As we experience record highs this summer, it’s essential that your dog doesn’t feel the heat. Wearing a fur coat in the summer isn’t just unfashionable, it can become unbearable and dangerous for your dog. Dogs that become too hot are at risk for heatstroke and dehydration.
What’s Makes the Heat so Dangerous for Dogs?
From scorched paw pads to sunburn, dehydration, and heatstroke, dogs don’t handle the heat well.
Dogs normally run a bit hotter than us, with an average body temperature of 103-degrees F. If your dog’s body temperature increases just three degrees and remains there, it can lead to heatstroke and permanent damage. Heatstroke causes vomiting, shock, and seizures. If left untreated, heatstroke can worsen to cause internal bleeding, organ failure, or even be fatal.
Symptoms of heatstroke include:
Elevated heart rate
Excessive panting and drooling
Weak and shaking muscles
If you suspect your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, it’s important to get her into the air conditioning right away, provide her with water, and douse her in room-temperate water (or swaddled with a wet towel). When it comes to heatstroke, you should also bring your dog into the vet right away.
What can you do to keep your pup safe this summer?
Here are some of our favorite tips to keep your dog made in the shade as temperatures continue to rise:
1. Alter Your Walk and Exercise Schedule to Avoid the Sun
Switching up your routine so that you’re walking your dog in the mornings and evenings will help you avoid the hottest times of day. This will help protect your pup’s paws from getting burnt from hot pavement and avoid getting a sunburn nose.
Walking in the morning and evening will also help you cope with the heat. Just remember that dawn and dusk are often associated with heightened risk for vehicle collisions. Keep your dog visible and safe with a reflective vest while walking during these times.
2. Provide a Shady Oasis in the Yard
If your pup plans on joining you for some gardening or outdoor time, make sure she has a respite from the sun if she begins to feel the heat. You can set up an umbrella, a makeshift canopy, or keep the door to the patio or porch cracked.
3. A Hydrated Dog is a Happy Dog
Whether outside, inside, or back and forth, your dog should always have access to cool, clean drinking water. Not providing your pup with enough water can lead to a dangerous situation.
You also don’t want to encourage your pup to drink from puddles, ponds, or pools of water on walks. These can contain leptospirosis or other viruses that can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.
When going on a long walk or hike with your hound, always bring plenty of water and a collapsible water bowl to keep your pup from getting parched.
4. Make Some Pup-cicles
Dogs love peanut butter. Make your dog a cool treat by filling her favorite toy with creamy peanut butter and leaving it in the freezer to become an icy treat. You can add blueberries, apples, and carrots to the mix for adding yumminess and texture.
5. Make Sure the Pavement Isn’t Too Hot to Walk On
Your dog’s paws are vulnerable to damage from hot surfaces. They can blister and burn, making it painful to walk.
While there are some adorable dog shoes on the market, you may want to steer clear of them. Dogs sweat from their feet and shoes can make your dog even hotter!
Instead, always walk your dog in the grass and check the pavement with your hand. If you think it’s hot, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Fall and winter are right around the corner. In the meantime, keep your dog cool as a cucumber with these tips and some indoor quality time. Help your dog beat the heat this summer and enjoy your opportunity to watch the sunrise and sunset on walks with your best 4-legged friend!