In this segment, Pet Expert Andrea Arden, who recently teamed up with Progressive Insurance to spread the word about the importance of pet safety on the road, discusses the most important things pet owners need to know to ensure happy and healthy travels:
Pet Safety Travel Tips
For many people, pets aren't just companions; they're important members of the family. So, it's not surprising that more and more people choose to travel with their pets. To ensure your pet has a safe and happy car ride, here are a few important travel tips from pet expert Andrea Arden.
BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD:
Look for services that cater to pet owners.
Pet-friendly hotels make it easier than ever to bring pets with you on the road. Many offer amenities such as pet sitting, dog walking and even pet-pampering spa treatments. Do research ahead of time to find the perfect hotel that fits your needs.
Be sure to ask about their policies for instance, many hotels require your pet to be on a leash at all times and never be left unattended in the room.
Also, check with your car insurance company to see if your pets are covered. With Progressive's Pet Injury coverage, your dog and cats are covered ח at no extra charge if they're hurt in a car accident and your Progressive policy has Collision coverage.
Get your pets used to the car and make them feel comfortable.
Often, the only time pets ride in the car is when they're visiting the vet or groomer ח so they may not always associate a car ride with positive feelings and may even be afraid to ride in the car. Teach them instead that car rides can be fun by taking them for short road trips to a dog park, a friend's house for a play date, or just to a new place to take a long walk.
If your pet's anxiety persists, consider over-the-counter products that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
If you plan to keep your pet in a travel crate while riding in the car, it's important that you familiarize your pet with its crate by having it rest inside the crate around the house the more familiar pets are with their surroundings, the more comfortable and secure they'll be once inside the car.
Some pets tend to get car sick. Try not to feed them for a few of hours before the trip.
Make sure your pet has proper identification.
Just in case he or she gets lost while traveling, you want to be sure your pet is wearing up-to-date ID tags. The most important thing that needs to be listed on the tag is an emergency contact phone number, but it's also a good idea to mention if you'll offer a reward if someone returns your pet to you or if your pet needs any medication.
Prepare a doggie bag.
A pet travel pack is a great way to make sure you're prepared for anything ח and is something that can remain stocked, so it's ready to go with you at a moment's notice. Make sure it contains cleanup supplies, a towel or bed to serve as a comfortable resting place, portable feeding/watering bowls, food and water, a pet first aid kit, and lots and lots of toys to keep pets busy and well behaved!
TO KEEP TAILS WAGGING IN THE PASSENGER SEAT:
Restrain your pets for safe car travel.
Free to paw their way around the car, unrestrained pets can be a distraction to drivers and can get injured if the car makes a sudden stop or is involved in an accident, even if it's just a fender bender. Secure your pet in a crate or with a harness to keep it safe.
Don't let your pets ride with their heads out of the window.
While most dogs love to hang their heads out of the car window and feel the wind in their fur, it's best not to indulge them. They can easily be injured by debris flying into their eyes.
Never leave your pets unsupervised in the car.
Just like people, dogs and cats are susceptible to heat stroke even if it isn't that hot outside or the car windows are left open ח and can even be stolen. Make sure you know where your pet is at all times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea Arden has written five books, including "Dog Friendly Dog Training" (Wiley, 2007), "Train Your Dog the Lazy Way" (Macmillan, 1999) and "The Little Book of Dog Tricks" (IDG, 2002). She has also been the behavior columnist for Dog Fancy and The New York Dog magazines, as well as a contributing writer for the AKC Gazette and numerous other publications.
Andrea is the proud parent of four dogs, two cats and a horse.