RV camping is an activity for the entire family, and that includes your pets too! Many RV owners love to take their dogs or cats along on their RV adventures. Summer heat can be dangerous and uncomfortable for your furry family members, so read our tips to help keep them safe and happy all summer long!
Recognizing When Your Pet is overheating
It is important to help your pets stay cool, but it is also important that you recognize the signs of overheating in your pet so you can help them before it becomes life threatening.
The first sign of dehydration is muscle spasms and heat cramps. After this point, it progresses to heat exhaustion which can be recognized by fatigue, weakness, vomiting, or diarrhea.
The third and worst point of overheating is heat stroke, when the central nervous system becomes affected. Your pets temperature may be higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and they may show signs of disorientation or even begin to have seizures.
Signs of Overheating
- Rapid breathing or panting
- Elevated heart rate
- Reddened gums
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Lethargic or weak
1 – Pick A Good Campsite!
When you are selecting your campgrounds for the summer, search for shaded campgrounds with plenty of trees! Grass campsites will be cooler than gravel campsites, and parking your RV in the shade will help reduce the temperature inside too. If you can find a campground that is close to a creek or lake that is another great summer bonus.
📸 Danielle L
2 – Prepare Your Pet.
Grooming your dog before a summer camping trip can help keep them cooler, and also helps to keep them cleaner throughout the trip! Never groom a double coated dog, as their double coat actually helps them regulate their body temperature. Instead, brush your double coated dog or cat to remove the dead hair underneath and increase air circulation.
3 – Prepare Your RV.
To help the inside of your RV stay cool, you can use a reflective windshield and window shades to keep the heat from coming through the glass. A small fan in your RV will help keep the air circulating inside, and some pets may even love the fan so much you’ll need to get them their own battery powered fan to sit in front of while they are outside in the sun!
You should never leave your pets unattended inside the RV, ever. Even if you have your RV plugged into hookups and the A/C is running, things can malfunction while you are away and it could cost you the life of your furry friend. A temperature monitor is a good way to track the temperature inside your RV while you are away, but it is a safer solution to simply find a doggy daycare or a pet kennel to place them in for the day.
4 – Gather Supplies.
If you are planning to bring your pet camping in the heat, you should bring some items along to help them cope. A blow up kiddie pool is a great way to keep your pet cool and hydrated right at your campsite!
📸 Antonio S
📸 Nils W
Elevated beds help to reduce dirt and debris brought into the RV, and they allow the air to circulate beneath your pet. Cooling jackets, mats, and bandanas are some other great ways to help your pet in the heat. If you have a white haired, pink skinned dog they may sunburn, so don’t forget some dog friendly sunscreen!
Adjust your schedule to keep your pets health in mind. Do their walks and exercise in the morning or the evenings when it is cooler, and allow them to lay in the shade during the heat of mid day. Always check with the back of your own hand to see how hot the concrete is, otherwise you may risk paw blisters or burns. Doggy boots are a good way to protect your pooches paws, or simply walk them on grass instead of gravel or concrete.
4 – Hydration is KEY.
There is nothing more delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day than a cold popsicle, and your pets deserve to enjoy a cool treat just as much as you do! Try making a few of these delicious “Pupsicle” and “Catsicle” recipes to beat the heat, and your furry family member will thank you!Read more
Our last tip is the most important – Keep your pets hydrated! Have multiple bowls of water around camp for them, and always bring a portable doggie dish when you leave camp. Allow them to take breaks as you walk and offer them water.
These DIY pupsicles are super simple to make, and will help keep your pet cool and hydrated while you are camping!