The summer months can be uncomfortable, or even dangerous, for pets and for people. When you factor in the heat and humidity typical of summer weather, you’ll need to be attentive to your dog to ensure they’re staying cool and healthy. We've compiled a list of things you can do to help your furry friends beat the heat!
You should always keep a close eye on your dog when they’re exercising or running around. On hot days, it’s even more important as they could easily overwork themselves or overheat. Adjust the length of their time spent playing on particularly hot days, or get them outside for some playtime in the early morning or late evening when the temperatures are typically cooler. If you’re outside on a hot day, try to keep them off of asphalt as it can burn their paws; grass is a much safer surface. Finally, carry water with you at all times to make sure they stay hydrated.
If your pet is outside and that summer sun is blazing, make sure you provide them with access to plenty of shade and water. Shaded areas can be significantly cooler, and water will ensure they stay hydrated. Still, you should limit their time outdoors when temps are extreme.
This is a HUGE no-no. Not even for one minute. Temps can rise rapidly in a car on hot days. According to the Humane Society, on an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause organ damage and/or failure in your pet or even death.
Embrace the magical power of a “pupsicle”! Pupsicles are homemade popsicles with dog-friendly ingredients. Just like a popsicle cools you down on a hot day, it can do the same for your dog. Check out these easy and fun recipes for pupsicles from The Dog Bakery!
There are also options like a cooling body wrap, vest, or mat. Typically, you soak each of those products in cool water, and they can provide a cooling effect for up to three days.
Another great option, if your dog isn’t afraid of water or isn’t stressed out by bath time, is to take them swimming, give them a cool bath, or play with the hose or sprinkler!
While turning on a fan might cool you down sufficiently, it probably won’t be enough to cool down man’s best friend. Dogs sweat primarily through their paws and rely on panting to help cool their bodies down. So, fans just aren’t as effective for dogs. A climate-controlled space is more ideal.
The Humane Society outlines these signs of heatstroke in dogs: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Risk factors for heatstroke in dogs include: age (very old or very young), being overweight, not being used to long exercise, heart or respiratory disease, and having a short muzzle.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool location, give them small sips of cold water, cover them with ice packs or a cool towel, and take them to the vet right away.
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