Tips for Safe Traveling With Your Pet Provided by PetFirst

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Tips for traveling by car, airline or to the local park for a day of fun – tips every pet parent should keep in mind.

Travel with your pet, fun for the family and your pet.

As you plan for spring break getaways, quick weekend trips to visit grandma or even a day trip to the local park or favorite hiking trail, here are a few tips for taking your furry-family member along.

Everyone seems to have cabin fever after the long winter months, even our pets! So as you plan for spring break getaways, quick weekend trips to visit grandma or even a day trip to the local park or favorite hiking trail, here are a few tips for taking your furry-family member along.

  •     Always start your adventure with a clean bill of health from the vet. Make sure all vaccines are current and that you take proof of those vaccines with you on your trip (many pet-friendly hotels and parks may require proof upon arrival).
  •     If your pet is taking any prescribed medications, be sure to pack enough doses for your trip plus a few more (in case your trip is extended due to unforeseen circumstances).
  •     The leash is mandatory! And knowing who is responsible for the dog while on the leash is important too. Having an adult oversee the pet when making stops is highly recommended.

Traveling by car
For your safety and the safety of your pet, use a carrier or seat belt-tested harness to keep your pet in the backseat. This will minimize injury in the event of an accident as well as prevent your dog or cat from breaking free when car doors are open at a stop. Other tips to keep in mind include:

  •     It is best to feed your pet a light meal four – six hours before departing on your journey and if at all possible do not feed or water your pet while in a moving vehicle. Eating in the car increases their odds of becoming car sick.
  •     Plan to make a few stops along the drive. Every two hours is a good rule of thumb for both you and your pet. This will allow your fur-friend to get a drink, stretch their legs and take a restroom break (remember your pet is very excited about the change in scenery and may need to potty more frequently).
  •     Avoid letting your dog hang his or her head out the window. Road debris and flying objects become deadly weapons at 60 MPH. Also avoid putting your pet in a trailer or camper or allowing them to ride in the bed of a truck. This can be very dangerous for your pet (and in some states is illegal).

Air travel
Deciding to take your pet on a trip that requires air travel can be a big decision. Rules and regulations vary by airline and should be verified with the airline you choose.

  •     First for dogs, the breed, size and age are key factors. Certain breeds are more prone to severe respiratory difficulties in an airplane’s poorly ventilated cargo areas. It is recommended that these pets fly in the passenger cabin if their size permits. Also puppies must be at least eight weeks old and weaned at least five days before air travel.
  •     Cats are also susceptible to severe respiratory difficulties and should fly in the passenger cabin if permitted. You’ll also want to trim your feline’s nails to avoid them getting hung up on the crate making for a long and uncomfortable flight.

For more tips on airline travel, as well as the options for leaving your pet at home during your trip, visit

Having your pet covered with pet health insurance prior to your trip is an important factor. With a policy in place, your pet will be covered for accidents and illnesses sometimes associated with traveling. In addition to the coverage, pet parents can take their pet to any licensed veterinarian for care, regardless of the location, and be reimbursed for the care received depending on the plan selected. To customize your personal quote for pet insurance, visit or call 877-894-7387.

About PetFirst
PetFirst is the fastest growing pet insurer in North America offering easy-to-understand lifelong coverage for dogs and cats. PetFirst’s comprehensive coverage is unique in the industry providing simplified policies with coverage for hereditary, chronic and breed-specific conditions with no per diagnosis limits. PetFirst offers pet insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through animal welfare agencies, retailers, employers as well as other partners. PetFirst polices are underwritten by American Alternative Insurance Corporation (Munich Re) which is rated by A.M. Best as A+. Additional services are underwritten by Lloyd’s. For more information about PetFirst pet insurance, visit or call 877-894-7387.


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Lynne Choate
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PetFirst Healthcare
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