A winter vacation can be a wonderful change of scenery for you and your dog. But like any trip, you must plan ahead and take certain precautions.
Five simple things you can do to make winter travel with your dog as smooth as ice.
1. Never Leave Home Without It
Whether transported by air or by car, your dog must have well-fastened and current ID tags, as well as proof of current vaccinations. The best ID tags are those that fasten snugly and have contact information printed directly on the collar. Tuck your pet’s photo and health information into your wallet for easy identification should you become separated.
2. Water, Water Everywhere
Don’t forget to pack bottled water for your dog. If you’re flying, include a frozen waterer in your pet’s crate so the liquid won’t spill during transport. It will slowly melt during the duration of the trip and help keep your dog hydrated. If traveling by car, be sure to store a portable dog dish and bottled water with your dog’s supplies. Make frequent stops to allow your pet to drink, and never leave your dog in a locked car for long periods of time in any weather!
3. Protect Those Paws
Winter travel conditions can be tough on a dog’s feet. Keep baby wipes handy to clean her paws immediately after walking on salted roads or sidewalks. Consider purchasing rubber booties if your dog is particularly sensitive to the salt. Remember that ice can form between your dog’s pads, so be sure to give her a thorough check after a day out in wintry weather.
4. Keep Him Cozy
Dogs are creatures of habit, so even the most seasoned traveler will feel more secure with his own dog blanket or bed during winter travel. The blanket will keep your pooch warm and cozy while traveling by car or plane.
5. Room At The Inn
You’ve reached your destination, so where do you stay? Motel 6, Howard Johnson, Red Roof Inns, and La Quinta Inns have long been a traveling dog’s best friend. Upscale hotels such as Starwood Resorts, Four Seasons, and the Ritz-Carlton are also accommodating to guests who travel with their pets. Inquire about Pet VIP programs that cater to furry guests with pet menus, “doggie-bags,” and special concierge services during the stay.
Winter Travel Survival Kit
Winter’s ice and snow can mean getting stranded. If your dog travels with you even occasionally, keep these supplies in your trunk:
- Extra blankets and towels
- Several days’ worth of dry kibble
- Water and a collapsible dog bowl
- First-aid kit including any of your dog’s medications
- Copy of medical records
- Extra collar and leash
- A sign that indicates a dog is in the car in case you have to leave her for a short period of time