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Vacationing with your dog

Golden Retriever with head out of the window of the car

With the kids out of school for the summer, it's the perfect time to take a family vacation. And by family, I mean the whole family – the dog too!

Traveling with your dog can be difficult, but with planning and a little bit of research you can make it a fun and unforgettable experience. Here are some tips to make sure your dog stays happy and healthy throughout all of your summer adventures!

  1. Find lodging that allows pets

    There are a fair amount of hotels and rental homes that allow pets during your stay. Many online sites even allow you to filter search results so that you only see pet-friendly options. Before you book, call and confirm their pet policies – it will save you some trouble down the road.

    Tip: Try a pet-friendly campground. With hiking trails and room to explore, it’s sure to be fun for the whole family.

  2. Don't leave your dog in the car

    Car rides can be challenging with a dog, especially if you are driving long distances. Leave someone outside with your dog if you stop to get food or go to the bathroom. Cars can get extremely hot when parked in the sun and, if left inside, dogs are at risk of overheating. Besides, it's probably time for a potty break anyways.

    Tip: Some places allow dogs to come inside. Call ahead and plan your pit stops to make traveling a little bit easier.

  3. Pack water

    Cars aren't the only place that dogs can overheat. Normal activities such as going for a walk can become a health hazard if you don't take the necessary precautions. Panting, loss of energy, lethargy, and a dry nose are all signs of dehydration and overheating. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it may be a good idea for everyone to take a water break in the shade.

    Tip: Bring a collapsible water bowl. You can pull it out to give your dog water and easily fold it up to store it once you are done.

  4. Watch out for paw burns

    A dog's paws are sensitive to heat in the same way that our palms are. Even if they don't show pain, walking on hot pavement can cause serious burns. Make sure to test the pavement before taking your dog out for a walk. Be especially careful in cities with dark, paved roads. If it's too hot for your feet, it's too hot for theirs.

    Tip: Try walking in the shade. The pavement will be cooler, and so will you!

  5. Protect them from fleas and ticks

    Would you believe me if I told you there are monsters in the forest? Tiny little monsters called fleas and ticks are parasitic to humans and animals. They live in heavily wooded areas and tall grass. Make sure to check your dog's fur after being outside to confirm they are bug-free. Once you get home, wash their toys and bedding to get rid of any stowaways.

    Tip: Did you know that fleas and ticks can’t fly? Walking on short grass or dirt will make it harder for the bugs to get on you or your dog.

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