5 Terrific Tips for Safe Pet Travel in Winter

By Brooke Drake, December 16, 2016, Family

As someone who lives in Texas, I’m used to seeing information concerning pet safety during the hot summer months. Without the proper care and attention, it can take only minutes for the summer heat to be harmful – if not deadly – to animals.

5 Terrific Tips for Safe Pet Travel in Winter | Bounce Energy Blog

“C’mon! Get in the car! We’re ready to go!”

But since Texas temperatures don’t dip down into dangerous depths too often during the winter, I’m not familiar with winter safety tips for pets. But when my family decided to travel a bit this holiday season to see family, I realized I had to figure out how to travel safely with my pets to cooler parts of the country. So, I decided to pass the benefits of my research into safe pet travel in winter onto you!

1) Keep Them Contained

5 Terrific Tips for Safe Pet Travel in Winter | Bounce Energy Blog

“Yes, I’m giving you ALL the side-eye for putting me in this box.”

Letting animals roam freely in the car can be very distracting and ultimately dangerous for both the animal and driver. To be safe, you should keep your dogs in crates and cats in carriers when traveling. It’s important to keep those crates and carriers securely in place by strapping a seat belt around it to prevent the carrier from sliding around the car.

If you choose not to use a crate, special harnesses exist that hook to seat belts to keep your pets restrained. However, according to the Human Society, such pet seat belts haven’t been shown to reliably keep animals safe during a car accident, so opting for a carrier would be safer.

2) Keep Their Heads Inside the Car

5 Terrific Tips for Safe Pet Travel in Winter | Bounce Energy Blog

“I’m really sad you won’t let me stick my head out the car window while you’re driving.

If there’s any cliche that’s completely accurate, dogs love to hang their heads out the window. But doing so especially during the winter can be dangerous for them. Not only can they be injured by flying debris, but cold air being forced into their lungs can make them sick. And this is definitely true for animals riding in the bed of a truck.

3) Take Bathroom Breaks

When traveling with a pet, make sure you take plenty of pit – or should I say pet – stops. Regular stops gives them the chance to stretch their legs, drink some water, and go to the bathroom.

4) Keep Them Warm

5 Terrific Tips for Safe Pet Travel in Winter | Bounce Energy Blog

“Is this sweater REALLY necessary?”

You bring jackets and sweaters to keep your own body warm, so do the same for your pet. If the car is kept warm, your pet doesn’t need to wear one on the road, but do put a jacket or sweater on them before going outside for a bathroom break.

5) Wipe Their Paws

5 Terrific Tips for Safe Pet Travel in Winter | Bounce Energy Blog

“I can lick my own paws clean, thank you very much. Those wet wipes feel weird – and moist.”

If it is snowing or icy while you are traveling, then your pet will most likely step on snow, salt used on the roadways, or mushy dirt when outside. To keep paws clean, consider dog boots to protect their paws and to keep them warm. If your pet really does not like wearing boots, then bring a package of wet wipes or towelettes to clean their paws before returning into the car.

Do you have any tips for safe pet travel in winter? Please share with us in the comments!

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