With summer time as the temperatures soar, it’s important to pay special attention to your pets. Longhaired breeds and even shorthaired varieties are going to feel the heat more than people do, and there are a few tips for keeping your pups cool the rest of the summer.
Keep your pal cool.
Dogs don’t deal with heat the same way that people do. They do sweat by panting, but a littler known fact is that they also regulate body temperature through their feet. Attempts to cool your canine companion down should be focused on his underside, belly, and feet pads. Use a damp towel, let him dig, and allow him to get into shallow water. Be sure to keep him properly hydrated with enough access to water at home, on trips, and during walks. Bring along a collapsible bowl and a bottle of water in the car or during walks and take breaks in the shade. Keep the AC running at home, or, set up a kiddie pool in the yard for your dog to lay in. Another option is setting a pan of ice in front of a fan near your dog’s favorite spots.
Skip the asphalt.
Pavements and asphalt rise to very hot temperatures in the sun. If you wouldn’t walk in bare feet, or if the pavement is hot to the touch, it’s too hot for Spot. Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid peak heat times. Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Chavez also recommends dog booties for hot days. Just like in the winter, booties will protect your dog’s feet pads from the elements.
Never leave your dog in a car.
Just as small children and infants should not be left in a parked car, neither should your dog. The temperature in a locked vehicle on a 78 degree day climbs anywhere from 100 to 120 degrees, and on a 90 degree day can increase to 160 in ten minutes. With these kinds of statistics, it’s near impossible to bring your dog along for just a quick trip to the store, even with the windows cracked and a promise to return in ten minutes, by which time the temperature in your vehicle already has increased by over fifty percent.
A quick trip can turn into longer quite easily with lines, unpredictable patrons, and losing track of time. Leaving your dog leashed outside or with a friend is a much better alternative; without those options, please leave your pup at home.
Watch for signs of heat stroke.
Some symptoms of heatstroke in dogs are listlessness, abnormal drooling, foaming at the mouth, vomiting, and signs of dizziness or nausea such as faltering steps or falling over. Your pet could collapse, experience brain damage, and even die if his heatstroke is not treated right away. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, take him out of the hot environment and into air conditioning. Use cool water such as from a hose or tub to lower your dog’s body temperature, but do not immerse the dog in ice water, as cooling him down too quickly could cause the blood vessels to constrict and prevent heat dissipation. Set the dog in front of a fan to complete the process to lower his body temperature, at which point he should be taken to a veterinarian who can administer fluids.
Summer is a fun time to be a dog, but not so when it’s too hot! Taking the proper precautions for your pup will ensure that you and him have fun in the sun safely.