Summer can be a rough time for dogs. Fortunately, you can help your four-legged friend beat the heat. Unlike humans, who loosen their collars and tie on a vest to beat the summer sun’s rays, dogs are unable to remove or cover up their fur. Without some extra TLC from their owners, dogs can suffer from dehydration, sunburns and heat exhaustion when it gets hot outside. I’m sure you’re wondering: “How do I keep my dog safe during the summer heat?” The following are tips to ensure your pup stays comfortable this summer.
Keep your pup indoors in a cool place during the hottest part of the day.
Keep your pup indoors in a cool place during the hottest part of the day. This is especially important for older dogs or dogs with health problems like heart disease or respiratory issues. Dogs can’t sweat like we do and they don’t pant like we do, so they rely on panting to cool off. If they’re panting heavily, it means they’re overheating and they need water — ASAP. A good rule of thumb is if your dog’s tongue is hanging out his mouth, he’s too hot — find some shade or water immediately! Make sure they have plenty of clean water to drink so they don’t get dehydrated. Don’t forget to refill their bowls twice a day!
Avoid walking on hot pavement.
If you must walk your dog during the day when temperatures are high, take him or her on shady side streets and avoid sidewalks as much as possible.
It’s best to walk your dog early in the morning, before the heat of the day sets in. You could go for walks under the trees in parks for example, to keep everyone cool.
Give your pet plenty of water.
Give your pet plenty of water. Pets need water just as much as people do, so make sure your pet always has access to fresh water. If the two of y’all are away from home for a few hours, bring along an extra supply of water in a portable bowl that’s easy to carry. A collapsable bowl you can attach to your backpack is a great option to always have on hand.
Offer shade and breaks during walks.
Offer shade and breaks during walks. If your pup has been inside all day and is used to being walked at night, don’t put them out in the heat right away. Instead, give them a chance to adjust by taking short walks in the morning or afternoon when it’s cooler outside. And if they don’t want to walk at all, that’s OK too! Plenty of dogs prefer lounging around on cool floors all day anyway. Avoid strenuous activity on hot days. When it’s really hot out, your pup will feel much better staying inside in air conditioning instead of going for a run outside. If you are outside, give them plenty of time to rest in the shade.
Use doggy sunscreen to help prevent sunburns.
If you’re like most dog owners, your pup is a part of the family. And when it’s hot out, it’s important to take good care of your furry friend. Here are some tips to keep your pup safe and comfortable during the summer heat:
Use doggy sunscreen to help prevent sunburns. Just like people, dogs can get sunburned. If you know that your dog will be outside for a long period of time, apply sunscreen to his ears, nose and belly.
Know when it’s just too hot for walks.
The temperature outside can vary greatly depending on what time of day or night you’re walking your dog. If it’s over 80 degrees F (27 C) outside, you may want to skip the walk or take a shorter one.
Take extra caution with older dogs and puppies. Older dogs may have less tolerance for heat than their younger counterparts; likewise, puppies can overheat more easily than adult dogs.
Protect their paws.
Dogs can get burned paws if they step on hot pavement or walk on asphalt, so be sure to walk them on a shady path or grassy area. If you’re going to be walking your dog in an area with hot pavement, put booties on those paws first! This is also a great strategy because dogs with little booties on are adorable and hilarious.
Don’t leave your pup in the car–ever.
Even if it’s only going to be for 10 minutes, leaving a dog alone in a parked car on a warm day can be dangerous because the temperature inside the car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes! This can cause heat stroke or even death if it goes on too long. Older dogs are at even higher risk. There is no amount of time in a hot car that is safe for a dog, don’t ever leave your dog alone in a parked car in the summer!
Prevent heat exhaustion by ensuring that your dog has easy access to water while outside.
Dogs can’t sweat the way we do, so they’re at a higher risk of overheating. It’s important to know how to care for your pup when it’s hot outside.
Prevent heat exhaustion by ensuring that your dog has easy access to water while outside. If you’re going on a walk or hike, bring along some water for your dog and make sure he gets a chance to drink it before you head off. Check for signs of overheating: excessive panting or drooling; red gums; or increased thirst are all signs that your dog might be over-heated.
If you notice these symptoms, take your dog inside immediately and give him a cool bath with lukewarm (not cold) water. Do not use ice as this can cause hypothermia in dogs as well as humans! Wrap your dog in towels until he has cooled down sufficiently and make sure he stays calm until he has had time to recover fully.
Take your dog to the vet if you notice symptoms of heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion symptoms in dogs include:
- Excessive panting or heavy breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Lethargy (acting very tired)
- Dark red or purple tongue or gums
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Dry skin with no sweating (dehydration)
If it looks like your dog is experiencing multiple symptoms and doesn’t seem to be improving inside in the A/C, we recommend taking your dog to the vet immediately. They’ll be able to help care for your dog and keep him safe and healthy.
Pro Tip: Ice Cubes
Keep ice cubes on hand for your dog to chew on during hot weather; they’ll help keep his mouth moist and cool as well as provide some much-needed hydration. Make sure the ice cubes don’t contain salt or other additives that could make him sick if he licks them off directly from his paws!
Overall, remember to keep your dogs cool, hydrated and comfortable when it’s hot outside. And check on them regularly to make sure they’re okay. Keeping your dog cool in the summertime isn’t difficult. Your pups are depending on you, so stay alert and do what you can to keep them safe!