Hot weather can wreak havoc on your dogs. Since they can't sweat, they have to find other ways to stay cool. If you're going to be traveling with your dog this summer, you need to take some extra precautions. Here are three steps that will help keep your dog healthy while traveling in the heat.
Provide Portable Water
When you're on the road, it can be difficult to stop each time your dog gets thirsty. That's where portable water comes in handy. There are a couple of convenient ways you can make sure your dog gets the water it needs while you're on the road.
Frozen Water Bottles
Before you head out for your road trip, freeze several bottles of water. When it's time to leave, load all but one of the frozen bottles into an ice chest. Place one frozen bottle on a towel in the seat next to your dog. As the water melts, condensation will form on the outside of the bottle. Your dog will be able to keep cool by licking the moisture off the bottle. When you do come to a stop, you'll be able to pour the thawed water into a bowl and give your dog a cool, refreshing drink.
Rodent Water Bottles
If your dog is going to be traveling in a pet carrier during the road trip, you can use a rodent water bottle – the type used for hamsters and other rodents – to provide fresh water for your dog throughout the trip. Simply hang the bottle inside the carrier. Be sure you place it high enough for your dog to be able to reach the spigot comfortably.
Practice Car Safety
Cars heat up quickly, which can spell disaster for your dog. While you're on the road, be sure you keep the air conditioner on. This will ensure that your dog stays cool when the temperatures start to rise. Be sure that one of the vents is facing your dog. When you park your car, make sure you choose a shady location and take your dog with you. The shade will ensure that your car isn't too hot for your dog when you get back. Never leave your dog alone in the car when it's hot. Even a few minutes is too long when the temperatures are rising.
Know the Warning Signs
If you're going to be traveling with your dog this summer, you need to know the warning signs of heatstroke. Dogs can become deathly ill if their bodies become overheated. Some of the signs you should watch for include:
- Heavy panting
- Extreme weakness
- Unsteady gait
If you're planning a summer vacation with your dog, make sure you're prepared to keep them cool. If your dog develops any of the warning signs described above, be sure you get them to an emergency vet as soon as possible. Check out http://www.akronvet.com for more information on keeping your dog safe during summer vacation.