Summer tends to be the season of travel. Kids are off from school, many corporate industries slow down and the weather is nice in a majority of the country. As all of my vacations include Wynston, it’s becoming mainstream for families to include their dogs in travel plans. Summertime offers potential weather risks that may not exist other times of the year, such as overheating, monsoons or terrible humidity. Consider these summertime travel tips for pet parents if you’re hitting the road or skies with your pup this season.
Summertime Travel Tips for Pet Parents
Let me preface by saying that you need to use your best judgement when taking your dog out into the heat. In Arizona I’ve seen way too many news stories about dogs dropping dead on hiking trails during the summer. Trust me, I get it. I like to take Wynston everywhere too. But it’s simply not smart to bring your dog out into 100°+ temperatures for a hike. Please, please, please think it through first! Many hiking trails stopped allowing dogs if it hits a certain temperature or after a specified time in the morning, which I agree with. We can’t have dogs dying out there. This leads me to my first point…
Keep Your Pet Hydrated
It’s absolutely imperative to keep your pets hydrated in the summer, especially when traveling. Some circumstances may cause stress, and when you add heat to that it can be deadly for your pup. Here are simple ways to make sure your pet stays hydrated:
- Always have fresh water on hand. I like using my Kurgo travel water bottle wherever I take Wynston, as the bottom detaches to become a bowl. Consider filling it half full with water and freezing it, then filling the rest with fresh water before you head out to your destination. If you’re going through airport security make sure your water bottle is empty, then fill it before getting on the plane.
- Bring a cooler in the car with frozen watermelon and ice. Frozen watermelon is an excellent snack for dogs, as it’s healthy and hydrating. Fill your cooler up with ice, water and frozen watermelon, and your dog is sure to stay hydrated.
- If you’re at an event, get some plain shaved ice (no flavoring). Festivals and carnivals tend to have shaved ice machines, so grab a plain one for your dog to munch on!
Keep Them Cool with a Frozen Bandana
Whatever you’re doing, your dog can benefit from donning a frozen bandana. Take a regular bandana and get it wet. Put it in the freezer for a couple of hours or until you leave for your destination. Put it around your dog’s neck once you arrive (you can even put it in a cooler in your car so it stays frozen). If you’re traveling with a cooler or staying somewhere with a freezer, you can continue re-wetting and freezing the bandana for further use.
Travel with a Battery Operated Fan
Whether you’re traveling in a car, airplane, RV or camping in a tent, you and your pup will appreciated a small battery operated fan. This will also help keep your dog cool if they are traveling in a crate. When using the fan, put a frozen water bottle in front of it, and the air will become cooler. Some handheld fans also come with a mister option, which is always a plus! I like this one, which can clip onto a crate.
Use a Cooling Mat
There are several cooling mat options out there for dogs, such as this one. They are great for camping, use in the car, putting in your dog’s crate, or even laying on the beach. You can also stow one in your suitcase if you’re traveling via airplane.
Offer Plenty of Shade
I’ve seen some cool shade products on the market for dogs lately, some of which I want to get for our travels! They offer respite from the sun in a variety of situations such as at a restaurant, at the beach or while camping. Something like this is a must-have for outdoor travel adventures. I absolutely love Shady Paws sun shades (will fit in the overhead bin on an airplane) and products from DOOG.
Research Weather at Your Destination
Have you checked the forecast where you are going? Make sure you’re prepared! Arizona is the home to 120° in the summer and the heat is no joke. We also have monsoon storms, which bring haboobs and microbursts. Wherever you’re headed, be sure you know what to expect. Then pack for yourself and your dog accordingly.
Update Your Dog’s ID Information
Your dog should be microchipped and wear an ID tag while traveling. Make sure everything is updated with your current phone number, email and address.
Pack Some DIY Frozen Dog Treats
If you’re traveling with a cooler or freezer, make some DIY frozen dog treats to bring along. They may get messy in the car, but they’d be a great, cool treat if you make a pit stop or for enjoying at your final destination! Here are a plethora of super simple DIY frozen dog treat recipes for you to try.
Stop for Some Splashing
Passing by a lake, river or dog beach while on a road trip? Stop to let your dog cool off in the water! Be prepared for sand and mud with plenty of towels, 4-Legger deodorizer and a 4Knines car seat cover! Remember to also pack a life jacket for your pup.
If you’re getting ready to travel with your dog this summer, it’s important that you’re prepared for the heat and other weather conditions. What other advice would you add to this list of summertime travel tips for pet parents?