Plenty of Water
This one is clear, yet very important
. It is so crucial to make sure your dog has plenty of access to water while you are traveling
. For us, we have a sedan and Rooney is crated in the back seat which makes it so easy for us to check and see if Rooney has plenty of water and/or needs more. If it isn’t too hot
, we also offer him water every 30-45 minutes
or so using our Gulpy (my favorite travel water bottle for Rooney). If it’s really hot
, we give him constant access to water
. The logistics of this may be challenging if your dog is crated in the back of your car, and you can’t check on them without stopping. Ideally, you can give them a bowl of water that doesn’t spill
. For example, you could use something like the Heininger Waterboy Portable Pet Bowl
, which provides your pets with plenty of water, and should prevent from most spills so that their crate remains dry throughout the drive.
Scheduled Water & Potty Breaks
While you are traveling, if you have the access to stop at rivers, lakes, or beaches
along your route, that is a great way to combine the potty breaks your dog is going to need being well hydrated, and an opportunity to cool down. I highly recommend searching and scheduling these locations in advance
. On our trips, we found that BringFido.com
served as a great resource. Not only for looking up dog-friendly activities and locations, but also dog-friendly hotels
and restaurants along our route so that our dog is always with us and never has to be left in the hot car.
If your dog is traveling in a crate, which is our preferred way to travel with Rooney, a cooling pad can help keep them cool. To be honest with you, I have always wanted to purchase one of these, but I have never made the leap to make the final purchase because of the gel. Rooney will occasionally decide he wants to chew on something (this happens significantly less now that he is older), and I am always afraid he will ingest some of the gel. However, for dogs who don’t typically chew on their beds, this is a great solution to prevent from heatstroke on hot days. I know many other dog parents who have purchased and used these pads to keep their dogs cool and have never had a problem. Of course, if you are ever in doubt, please check with your veterinarian about a product that interests you.
Better Access to AC
As I mentioned before, each pet parent’s car situation is completely different. Some dogs might be crated in the back seat, while others are in the very back of an SUV. My last word of advice about road trips would be to make sure your pet has plenty of access to AC no matter where they are. If your SUV doesn’t have rear AC control, you might have to turn the car on for a few minutes before putting your dog in the crate in the back. So you know the temperature in the car is comfortable for them. This is imperative for cars where you can’t check to make sure they are comfortable without stopping.
Those are my suggestions for keeping your dog cool as you travel by car this summer! But we would love to hear from you. How do you keep your dog cool on road trips?