My husband travels for work, so occasionally the cat and I come along. In fact, for about a year, we were quite the traveling trio, taking the Midwest by storm in our camper. A Texas native who now calls Kentucky home, our cat Livy has been to more states than some humans.
Livy prefers pet-friendly Airbnbs to hotels so that she can explore the outdoors. “Doesn’t she run off?” we often get asked. Well, we put her on a leash if the backyard of the vacation rental isn’t fenced in, but cats actually expand their territory quite slowly. Heck, she barely leaves the porch on our 35 acres at home.
However, we’ve learned that if something scares her, she will take the high ground. Once at a VRBO outside of Tulsa, I accidentally left her outside and didn’t realize it until the middle of the night. We searched for her until 4 p.m. the next day when she finally mewed from high in a treetop. Needless to say, I’ve never left her outside overnight again.
Traveling with your four-legged best friend isn’t all fun and games, “litter”aly! When Livy was a kitten in 2013, we brought her home for Christmas. I broke off a piece of the walnut I was eating and threw it down on the ground for her. Well, I don’t know if she ate that crumb of walnut or not, but when we went to bed, her breathing sounded heavier than usual. “Are cats allergic to walnuts?” I googled. Nope, just macadamias, according to my research. But, the nut could be lodged in her throat! Well, I didn’t sleep much that night. The following morning, I paid the vet $200 to tell me that there’s no way a crumb of walnut could’ve obstructed my beloved’s breathing and that she was most likely snoring.
I just wish Pawp was around back then so I could’ve saved my money and put my mind at ease by talking to a licensed vet immediately. Founded in 2019, Pawp is an affordable alternative to pet insurance. Besides being a 24/7 digital vet clinic, Pawp includes a $3,000/year emergency fund for you to use at any vet clinic in the US.
Whether taking your dog hiking on a camping trip or bringing your cat to winter with you in warmer weather, having your furbaby in tow is becoming more and more popular (and safer with the right tools). Over 75 percent of Americans with pets take them on their travels each year. According to a 2021 survey conducted by PetRelocation, 85 percent of people travel with dogs, while 25 percent travel with their cats.
Luckily, now you don’t have to think twice before taking your pet with you. Pawp gives you unlimited telehealth through texts and video chat with vets and pet experts, plus a $3,000 safety net for emergencies regardless of your pet’s breed, age or location—all for a flat fee of $19/month. According to the company, the majority (60 percent) of pet issues can be solved with telehealth, saving pet owners thousands of dollars a year in unnecessary vet visits. The best part? Besides supporting pet parents from a health standpoint, Pawp also helps you with any behavioral or nutritional questions you might have. This sure comes in handy when traveling with pets — especially when it comes to figuring out what’s an emergency and what is not. Here are some accidents and pet emergencies that Pawp can help with.
1. Dog Drinking Saltwater
Did you know that saltwater can be poisonous to dogs? A few sips after playing fetch on the beach may just cause diarrhea, but too much can be fatal. According to the AKC, “When too much salt builds up in a dog’s body, its cells release their water content to try and balance out the sodium disparity. This, in turn, causes a litany of serious health effects. It can cause seizures, a loss of brain cells, injury to the kidneys, and severe dehydration. If a dog with saltwater poisoning isn’t treated medically, the condition can easily lead to death.” With Pawp, you can easily determine the urgency of the situation and act accordingly.
2. Limp Tail From Swimming
After a long day of doggy paddling, your pup may not be able to wag its tail. Dubbed “limber tail,” this condition can be caused by a “muscle sprain or strain in a dog’s tail,” according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Speaking of swimming, the AKC advises checking with a lifeguard to see if there are harmful sea lice and/or jellyfish in the area. If Sparky’s tail has lost its oomph or you’re afraid he’s been stung, you can always contact the nice folks at Pawp to see what they recommend.
3. Eating Poisonous Plants
Being in a new environment means there are a lot more things for your pet to explore, sniff, and maybe even give a little nibble. The ASPCA’s list of poisonous plants and flowers includes azaleas, daffodils, lilies, hydrangeas, eucalyptus, ficus trees, tulips, and more. It is also important to keep pets off lawns that have been chemically treated or fertilized for at least 24 hours. Thankfully, Pawp’s $3,000/year emergency fund covers toxic ingestion.
4. Snake Bite
One thing to watch out for, especially when out hiking with your pet, is venomous snakes. The ASPCA warns that “100,000 venomous snakebites occur in dogs and cats every year with a mortality rate of 1 percent to as high as 30 percent, depending on the size of the pet, the species of the snake, and the location of the bite.” Severe injuries, whether external or internal, are both covered by Pawp’s emergency fund.
5. Hanging Head Out Of A Car Window
Dogs love to feel the breeze on their faces, but letting Fido hang his head out of a moving car window can be dangerous. Considerations from A Caring Vet include “flying debris, hitting their face on something outside the car, trying to jump out, and getting out of the window or getting caught trying.” Good thing Pawp’s emergency fund covers severe injuries!
6. Air Travel Stress
Stories of pets dying in a plane’s cargo hold and getting lost by an airline make pet owners like me wary of flying with their dog or cat. My luggage has come out missing a wheel, I don’t want them treating my cat like they do my bags! Air travel can also be stressful on animals. Kirsten Theisen, director of pet care issues for the Humane Society told Smithsonian Magazine that, “air travel is simply too stressful for most animals, especially when they are placed in an aircraft’s cargo hold.” Therefore, it is best to avoid flying with your pet if at all possible. However, if it is necessary, you can contact Pawp’s experts anytime to help you prepare. They’ve got your back!
Dogs and cats are more susceptible to heatstroke than humans. According to the AAHA, “Heatstroke, also known as overheating or heat exhaustion, occurs when your pet’s body temperature rises above the normal range of 100 to 102.2 degrees. Dogs and cats have few sweat glands and cannot cool off by sweating like humans, so they overheat more easily.” Never leave your pet in a closed vehicle on a hot day. In just 20 minutes, temps can get up to 100 degrees, according to the AKC. Keep the car well ventilated and if your pet is in a crate, make sure fresh air can flow through.
Signs of heatstroke include “excessive panting, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, incoordination or stumbling, sudden collapse, and seizures,” according to the AAHA. If you’re concerned your pet has developed heatstroke or just want to avoid it, you can talk with Pawp’s licensed vets for them to give you advice and recommendations.
That’s right, dogs are susceptible to sunburn, especially ones with short hair, white fur, and pink skin. The AKC advises limiting “your dog’s exposure during the day and applying sunscreen to his ears, nose, and coat before going outside.” If you suspect your pooch got too much sun, simply reach out to the pet experts at Pawp.
Like many of these scary situations, something can become lodged in your pet’s throat just as easily at home as when you’re traveling. Pawp vets can offer real-time advice and can help determine whether the situation requires immediate treatment. Pawp’s $3,000 emergency fund covers choking and difficulty breathing, as well as life-threatening blockages.
Your pet can qualify for Pawp’s 24/7 digital vet clinic and emergency protection plan no matter their breed or age. In fact, the monthly fee covers up to six pets within a household—cat ladies rejoice! Even emergencies related to preexisting conditions are covered (psst! No pet insurance does this).
Whether you have some questions or just need to determine if emergency vet care is necessary, Pawp online vets and pet experts are here to help you 24/7. And if you do have an unexpected emergency, they’ll help you pay for it before you leave the clinic. No co-pay, deductible or credit check. Oh, and you don’t pay it back!