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  1. Default Keeping my dog cool in the car

    Hi all,

    This is a great forum! I searched for info, but couldn't find anything, so sorry if this is a repeat question!

    I will be traveling my bulldog across the country from Virginia to Los Angeles at the end of June due to us moving, and airlines not flying bulldogs. I will be driving with the AC on of course, but my path takes me through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, etc, where I can see the heat building up. Hopefully the car can handle it, but I want to cover extreme possibilities. We will be staying in La Quinta Inn's throughout the trip because they have an awesome pet policy!

    I was wondering if there are any good tips/tricks/secrets/fans/etc. to ensure that my heat sensitive dog is cool and comfortable the entire time. Maybe I am worrying too much about him?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I really can't image there is anything special you need to do. Remember, you're going to be in the car too, so if you can take it, there's no reason your pet can't deal with the temperatures too. The big, and obvious, thing of course is to never leave the dog alone in the car, even for a few minutes.

    And as long as your AC is in good working order - and you should get that checked before you get on the road - the AC should be able to handle any conditions you're likely to find.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Your dog is probably better off with you anyway, rather than being shuffled from pillar to post and on a flight.

    Stop often to give him some water. Probably for most dogs, feeding is best at the end of the day after they've ridden. He's probably best off riding in his kennel rather than loose in the car unless he is really used to it.

    You're going to cross some areas that can be very, very hot. It is cruel to the pup to leave him inside the car, even for "just a few minutes with the windows cracked", while you leave to go find food. Best to pick up some food in a drive-through, then take it to a rest area, city park or similar to enjoy your lunch. That's what some cousins do, and they do that for dinner as well unless the hotel is okay with them leaving the dogs kenneled inside the room.

    As for your car -- make sure that it has had a good check-up before you leave: hoses, belts, fluids, brakes, A/C, and tires. Let your trusted mechanic know that you'll be traveling across hot terrain in mid-summer. There's no guarantee that he can find problems that aren't showing yet, but you'll go across country with a better peace-of-mind. If your car is out of warranty, and you don't already have one, you might want to pick up a membership in an Emergency Road Service like AAA.

    My cousins also like La Quinta, but when they can't find one, they lean on Motel 6.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default one more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    The big, and obvious, thing of course is to never leave the dog alone in the car, even for a few minutes.
    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57
    It is cruel to the pup to leave him inside the car, even for "just a few minutes with the windows cracked", while you leave to go find food.
    Michael and Donna have already said it, but I’ll say it again:

    Never Leave Your Dog in the Car

    Here's an older post with some information about Dog Parks and other dog-friendly places in Albuquerque.

    Have a great trip!

  5. Default

    Thanks for the introductions and the helpful info!

    It seems like I have the setup going alright because we have the kennel that he grew up in, lots of water (some of which I will freeze before I leave), the car is checked out, and I have been eating healthy to account for all the drive through that I will eat on the way.

    Believe me. He won't be in there alone ever. It is crazy that some people do that. That being said, since I will be traveling alone, what is the proper etiquette to use the restroom? Can I bring him in at a rest stop? Is it OK to just pull over to the side of the road? I want to make frequent pee/stretch breaks for him, but I need to pee too!

    Thanks again for the tips! Albuquerque is the one place where I have friends to stop off at, other than the final destination, so I am going to see if we can check those parks and such out!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you use Interstate rest areas, I think you can bring the dog inside with you. If you use a convenience store or a truck stop, I don't think you can. I wouldn't just pull off the side of the road.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Many interstate rest areas have special "dog walk" areas. Carry a stash of plastic bags to pick up his doo-doo, as they don't always provide the bags (or they're out).

    You may laugh at this, but when we traveled with a dog (as campers/RV'ers), often times we would park waaaaaaaay in the back of a parking lot, attach a short leash to our vehicle, and let our dog be outside while we were inside a restaurant. There was her bowl of water where she could reach it (but not knock it over). One time, we were returning to the vehicle from the restaurant, and a police car was parked next to it. Our hearts were in our mouths -- oh no, had we violated some ordinance? No, he was just checking to see if the dog was okay and leashed. When we introduced ourselves as the dog's owners, the policeman congratulated us on finding a way to keep the dog cool, and not leaving her cooped up inside the very hot car. (I should add that our dogs were always pure mutts, not worth anything to anyone but us. They weren't show dogs.)


    Donna

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post

    You may laugh at this, but when we traveled with a dog (as campers/RV'ers), often times we would park waaaaaaaay in the back of a parking lot, attach a short leash to our vehicle, and let our dog be outside while we were inside a restaurant.
    Thanks for the advice! So you were saying that you trust other people not to snatch your dog in that kind of situation? I don't know if I am being overprotective, but I really don't want to leave him alone for any amount of time. Have you tried or had any luck with a locking dog leash?

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A couple of articles we have published

    I wouldn't do a locking dog leash -- there are times when you'd want to get the leash off quickly.

    Here are some more tips about traveling with dogs and other pets:

    Adapting a dog to a car

    Pet friendly motels

    Doggie seat belts

    A couple of book resources

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Thanks for the advice! So you were saying that you trust other people not to snatch your dog in that kind of situation? I don't know if I am being overprotective, but I really don't want to leave him alone for any amount of time. Have you tried or had any luck with a locking dog leash?
    I never knew such thing existed as a locking dog leash! However, with the two dogs we had, they would be able to hold their own against a stranger. Second, sometimes you have to chance these things. Someone stealing a mutt or my mutt dying inside my car, which was the bigger chance? Yes, dying inside the car.


    Donna

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