Summer is here! Beach days, road trips, camping adventures, and cottage getaways are in full swing as we look to take advantage of the warmer months with our fur babies directly by our sides! While no summer getaway is complete without our favorite furry friend tagging along, preparedness and planning are key for traveling with pets (especially during the hotter months!) Make the most of the ‘dog days’ of summer adventures by following our eight tips for traveling with pets during the summer!
1. Never leave your pet in a parked car
For summer travels, it is rule number one to never leave your pet in a parked car. A short period of time in a hot car can be harmful to pets, and potentially life-threatening. Even with the windows cracked, a car in the summertime is an unsafe place for a pet. If you see an animal in a parked car while traveling and are unable to locate the owner, call your area’s non-emergency police to report the situation and for further instructions.
2. Know the signs of heat stroke and stay hydrated
Like humans, animals can experience heat stroke, especially in the summer months and during long periods of travel. Hydration is key to preventing heat exhaustion, so be sure to provide your pet with plenty of water, cool ventilation and even air-conditioning or water mist when available. Monitor your pet for heat stroke by watching out for heavy panting, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, purple gums or redness of the skin, vomiting, and loss of energy. Seek veterinary attention immediately if your pet is displaying signs of heat stroke.
3. Prepare for travel anxiety
Even the most seasoned travelers can suffer from travel anxiety, and pets are no different! Long periods of time in the car and new environments can cause animals to feel distressed and nervous. Studies have proven that peaceful, calm music can help pets in the car, but interventions like calming sprays, treats or oils may help your cat or dog feel more relaxed throughout your travels. As always, double check with your veterinarian for the best option for battling your pet’s travel anxiety.
4. Bring comforts from home
Support your pet’s new adventures while providing some comforts from home. A familiar crate, pen, blanket, or favorite stuffed animal can go a long way in ensuring that a pet feels comfortable in a new and unfamiliar environment, like a hotel room or Airbnb. Don’t forget key essentials like food, a leash and collar, a litter box, waste bags, and more for your pet’s day-to-day routine.
5. Ensure your accommodation is pet-friendly
Prior to your travels, ensure that your accommodation is pet-friendly and gain a clear understanding of what that means. Even accommodations that are listed as “pet-friendly” may have limits on numbers of animals, size of dogs and charge additional pet fees during your stay. Check out Bring Fido to view thousands of pet-friendly accommodations and read reviews from other pet owners!
6. Plan pet-friendly vacation activities
Consider your itinerary when planning a summer getaway with your furry friend. While cats may be more independent, it is unfavorable to leave dogs unattended in a hotel for a long period of time. Consider planning proactively for activities where you can involve your pet, like gentle hikes, outdoor adventures and pup-friendly patios and dining options.
7. Don’t forget important documents – and insurance!
When traveling with pets internationally, don’t forget to prepare all the required documents to cross borders and navigate air travel with your furry friend. Just like humans, consider insurance options when traveling with your pup or feline companion abroad. A list of medications, vitamins and veterinary contact information is always good to have on-hand while traveling, no matter where your final destination may be.
8. When in doubt, leave them home!
While the thought of leaving your pooch behind while you embark on a summer vacation may be heartbreaking, think about what is best for your furry friend. Depending on the nature, duration and schedule of your trip, it may be best to leave your fur-baby at home due to the summer heat and logistical factors of your travels. Many cities have many pet-care options, from private pet-sitting to dog hotels! Check out Rover to find reviewed sitters for in-home care and ensure your pet will be pampered while you are away (but we can’t promise that they won’t miss you!)
Ready for your next summer trip? Check out these cooling essentials to keep your pooch chill on your upcoming getaway!
Megan Savary is a Freelance Blog Writer for Blender Networks and recent Bachelor of Public Relations graduate. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Megan enjoys reading, skiing and traveling – her favorite destination so far is Tokyo, Japan!