Woof Woof’s Guide to Traveling in all Weather

Woof Woof is probably colder in 50 degrees and rain than he is when it’s snowy and 27 degrees. In his first full New York City winter, I learned what it means to prepare my dog for all weather and seasons.

Here’s What We Learned:

Sweaters Work for Cold Weather, but Not for Snow or Rain
Woof Woof can wear his sweater in 25 degrees or higher without shivering. Below that, he needs his winter coat.

Rain Coats are Essential
If he doesn’t wear a rain coat, he is happy playing with his friends in the park, but he’ll want to get home quickly. After all, Woof Woof doesn’t mind getting wet, but he minds staying wet. If he wears a raincoat, the water doesn’t soak through to his skin as much.

 Even Dogs Benefit from Dressing in Layers
If it’s windy and cold, he’ll wear his sweater underneath his winter coat. For snow in the upper twenties without wind, he’s happy with only his weather proof winter coat.

There are Outfits for Extreme Heat
The last thing I would ever think my dog would need are summer clothes. He has fur! But, that’s exactly why he needs Ruffwear’s Swamp Cooler vest. You stick it in the freezer, and then your dog is cooler in the summer. You still shouldn’t keep your dog in the heat for too long, and should probably avoid mid-day long walks.

Boots Can Be Needed in Both the Summer and Winter
If your dog wears boots in the summer, sidewalks aren’t so bad. But, they can be if the boots aren’t very thick. Woof Woof has Ruffwear boots that have sneaker bottoms. In the winter, he needs his boots because of the salt on the roads and sidewalks. The snow doesn’t bother his feet, but the salt does.

Bottom line:
Each dog is an individual. Pay attention to what your dog needs. Whether you buy your dog clothing from Ruffwear’s site or your local pet store, invest in a good rain coat, winter coat, and cooling jacket. A good pair of boots is nice, too. Sweater quality isn’t as important. You can buy them from anywhere, but you should have at least one good coat if your dog happens to get chilly.

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.

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Woof Woof Rides Amtrak

Amtrak has the strictest dog travel policies. Dogs do have to ride in their carry-on bag, and must be under 25 pounds to ride onboard. At 18 pounds, Woof Woof had no problem meeting this criteria.

Woof Woof is a New York City dog who has been in a cloth shopping bag on the subway a million times. Technically he should be in an enclosed carrier. He got a $25 ticket once as a pup, but I’d rather spend the cost than lug around an unneeded large carrier, and make him keep his head under mesh fabric. Thus, we enter and leave small subway stations where tickets are less likely to happen.

At first, I kept him in the carrier. To keep him happy, I’d pet the mesh to make sure he felt comfortable and paid attention to. He stayed in the carrier for the first three hours, but everyone wanted to see him. I took him out and let him sit on my lap. When I got up to go to the cafe car to get coffee and dinner for Woof Woof and I, a nice woman watched him in his carrier. I zipped him up in his carrier because I didn’t want her to encounter a problem. But, there was a problem because Woof Woof wasn’t fond of the carrier and me gone at the same time. He cried a little. It wasn’t loud, but I didn’t want him to whimper again. We split a pepperoni and cheese snack pack, and I carried him inside the carrier to the cafe for the rest of the trip.

On the way home, he sat on my lap with permission of the person next to me. While I was able to work on my laptop, he played with a three-year-old. He didn’t bark at all. I took him for five minute walks, and everyone was excited to see such a well-behaved dog.

What we learned about taking dogs on trains is to have a carrier just in case, and a dog that can behave in one. If the carrier doesn’t fit under your seat, you’ll have to have the carrier under your feet for the duration of the trip. Do expect to bring your dog with you in the carrier if you get up for any reason. Expect, at least if your dog is like Woof Woof, he or she will love looking out the window, and will bring joy to neighboring passengers.

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.