Spain is a great country to take your dog out for a drive, and there’s nothing your dog will like more than splashing around on the beach or sniffing the light fantastic on a hiking trail with you . But during the hot summer months it’s essential to ensure your furry friends are safe and comfortable especially during a car ride.
Here are Upsticks essential tips for driving with pets in the heat.
Keep your pet hydrated
One of the most important things to consider when driving with pets in the heat is to keep them hydrated. Bring plenty of water and a bowl for your pet to drink from during the trip. Offer your pet water regularly, especially if you stop for a break. A top tip is to freeze the water in a plastic water bowl and keep it with your dog in the car. Not only will it keep them hydrated while it melts slowly it will surely keep them busy!
Never, ever leave your pet in the car
Not only can leaving your pet in the car, even for a few minutes, be extremely dangerous during the hot summer months, it’s now an offence in Spain. Article 24 of the recently introduced Animal Protection Law in Spain specifically forbids leaving animals alone in vehicles and the fines are between €500 – €10,000!!
Provide good ventilation
Ensuring proper ventilation in the car is vital to keeping your pet comfortable during the trip. You could be happily chilled in the front while your dog is getting full sun though the rear windows. Keep the windows slightly open or use the air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature for your pet and window shades or tints are a great way to stay cool.
Safety harness, carriers and hygiene
Using a safety harness or carrier is crucial for your pet’s safety during the ride and is a legal requirement in Spain, as they stop them from moving around and distracting you while driving. Ensure that the carrier or harness is the right size and comfortable for your pet. It’s also a good idea to have some kitchen roll or baby wipes to hand in case of any “little accidents” or spills.
Plan your route and drive time carefully
Planning your route carefully is essential when driving with pets at any time of the year, but especially in the hotter months.. Via Michellin is a great tool for this. Avoid driving during the hottest hours of the day, and plan to make regular stops on long trips to allow your pet to stretch, run around and relieve themselves. Research pet-friendly stops along the way, such as rest areas with dog parks or beaches. This handy google maps link shows dog friendly beaches
Pack for your pet
Pack for your pet, just like you would for yourself. Bring their favourite food, plenty of water, and any necessary medication your pet may need during the trip. A familiar bed or blanket will help them rest more easily and don’t forget their favourite toys to keep them entertained.
Getting out and about with your pets is one of the joys of life, and there are so many wonderful areas to explore in Spain While taking your dog for a drive in the heat requires some extra planning and care, making those magical memories are more than worth it.