By Tom James
Long before winter’s blustery chill begins to sting the bones, plans are being made by people in Canada, the Northeast and Midwestern United States to seek the warmer climes of the south. It’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs each year and mimics the migration ritual of our feathered friends.
These “snowbirds” (as they are affectionately called) flock to Arizona, Texas, Florida and other places along the Sunbelt to avoid winter’s bite and inconvenience. Northern Europeans also are known to head to warmer places in the U.S., adding to these second communities of seasonal residents each year.
Snowbirds are typically retirees or business owners who can afford to be away for extended periods of time. Many have a second home in a warmer location, while others take their home on wheels with them in the form of an RV or camper.
Jack and Ethel W. have been making the trip for 18 years. Pulling out of their snow-banked driveway in upstate Ohio, their 28-foot Fleetwood Southwind RV is loaded with rations, lighter clothes than they would have needed had they stayed home, and Phantom, their four-legged, eight-year-old. That’s right, more and more people travel with their pets these days and snowbirds are no exception. The couple wouldn’t dream of leaving behind their special member of the family, a Lhasa Apso. He’s like one of their children. They’ll stay gone five or six weeks in southern Georgia, while taking several side trips to explore new places.
Traveling with pets long distances and for long periods of time presents challenges not only for snowbirds but also for the pets they take along. According to Dr. Mitch Spindell, site vet on PetTravelCenter.com, the first thing one should always consider is how physically able a pet is to travel. Some senior, pregnant, injured, or otherwise physically impaired pets do not travel well.
Besides making sure your pet is physically fit and comfortable to make the trip, here are 9 tips to consider:
Find a great KOA to stay at with your furry friend by exploring KOA.com.
– Happy Pet Travels!
Tom James is founder and president of PetTravelCenter.com, an online community that provides worldwide resources for pet-friendly hotels, attractions, destinations, RV parks, dog parks, campgrounds, airline pet policies, pet travel tips, pet relocation, veterinarians, emergency pet hospitals, and a wide variety of pet travel products through its online pet store.