winter travel tips
02-11-212 mins read
Don't let the cold keep you from traveling and enjoying the outdoors with your dog.
Pet Safety
Training Tips

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.

Cold-Weather Travel Trips

Take it Easy

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.

Stay Hydrated

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.

Pack Proper Winter Gear

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.

Bring Extra Dog Food

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

Keeping Your Dog(s) Warm

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.

  1. Blankets (Wool is great), Straw or Grass Hay
    • Blankets are rather intuitive, but straw and grass hay are often overlooked yet useful insulators. They’re generally inexpensive and accessible materials that can be kept fresh on the road.
  2. Insulated Vest or Jacket for your dog
  3. Minimize direct exposure to the elements
    • Protecting your dog’s space from direct exposure to wind and precipitation is one of the best things you can do to ensure a warm and comfortable environment for your pet. A cover like the All-Weather Kit is a great tool for this. Additionally, having your kennel door facing the tailgate helps against the wind and elements (and makes those quick stops a bit more convenient.)
  4. Pre-warm your dog’s kennel
    • Often before travel, we’ll bring kennels into the garage or the house so that, as we set out, the temperature in the kennel is comfortable. This is a particularly useful tip with GUNNER’s lineup of kennels as their double-wall, rotomolded design provides excellent thermodynamic performance in cold weather.
  5. Install a Thermometer in your dog’s kennel
    • There are a variety of inexpensive outdoor Bluetooth thermometers available online — it’s an easy way to accurately monitor your pup’s environment on the go.

Read more: The Science Behind a Proper Kennel Fit

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GUNNER strap sets are the only ones that we recommend, and have met each of the brand’s crash test standards. They are the straps that the Center For Pet Safety recommends using when anchoring your crate to your vehicle for 5 Star Crash Test certified safety.

Our new & improved tie-downs are made with an extra-thick custom cam buckle for additional break strength and a synthetic material that ensures you can leave these out 24/7: better guarding against fading and stretching, and perfect for high abrasion environments.

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This GUNNER tough-skin insert provides a 3/4” pad of cushion for the crate, as well as waterproof comfort for the sporting dog’s tired joints on the ride home.

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GUNNER FAN KIT
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Your dog works hard for you – this fan works hard for your dog. The GUNNER Fan Kit is a high-powered device designed to mount easily to the crate, with a stainless steel mounting rod and custom tensions bolts. Built to provide significant ventilation, especially while kennel is stationary. A durable structure, just like our customers are accustomed to.

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BM
07/05/2021
Brandon M.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
It’s like an insurance plan….

This is by far the best kennel made. I use mine daily and they take lots of abuse. They never even seem to wear at all. Hose them off with soap and water and they look brand new. I encourage all of my puppy buyers to get them as well. It’s like an insurance plan for your best friend!

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06/14/2021
Kris T.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? TravelHomeHome & Travel Equally
Wow, Just Wow

Wow, this kennel is the Yeti of dog kennels! everything about this kennel is first rate. Yes, there are cheaper, but none can compare to a Gunner kennel.

AL
05/31/2021
Alec L.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Amazing travel kennel

This thing is built like a tank. I have no doubt this will protect our little guy if we are ever involved in an accident. We recently completed an 800 mile road trip with him in the crate. It was well worth the money. This was the first time he was calm in the car and not whining. He slept easily during the drive. We felt calm know he was secure and comfortable. Cannot recommend this crate enough!!

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05/08/2021
Angus O.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Unlike any other crate I have seen

I purchased two Gunner kennels, a medium and a small, for my pups. Immediately, you understand this is a different level of product compared to what you’ve used before. The construction is fantastic and legitimately heavy duty. I feel so much better knowing I’ve done everything I can to keep my dogs safe in case of a worst case scenario.

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03/18/2021
Patrick K.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Best purchase for my best friends

I’ve been buying cheap kennels for the four years I’ve owned my dogs, none of them seemed to hold up. I’ve wanted a Gunner for a year now, and the more I read stories of how they have saved dogs lives, it made me think of how losing my best friends would damn near **** me. So I made the purchase and will never look back. It is one solid kennel and I will not let the kennel hold me back from traveling farther to hunt anymore. It’s well worth the investment. I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for, and this will not let anyone down.