Traveling With Your Pet: What You Should Know

Pet parents know 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 the weekend, there are some important things that you should think about. One thing 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 away from home. What will you do if your pet gets hurt while you are somewhere unfamiliar and far away from your usual trusted vet? In order to be prepared and save yourself from unnecessary stress, you should learn about pet insurance while travelling so that you will be prepared.

Insurance for Your Pet While Away From Home

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, make sure to check whether they are covered for illnesses, accidents and emergencies away from home. You should also make sure to not get confused between pet health insurance and pet travel insurance. Pet travel insurance typically only covers your pet from the time that it is 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.

What to do Before Travelling

Before you pack up your pet and take off, there are some important things that you should include as part of the preparation. First of all, you should contact your pet health insurance provider to verify that there are no cover restrictions for the place that you are visiting. You should 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 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 could also be wise to bring a translation of these documents in that language, as it will ensure that your precious pet can be treated as soon as possible and that language won’t become a barrier. You need to 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 travelling, consider 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.

Requirements for Travelling with Pets

Depending on where you are travelling, 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 it’s 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 travelling to an unlisted country. When you return home, your pets microchip will be scanned and it’s 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, be sure to contact your pet’s health insurance provider to find out if your little travel buddy will indeed be covered on your trip. Be sure to bring all the necessary paperwork and medications that they may need while away. It can be wise to research nearby vets and other information about your destination before taking off in order to be prepared for any scenarios that may occur. You should also keep in mind that pets like routine. You should try to be consistent with bedtime, feeding time and exercise to make sure that your vacation is enjoyable and stress free for everyone.

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