15 Tips for a Pet-friendly Summer Vacation

Summer is definitely for traveling and having fun with Fido. As you satisfy your wanderlust side, you need to be aware of heat exhaustion in dogs and how it can affect your furry friend. We got that covered for you with these 15 tips to stay cool this summer.

Bags packed. Check. The itinerary is ready. Check. Fido’s tail is wagging. Check. No doubts you have all angles covered to ensure your summer vacation is amazeballs.

But have you thought of how you will keep the summer heat at bay while traveling? It may seem obvious to many, but heat exhaustion is a common problem during summer; especially to dogs. We remember to keep a bottle of cool water by our side but somehow forget that Fido’s coat need cooling as well.

Heat exhaustion in dogs is real

Which is why we will equip you with tips on how to keep your dog cool and hydrated this summer. The best part, you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to do it. In fact, some of these cooling tips involve you having maddest fun with your furry friend; and not risk a heatstroke.

Without further ado, let’s get to the 15 tips on how to stay cool this summer.

  • Wait for the Sun to be Kinder

You need to be aware of the times of day when the sun is a bit scorching. When it gets too hot outside, it is a good idea to stay indoors with your furry animal. This would be the perfect time for some indoor games

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

In summer, we lose a lot of body fluids through sweating. Sweating increases when we engage in games or wild adventures in the pack with our furry friends. It is important to keep a bottle of water with you to replenish the lost water. Have an extra bottle for Fido when he gets perched as well.

We have a trick for you that will keep you hydrated and reduce the chance of getting thirsty faster. Adding lemon juice to your water introduces electrolytes in our bodies as we drink. Actually, that thirsty feeling you always get is an alert that your body is losing electrolytes.

Fido will definitely cringe at the taste of lemon in his in mouth. Luckily, there are pet products on the market that reduce heat exhaustion in dogs by replenishing electrolyte levels.

  • Maximize your indoor fan

When you check into a hotel or pet-friendly rental, find out if the room or home has a fan. Turn on the fan and face it outside rather than inside. You will be surprised at how fast the room cools as opposed to the fan facing you.

  • Desert Sun Blocker Trick

What if the room you checked into has no AC or the fan is broken? Does it mean you and Fido will drown in your own sweat at night? Not at all, a simple trick to try is the sun blocker trick used in deserts.

Open the windows and hang a damp cloth over them. When hot dry air from outside goes through the sheet, the heat it carries evaporates the water in the sheets and comes out as cool air. This is great for cooling down a hot room during the day or night.

  • Exercise Smartly

Summer is the best time to exercise your pup regardless of the scorching heat. The best time of the day for exercising your pooch is when temperatures are moderate. Early morning or late in the evening is ideal for building the hamstring muscles on Fido.

You may also want to switch to water sports during the summer. Swimming with Fido is not only fun but it cools his coat in the process. Take care he doesn’t drink the pool water especially if the pool is shared (you just never know who has been in it).

  • Frozen treats are a must have!

Frozen treats are a sumptuous way of stopping heat exhaustion in dogs; and in you as well. When it is too hot to go outside, head to the kitchen and whip up delicious frozen treats.

Experiment with tasty healthy ingredients like strawberries, peanut butter, yogurt, or just about any fruit you wish. The best part, you and Fido can both enjoy these treats; be careful not to finish for the furry chap though.

  • Avoid crowded areas

With the intensity of the heat, the last place you want to be is in a crowded area. Avoid traveling in crowded buses or trains where it gets stuffy inside. Consider renting a car for the summer which allows you and Fido to enjoy the cool fresh air while road tripping. Another great idea is hiring an RV with your dog; imagine how much bonding happens in such a trip.

  • Dress lightly

Go for breathable clothes. Cotton fabric is excellent for absorbing sweat on the skin. It also allows the skin to cool by letting air through the fabric. Linen is another perfect fabric for shirts and tops. Wear shorts to let your legs breath as well.

Unfortunately for Fido, he has to keep his coat on even in hot weather. You can make things comfortable for him by brushing the coat to remove tangles. Hair tangles are hotspots for harboring heat. If his coat has grown too long, consider trimming them. This makes his coat breathable.

  • Use fewer appliances

Electric appliances emit heat which adds to the scorching temperature of the room. For this summer, forgo the dryer and hang your clothes out to dry. Use less of your HVAC system and consider opening the windows to let in cold air. You may also want to use less of the oven to keep the house cool.

  • Plan your activities

Plan your daily routine around the time when the sun is not too hot. If you have a day tour, consider booking it during morning hours. Take a rest when it’s midday and resume your adventures before dusk. If your hotel allows, consider leaving Fido at your pet friendly vacation rental during any particularly scorching days. 

  • Cool down with essential oils

Essential oils with menthol in them have a cooling effect on the body. Put a few drops of peppermint in your diffuser before turning it on. As the mist from the diffuser fills up the room, you will enjoy both the aroma and cooling effect of the oil on your skin. Be sure that you only use essential oils safe for pets, though! Many pet owners have unsuspectingly exposed their pets to oils that can be toxic to dogs and cats, which can have terrible results.

  • Get more water time

Besides swimming, go for more water activities with your dog. You can go surfing or kayaking. Consider playing with a ball or Frisbee in the pool and let Fido play fetch. Or even take a trip to the dog wash!

  • Drink some tea

I know what you are thinking. How does hot tea help cool the body? We are referring to Chrysanthemum tea which, just like peppermint, has cooling effects. Enjoy the cool soothing effect of the tea as you take each sip.

  • Regulate meals

As you dress lightly, eat lightly as well. Divide your meals into small portions to be taken in intervals during the day. This helps the body digest less food portions, therefore preventing excess heat from digestion.

  • Always find some shade

If Fido appears to be suffering from the heat, find some shade for him to cool down. Heat exhaustion in dogs is rampant in toy breeds as opposed to large breeds. So if you own a Poodle or Chihuahua, always take breaks under shades before resuming your day.


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