Whether you’re a fan of winter or not, it’s important to ensure you’re protecting yourself from the cold climate; the same must be done for your pet, especially if you plan on travelling with them in the winter months.
For that reason, consider these tips to help you keep your pet warm when travelling in winter:
Before travelling: Stimulate your pet’s fur growth
You may have noticed in certain seasons your pet tends to shed more and develop a thicker or thinner coat of fur. This is a mechanism to help them regulate their body temperature: Thinner for hot weather, or thicker for the winter months. But did you know you could help stimulate your dog’s fur growth? By gradually exposing your pet to the colder outdoor weather, it will trigger their body to adjust accordingly.
Tip: Take your dog outside for activities in the cold for 2 hours at a time to help their body prepare for the colder weather. It is important to do this gradually as their ears and tails could get frostbite if overexposed to frigid temperatures.
Chilly temperatures also affect how easily and quickly your pet can generate natural body heat. In order to keep your pet’s body at its max health, increase their calorie intake. This can be done by adding an extra meal, or by incorporating human food such as chicken, eggs or sardines.
Tip: Keep in mind making a change to your pet’s diet will also change their bathroom habits.
Winter crate preparations
In addition to preparing your dog for the cold you must also prepare their crate. Before placing your pet’s bed in the crate, insert a layer of newspapers to make space between the cold ground and your pet. By avoiding a cold surface and creating a barrier, your pet will be warmer throughout the duration of the trip; they will also be able to more easily manage their body heat.
Tip: You can also include glove warmers or nontoxic heat packets under the bed for added warmth.
Once you arrive at your destination, your pet will still need some protection from the cold. Many dogs dislike boots, but they are a great way to keep their feet warm, help them walk better on ice and avoid irritation caused by salt. Wearing boots on walks will prevent your dog from getting build up of snow and salt in their paws that could be potentially damaging.
Tip: Puppies require more protection from the cold than older dogs. Their body mass and hair growth has not reached its peak to help them quickly adjust their body temperature. Get your puppy a fashionable warm sweater to make up for the lack of body mass and fat.
These small preparations will make your pet’s winter travel more comfortable. To ensure the best travel for your pet, use a pet friendly airline to guarantee a climate-controlled space. If you’re heading on a trip in the near future, bon voyage to you and your pet, and don’t forget these tips!