Traveling with pets in an RV or boat brings great joy to many pet owners, but protecting pets from temperature extremes while parked or at the dock can be a big challenge. Dogs and cats can quickly succumb to heat strokeÂ because their furry bodies cannot sweat to dissipate heat. Â When their bodyâ€™s core temperature rises too fast and too high, their health is at serious risk. If you’re looking for a way to monitor the inside temperature of your RV or boat when you are forced to leave your pet behind for a few hours, a cellular temperature alarm may be the solution.
A Familiar Scenario
Letâ€™s say you are on the road in the RV with your family and dog enjoying an exciting summer vacation. Â You just got situated in the RV park and the kids are begging to walk to town for dinner. With the outside temperature hovering around 75 degrees, youâ€™re reluctant to leave Fido locked in the RV, but you can’t bring him with you to the restaurant. Sound familiar? You finally decide that Fido will be OK for a couple of hours if you leave the A/C running and give him plenty of fresh water. Nevertheless, you still have that nagging concern that if the power goes out or the A/C fails, your pet will suffer and the outcome may be fatal. Â Ugh. Â Now imagine that you have a device that continuously monitors the temperature inside the RV and sends you an alert on your cell phone if there’s a temperature emergency. Â Dinner just got better! Â That device exists and it’s called a cellular temperature alarmÂ or cellular heat alarm.
What is a Temperature Alarm?
A temperature alarm monitors indoor temperature and sends a notification if it gets too hot or too cold. Also called a â€œheat alarmâ€ or â€œfreeze alarm,â€Â many people use temperature alarms in unoccupied homes to guard against frozen pipes. Â A temperature alarm communicates via the Internet, a landline phone connection or a cellular network. Â Pet owners can use a cellular temperature alarm on an RV or boat to receive notifications of rising or falling temperatures that can put their cat or dogâ€™s health at risk. Depending upon the type of cellular temperature alarm you choose, the notifications you receive will be a text message, an email and/or a phone call.
Advantages of a Cellular Temperature Alarm
Mobility:Â Since RVers and boaters are often on the move, a temperature alarm that communicates through a cell signal is usually a better choice than one that works via an Internet/WiFi or landline phone connection. Cell service in the United States has reached an all-time high, so a cellular temperature alarm will work in all but the most rural locations.
Choice of Alerts: Depending upon the type of cell phone you carry, you can receive temperature alerts in the form of a text message, email and/or phone call. If you have a smartphone, for instance, you may want to get both text messages and email messages. Hereâ€™s a list of a few popular cellular temperature alarm models, the type of alerts they send out and the wireless network* they use.
- DIY Cellular Alarm â€“ Text notification only. Â Uses Verizon Wireless.
- Metropolitan Ion Gateway — Text notification only. Â Uses T-Mobile.
- MarCELL Cellular Connected Monitoring System â€“ Text, email or voice alerts. Â Uses Verizon Wireless.
*Choose a system that uses a wireless network with coverage in the locations you will be traveling to. Â Click here for an interactive cell phone coverage map of the U.S.
Includes a Power Outage Alarm: In addition to getting alerts for high or low temperatures, many RVers and boaters also want to be notified when thereâ€™s a power outage or if their generator has failed. MostÂ cellular temperature alarms monitor and alert for both temperature and power, including the three models listed above.
Doubles as a Security System: With the addition of optional sensors, some cellular temperature alarms can be used as a security system to monitor for trespassers and break-ins. For instance, the DIY Cellular Alarm accepts a wireless motion detector and the Metropolitan Ion Gateway system accepts both wireless door/window sensors and wireless motion sensors.
Monitoring Temperature is Critical for Traveling Pets
Controlling the interior temperature of your RV or boat is critical when traveling with a dog or cat. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the interior temperature of a warm vehicle can rise an incredible 34 degrees in only 30 minutes! If you have to leave your dog or cat in your RV or boat for a few hours, leave the A/C running when the outside temperature is 70 degrees or higher and use a cellular temperature alarm to monitor the situation. In cold weather, leave the heat on. Remember not to venture too far away so you can rescue your pet quickly if thereâ€™s an emergency.
For other tips on traveling with pets, see this article in USA TODAY.