Your dog is an integral part of your life, just because the mercury drops doesn’t mean they need to be left at home during your cold-weather adventures. However, we all know that winter travel has some challenges all its own — you may run into inclement weather, road hazards, traffic accidents, etc. — and some extra planning on the front end can be a game-changer. We turned to Veronica Chircop, the founder and trainer at The Working K9 and Happy Tails Pet Care Service for her insights on winter travel. A certified road warrior, she regularly travels with dogs between Tampa, Florida, and Ottawa, Ontario throughout the year — no matter the conditions — as part of her dog training and boarding business.
Plan to take a little extra time on your trip — there’s no need to be in a rush when the weather is less than favorable. You’ll want to make sure to give attention to your dog’s health, and enjoy some time playing with them during stops. A good rule of thumb is to let your dog out to stretch its legs and go to the bathroom every time you stop for fuel or food. We like to take a favorite toy for fetch or a leash to make sure our dogs get some exercise each stop.
Heat may certainly make us more conscious of our thirst, but fluids and proper hydration are equally as important in the winter. This holds true for your four-legged companions as well. Be sure that your dog has consistent access to fresh water. If you find that your dog is hesitant to drink, consider mixing in some bone broth, the scent and flavor can certainly encourage your dog to drink up.
Know ahead of time how well your breed can handle the cold, and bring the appropriate gear to ensure your canine is nice and toasty. While a Pyrenees or Samoyed would be quite comfortable as the temps plummet, other breeds may not. A vest goes a long way to ensure your dog’s core stays insulated.
And some extra snacks for yourself as well. You never know if your trip may be delayed or extended due to poor travel conditions. `
Tip: Install a Thermometer in your dog’s kennel
If your dog’s kennel is exposed to the elements (i.e. Truck Bed) as you travel, you’ll want to take some extra precautions to make sure your dog is both safe and comfortable during your trip. Here are a few methods we turn to when the temperature plummets.
Read more: The Science Behind a Proper Kennel Fit
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