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Travel Tips: Protecting Your Pet From the Summer Heat

Pets can suffer from heat-related conditions just like people do. Because some accommodations don't permit guests to leave pets unattended in rooms, pets often accompany their owners when they leave their lodgings to take in the local attractions.

Keeping your pet cool and contented in the summer heat can present a bit of a challenge when you're vacationing, but a little preparation and planning can go a long ways. Help protect your pet from the summer heat with the following tips:

  • Never leave your dog unattended and locked in a hot car, even if you park in the shade.
    Cars can heat up very quickly and in just a few minutes your pet can suffer severe illness or even death.

  • If you absolutely must leave your pet in the car
    , make sure the air-conditioning is on and functioning properly and check on your pet frequently - preferably keep him within sight! Better yet, have someone in the family or a trusted friend sit with him -- or:

  • Consider the use of a reliable doggy daycare
    for the times when you aren't able to take your pet along. Some lodgings may even offer short-term pet-sitting services.

  • Make sure there's cool water and shade available.
    If your pet is outside with you for long periods of time and there's no natural shade, you can "create" shade with a large umbrella stuck in the ground or a tarp stretched across a few poles. Carry water with you if you hike with your dog, and offer him a drink regularly. Some dogs also love to wade or swim for pure fun and to help keep cool.

  • Use a window shade and air-conditioning
    to help keep the car cooler and more comfortable for everyone.

  • Choose activities that you can do with your pet:

    • Instead of eating out at a restaurant, have them pack up a picnic lunch to enjoy in the park. Or order room service if it's available.

    • Choose self-guided hikes on pet-friendly trails instead of guided tours that may not welcome dogs.

    • Instead of going to a beach where pets aren't welcome, choose a safe, shallow lake where your dog can have fun too.

Enjoy the time with your pet... after all, that's why you brought him!


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