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What Dog Owners Should Know When Traveling 0

Posted on 17, October 2016

in Category Auto Insurance

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Many dog owners treat their furry friend as part of the family. This means that they plan many of their family activities with the dog involved.

Obviously, this involves traveling. Unfortunately, many people get used to the dog being part of the family and end up treating the furry friend like another human.

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For instance, the dog’s safety is perhaps overlooked greatly when two thirds of dog owners don’t know the safest places to keep their furry friend when traveling.  They assume the dog should act like everyone else even when popping out their head through the window with no method of securing them. That’s not all; most people (up to 60% of respondents in a study) don’t stop regularly to give their furry friend a break and don’t do a test travel such as traveling over a short distance before traveling further.

What many dog owners don’t know is that if anything were to happen, that would warrant immediate dog treatment, and probably cost thousands of dollars in vet fees.  This excludes any additional fees like surgery, medication and other specialized care. That probably explains why Kiplinger.com states that pet owners ought to expect to incur at least one $2000 to $4000 emergency vet care bill at a given point during the pet’s lifetime.

To minimize chances of that happening, the following are some ideas that experts strongly recommend:

Roll up the windows while driving

While many people like having their furry friend stick his/her head out of the window, the truth is that this is dangerous for both the dog and those inside the vehicle. They (the dog) could be hit by something that may turn an otherwise nice ride to an emergency visit to the vet where thousands of dollars may be needed.

Crate the dog

Many people don’t see the need to keep their furry friend secured whether they are driving or when they park. However, the truth is that having the dog secured in a crate, which is secured at the middle or rear of the vehicle, ensures the dog and everyone in the vehicle is safe in the event of a collision, an emergency stop or something similar. The last thing anyone wants is to see their furry friend flying toward the windshield.

Dog owners can also use a harness to keep their dogs secured.

Don’t feed the dog before traveling

While some people may argue that it is important to feed the dog right before the journey, this increases the likelihood of the dog throwing up due to carsickness. Dog owners can instead give the dog water since water does not upset the stomach. If necessary, dog owners should have around a 3-hour gap between feeding and the start of journey.

Give the furry friend several breaks

Dogs do experience carsickness, which is largely related to stress because of unfamiliar environments. To ensure this does not escalate an emergency visit to the vet, it is important for dog owners to take breaks so they can let the dog walk around, stretch and do their business.

Dog owners should also be careful not to get the dog too heated or too cold while traveling as this could result to an emergency visit to the vet. This makes it important for dog owners to not leave the dog in the car especially during hot weather as the car’s interior temperatures could get to dangerously high levels that could be fatal.


When all else fails, dog owners can use sedatives.

While traveling, dog owners may need to have the following in place:

  • Dog toys to keep them busy during the trip
  • Water and food bowls
  • Medication
  • Pet identification on the collar with contacts of the owners or recovery services provider
  • Pet labels on crates whereby all medical information regarding the dog is displayed e.g. proof of vaccination

While it is easy for dog owners to think they can pay these costs out of pocket and nothing really serious can happen, it is important to just understand the common conditions that send many dogs to the vet: Hypothyroidism, Sprains, Ear infections, Allergies, Diarrhea, Bladder issues, Eye infections, Arthritis, Skin infections and Upset stomach.

Given that these costs could easily escalate, having dog insurance coverage is always a plus.

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