As you prepare to visit your family and friends for the holiday season, I’m sure you are busy getting all of the gifts together and probably completing some early packing as well.
In addition to your standard road trip preparation, you might want to start thinking about what your pet will need, especially during the winter season.
On our road trips with Rooney, there are always a handful of items that we consider our essentials. However, during the winter season, there are some new essentials. To decrease the holiday chaos you are currently experiencing, I thought it would be helpful to put together a simple list with the items you will need particularly for the winter and cold temperatures!
Jacket or Fleece
For obvious reasons, your pet is going to need an extra layer of warmth for the time spent outside during your road trip. I highly recommend bringing layers for your pet. Two items can cover a range of temperatures; a waterproof snow jacket, and a light fleece.
Boots & Paw Protection
Boots are critical for protecting your dog’s feet from frostbite and the snow. Additionally, they provide your dog with traction (protecting your dog from injury) when they are outside playing in the elements.
Yes, the snow is pretty and white, but underneath that snow is mud. The second you take your dog for a quick potty break, your car seat is likely to get a pair of paw prints on it. Instead of using towels or blankets that will inevitably move around and slip, you should take the time to protect your car before the trip begins.
Extra Blankets & Towels
Speaking of blankets, it is always wise to have a few extra blankets and towels with you in the car. You never know when your dog will need some extra warmth during the car ride. I also recommend bringing towels because my dog has taught me that every situation provides an opportunity to roll in mud or dirt. A towel can help you clean up your dog before you arrive at your relative’s house.
Crate or Seatbelt
Car safety is always important. However, the chances of an accident increase as the weather becomes harsher. Making this time of year a priority for increased car safety. Many people forget that an accident is just as dangerous for their dog as it is for them. But I will tell you from my experience as a veterinary technician that your dog is in danger if they aren’t secured in your vehicle. Therefore, I highly recommend securing your dog in your car using either a dog crate or a dog seatbelt. Not only will securing your dog protect your pet should you be in an accident, but it will also keep you more focused as a driver, decreasing the chances of an accident in the first place.
Sunblock & Doggles
Many people forget that sunny winter days pose a threat to your dog’s skin and eyes. Make sure that your dog’s skin is covered up, either with jackets, sweaters, or sunblock. Many veterinarians recommend using a sunscreen that contains UVA and UVB barriers and is fragrance-free and non-staining (Veterinary Partner). In addition to sunblock, don’t forget to invest in a pair of doggles that can protect your dog’s eyes from the harsh sun rays that reflect off the snow.
With all of these items in your car, you are ready for your holiday road trip with your best friend by your side!
Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, corgi mom, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector.
After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science & Management, she worked as a Veterinary Assistant for 3 years. Her daily interactions with pet parents inspired her to start her blog focused on pet health, pet rescue, and pet products. She has a true enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and animal science, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with pet parents.