Travelling with your Dog This Summer

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Summer is a great time to get out and explore. With the nights being shorter and six weeks of school holidays we can even get out and travel further afield than our local park with a day trip to the countryside or, if allowed, the beach (please remember many beaches don’t allow dogs between May and September)

As our dogs are part of the family, we want them to join us and have fun on the long days ot. However, this does require travelling in some shape or form.

This article will cover some of the most popular ways of taking a day trip by car/boat/train with your dog. We also cover how to safely travel with your dog so they don’t overheat or get stressed out.

Dogs and the London Underground

Were you aware that the London underground is probably the most dog-friendly subway in the UK? No, neither did I until I read Timeout

It is important to remember that the underground gets very busy at rush hour, so this is best avoided, especially as the temperatures can get to 30°C or over during hot spells.

However, the underground is one of the best ways to get around London. You need to make sure you travel during quieter periods with your dog.

Finally, remember that dogs should be carried when going up the escalator

Trains

In general, trains are air-conditioned nowadays, so travelling is much easier. However, should you be unlucky and, for some reason, the train is not air-conditioned, then it is probably best to consider waiting for the next train, so it is more comfortable for your dog to travel.

Again, please avoid the rush hour when the train will be crowded

Buses

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round

Busses can be a great way to get around London as your dog can see out of the window and feel less claustrophobic. However, it is essential to avoid busses during peak times as they get very hot and crowded

Try and take the bus during quieter periods and  ensure it has enough space for your dog to lie down comfortably if they want

Also, make sure you open the windows on the bus to help make it cooler

Cabs/Cars

I am sure that at some point, your dog will travel in a car. I don’t drive, but even my two have been in a car from time to time. 

It is important to remember that you should never leave a dog in a car for any length of time, even on a cloudy. The vehicle will act like a greenhouse, and the temperature will rise quickly. This means on a warm day, your dog will soon overheat and suffer from heatstroke.

 Dogs don’t sweat in the same way as humans and are also wearing a fur coat

Have doubts. Get your winter coat out and sit in your car with the windows closed and the air condition off – how do you feel after, say, 10 minutes

Safety Tips when travelling with your dog by car

  •  Make sure a harness or barrier secures your dog, and there is plenty of ventilation.
  • Fit sunscreens on car windows where possible, as this will provide protection from the sun and help keep the car slightly cooler.
  • Avoid travelling when the sub is at its strongest. Try and travel early or late.
  • Carry a misting spray to help cool your dog down. please avoid the face

Travelling by boat with your dog

Not all boat companies allow dogs on board, so it is essential to check first.

Once aboard the boat with your dog, he must always remain on the lead just in case he gets spooked or something happens and tries to bolt.

Boats can get very hot as the sun reflects off the water; even humans can get sunburnt on cloudy days without realising it. It is, therefore, important, where possible, to shelter your dog from the elements to avoid any overheating problems or sub-burn in certain breeds.

Please remember that heatstroke doesn’t always show up immediately.

Walking

One of the great things about summer, as long as it is not too hot, is getting out for long walks. However, it is important to make sure you keep an eye on your dog so that he doesn’t overheat as well as check that pavements are not too hot for your dog to walk on

I always recommend that during the summer, you go out early in the morning (around 7) and late in the evening, say 10, when the day is at its coolest

This is the same with beaches as the sand can get very hot

If your dog is elderly, overweight or is a brachycephalic bread, then it is important to keep in mind there is a much higher risk of heatstroke and so extra care should be taken

Here are some top tips when travelling with your dog in the summer

  • Make sure that you have fresh water for both you and your dog. Make frequent stops so that both you and your dog can rehydrate
  • Always try and travel either early in the day or late in the day
  • When travelling by public transport, avoid peak times when it will be crowded.  
  • Take a cooling mat with you so your dog can lay on this when on public transport,. This will help them stay cool. of time.
  • I cannot stress enough about leaving your dog in the car alone for any period of time. Cars get hot very quickly and heat up.
  • Always place the back of your hand on the pavement before going for a walk. This is to check it is not too hot.

Heatstroke in dogs – know the signs and how to prevent it

During the summer, ve s see a lot of dogs suffering from heatstroke. If you suspect heatstroke seek veterinary advice immediately; as it can be fatal

Stop immediately if your dog s starts to pant heavily and has a loss of energy. Seek a shady area and give your dog water. Gently sprinkle tepid water over your dog’s coat and phone your vet immediately for advice

Another sign of heatstroke, as well as heavy panting, is the gums turning purple, and in the worse scenario, the dog collapsing

If you notice any of these signs, then please cak]ll your vet immediately

Dog Walker or Pet sitter

Whilst I hope you will have fun travelling with your dog this summer. I also understand that it may not be possible. After all, London oo don’t allow dogs for obvious reasons

if this is the case, then please consider hiring a dog walker. I can visit during the day to provide a comfort break,

The visit will include topping up water, an enriched walk and playing brain games with them. I will provide a one-2-one walk along with some brain games and ensure they have plenty of fresh water.

I can also offer a doggy babysitting service. This is where I stay with them all day to keep them company. The service also includes providing fresh water, plenty of brain games and an enrichment walk or two.