Summer is our favorite season, but sometimes they don’t go together. We postpone dog travel to more temperate days when temperatures rise to dangerous levels.
Sometimes life can get in the way, and sometimes you just have to go.
Here are some suggestions if you need to take your dog with you during extreme heat.
1. You should ensure that your car is ready for the journey. Make sure that you have done all you can to prepare for your trip before you leave. You don’t want a breakdown on the road or an AC that isn’t working.
2. Get started early in the morning. Even though we can get up to 80 degrees in the summer, it’s still better than triple digits. Before we go out, we walk our dogs so they know that they have had a good walk.
3. Freeze water – We fill our liter bottles with 1/3 of the water we need and then freeze them. We only carry one unfrozen water bottle, but the rest are frozen. Tiki and Irie have cool water as they thaw during stops.
4. You should pack more water than you think. You should pack twice the amount of water you think you will need. It’s possible to be delayed, have car trouble, or have to give water to your dog (or yourself) to cool down.
5. Be careful of the pavement – On hot days, it’s enough heat to fry an egg and tender paws on concrete and asphalt. Beach sand can also be unbearably hot. We try to find shaded and near-grass spots for our potty stops so that the dogs can jump out onto cooler surfaces as soon as we park. Protective booties are required if you plan to park in a city setting. To protect your dog’s paws, place a towel on the pavement if she will be required to get out of the car. To give your dog a cool spot to stand, add some water to the pavement.
6. Plan your activities accordingly. The heat is too oppressive from lunch to dinner that we won’t allow the dogs to swim. We spent the day in the nursing home, and then we drove to the beach for dinner and a walk along the coast. The best times to go for walks, swimming, or outdoor fun are in the late evenings and early mornings.
Avoid making too many stops in the heat of the moment. We enjoyed a morning walk, picnic, and plenty of swimming on the second day of our nursing home visit. It was just before noon. After it was hot, we drove home with a drive-thru meal. We didn’t need to shut off the AC because Tiki and Irie were still sleeping so we kept going.
7. Do not leave your dog alone in the car. Never. Never again. Plan bathroom breaks in pet-friendly stores such as PetSmart or Petco if you are traveling solo.
8. You should keep an eye out for heat stress signs in your dog. Both heat exhaustion or heat stroke can be dangerous for you and your dog. Be aware of the following: Signs of heatstroke in dogs.
9. Cooling products are available. You can also check out cooling mats for dogs for your car. But remember that if you stop for a long time or overnight, you will need to take the mat off the car.
Extreme temperatures are not the best time to take your dog on a summer vacation. You will need to travel when temperatures reach triple digits. Make sure you take extra precautions so that all your four-legged passengers are safe and comfortable.