Winter Travel With Pets

Winter is a popular travel season in the United States – the weather is cold but great and the kids are out of school on break, making it an ideal time to pack up the family and head for the ski resorts or if you like warmer places, the sunny beach front resorts in warmer climates.

Winter is also an excellent time to take a trip that includes the family pet, especially if they love being out in the colder climates and playing in the snow.

No matter what the weather’s like outside your window right now, there’s no reason you can’t start dreaming – and planning – for next winter’s travels. And that’s where we come in. Here are some pet travel tips for the winter, plus links to articles we’ve written about pet-related events in the US during the winter months like pet parades, photos with Santa, and other fun winter events.

Winter Pet Travel Tips

Planning ahead can reduce stress and save time. Don’t forget the following items before you head out:

  1. Winterizing your car – keep all chemicals such as anti-freeze away from your pets. They may ingest some of it and can become incredibly ill.
  2. Medication – make sure you have enough of it for the duration of your time away from home. Pick up refills for your pet before you head out.
  3. Kennels and carriers – some places require that your pet be in a carrier or crate when left alone. A kennel is also a safe way to travel for your pet. Airlines have size restrictions for kennels that can travel in cabin. Check about restrictions and policies of the airline before booking.
  4. Never leave your pet in the car – the air in the car doesn’t circulate and the temperature can drop within minutes to a point where it can become life threatening.
  5. Rest stop areas mean everyone gets a break – take your dog out for a walk, offer some water and a snack.
  6. Identification – make sure the tags on your pet’s collar are up to date and fastened securely to the collar.
  7. Clean up after your pet – bring plastic bags, litter, or bedding. Wherever you stay, don’t forget to clean up after your pet.
  8. Vet records – bring a copy of your pet’s vaccines. Hotels and vacation rentals often ask for proof of your pet’s vaccines.
  9. Find the local emergency vet – know before you go where the emergency vet is in the area you are staying in case your pet becomes injured. It saves a lot of stress and time in the event that your pet needs immediate medical attention.
  10. Wipe the paws of your pet when coming inside from a walk – ice, debris, and chemicals to de-ice the sidewalks can become trapped between your dog’s toes and in the fur. If your dog licks his feet, he could become ill. Plus ice tangled in fur can be painful.

For more winter tips check out our articles:
Keep Your Pet Safe During Winter
Antifreeze: Toxic to Pets
Winter Pet Tips: Keeping Your Pets Warm and Dry

Winter Pet Events in the USA

Please note that these lists aren’t comprehensive – yet! If you know of an event for dogs, cats, horses, parrots, guinea pigs or anything else that you think should be added to our lists, please let us know!

Image from Oklahoma Alliance for Animals

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