fun, sun, and dogs on the go

Planning to hit the road for COVID-safe trips, hikes, or picnics with your pup this summer? We've got some simple, easy tips to make it safer and more fun for everyone.

Turn on the tunes and ride safe

Many dogs just love trips in the car. Your enthusiastic travel hound may leap inside, all ready to go, even for a trip around the block.

Whether you’re going near or far, please make sure your pet is secured with a leash or harness before you begin to drive (or in a secured kennel if they’re in the back of your SUV). Sudden stops can be rough, even with seatbelts, and they’re even more hazardous – to you and your pet – if your pup becomes a furry projectile.

And adorable as it is to have your dog stick their whole head out the window, you may want to think twice before you crank it down. All that rushing air can irritate delicate pet eyes. And, if you’ve ever had a rock hit your windshield, it’s no fun to think about what one could do to your dog.

Park it – and take your pet

We’re sure you’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating: Never leave your pet in the car, even if you crack the windows. Temperatures inside a car can rise to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes, even in mild weather.

Water, water everywhere

Everyone loves a drink of cool, fresh water on a hot summer day! That goes double for your dog, who needs to slurp down more than usual when it’s hot. Dogs (and even cats) may enjoy ice cubes placed in their bowls to cool it down.

Does your dog adore swimming? Not all of them do, so if your summer trips include oceans, lakes, or rivers, try slowly introducing your pooch to water so they can get used to the idea. And always stick nearby when your pet is in the water, even if your pet is a candidate for the summer water Olympics.

An additional tip: not all water is swim-friendly. Check out local news or posted signs for riptides, algae blooms, or other summer water warnings, so you can make sure everything is safe for your pet.

And – we know, this isn’t easy – try to prevent your pet from gulping down unclean water. Dogs find stagnant water unbelievably tempting, but it can carry really unhealthy stuff that will soon make everyone’s day a lot less fun. Plus, guzzling saltwater (like at the ocean) carries the risk of salt toxicity. So always carry clean water and a travel bowl with you, and offer it to your pup early and often.

Sunshine smarts

Did you know that pets can get sunburned? Your Banfield team can recommend pet-safe sunscreen for dog noses, ears, and areas with short or sparse fur — don’t use just any old human kind, which can be toxic if your dog decides it’s delicious.

Also, pets are definitely at risk for heatstroke. Dark dogs can absorb lots of warmth in a short time, while dogs with short noses may not be able to pant enough to stay cool. And overweight pets are especially vulnerable. If you spot the signs of heatstroke (e.g., excessive or exaggerated panting, lethargy, weakness, drooling, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, drooling, unresponsiveness to commands and surroundings, collapse, staring/anxious expression, warm/dry skin), don’t wait – it’s time to get to a veterinarian.

Have fun!

Now that you’ve got our summertime tips in mind, get out there and enjoy the day!

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