how to keep a dog cool in a car when Travelling

how to keep a dog cool in a car

Since dogs and pets are valuable car passengers as well, we have teamed up with petworled provide drivers with top-notch guidance for transporting and driving with them.

As a driver, you’re well aware of the necessity to stay calm in traffic and other specific scenarios. However, it's equally important to keep your dog cool, particularly when traveling in warm weather. The key to achieving this lies in planning ahead and being well-prepared.

The goal is to ensure your dog remains healthy, happy, and well-hydrated, minimizing the chances of heatstroke. To assist you in managing these factors while traveling, we've collaborated with petworled to provide you with the best summer care tips for your dog.

Plan stops on your journey

Ensure you choose a route with plenty of stops so both humans and dogs can take breaks. This way, dogs can stretch their legs, use the bathroom, rehydrate, and enjoy a cooling treat.

We suggest starting your journey either earlier in the morning or later in the evening when it's cooler and there is less traffic.

Keep the car cool

If you can, turn on the air conditioning before your trip to cool the car down before your dog enters. Ensure the windows are open for proper ventilation and use sunshades to prevent your dog from being in direct sunlight.

You should also ensure that your dog has water available throughout the trip, and you can purchase spill-proof travel bowls for this purpose. Many people underestimate how quickly a dog can overheat in a car, particularly if your dog has long hair or a short snout.

A lot of these dogs struggle with breathing, and their issues become worse in warm weather, even when the temperature is over 20°C.

Take care on hot surfaces

how to keep a dog cool in a car

Many surfaces become hot under the sun, like leather car seats or asphalt in parking lots, and this can be painful for your dog's paws. If you're uncertain, test the heat yourself using the palm of your hand.

If something is too hot for you to touch, it's likely your dog feels the same way. To keep your dog comfortable during car rides, place a towel or a dog bed on the seat so your dog doesn't have to sit directly on the hot surface.

Make the car safe

Ensure your dog is properly secured to prevent any potential danger or attempts to escape through open car windows.

According to The Highway Code, dogs need to be properly restrained when riding in a car to prevent them from distracting the driver or getting injured, along with protecting the motorist. To ensure your dog is safe and secure, consider using a seat belt harness in the backseat, a travel crate, or a dog guard in the trunk.

Don't allow your dog to stick their head out of the window while traveling, as passing vehicles and airborne debris like dirt and stones can cause significant harm.

Never leave your dog alone in the car

Cars can heat up rapidly and this can be extremely dangerous for your dog. Even when your vehicle is parked in the shade with the windows down, dogs can still become stressed, uncomfortable, and can suffer from heat stroke in a short amount of time.

Always have a plan to ensure your dog is never left alone in the car or any confined space. If you spot a dog in a hot car, call 999 immediately.

Pack well

Ensure you pack for all possible situations and include any extra items just to be safe. Bring a blanket or bed that your dog is used to, enough food for the entire trip, their favorite toys, and any necessary medications. Long-lasting chews and treats are also useful for keeping them occupied.

Look out for heatstroke

If your dog becomes overheated and is unable to lower its body temperature, it may be in danger of suffering from heatstroke, a potentially fatal condition. Warning signs to watch for include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • A rapid pulse
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of coordination, or confusion
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Loss of consciousness

If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, you should respond quickly. Move them to a cool, shaded spot right away and call your nearest veterinary clinic. While in the shade, lay them on a towel soaked in cold water and allow them to drink small sips of cool water.

Avoid placing them directly in ice-cold water or giving them an excessive amount to drink, as it could cause shock. Instead, continue to cool them down gradually while you transport them to the veterinarian.

At the destination

Take regular water breaks

Water is crucial throughout the year, particularly on warm days. When you're outside with your dog, it's important to carry a bottle of water and a bowl for their hydration. Additionally, a towel that can be quickly soaked in cold water serves well as a makeshift cooling mat for them to relax on.

Take walks or have playtime in cooler parts of the day

When walking your dog in the summer, make sure to take frequent breaks and spend time in shaded areas, avoiding direct sunlight. It's best to do this during the cooler parts of the day, either early in the morning or later in the evening. We strongly advise against taking your dog out between 12pm and 3pm, as this is when the sun is at its peak intensity.

Know the rules for dogs in any new area

When traveling to new places, it’s important to adhere to all regulations regarding dogs. These rules are designed to ensure the safety of everyone, including both you and your dog.

If you're uncertain, conduct some research to find the information you need. Additionally, having your dog microchipped is a legal obligation, so ensure your contact details are current before you travel.

Advice from the experts

In warm weather, it's crucial to assist your dog in keeping a healthy weight and staying fit and healthy. Regular grooming and clipping can ensure your dog’s coat remains clean and tangle-free, and may also help them stay cool. 

Dogs die in hot cars. This is always a very sensitive and topical subject

We talk to numerous dog owners who are petrified at the thought of leaving their dogs alone in the car on a warm day—even for just a few seconds.

We recommend that you never leave your dog alone in the car for extended periods. However, with proper precautions and regular checks, leaving your dog in the car doesn't need to be more worrisome than letting them lie in your garden on a warm day.

Why Leave My Dog In The Car At All?

In the UK, we often feel like summer only lasts for a couple of weeks. When the temperature goes up, it's natural for us to want to enjoy the nice weather and spend as much time outside with our family and pets as we can.

There are numerous dog activities and sports available throughout the year, making it crucial to ensure your dog remains safe and comfortable. For instance, at Boomerang Dogs, we prioritize responsible practices. mantrailing training Year-round, regardless of the weather.

A car, commonly viewed and depicted as a potential deathtrap, can surprisingly turn into a refuge on a scorching day, offering that much-needed shade from the intense sun.

Why Do Cars Heat Up So Quickly?

Automobiles heat up much like greenhouses. Sunlight reaches the exterior of your car, with some of the rays being reflected and others being absorbed, which then transforms into heat.

If your car is sealed, the interior air heats up rapidly and there is no way for it to be replaced with cooler air.

There are two methods to ensure your car remains cool. First, you can prevent the car from heating up initially by reflecting the sun's rays away, preventing them from turning into heat. The second method is to maintain a flow of cool air inside the car.

You can also quickly lower your dog's temperature by using direct cooling methods like cool water, a cooling mat, and similar options.


Here are a few of our top picks to help keep your dog cool and comfortable:

1.  Road Refresher Non Spill Water Bowl

how to keep a dog cool in a car?

Every conscientious dog owner needs to ensure their canine companion stays well-hydrated, particularly during the summer months as temperatures begin to increase.

This bowl is a must-have for our car rides during the summer because of its impressive stability; it stays upright and if it gets knocked over, it prevents water from spilling all over the car's interior. We even accidentally dropped it upside down, and it didn't lose much water right away.

We always take this bowl with us when we go out, and your dog will be grateful for having a drink available anytime.

What we especially appreciate about this bowl is that it has a generous water capacity while maintaining a compact size. It fits neatly in the corner of the crate without taking up too much space.

We experimented with several bowls that could be attached to the crate, but they either spilled or were easily knocked over by our dogs. Although this one comes with Velcro pads, we haven't needed to use them since the bowl stays in place on the vetbed in the crates.

It has also proven to be very durable, as we've been using it for a year and it still appears brand new. Even though the label says it's dishwasher safe, we have opted to hand wash it because it's so simple to clean by hand.

2.  Be Cool Solutions™ Reflective Aluminet™ Shade Cloth

how to keep a dog cool in a car?

At first glance, Aluminet seems like something out of a fantasy or alien technology. It definitely gives your car a UFO-like appearance.

Aluminet possesses a somewhat magical quality. By covering your car (or even yourself) with this netting, you can stay cool even in intense heat.

The intelligent fabric technology operates in two ways: it reflects sunlight and heat away from the car, helping to keep it cool. Additionally, the uniquely woven reflective material enhances airflow to the car, allowing a breeze to pass through on warm days.

When I initially saw them and heard the price, I was somewhat doubtful. However, on an unusually hot day, I noticed a friend using one, and I kept being drawn to stand under it because the breeze made it feel so cool and pleasant. Eventually, I decided to take the plunge and buy one for myself, and it has undoubtedly been worth it. my best purchase  for the dogs. I use it all the time.

It truly is effective, even on the hottest days, our dogs hardly seem to realize they're in the car when this is in use. There are two sizes available, and we opted for the larger one. We selected the larger size for a few reasons: we have a relatively big car, and the larger cover helps us shield the entire area. WHOLE The cover also extends enough to hang over the back when the boot is open, ensuring the dogs are shaded regardless of the sun's position. Additionally, it provides a shady spot for us to stand as well.

I always turn it on as soon as possible; this way, the car doesn't have a chance to get hot, and you don't have to struggle to cool down an already overheated car.

During a dog training week, we once draped it over a gazebo so everyone could benefit from it. It turned out to be incredibly useful and was a big hit with everyone. Our spot became the most popular one that week!

It appears to be somewhat delicate and prone to snagging, and there have been instances where we feared it might catch on something. However, it has not happened so far. We handle it with care, making sure to remove it gently while ensuring it’s not caught on anything. Occasionally, it has pulled a little, but by stretching the material around the pull, it smooths out and becomes unnoticeable again. Despite heavy use, it hasn’t developed any significant snags or tears, proving the material to be surprisingly durable.

Installing and removing the larger Aluminet cover on your car can be a bit tricky at first, especially if you're doing it alone, but with some practice, you'll find it easy. I usually begin at the front of the car, hooking it over one side mirror and then the other. Then, I pull it evenly from both sides until I can reach the back of the car and properly position it. There's a useful seam running down the center, which helps you align the Aluminet correctly and make sure it's on straight.

We use  these handy bungees Next, attach it to the car's wheels to ensure it doesn't get blown away by the wind.

Putting it back into the original bag can be quite challenging, so I usually don't bother with that. Instead, I either bundle it up and toss it in the trunk or roll it up and secure it with bungee cords.

We also use the Aluminet on days that aren’t especially sunny or hot because it serves as an effective visual barrier for the dogs in the car. This prevents them from seeing other people and dogs passing by, which helps reduce their barking.

If it begins to rain, be sure to bring it inside quickly. Although the rain won't damage it, it absorbs a lot of water and becomes very heavy. It takes a significant amount of time for all the water to drain and for it to dry, and much of that water will end up inside your car during the return trip!

Despite these factors, this product has truly been a lifesaver, allowing us to enjoy many exciting activities without the worry about the car overheating.

3. Digital Thermometer 

how to keep a dog cool in a car?

Here's a lesser-known tip we use: if you're someone who tends to worry or simply prefers to be absolutely certain that the temperature in your car isn't too high, we suggest getting one of these.

This product won't directly lower your car's temperature, but it can help ensure your car remains cool and comfortable for your dog. Use it as a reference tool rather than relying on it for precise information. We advise regularly verifying that you're within range, ensuring the thermometer's battery is charged, and frequently checking on your dog.

4.  Cool Dog Tailgate Lock

how to keep a dog cool in a car?

An essential factor in maintaining a cool car is ensuring proper airflow. This lock is specially engineered to enable airflow and ventilation by securing the trunk in an open yet locked position.

This functions alongside keeping your windows slightly ajar – you've likely observed the flow of air when both the front and back doors and windows of your home are open.

This product utilizes that same scientific principle by transforming your car into a mini wind tunnel, allowing air to flow through it. The airflow is noticeable, giving you goosebumps from the breeze.

What sets this product apart is the security it provides. You can have peace of mind knowing your boot is securely locked, preventing anyone from tampering with it or, even worse, stealing your dogs. Given the increase in dog thefts, this product offers a valuable safeguard, ensuring some reassurance for pet owners.

This pairs remarkably well with another product we enjoy and use regularly.

5.  Petgear Car Window Guard

how to keep a dog cool in a car?

Although they may not be the most exciting items in our collection, window vents are extremely handy if your dog has a tendency to explore and escape like a modern-day Christopher Columbus and Houdini.

The vents allow you to keep your windows open while preventing your adventurous pup from jumping out. When used with the Boot Lock, they provide excellent airflow to keep both your car and your dog cool.

Although they are made of plastic and therefore not as secure as having your windows closed, they are fairly sturdy. When installed properly, they cannot be taken out without being physically broken, which serves as a strong deterrent.

6.  Pecute Dog Cooling Mat

how to keep a dog cool in a car?

You might have encountered these before; they're not a completely new concept, but cooling mats are an excellent tool in your battle against heat. Typically, these mats are filled with either water or a gel and are available in versions that you either need to freeze or don’t.

We also suggest making sure your dog gets along well with the mat before leaving them unattended, to avoid returning to a mess. Additionally, lower-quality mats may be more prone to damage if your dog's claws are long, so consider grooming your dog beforehand!

At first, we purchased a more affordable option from a discount store, but it barely lasted one use before a nail pierced it and it started leaking everywhere! This product, however, is of much higher quality and has proven to be far more durable. While it can get dirty from dog paws, a quick wipe with a sponge and some dish soap easily restores it to cleanliness.

Boomerang dog Lemon isn't a fan of the sensation because she doesn't enjoy being cold. However, even with just a thin fleece on top, it still manages to keep her at a comfortable temperature.

We favor the gel type, especially the ones that don't require freezing for convenience. If you opt for the gel version, ensure that it is non-toxic.

Special Mention: Doggie Sun Block

Although it won't help to cool your dog, we felt it was important to mention it here to protect your dog from harmful sun rays.

It's ideal for breeds with more exposed skin like the Chinese Crested, but most dogs have sensitive spots that aren't protected by fur. We use this on Boomerang Dog Luna to keep her nose from getting burnt.

When buying sunscreen for your dog, keep in mind that they might have sensitive skin. Make sure to test a small amount in an inconspicuous area first. Dogs tend to have especially delicate skin, so lotions meant for humans and those with higher SPF levels may not be appropriate.

Most sunscreens contain zinc, which vets advise against using on your dog because they might have an adverse reaction to it. Therefore, it's best to steer clear of applying these products to your pet.

Many sunscreens, similar to those made for humans, often provide insufficient protection. Therefore, always verify UV protection to block those damaging rays!

Always pay attention to your dog's condition and body language. While products can be very useful, they can never replace careful attention and understanding of your dog.

Are there any products you use that we haven't talked about? Please share them with us in the comments below. 

Greetings from the Petworled website management, we wish you success and see you in another article on our website.