If you’re taking a road trip this summer and bringing your pets along, please remember your pets have unique travel needs. Dogs as well as other animals are less able to handle heat and dehydrate quickly. When we get hot we sweat, a dog expels body heat through panting. And what we consider a little uncomfortable “hot” may be miserable for an animal, even a short amount of time in a hot car can be extremely dangerous for dogs. When the temperature rises an open window will not allow enough cool air to keep a dog at a safe temperature or comfortable.
Here are a few ideas to keep your dog safe and happy as you travel:
1. Get them ready to ride on longer trips by taking them with you on errands or short trips. An anxious, stressed dog is not fun to be with in a vehicle and they can be very distracting to you while driving.
2. Pack a bag. Keep fresh bottled water ready, a spare leash, and maybe a treat or two. Some dogs get car sick so you may not want to feed them before you drive.
3. Keep them safe. Crack the window to let them feel the breeze but don’t let them lean out too far. Dogs can be hit by flying objects when they hang too far out of an open window. To keep them safe try using a crate or restraining them with a harness that attaches to a seat belt. As much as they love it, never let them ride in an open truck bed.
4. Take breaks. Dogs can’t tell you when they need a bathroom break. Limit food and excessive water while traveling. They also need to stretch their legs. Be ready to jog or walk to let your dog work off any excess energy.
If you’re traveling with a cat we wish you the best of luck. Most cats we’ve come across do not like traveling in the car.
We love our dogs and want to hear about your travel adventures with your furry friend. Where are you taking your pets this summer?