Pet Travel Tips

In the Winter
  • Dress your pet for cold weather. Dogs, even those with thick hair, are best protected by a coat that covers the chest and abdomen. If you’ll be out in rain or snow, choose a waterproof coat, and if you have a male dog, select a style that won’t get soaked with urine.

  • Protect your dog’s feet. A walk doesn’t have to belong for a dog’s feet to be hurt by ice balls or the salt and ice melt used on roads and sidewalks. Musher’s wax applied to the paw pads before going out can help protect them. There are also many versions of dog boots, including multi-packs of disposable ones and more expensive but durable bootees secured with Velcro straps. Booties for pets prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in paws, causing irritation. If you have a pet, use pet-friendly ice melts. After each walk, make sure to wash and dry your pets' feet and stomach to remove ice, salt, and chemicals. Check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.

  • Keep your dog leashed near icy ponds. Even if frozen, ponds are likely to have weak areas unable to support your dog’s weight.

  • Beware of antifreeze. Dogs — and cats that venture outdoors — risk poisoning from sweet-tasting antifreeze spilled on driveways or roadsides. Even a lick or two of these yellow-green products can cause kidney failure if the animal is not quickly treated.

In the Summer
  • Keep your pet hydrated! In general, dogs require ½ to 1 ounce of water per day per pound. The larger the dog, the more water intake is required (which also means more potty breaks). Try to give your dog water every 2 hours.

  • Use sunblock on your pet. Dogs, particularly those with short hair, white fur, and pink skin, do sunburn. Exposure should be limited during the day and sunblock applied to ear tips, nose, and other hairless areas. It’s a good idea to give thin-coated white dogs a light all-over application.

  • Learn the danger signs of heat stroke — rapid panting, staggering, excessive salivation. Immerse your animal in cool water and seek medical attention fast if you suspect heat stroke.

  • Surfaces such as asphalt, sand, and concrete can burn your pet’s paws. Try to walk your pet early in the morning or later in the evening as the temperature cools down or walk them on the grass. If that isn’t possible, check the ground temperature by placing the back of your hand on the ground for at least 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your pet’s paws.

Travel with Cats
  • Make sure your hotel is cat-friendly. While many hotels are dog-friendly, not all of them are cat-friendly. If you’re not sure of your hotel’s pet policy confirm ahead of time that your hotel allows cats.

  • If your cat isn’t crated in the vehicle keep them in the back seat with a baby gate so they can’t get up to the driver’s seat. For safety sake they shouldn’t get near the driver side floor where the brake and gas pedals are located, or on the dashboard. Put a litter box and food for them in the back of the vehicle.

  • If your cat has a favorite blanket or toy, make sure you bring it along on your trip, something that smells and feels like home so they can feel more secure and safe. Pack the same litter and food you use at home.

  • If you’re going on a long road trip, make sure you are extra careful when opening and closing the car door. Cats are skilled escape artists, and they’re likely going to want to flee from the car. If your cats roam free in the car always crate them before you take them inside of a house or into a hotel.

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