How to keep your dog cool while traveling

By | Monday, Aug 5, 2013

Traveling with your dog, especially to a hot country, put some demands on you as the dog’s owner. There are certain very important things to know and keep in mind if you care for your dog. This post tells how to keep your dog cool – maybe cool sunglasses and a Spanish fan not is the best…?

Spanish dog with fan
© javier brosch, Fotolia.com

The most obvious sign that your dog think it’s too hot is that the tongue hangs out of it’s mouth. Why does a dog hangs his tongue out of the mouth? He tries to regulate his body heat. The moisture on the tongue will make the blood flow to be cooler.

I can’t say this enough strongly: never ever leave your dog in the car alone during a hot day, not even for a few minutes! It’s very painful for them. Dogs do not cope with heat very well, in fact much worse than we do ourselves!

If traveling by car: try to travel when it’s not too hot and keep the AC running all the time. Do stops regularly along the way and if you can find any places where the dog can take a bath along the way, make the stops there. Have enough towels in the car to last for the whole trip. A bath will cool down the dog for a long time.

If leaving your dog at your holiday rental while you’re going out: make sure that it’s not too hot and that there is enough air. Do leave the airconditioner on for the dog and if it use to be power outage in the area: leave some windows open to be sure the dog get some air.

Always exercise your dog when it’s least hot, which means in the early mornings and late evenings. Try to let them use their heads instead of their bodies. The brain needs the most exercise for them to get calm and satisfied. Try to avoid asphalt roads since they absorb heat trough their feet.

That’s also why the best way to cool down an already too hot dog is to place the dogs feet in cool water and sprinkling the chest with cold water or cover him in wet cold towels – plus letting him drink cool water of course. Also remember that a dark coated dog will be faster dehydrated than a light coated dog.

dog drinking water from bottle
© capsicina, Flickr.com

From my own dog experiences I will also learn you my own trick to avoid getting the dog too hot in advance:

Have a piece of an old bed sheet with you that you can wrap around yuor dog, wet it with cool water and place it on his body. Sometimes it’s also enough when the dog lays upon it. Keep it wet. It’s a great cheap way to keep your dog cool, the bed sheet don’t take up much space/weight and you will need to have water with you anyway.

Also give your dog some dog treat that have been in the freezer or if not possible when out: give the dog an icecream, which will cool him down a lot – at least so that he stop panting for a while, but that will only help temporarily. The sugar in the icecream will make him thirsty eventually – and maybe add up his weight if you have a overweight dog.

Use your fantasy: set up a childrens pool, put on the sprinklers. Don’t be mad of the dog if it has been digging itself a hole in your garden and laid down there – it’s a way to find a cooling place.

How do you know if your dog is dehydrated? Look out for the signs: unusual panting and drooling, lethargic, fever, vomiting, bloodshoot eyes and paleness among others. If you lift the skin: will it fall back fast again or not? If not, the dog is probably dehydrated.

Don’t put ice on the dog – visit the Vet to be sure that your dog will be OK!

©Lifecruiser Love Dogs

 

Some other dog related posts at Lifecruiser:

Dog on vacation – kayaking
The Dog Bar: Water, snacks and hopefully no Bar fights
Dangerous Dark Bark Passion
Memories of bath maniacs
The Memorable Boxer
 

4 thoughts on “How to keep your dog cool while traveling

  1. Rachel

    I haven’t tried traveling with a pet. I have 2 cats and whenever I travel I make sure that they’re on right hands. I haven’t thought of taking them anywhere farther than our city. But could these tips be applicable also to cats?

  2. Deborah Thompson

    Great post with lots of very wise words and advice. I’ve had dogs my entire life, but our last fur-baby, Cosmo, really travelled with us a lot. You have many great tips in this article. I would always carry a bottle of water just for Cosmo and if there was no water around for him to jump into, I’d wet him down with the water, especially his head and feet. And yes, he frequently shared our ice-cream! Thank you for this. Once day I will get another fur-baby and I will remember your words of advice!

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