Planning to hit the road for COVID-safe trips, hikes, or picnics with your dog this summer?

We’ve got some simple, easy tips to make it safer and more fun for everyone.

Turn on the radio and ride safe!
Many dogs just love trips in the car. Your enthusiastic traveler 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 if your pup becomes a furry projectile.

As adorable as it is to have your dog stick their whole head out the window, you may want to think twice before you roll it down. All that rushing air can irritate delicate pet eyes. 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, 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!