The summer is a time for fun-filled adventures, and for many dog owners, that includes bringing their furry companions along on road trips and vacations.
In July 2023, the average global temperature rose to 62.9 degrees, meaning it is now more important than ever to keep your furry friend safe in the sun.
This article provides essential tips to keep your dog safe when traveling in the summer, so you both can enjoy a memorable and worry-free journey.
One of the most crucial aspects of keeping your dog safe in summer is ensuring they stay well-hydrated.
Dogs can quickly become dehydrated in hot weather, especially during car rides or outdoor activities. Always carry a sufficient supply of fresh water and a portable bowl for your dog to drink from. Offer water breaks frequently, and avoid leaving your dog in a parked car, as temperatures can soar rapidly and pose a life-threatening risk.
Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car
Leaving your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes, can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.
On a hot summer day, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket within minutes, leading to heatstroke and suffocation.
If you need to run errands or make stops along the way, take your dog with you or have a travel companion stay with them outside the vehicle.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Safe When Driving
Allowing your dog to roam freely in the car is not only dangerous for them but also for everyone in the vehicle.
In the event of a sudden stop or motor vehicle collision, an unrestrained dog can be thrown around, leading to injuries or distractions that may contribute to car accidents.
To prevent this, use a properly secured crate or a dog seatbelt harness that attaches to the car’s seat belt. This will keep your dog secure in one place and minimize their risk of injury during a collision.
Plan for Adequate Rest and Shade
During road trips or outdoor adventures, ensure your dog has access to shaded areas where they can rest and cool down.
Avoid walking or exercising your dog during the hottest parts of the day and opt for early mornings or evenings when temperatures are cooler.
Bring along a portable shade shelter or set up umbrellas to provide your dog with a comfortable place to rest and relax.
Avoid Hot Pavement and Surfaces
Asphalt and concrete can become scorching hot under the summer sun, leading to burns and discomfort for your dog’s paw pads.
Before taking your dog for walks or playtime, test the ground with your hand. If it feels too hot for you to touch, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Opt for grassy areas or walk during cooler times of the day to protect your furry friend’s paws.
Protect Against Sunburn
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from sunburn, particularly dogs with light-colored fur or thin coats. Apply pet-safe sunscreen to areas of your dog’s skin that are susceptible to sunburn, such as their nose, ears, and belly. Keep your dog in the shade whenever possible, especially during peak sun hours.
Limit Physical Activity
While it’s essential to provide your dog with exercise and mental stimulation, avoid overexerting them in hot weather. High temperatures can lead to heatstroke, so engage in activities that are less strenuous and provide ample breaks for your dog to cool down.
Know the Signs of Heatstroke
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate attention. Familiarize yourself with the signs of heatstroke, including excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, move your dog to a cool area, offer water, and seek veterinary care promptly.
Remember To Stay Safe With Your Dog
Summer travel with your dog can be a delightful experience as long as you prioritize their safety and well-being.
By following these essential tips, you can ensure your furry companion stays cool, hydrated, and protected during your summer adventures. Remember that your dog relies on you for their safety, so always be attentive to their needs and never leave them in hot or dangerous conditions. With proper planning and care, you and your four-legged friend can create lasting memories together and enjoy a summer filled with joy and happiness.