Do you plan on going on a trip with your dog? If you are taking a puppy or dog on a trip, you should be concerned about keeping your pet happy and safe all through the journey. But, more importantly, when it’s summertime, you should know how to keep a dog cool while traveling.
Dogs can deal with heat in moderation, but that doesn’t mean that they should suffer it. Also, there’s a limit to what they can safely manage otherwise it could affect their mood and become a danger to their health. To help, here are tips on how to keep a dog cool in the car while driving or while on foot.
1. Travel At The Best Time Of The Day
On a normal day, the temperature fluctuates throughout the day; you see the differences every day in your weather forecasts. However, the early hours of the day are consistently the coolest and the best time to travel with your pet.
When the sun rises in the morning, it doesn’t get warm immediately. This is why UV exposure is less damaging in the morning than in the afternoon.
Do you think that the temperature is at its highest when the sun is high? You get the highest temperatures in the evening time, typically 3 to 4 pm. This is because the sun’s heat builds up, and by early evening, there is a lot of surface heat.
2.Use A Dog Cooling Vest To Keep Your Dog Cool While Traveling
A dog cooling vest does just what the description says; it cools dogs. They are, however, worn just like regular dog vests. These vests feature a cooling technology usually facilitated using microfiber.
When worn, they draw excess heat from your pet’s body via evaporative cooling. When purchasing a dog cooling vest, go for a lightweight one with full coverage – ideally chest and back coverage.
Furthermore, go for one that’s adjustable to fit your pet comfortably, and it should also be easy to put on and off.
There are also dog cooling mats that feature similar technology but do not need to be worn as your pet can lie on them and move about freely on and off the mat depending on how your dog feels at that point.
Using a cooling device like this may be a better option for someone who is not always available or around the dog to constantly monitor if the dog is comfortable enough.
3.Install A Car Air Conditioner With Multiple Speeds
A car air conditioner will help keep your dog cool while traveling by car. It won’t only benefit your pet but also you.
When choosing an air conditioner for your car, go for one that has a varying fan and cooling speeds. For example, you can get a mini window AC that you’ll place close to your dogs’ seat. It’s important to pick an AC that operates quietly so that your pet does not feel discomfort from the noise.
Furthermore, you might not be using the AC every time, so the AC must be easy to install, use and remove.
Alternatively, you can go for an electric car fan for the rear seat like the one below. They are also very effective and highly affordable too.
4. Make Stops
As you travel in your car or on foot during hot weather, it is necessary to make several stops along the way to let your pet get some fresh air or some shade. Letting your pet take a rest outside is even more important when you’re embarking on a relatively long journey.
It can also be quite fun for your pet if you have a few minutes of activity before continuing on your trip. Spending time outdoors is one of the tips in our post, with 13 tips on how to show love to a dog. You may want to check it out.
When stopping to rest, simply pull up in an area where there’s shade and let your pet breathe fresh air. Stops for as little as 5 to 10 minutes would go a long way.
5. Provide The Right Amount Of Drinking Water
You cannot talk about how to keep your dog cool while traveling without mentioning water. If there’s heat, your pet will surely get thirsty, and water is the solution.
Normally, your pet needs ⅛ cup of water per pound of body weight every day to stay hydrated. However, when traveling, he’ll need more, so the rule is “go with more water than you think you need.”
Check to see if your pet needs water every 15 minutes or at least every 30 minutes. You can get a water bottle for dogs and take it with you on your trip so it’s easy to feed your dog water without a mess wherever you are.
What Temperature Is Too Hot For A Dog?
As mentioned earlier, dogs can deal with the heat but to an extent. So as you travel, you should monitor the room temperature of your car to ensure it doesn’t get too hot for your pet.
A temperature of 68oF and below is safe for your pet. If it exceeds, it’s already too hot for him, even if at just 70oF. Such a high temperature causes heatstroke as your pet would be unable to self-regulate.
If you’re unaware, heatstroke is very dangerous.
It could kill your pet if it lasts for just about 15 minutes. See more on this and other hot weather tips for dogs in this article.
How To Tell If A Dog Has Been Exposed To Too Much Heat
There are several signs a very hot dog will display if they are currently feeling discomfort from the heat. They include:
- Shortness of breath
- Body temperature is hot
- Drooling more than usual
- Panting more than normal
- Drinking a lot of water
- Weakness unable to stand properly and may stumble).
Once a dog starts showing these signs, you need to take measures to bring down your dog’s temperature as soon as possible with the items you have with you on your trip.
What To Do If A Dog Is Already Overheated
The first thing you need to do is to cool your dog down as soon as possible. You need to gradually do this as a sudden change in temperature from hot to cold is also dangerous.
Suppose you are outdoors or in a car that is too hot. In that case, you need to relocate your dog to a cool place with a shade or indoors, preferably a place with an air conditioner or a fan, and place your dog close to the source of cool air.
Alternatively, suppose a source of cold air is not available. In that case, you can try placing a wet and cold towel on your dog’s body and make sure to cover important places such as the neck, legs, armpits, etc.
You can also offer your dog some cold water to drink to help your pet cool down. Let her drink it naturally; don’t try to force her to drink.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to be near a lake or a pool during your trip, you can take your dog to the water to get wet. However, just like humans do when going into the pool and wet their arms, their legs, etc., before getting into the water, you should take similar action on your dog.
A drastic temperature change is not good for your pet, so it needs to be done slowly. I suggest you let your dog stand in the water near the edge so her body can slowly adjust to the temperature change.
These suggestions are temporary measures to help in an emergency. You should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible for a checkup as heatstroke can be quite dangerous to dogs.
Hot weather during the summer can affect your dog in several ways. According to various experts, hot weather can cause breathing problems in some dogs. Your dog is even in danger of heatstroke if it gets too hot, and cars can contain and hold a lot of heat. Furthermore, it will make your pet less friendly and playful due to feeling uncomfortable.
Never leave your dog alone and locked in a car during hot weather. See our post on hot weather tips for dogs for more ideas on keeping your dog safe.
Therefore, if you’re traveling or going out with your pet in hot weather, ensure that you follow the tips on how to keep a dog cool while traveling that I discussed above. Also, don’t forget to share this article on keeping a dog cool in transit with others.