August is the time when many families take off on vacation and, of course, it wouldn’t be a real family vacation without the pets. However, travelling with pets does have its challenges, so *Iams has put together some helpful tips on keeping our pets safe and cool this summer.
Summer Pet Tips:
Road Sense: It is best to confine your pet to the back seat, either in a carrier or a pet seatbelt (a special harness that attaches to the car’s seatbelt) while driving to your destination. To ensure your pet has a comfortable ride there are a few things to consider:
- It is best to travel at night or early in the morning when it is coolest; make many stops along the way.
- Keep the AC on and make sure it reaches your pet. If the AC cannot reach, consider buying a small fan to place on the outside of the pet carrier.
- Feed them a light meal three to four hours before departure and do not feed pets in the car.
- To calm a distressed pet give them a t-shirt that smells like you.
- Don’t allow your dog to stick their head out of the window while high way driving as objects can cause serious injury. If your dog needs to stick their head out of the window, buy them a pair of doggie goggles to protect their eyes.
- Make sure your pet doesn’t bolt when it gets out of the car and wander. It can be dangerous especially in new places.
Beat the Heat: Pets are more susceptible to the summer heat than we are; they have to wear a fur coat all year round. Help your pets stay cool this summer with some of these helpful tips:
- In the car, keep a spray bottle of cool water handy and lay a wet towel in the carrier to keep them cool.
- Don’t put sunscreen made for humans on your pooch: chemicals in some sunscreens can be harmful if pets ingest them. Pet stores often sell sunscreens formulated especially for dogs.
- Don’t exercise your pup under the midday sun: chasing sticks or a Frisbee, or even a long walk, can put extra strain on a dog during peak sun times. The heat of the day can take a toll particularly on dogs who are overweight, older or who have certain diseases.
- Don’t walk your dog on asphalt or hot surfaces unless you test the temperature: a dog’s paw pads are susceptible to burns. Slip off your shoes and stand on the pavement with bare feet first. If it’s not comfortable for you, it’s not going to be comfortable for your pet either.
Healthy pet, happy pet: Pets need protection against disease and parasites such as fleas and ticks. Before heading to rural areas, make sure your dog or cat has all their shots and carry proof of vaccination.
Water Safety: If you plan to take your dog out on the water, be sure to bring a pet life jacket. Pet life jackets will keep your pet afloat if they “jump ship” or can help keep them warm in cold water. If you are planning to take your dog swimming, follow these safety tips:
- Watch your dog swimming at all times.
- If you are taking a dog on a boat, fit them with a doggie life vest.
- Make sure to keep your pet hydrated because swimming is exercise.
- Be wary of rough water. Undertows and waves can pull even strong swimmers under water.