Many people assume that their pets are naturally protected against the cold by layers of fur. But the fact is animals can suffer from cold weather just as much as people. Soft paw pads, sensitive noses and even the skin under the fur can become chapped and flaky in the dry, frigid air. If you’re traveling with your pet in the cold weather, there are several things you should do to make sure they stay safe and comfortable.
Keeping Your Pet Safe In Cold Weather
1. When coming inside from the cold, dry your pet with a towel to remove any salt, snow or sleet from their fur, especially their feet and between the toes. Also be sure to towel off their stomachs on smaller, long-haired dogs. Try to keep the interior space humidified.
2. The longer fur does provide warmth and insulation. Never cut your dog’s hair in the cold of winter. You may want to trim long hair from around the feet to prevent ice build-up.
3. If you take your pet on long walks, bring a towel along to clean away snow and ice periodically. Be sure to check their toes and paws for any signs of redness or dried, cracking skin.
4. Pet washing should be kept to a minimum in cold weather. If you must bathe your pets, use a moisturizing shampoo made for them, and do your best to get pets fully dry before they go out again.
5. Rub some petroleum jelly, or a product made for the purpose, over their paws before going outside. It can help to reduce irritation from salt or chemicals. Pet booties are a good option if you can get your pet used to them.
6. When walking your dog, avoid any spilled chemicals on the ground, especially antifreeze. It has a sweet smell and taste and can be inviting, but poisonous, to animals.
7. When traveling with your pet by car, be sure to bring along an old blanket and create a warm, comfortable spot in the car where your pet can rest.
8. Even indoors, provide your pets with a warm place to sleep that’s off the ground. Take along a commercial pet bed or pillow along with an old blanket. Dogs that are cold may need extra food as they burn more calories trying to stay warm.
9. Your trip plans should include locating all the pet-friendly hotels – such as The Park on Main® in Highlands, North Carolina – and motels along the way.
10. When traveling with your pets, don’t forget to pack some items for their comfort. Bring an extra leash, food or doggie treats, an old blanket or large towel, and extra drinking water.
11. Before any trip, make sure the dog has a metal tag with your phone number on it, and take the animal’s picture in case you get separated.
12. Try to keep in mind that if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s too cold for your pet. You should not leave them in the car or chained up outside for long periods or especially overnight. Don’t leave pets outside when the temperature drops below 40 degrees.
When traveling the Appalachian Mountains, visit The Park On Main®. This is a pet-friendly boutique hotel in Highlands, North Carolina that provides comfortable elegance amid the area’s natural winter beauty. The hotel’s centerpiece is a lavish garden terrace visible from all 24 suites, while Highlands has some fine shops and restaurants. Contact us to see how we can make your trip special.
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