According to a survey conducted by the Leger Marketing firm, more than half of Quebec households have a cat or a dog at home. It’s no wonder that many people want their four-legged friends to accompany them on car rides or vacations.
Whether you’re a cat lover or a dog lover, here are some tips to travel safely with your pet.
Secure your pet in the car
According to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, the impact of your pet or its cage is twenty times its weight during sudden braking or an accident. Your pet becomes a veritable projectile, which can be very dangerous for both the animal and the passengers.
The Automobile Insurance Act also states that no person shall operate a vehicle where an animal obstructs the driver’s view or interferes with the operation of the vehicle. In the event of a violation, a fine of $30 to $60 may be issued to the offending driver.
In order for your pet and the occupants of the vehicle to be safe, it is important for your furry companion to stay in place during transport.
We recommend that you choose one of the following three options:
- Secure your dog with a harness, which can simply be attached to the seatbelt buckle. They come in different sizes and are available at most pet stores. Never secure your pet by their collar, which is very dangerous for their neck if you have an accident.
- Use a safety net or barrier if you have a large dog. This will prevent them from coming to the front of the vehicle and from being thrown forward in case of an accident.
- Put your pet in a carrier and make sure it is secured to the vehicle.
Also, avoid leaving your pet alone in the car. In the summer, they could suffer a heat stroke, which can be very dangerous for their health. In the winter, they can get too cold.
Even though our pets love to stick their heads out the car window, it is strongly recommended not to let them do so. They could get hit in the eyes with a rock, insect or other object, which could injure them. It can also be harmful to their eyes and ears by causing an ear infection or conjunctivitis.
Prepare your pet before a long trip
Are you planning to travel a long distance with your pet? Don’t forget to take the time to get them used to car rides. That way, you won’t have an unpleasant surprise discovering that your pet gets carsick.
When on the road, just like you, your pet may feel tired and need to stretch its legs. Don’t hesitate to take breaks to allow them to drink, relieve themselves and walk around a bit.
Rules for the United States
Are you wanting to share your passion for travel with your pet and allow them to discover our neighbours to the south? Here are some precautions to take in order to avoid unpleasant surprises when you go through U.S. customs:
- Make sure you have your pet’s up-to-date health record with you, as it is mandatory for them to have their rabies shots. Vaccines must have been administered one month prior to going through customs. Note that this is not yet mandatory for cats.
- Your pet must be at least four months old in order to travel to the United States.
- If you are transporting food, it must be in its original container and it must be sealed.
- Make sure your specific dog is allowed in the United States. Certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls, may be prohibited.
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Prefer to travel by plane with your pet? Don’t forget to check with your airline to find out the rules and regulations in effect. Not all companies have the same rules regarding the transport of animals.
Inform your insurer if you have a dog at home
It is important to inform your insurer if you have a pet. Your home insurance policy usually covers some of the damage your dog may cause.
Talk to your insurance agent for more information.
We wish you lots of wonderful car trips with all your furry best friends!