Traveling with your pet this winter? You’ll want to make sure you take some precautions so your travel plans are both safe and comfortable for your furry friend.
Just as you should anyway if you’re planning to travel during winter, make sure all your safety bases are covered. Do you need any car maintenance? New windshield wipers? New tires? In the event of a breakdown, do you have the proper safety gear in your trunk? Travel, especially in winter, can be unpredictable, so you want to be prepared for whatever you encounter along the way, including bad weather. And, if you break down, it’s not just yourself you have to keep safe. Fido needs to be kept safe, too, so make sure you bring water, food and a warm blanket for your pet, just in case.
Invest in Winter Wear
Even if your pet has a pretty thick winter coat, you’ll want to ensure they’re properly prepared for winter travel. Protect sensitive feet with snow shoes and a jacket. Don’t forget to pack a few towels in the trunk for wiping off any moisture from your pet’s body or paws after a bathroom break.
Know Winter Health Hazards
Just like the cold weather can impact your health, so can winter conditions impact your dog or cat. Just like with humans, frostbite and hypothermia risks are serious concerns. Learn to recognize symptoms of both in dogs and cats. Frostbite is most likely to occur around the ears, nose, tail and paws. Frostbitten skin turns red, then gray; if you suspect your pet has frostbite, warm them up with a bath or towel, but don’t rub the frostbitten skin. Signs of hypothermia include shivering and tiredness; if you suspect your pet has hypothermia, bring them indoors immediately. If symptoms persist, call a vet.
Recognize the Risks of Winter Air Travel
If you’re flying with your pet this winter season, rather than driving, you’ll want to take a few factors into consideration. Many airlines won’t allow pets to travel when the temperature falls below a certain degree, but if you’re not worried about that risk, you’ll still want to recognize the other various risks of winter air travel. There’s always the chance of a weather-caused delay, so you’ll want to be flexible with your travel plans. In the event of a flight delay, your pet will need to be taken care of in the meantime, just like you, so pack extra food and supplies. Additionally, outfit your travel kennel with some extra blankets or padding to keep your pet a little warmer during their journey. Lastly, to be safe, try to travel on calmer, less busy travel days so you can more likely avoid any delays.
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