VPI Reveals Top Pet Dangers and Safety Tips for Vacation Travel

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Offers Pet Friendly Guidance for Summer Trips

Brea, Calif. (May 18,  2015) – Each year millions of pets accompany their families on vacation, and with summer approaching, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reminds pet lovers that the key to a safe vacation for our furry family members is preparation. To spread awareness about the potential dangers pets face during a trip, VPI sorted through its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to determine the most common travel-related pet injuries. Below are the results:

Injury/Illness Travel Related Incident Average Cost for Treatment
Vomiting or Diarrhea Motion Sickness $226
Heat Stroke Pet Left in Car $575
Bruising or Contusion Sudden Car Stop $226
Sprain Jumping out of Car $185
Nasal Cavity Foreign Object Inhaling Debris while Head Out of Window $406
Laceration Hit with Debris while Head Out of Window $329

VPI encourages people to plan ahead with these travel tips to ensure that their furry friends are safe during summer excursions:

  1. If traveling by car, secure your pet with a safety harness or well ventilated carrier to restrain them in case of a sudden stop or accident.
  2. Never allow your pet hang out the window. Opening the window just a few inches will allow your pet to safely enjoy the breeze without the risk of inhaling debris or being struck by any objects. This will also prevent any temptation your pet may have of jumping out of the car.
  3. Feed your pet a smaller meal before your trip to prevent an upset stomach. Also remember to carry plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  4. Bring your pets’ toys to accompany them during travel. The familiar smells can help comfort your pet and keep them occupied during the trip.
  5. Never leave your pet in a car unattended. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures in a car can increase drastically.
  6. Make sure your pet is wearing identification at all times in case she becomes separated or lost. Verify that your pet’s ID tag is up-to-date, durable, and includes your mobile phone number.
  7. Pack a recent photo of your pet along with current vaccination records. If your pet becomes lost, having a current photograph will make the search easier.
  8. Book a pet-friendly hotel. With more than 25,000 hotels in the U.S. allowing pets, there are plenty of properties from which to choose. Don’t assume all pets will be allowed, though: Some hotels place limits on the size of the dogs they allow. Call to check that your dog will be welcomed.
  9. Look up details about a veterinary hospital near your destination (phone number, hours, driving distance).  If your pet has a medical emergency you’ll be prepared and know where to go.

“Traveling with our pets can be fun, but it’s important to take the correct steps to ensure they are safe and comfortable,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “I recommend scheduling a pre-trip appointment with your veterinarian to confirm that your pet is in good health, and that your pet’s vaccinations are current. If your itinerary includes air travel, ask your veterinarian for a formal pet health certificate, which is required by most commercial airlines. Always consider your pet’s personality and determine if she or he can handle traveling, or if a change in surroundings may be too far outside the comfort zone for your pet.”

Note to editors: For examples of pet travel mishaps or additional pet health safety tips, contact Ryan Whittington at rwhittington@petinsurance.com.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 525,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI), a Nationwide company, is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. 

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Veterinary Pet Insurance, VPI and the cat/dog logo are service marks of Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2015 Veterinary Pet Insurance Company and Nationwide. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.


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