It’s warming up out there! Summer is a perfect time to embark on new adventures and explore the great outdoors with your dog. Patios, breweries, hiking trails, parks… we have it pretty good right here at home! If you’re planning to take adventure on the road, whether you’re planning a cross country trip, visiting a beach, or hiking in the mountains, traveling with your dog can create unforgettable memories. However, it’s important to prioritize their safety and well-being during the warmer months. In this blog, we’ll provide you with essential tips and guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer travel experience with your beloved canine companion.
- Prioritize hydration: Just like humans, dogs can easily become dehydrated in the summer heat. Always carry an ample supply of fresh water for your dog, whether you’re driving or out on a hike. Invest in a portable water dispenser or collapsible bowl, making it easy for your dog to drink whenever they need to quench their thirst. Additionally, try to avoid midday activities when the sun is at its peak (and the asphalt is the hottest), and opt for early morning or late evening adventures when temperatures are cooler.
- Never leave your dog unattended in the car without the proper set up: Leaving your dog in a parked car, even for a short period, can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise rapidly, leading to heatstroke or suffocation. If you need to make stops on your trip and need to help keep the car temperatures down, consider purchasing these items to help keep your vehicle temperature safer… keeping in mind, there will be temperatures that even the best set up can’t keep a dog cool enough: RYOBI Fan, Aluminet, IcyBreeze Cooler, Cooling Mat.
- Plan pet-friendly accommodations and destinations: Before setting out on your journey, ensure that your chosen accommodations and destinations are pet-friendly. Many hotels, campgrounds, and vacation rentals welcome pets, but it’s important to confirm their policies in advance. Research local parks, hiking trails, and beaches that allow dogs and familiarize yourself with any specific regulations or leash requirements.
- Keep vaccinations and preventive care up to date: Ensure that your dog’s vaccinations, including rabies, are up to date before embarking on your travels. Additionally, consult with your veterinarian about preventive measures for fleas, ticks, and heartworms, which are more prevalent during the summer months and depending on what part of the country you are visiting. This will help protect your dog from potential health risks and ensure their overall well-being throughout the trip. You can also consider using natural repellants such as Wondercide.
- Practice proper restraint and identification: While traveling, it’s crucial to keep your dog properly restrained for their safety and the safety of others. Invest in secure, appropriately sized crate for traveling in, such as a Ruffland Kennel (these have saved many dogs in accidents). Ensure that your dog wears a sturdy collar or harness with an identification tag containing your current contact information.
- Protect against sunburn and overheating: Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to sunburn and overheating. Light-colored and short-haired dogs are particularly vulnerable. Apply a pet-safe sunscreen, specifically formulated for dogs, to areas of exposed skin, such as the nose and ears. Provide shaded areas and never leave your dog out in direct sunlight for extended periods. Remember to test the temperature of surfaces your dog will walk on, such as sand or pavement, to prevent burns on their sensitive paw pads.
Traveling with your dog in the summer can be an enriching experience filled with joy and adventure. By following these safety tips, you’ll ensure that your furry friend stays happy, healthy, and protected during your travels. Always prioritize their well-being, provide plenty of water, and be mindful of the signs of heatstroke or dehydration. Together, you and your loyal companion can embark on a memorable journey, creating lasting memories under the summer sun.