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Get prepared with these easy tips for traveling with pets in Winter. The extra time to make sure you're ready will save time + money on your next trip!
I'm pretty sure I've made it clear on the blog that we treat our pets like family by now. We make them homemade dog treats, homemade dog beds, and feed them similar food to what we eat – like when we made this pot pie casserole. And this means they travel with us. A lot.
Especially since I opted for a doctor in the city I grew up for the pregnancy since my parents were still there which is a little over an hour away. (The only other option was over 45 minutes anyway. Gotta love small town living!) So traveling with pets in Winter is a huge deal for us. At least 2-3 times a month, we're making trips to the closest city for groceries, going even further for a doctor's appointment, or taking time out for some Winter fun in the nearby state parks.
Although traveling with pets in Winter adds a bit of extra time, it's definitely not hard to prepare for it!
Create a Comfortable Environment in the Vehicle
We always make sure to bring a blanket and/or a pet bed that they've been regularly using in the house for any road trips. It helps keep them cozy in a familiar environment and makes traveling a lot easier on them. Favorite toys or treats are always a good addition for longer trips where they may get anxious or a little stir-crazy.
Bring Winter Friendly Clothing for Them
While some people dress up their pets just for fun, Winter friendly clothing is a great option. There are plenty of options including:
- Dog Boots
- Pet Sweaters
- Insulated Dog Jacket – we actually have one of these for Sookie and it AMAZING. Absolutely amazing. Fits her perfectly and doesn't limit her movement. I'll be sharing a review on it soon, but I cannot recommend this jacket enough!
Just ensure that whatever you get for fluffy or fido doesn't restrict their movement and doesn't overheat them. Save jackets or sweaters for outdoors only if you keep your vehicle pretty warm and don't leave them on if you're not supervising them.
Clean The Paws
Salt that's used on roadways, sidewalks and parking lots can easily get lodged in between a pup's pads on their paws or even irritate them. Ice chunks can also get lodged in there as well. If the dog booties mentioned above aren't your thing, bring along some unscented baby wipes to clean out their paws every time they get out of the vehicle. Just a quick check, a few swipes and they should be all set to enjoy the rest of the ride irritant-free!
Pack All of Your Must-Haves
Just like you should pack an emergency kit for yourself during Winter travel, traveling with pets in Winter should be no different. And they have similar needs to you with some additions. Be sure to pack:
- Current pet tags that have your cell-phone number
- Current photo of them to use in case you get separated
- Any medications your pets may have
- Vaccination records
- Pet First-Aid Kit
- Cleaning supplies for any messes
- Extra food
- Extra leash
- Winter clothing
- Things from home for comfort (beds, toys, blankets, pillows, etc)
Know The Pet-Friendly Hotels
Whether you're traveling to a destination where they'll be staying with you or you may need a hotel along the way (even in an emergency), knowing which hotels are pet-friendly makes Winter traveling a lot easier. BringFido.com is one of my favorite resources for finding pet friendly hotels because they show hotel fees, pet fees, and requirements for those staying with a pet. If you're looking for specific chains that tend to be pet-friendly, below is a list of ones I'm familiar with:
- Choice Hotels – this includes Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Econolodge, Rodeway Inn and more.
- Marriot Hotels – this includes Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites and more.
- Extended Stay – one of our favorites! It's like a home away from home for everyone
I'd love to know: what are your top tips for traveling with pets in Winter?