Keep Your Dog Safe and Cool in the Heat
As the temp’s rise this summer we need to make sure we are being aware of our dogs and ensuring their safety in the heat. It can often be hard to recognize an issue with your dog until it’s too late, so it’s important to stay aware and know what to avoid and what to look for to keep your dog safe in the heat.
Dogs in Cars and Truck Beds
Most people are aware that dogs left in cars can be very dangerous, however, many people still believe their dog will be alright if they leave the windows cracked or open. but even with the windows wide open, the car can quickly become hot enough to cause heatstroke, brain damage, and even death. Your pet could really suffer or worse for even a few minutes spent in a sweltering car. The same can be true for dogs left in the sun in the back of a pickup truck. If your weather is hot do not leave your dog unattended in your car or truck, it’s just not worth it.
Dehydration and Heatstroke
As a pet owner, it’s important to know the signs of dehydration and heatstroke. For dogs, the most common signs include heavy panting that does not resolve with rests, tongue color that is dark red or purple, increasing distress, weakness or collapse, staggering, hyper-salivation, vomiting and finally labored breathing. If you believe your dog is suffering from heatstroke quickly move him to a cooler environment and apply cool water to the abdomen, footpads and ears and foot pads (don’t use ice water or submerge him in a tub of cold water as this can be shocking to their system). Once he has cooled down and is stable and calmed, get him to a vet as quickly as possible as there may very well be more treatment your dog needs.
Walks in Hot Weather
On hot days make sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your pet. This is especially important for dogs who are older, overweight, who have thicker coats or brachycephalic dogs (snub-nose). Also keep in mind that asphalt can get very hot (sometimes we forget this wearing shoes). The asphalt can, in fact, get hot enough to burn your dog’s pads. Consider going for your walks early in the morning or later in the evening, when the temperatures are lower and the asphalt is not so hot. If you are traveling or in a new area, check the ground for hotness with one of your own hands or bare feet. A good rule of thumb to follow is; if you can’t keep your barefoot on the ground for more than three seconds, it’s probably too hot to walk your dog. or a collapsible bowl if there’s a water source on your route.
Access to Water & Shade
Making sure your dog has access to water is always important, however, it’s especially critical during hot summer days. If your dog is outside during the day, make sure he has access to shade and lots of fresh, cool water that remains in a shaded spot throughout the day. Also, be sure to have the water placed in such a way as to not be spilled or tied over. This cool water helps your dog keep from overheating. Also, most dogs won’t drink hot water no matter how thirsty they are. If you have the space a small kiddie pool is a great way to give your dog his own clean pool to play in.
Grooming can help your dogs (even if he has a short coat), keep comfortable as the season’s change. A dog’s natural coat that has been groomed properly gives your dog protection from sunburn and acts as cooling insulation. Avoid shaving your dog’s coat completely as this will remove that protection and could actually harm your dog. If your dog happens to have a bald patch or a naturally minimal coat you may need sunscreen. Consult your local veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s coat and skin this summer.
Tips for Keeping Cool Through the Dog Days of Summer
Add ice cubes to the water dish to keep their water cool, this can really help drop your dog's temperature. Place a wet towel or ice pack in their bed to lay on. Another great option is to have a small kiddy pool or water hole that they can access as needed. As mentioned above, if your dog is outside much during the heat, access to shade is very important. Also, avoid walking on hot surfaces this can hurt their feet and radiates heat up into their body as well. Keep in mind that dogs with short noses and thick coats are less comfortable as temperatures rise. Snub-nosed or brachycephalic dogs have a harder time regulating their temperatures due to their shorter nasal passages. Bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers are more sensitive to rising temperatures.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and found something, even just one thing, that will help keep your dog safe and cool this summer!
- Jul 15, 2020
- in Pet Blog