Pet Parents agree that our beloved four-legged friends are like family to us. And because of this, it can be fun to take them with us on vacation. Whether you are bringing your pet on an airplane to go somewhere tropical for a week, or just to the family cottage a few hours away for a couple of days, there are some important things that you should think about. One item that should not be overlooked is your pet’s insurance.
Before packing up your pet to get away from it all, you should plan for every scenario that could happen while you are out of town. What will you do if your pet gets hurt while you are traveling and far away from your usual trusted veterinarian?
To be prepared and save yourself from unnecessary stress, you should learn about pet insurance for your pet while traveling.
If you travel often and enjoy bringing your pet along with you, then you should become familiar with the conditions of your pet insurance coverage while away from home. With many insurance policies, you can go to any licensed vet, even when away from home, and still get coverage and reimbursements. Some insurance policies offer travel insurance as standard, while others offer it as an extra. The same goes for overseas travel; some companies offer this as a standard benefit and others require you to add a clause to cover the trip. Depending on the company, they may also cover for lost or stolen pet passports, which is significant as a lost passport could lead to your pet being kennelled and requiring extra health checks and/or vaccinations. It is possible that they could even be quarantined before being allowed to leave to return home.
If your four-legged travel buddy is already insured, check whether they are covered for illnesses, accidents, and emergencies away from home. Do not get confused between pet health insurance and pet travel insurance. Pet travel insurance typically only covers your pet from the time that they are at one airport to the next. Pet health insurance, on the other hand, is more long term and covers your pet for almost any medical issue.
Before you pack up your pet and take off, there are some important things you should do as part of the preparation. First of all, contact your pet health insurance provider to verify there are no coverage restrictions for the place that you are visiting. Also, research and find the nearest vet from your destination in order to be prepared for any unexpected events. If your pet has any pre-existing health conditions, it is a good idea to take any necessary documents with you, in case your furry friend has to visit the vet for any reason.
If the population of your vacation destination speaks a different language than you, it is wise to bring a translation of these documents in that language, to ensure that your precious pet can be treated as soon as possible and that language won’t become a barrier. Remember your pet’s passport and/or veterinary certificate, and make sure that your pet’s worming and flea treatments are up to date before you leave. Also, don’t forget to stock up on any necessary medication for your pet. If your pet does not enjoy traveling by car, talk to your vet about using a sedative to make the trip more enjoyable for them. If you are boarding your pet on a plane and know that your companion will be kept in the cargo hold, you should check with the airline to ensure that the kennel or crate that you choose is acceptable.
Depending on where you are traveling, your pet will need either a passport or a third country veterinary certificate that shows that your cat or dog has been vaccinated, microchipped or, in some cases, has had their blood tested. Many places in the world have different requirements for visiting pets, and you should find out what they are and make sure that you have them done before you leave. For example, there can sometimes be extra conditions in your insurance policy if you are traveling to an unlisted country. When you return home, your pet's microchip will be scanned and their passport checked.
If the requirements are not met, it is possible that your pet could be quarantined and sent back to the country that you came from. It is important to be prepared in order to avoid any unfortunate surprises, allowing you to have a stress-free vacation. If you want to travel with more than one pet, you will usually be limited to five. If you wish to take more than five cats or dogs on vacation with you, your group will require an additional health certificate and you will have to go through more checks upon entry of the country. Your journey must also be for non-commercial reasons, excluding the sale of the animals.
Before leaving home with your pet, contact your pet’s health insurance provider to find out if your little travel buddy will indeed be covered on your trip. Bring all the necessary paperwork and medications they may need while away. Research nearby vets and other information about your destination before taking off to be prepared for any scenarios that may occur. You should also keep in mind that pets like routine. Try to be consistent with bedtime, feeding time and exercise to make sure that your vacation is enjoyable and stress-free for everyone.