Travelling Long Distances In Winter

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Pippy & Daisy

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Hello! My family and I are planning a short trip for this winter (it's summer here so I'm getting a bit ahead of myself!) and we think bringing the girls is the best option as we don't really have anyone who can look after them while we're gone and we think they'd be more comfortable with us anyway. The place we're going is about a 5-6 hour drive (probably a bit longer if there's snow or ice on the roads) so I want to start planning early to make sure I'm prepared for them (also because I'm usually terrible and leave things to the very last minute). I've read Wiebke's thread about travelling with guinea pigs which was really helpful but as it'll be their first really long journey I want to have everything covered!

I've got a fairly big soft carrier designed for cats or small dogs (I think it might be the same make as this one http://www.petone.petmart.co.nz/cart_product22549-1-3084.html?Title=PET ONE SOFT CARRIER LARGE ) which I splurged on recently as the plastic one I currently have is a wee bit small to have them both in it for long, so I know they'll have plenty of room, plus I'll be taking their big playpen so they can be out and run around in the hotel when we get there. Does this look like a good carrier for long drives? I was a bit concerned about the possibility of them chewing it but it's sturdy fabric, and they'll have plenty to chew on in there and I'll keep an eye on them to make sure they don't try to make an escape - one of my girls has a knack for chewing things she shouldn't but with plenty of hay blankets she'll probably be too distracted. Does anyone have experience with these types of carriers?

Is it better to have the heating on for them or to have it off but have lots of blankets etc for them? I'm worried about them overheating if the heating is on but also about them getting too cold if it's not... I've got a big cuddle cosy thing that they can both snuggle up in, plus they'll obviously have plenty of hay and the bottom of the carrier has a water resistant thick fabric pad so they should be pretty comfortable I hope. I'll take plenty of blankets for them anyway, but how much should I keep them covered?

There's nowhere on this carrier to attach a water bottle but I'll take one with me and let them have little water breaks, plus I'll take a little box of veggies for them to eat on the drive, and they'll also have hay and I'll take some pellets for when we get there. If they have plenty of cool veggies is it necessary to stop often for water or should it be alright to just stop every couple of hours?

Is it better/safer for them to be on my lap while we're driving (I won't be driving! haha) or is it better to attach the carrier to a seatbelt/somewhere else in the car? There'll be three of us in the car so there'll always be someone in the back to keep an eye on them but I'm happy to have them on my lap if that's a better option. They're actually quite good little travellers when they go to the vets so I'm not too concerned about them being scared but I still want them to be as comfortable as possible as it's a bit of a tricky drive in winter. I've also heard it's alright to put the carrier on the floor behind seats but I don't know how true this is so advice on this would be appreciated...

Also, how long is it safe for them to be outside in winter for? It could be quite windy and obviously cold as there'll be snow, so obviously I'm not planning on having them out on the ground or anything, but would they be alright out for, say, 20 minutes max (in their carrier) when we stop for breaks, or would it be better to keep them in the car while we stretch our legs - obviously still close to the car - outside? They'll have plenty of insulation but it's the wind outside I'd be most concerned about.

I think that's all the questions I have for now, so thanks in advance for anyone who's bored enough to have read this whole post! Haha. Any advice is much appreciated :)
 

Wiebke

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If you make sure that your girls have some juicy veg like cucumber or celery not long before you set off, you do not have to worry about drinking for the next 2-3 hours. Your carrier sounds fine. If you can set your heating, I would recommend to set it at the same temperature as your house, but take blankets in case you have problems. I would recommend to cover the carrier when it gets dark, but one blanket will be suffice; all that is necessary is to blank out any big flashes of light.
 

Pippy & Daisy

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Thanks Wiebke, glad to know it all sounds fine :) think I'm getting a bit too excited about winter coming so planning too far in advance!
 
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