As the weather kicks up a notch, our natural tendency can be to get everyone up and out of the house... pets included. While spending more time outdoors can be a great source of exercise and fun for all involved, we have to be aware of the dangers that face our pets during the warmer months - and understand how to keep them safe!
Watch WHEN you exercise. Take walks in the cooler part of the day, in the early morning and evening hours. Bring enough water for both of you!
Never leave your dog in the car. No, not even if you think you’ll only be a few minutes. Even when it isn’t that hot outside, temperatures soar inside a closed car. Dogs can and do die of heat-related injuries after being left in cars every year - let's avoid this.
Give them a cool place inside to chill out. Help your pet cool down when they need to with a designated, cool and comfortable place in your home.
Hot to trot? Before you head out for a walk, touch the pavement. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog's paw pads. Walk on the grass and stay off the asphalt. You also might want to try booties for your dog so his or her paws don’t burn!
Offer plenty of water and shade. Don't leave your doggie alone outside for long. And when he is there, make sure he has shade and lots of fresh, cool water - add ice cubes too! FYI: keep in mind that doghouses can trap the heat and make it worse.
Make Dogsicles: Help your canine chill from the inside out. For puppy popsicles, make ice cubes with tasty treats inside. Or fill and freeze a chew toy to make a chilly snack.
Reuse your kiddie pool. Those cheap, plastic, child-sized pools that everyone seems to have laying around their garages? These are perfect for for your dogs to wade or lie in. You could even make bath time out of it!
Headed out on the water? Life preservers aren't just for humans. Bring lifejackets for your pets, too.
Be mindful of your dog's needs. If you have a snub-nosed pet like a pug or bulldog, be aware that their smaller airways make it harder for them to release heat when they pant. Pay special attention to the needs of your dog who is aging, overweight, or who have special medial concerns during the summer months.
Talk to your groomer. Be sure to get rid of any mats and tangles your dog may have - it will help keep them cool. But before you shave or clip their coat, be sure to talk to your vet or groomer. The extra fur that keeps them warm in winter may also keep him cool in summer!
Watch for signs of overheating. Your dog can't tell you when they don't feel well, so keep an eye out for heatstroke, which can have these symptoms:
- Heavy panting
- Heavy drooling
- Trouble breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dark or red gums and tongue
If you see any signs, get them to the vet right away.
See your vet. Keep your pet's shots up to date, especially in summer. The parvo virus spreads in warm weather. When your dog spends more time outside, the likelihood of them coming into contact with a critter with rabies increases. As well, preventative treatments are needed for fleas and ticks, which spread many diseases. We can prevent these pests from getting your BFF sick!
We hope you found these tips to be useful! Prevention is always easier than dealing with a crisis later.
How do you keep your dog cool in the summer? Do you stay inside as much as possible? Share your tips on how to keep dogs cool in summer below!