While winter’s still going strong, you might be thinking about relocating your pet. And why not, at least this avoids the summertime heat hazards, right? Still, there are also risk factors associated with traveling during the cold season. Here’s our collection of pet safety tips for winter weather travel.
Keep them warm and snug
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But every winter, inexperienced owners make the mistake of relying on their dogs’ fur as protection against the cold. This works well for some breeds, but your beagles, your bulldogs, your pugs, and all other short-haired breeds struggle to stay warm in the snow.
Help them out by looking into animal sweaters and jackets, essential gear for winter weather travel. If unused to wearing these accesories, they might put up a bit of a fight at first, but don’t give up! Pet safety trumps pet comfort any day of the week.
As a compromise solution, you might want to limit your pet’s outside time. But be careful not to overdo this, because…
Don’t let them stay indoors too much
We’re all protective of our fur babies, but there is such as thing as being too cautious. While it’s tempting to keep dogs indoors when weather takes a turn for the worse, they badly need their exercise! Insufficient outdoor activity can lead to obesity, anxiety, and various other health problems.
As a rule of thumb, if it’s not too cold for you to get outside, it shouldn’t be for a dog either. So maintain that walk rhythm if you can, and try to give your pets the runout that they’re used to.
And once it does get too cold for comfort, try to get them to exercise indoors. Even a simple game of fetch in the hallway can have a positive effect on the dog’s health, if the alternative is lazing about in front of the fireplace.
Watch out for winter weather injuries
Walking in the snow, cats and dogs alike can gather ice between their paw pads, which causes pain once it begins to melt. To prevent this, carefully clean their paws after each walk, and watch for signs of bleeding.
Your pet’s paws can also pick up salt or antifreeze, which ends up even more injurious. Again, wiping them gently using a warm cloth should do the trick. Don’t wait for the animal to start licking its paws, as that might mean it’s already been exposed to toxic chemicals.
Just like humans, many dogs have issues with skin dryness in the winter. Humidifiers can help out with that, and of course, access to plenty of fresh drinking water is a must.
Try to be flexible about your travel plans
Winter weather being what it is, you might have to adjust your travel plans every now and then. Bringing a pet along complicates this immensely – how will it react to excess wait time? How long ago did you feed it? What if it needs to go potty at the worst possible moment?
In spite of any logistics issues that might crop up, try to keep in mind that pet safety is your priority. Reservations and airline fees are one thing, but your furry friend’s health is a different matter entirely! Make it a habit to plan your travels around your pet’s needs, you won’t regret it.
Of course, you might also opt for delegating this responsibility. When your pet needs to be relocated, just find a transporter you can trust and negotiate a price. If it’s winter weather you’re worried about, look for someone with experience in that type of transport. Once that’s arranged, you can sort out your own travel plans with relative ease and meet your pet at the destination!