Dogs make the best of friends. They’re loyal, loving, and their contagious enthusiasm means they’re almost always up for an adventure. Because they’re such wonderful, fun-loving pals, many RVers love taking their dogs with them on their excursions.
While it’s great to have Fido along for your summer travels, it’s important to keep your pet safe in the heat, as the intense temperatures can be dangerous and uncomfortable for your furry friend.
In the interest of keeping your dog safe and happy while RVing during summertime, keep the following tips in mind:
Provide Plenty of Shade
Remember that if it’s hot for you, it’s even more miserable for your pet. Keep your pet cool and comfortable by providing plenty of shade. Ideally, you’ll visit RV parks that have plenty of trees, but you can also make your pet a little area underneath your RV awning with a comfortable spot to lie down as well as drink some water.
If your pet wants to explore and run around, be mindful of how long they’ve been under the hot sun, and regularly call them back to relax under the shade or hang out in the air-conditioning to cool off.
Don’t Leave Your Dog Unattended in Your RV
It’s important to never leave your dog unattended in your RV, as temperatures drastically heat up indoors. A breezy day in the 80s can reach lethal degrees inside of a vehicle, so make it a habit to never leave your pup, even for brief periods of time.
It also may initially seem okay to leave your dog in the RV if you leave the AC on, but if the AC were to stop working for any reason, your pooch would be in a dangerous scenario. For both your own and your pet’s benefit, know how to keep your RV cool without the AC in case your unit malfunctions or there are any issues with the power hook-up.
If there are any dog-free activities you plan on doing, consider leaving your hound with a friend or a dog boarding facility. You may even be able to find a local dog day care or lodging facility near the area you’ll be staying so that your dog doesn’t have to be boarded for the entire trip.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Dehydration can lead to many destructive outcomes, but when you factor in a heatwave, it can be exceptionally dangerous and even lead to heat stroke (here are the signs of heat stroke to look out for in dogs).
Keep your canine friend well-hydrated by regularly providing water on walks/hikes and ensuring there are ample areas around the campsite that he/she can drink from. The more active your dog is, the more water you’ll need to provide, so be mindful of how long your pup is running around without drinking. You can even set reminders on your phone so that you don’t forget to encourage your hound to lap up some water regularly throughout the day.
Avoid Mid-Day Adventures
During the middle of the day, temperatures are at their highest, and the sun is blazing in full force. Instead of planning adventures/exercise for this time, try to plan your pup’s activities so that they are carried out in the morning or evening when the weather is cooler. No matter when you go, don’t forget to pack plenty of water and a portable water dish.
If you do go out in the middle of the day, be cautious of your dog’s paws, as the ground can heat up and burn his/her paw pads. A good rule to follow is that if you touch the ground with your hand and it’s too warm to comfortably hold it there for 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. You can also look into dog shoes for further protection.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
While preventative measures are the best way to keep emergencies at bay, unpredictable situations can always come up, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected.
When you’re RVing with your furry friend, make sure you know of any emergency vet centers in the areas you’ll be staying at and traveling through, and bring copies of your dog’s medical records and a list of any medications he/she is taking.
Similarly, always bring more food and water for your dog than you think you’ll need just in case your plans get delayed, you decide to take a detour, or you experience a mechanical breakdown.
At the end of the day, RV adventures with your four-legged best friend can make for some truly joyous moments on the road, but you want to be diligent about keeping him/her safe. While it’s always important to follow general safety measures regarding pet travel, it’s necessary to take specific precautions when you’re RVing in the blistering summer heat.
By keeping Fido cool and shaded, providing plenty of water, and preparing for the unexpected, you should have no problem showing your pup a journey that’s full of tail wags and smiles.
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