Winter traveling requires extra preparation and planning but even more so when pets are going to be part of the journey. Pets are part of the family for many and that means they will be going on holiday and to visit family with everyone else. The trip can be safer, less stressful and better handled by all with some winter travel tips for pets.
Because it isn’t hot during winter weather it is wrong to assume that a pet will not be thirsty. Cold air is dry and pets will drink just as much in the winter as they do at other times of the year and sometimes more due to heating sources. Make sure to pack plenty of water. It is also a good idea to bring water from home or buy distilled water for pets when they are away. Their stomachs are sensitive to change and drinking from a new water source could be enough to cause them to become sick.
Be careful having the car too warm. Dogs and cats not only have higher body temperatures but they also have fur on their bodies to insulate them. Dress warmly and keep the car comfortable for all instead of toasty warm. Becoming too warm could make them sick and could make them nauseated.
Be aware that ice and snow is cold to paws as much as it is bare feet. Only arctic breeds of dogs have extra padding to insulate their feet from the extreme cold. However, those raised indoors and kept from extreme weather may not be as ready to handle lower temperatures as their relatives that are living and working in the cold.
Use a carrier or crate for your pet while traveling. It keeps them safe and contained in the event there is an accident. Since accidents are more likely when weather is bad then it is important to keep them safely contained within the car. Attaching a baggage tag to their crate with information about the animal, a contact number of a caretaker that could pick them up as well as veterinarian information can go far at making sure your pet is cared for in the event you are hurt in an accident. The crate can also be used to contain the pet safely at another person’s home or a hotel room. The pet will feel safer in it as well and will not cause distracted driving.
Many pets can be inflicted with motion sickness. Be prepared with cleaning supplies in the event your pet needs assistance. Also request an anti-nausea medication from your veterinarian in case it is needed. Do not feed full meals to the pet until you have arrived to your destination to lessen the impact of motion sickness.
Make sure your pet has a secure collar with up to date information on the identification tag. By adding the words “Reward for Return” in case the pet is lost then you will have a better chance of someone deciding to return it to you when found.
Bring along a favorite toy, a bed covering and plenty of food in the event the trip is held over due to a weather delay or other unexpected situation.
Traveling with your pet or pets can be a fun experience. By preparing and planning it can be a safe, stress free and successful event that all of you will look forward to repeating in the future.