. If you stop to eat or for anything else, make sure someone in the family stays with your pet.

You may also be looking to protect your pet even further. In that case, MAPFRE Pet Injury coverage may be added to your auto policy, with up to $500 towards veterinary fees or replacement of your pet for a covered loss. Your independent agent can provide you with more information about this coverage option.

Not a MAPFRE customer yet? Get a fast, free car insurance quote today to see how much you could save on your car insurance in Massachusetts or contact a local independent agent in your state!

Please Note: This content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance. No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article. Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.

MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, including American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8), Citation Insurance CompanySM, The Commerce Insurance CompanySM, Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2), MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5), and MAPFRE Insurance Company of FloridaSM.


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