In partnership with Caframo.
Have you ever stepped onto a white sand beach and thought, ‘Hmm, my dog would love this!’ Yeah, us too. That’s why RV holidays are so great – you can bring your best friend with you! But before you head off on your summer trip, your rig and schedule must be pet-friendly as the warmer weather in Australia can pose some dangers to our four-legged friends.
According to the RSPCA, overheating can cause animals to suffer heat stroke, which can lead to organ failure and even death. Pets that are elderly, overweight or suffering from a medical condition are particularly susceptible to heat stroke; so too are dogs with flat faces, such as pugs, French bulldogs and English bulldogs.
When it comes to your vehicle set up (whether you’re driving a motorhome, RV, car or vintage Kombi) there are some simple add-ons you should consider. First and foremost: cooling. Your vehicle may have air conditioning, but this can be a drain on your power supply and has the nasty habit of going kaput right when you need it!
We recommend a reliable and powerful fan, like the Sirocco II fan. It is a direct wire fan that is 12-volt or 12-volt compatible, has a low-power draw, 360-degree airflow, and the space-saving ability to be stored flat against the wall. In other words, it does a great job at keeping you and your pets cool during the summer heat.
For those scorching hot days, a cooling bed or mat might provide the respite your pet needs. You can pick these up quite cheaply and in a range of sizes from most hardware stores, including Bunnings.
But even on the hottest of days, your pet may need to go outside to stretch their legs and go to the toilet. The best idea is to schedule your walks for the early morning and late evening, when the weather is the coolest. To safeguard your friend’s feet, you could also purchase some dog boots. Yes, they look as funny as they sound – but they’ll protect your pooch from burning their feet on the blistering hot pavement, or red dirt tracks you encounter on your walk.
Shade is another essential. Cover your windows with blinds, curtains or reflecting sunshades and place your pet’s bed in a dark and comfortable spot.
When scouting for a place to park, look for places with tree cover, wind flow, and proximity to water. Vehicles can get really hot, really fast – so make sure you never leave your pets unattended, even if you have provided shade and water, and have cracked the window ajar.
Last, but certainly not least, give your pets clean and cool water… and lots of it! It’s a good idea to provide your pet with several different water sources, in case they drink it all or the bowl gets knocked over. Check and change the water every day so that it remains fresh and clean.
At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, just in case, write down your vet’s phone number, and the contact details for the local/rural vet in the region that you are travelling, and bookmark a 24/7 vet hotline or chat service. When in doubt, call a professional.
Our pets are our family, and bringing them along on holiday can be the most rewarding experience in the world. So, enjoy it, stay safe and make beautiful memories together.