Getting out on the open road with the family can be a great summer pastime. Whether your road trip takes you to a national park, a beach or to visit family, it can be a great opportunity to bond as a family that includes your dogs too! Loading Fido up in the family vehicle doesn’t have to be stressful and making your dog comfortable in the car can be quite easy.
Traveling with dogs in West Virginia:
- Safety: Safety truly comes first at all times when riding in a vehicle - this goes for people and pets. An unsecured dog wandering the vehicle can be a distraction and a hazard. Large dogs can bump the driver, causing them to swerve and small dogs can get underfoot, under a gas pedal or brake pedal. Securing your dog may also help keep them safe in the event you are in an auto accident. There are many options for securing your dog in a vehicle. There are car seats that have an interior harness to secure the pup and a place to secure the car seat to a seatbelt, minimizing the risk of the car seat bouncing around. Another option is a harness that attaches directly to the seatbelt. This allows the dog some free movement, but it is restricted to a small area. Then there are barrier options, like a crater or a seat barrier. When purchasing a travel crate, make sure the dog has plenty of room to stretch and is not too cramped. A seat barrier works well for SUVs and hatchbacks.
- Entertainment: Just like the people in the car, your dogs will need some entertainment as well. Bring along favorite toys, chews and treats may go a long way to keep a bored dog from barking, jumping and perhaps trying to eat the interior of your vehicle. Don’t forget to bring spill-proof water and food containers!
- Take a break: Get out and stretch your legs and your pup’s! Leaving the vehicle and giving your dog a little room to run (search for off-leash dog parks along your route) can go a long way to eliminating a carsickness or boredom in a dog. It also gives them a chance to use the “facilities” in an outdoor setting versus your vehicle.
- Destination: Make sure that your destination is pet-friendly. If you are staying in a hotel or vacation rental, ask about their pet policies ahead of time, it is also helpful to locate the closest emergency vet, just in case.
Taking steps to ensure that everyone on your road trip is happy and safe will lead to less stress overall. In some states, if you have a Progressive auto insurance policy, you may have Pet Injury coverage, which helps cover vet expenses (up to $1000) if your pup is injured as a result of an auto accident. Before you head out on the open road, check the details of your auto insurance coverage with your agent at Kilpatrick Insurance in Beckley, WV. They can assist you with amending an existing policy or setting up a new policy. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the other products they offer like boat insurance or motorcycle insurance.