Traveling with Your Pet in Summer

Summer heat brings up special conditions to remember when traveling with your pet. Most pet owners wouldn’t dream of leaving pets in hot cars, but even the most responsible owner may overlook these risks. Keep your dog comfortable and safe when you travel together in summer’s hot temperatures.

Your pets can’t tell you when they are overheated. Pay particular attention to their demeanor. Keeping your pet cool and in the heat for only limited intervals is more important than ever during the summer.

Avoid the heat of high noon.

Consider traveling before or after the hottest hours of the day between 11 A.M. and 3 P.M. If your dog is older or has a thick coat, think about avoiding taking walks or playing outside during those hottest hours.

Make sure rest stops offer shade and water.

Pets should have enough to drink. When you take a break from walking or driving, make sure your dog has water. If the break is a long one, make sure the water bowl is not sitting in the hot sun. Pets need plenty of cool but not ice-cold water.

Give your pet the right summer trim.

Dogs can get sunburned, too! Make sure your groomer doesn’t give your pet a shave that’s too close. Your dog needs enough of a coat to protect against the sun. Correct dog grooming technique is important for your pet’s summer haircut.

Protect against ticks and fleas.

Before you hop in the car, give your pet a treatment of flea and tick medication. Some parts of the country, especially wooded areas, may be infested with fleas and ticks. You may find parasites where you are headed are different from ones in the area where you live. Heartworm medication is also recommended in some areas of the country — remember to administer it monthly, if you skip a dose, your dog may have to be re-tested before you give them their next dose.

Take care of their paws.

Dogs paws are much more sensitive than people think. When the sun is beating down on sidewalks or paved areas, it can blister their paws. If it’s too hot for you to go barefoot, it’s likely painful for their feet too. You can prevent this altogether by keeping on the grass or walking in shady areas. If you do need to walk on hot pavement for short periods of time, it’s recommended to use paw wax (yes, it’s a thing), paw cream, Vaseline (in a pinch), dog shoes, dog socks, or silicone sticky pads you can cut to shape. Be careful while walking on slippery surfaces. If your dog’s paws do blister, clean the blisters with plain water. Do not use peroxide; it will slow the healing. Apply Neosporin twice a day until the sores heal. If you sense your dog is uncomfortable or unwilling to walk on their hurt paws, you can call your vet to see what kind of pain cream they recommend.

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