As much as we love the warm summer months, it’s important to remember that our furry companions rely on us to keep them safe from the heat. Dogs can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke, and even sunburns just like us humans.
To help prevent these from occurring, it’s important to recognize and address these issues. With the right solutions, your pooch can enjoy summer in the safest way possible.
Interested in learning more? Below we are going to discuss some of the best tips and tricks.
Know the signs of overheating in dogs
The first step in protecting your dog from the heat is knowing the signs of overheating. Symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, increased heart rate, agitation, weakness, and disorientation. ‘
If you notice any of these signs, immediately take them to a cool, shaded area, and provide plenty of fresh water. If the symptoms don’t improve or you notice they are getting worse, contact your local vet right away. The sooner you get on top of it, the better the outcome.
Protect your dog’s paws from hot surfaces
Sidewalks and sand can become extremely hot during the summer months, and they can easily burn your dog’s paws. To test if a surface is too hot, place the back of your hand on the ground and hold for around five seconds. If you find that you can’t keep your hand down, it’s too hot for your dog.
If you still want to take them for regular walks, invest in a set of dog booties for hot pavement and a wax-based paw balm that can be applied to create a barrier. It might take them some time to get used to them, but it is important.
Provide plenty of water and shade
Dogs must stay adequately hydrated in the heat, especially if they are running around. Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, cool water when outdoors, and bring a portable dish/bottle when going on walks, no matter how long you think you will be.
Additionally, offer your pooch plenty of shady spots to rest, and consider using a cooling pad. A kiddie pool is another excellent investment for pups to cool down. Some breeds enjoy splashing around for hours, and it can certainly be entertaining to watch! The best part is that you don’t need to have access to a full-size pool.
Avoid the hottest parts of the day
Temperatures are usually the hottest during the middle of the day when the sun is the highest (around 11 am and 3 pm). During these hours, it’s best to limit outdoor activities and walks for your dog.
Instead, opt for early morning or evening walks when the temperatures are cooler and the pavement isn’t scorching. Both you and your pup will be more comfortable.
Playtime indoors can be a great way for you to burn off energy and you can take advantage of air conditioning. Check out what options are available in your local area, as there may be indoor alternatives to your local dog park.
Stay clear of crowds
Where possible, try and avoid crowded areas such as parks or busy streets when taking walks with your pup. It may seem strange, but these places get extremely warm amongst all the hustle and bustle.
For anxious pups, the constant distractions from people, birds, or other animals passing can cause them to retain more heat. Of course, it’s good to get them out and about, but be mindful and consider their personality.
Know your dog’s breed and risk factors
Some dog breeds are more susceptible to heat-related issues due to their physical characteristics. For example, flat-faced breeds such as pugs tend to have more difficulty breathing in extreme heat and those with double coats and thick fur get hot rather quickly.
Even short-haired pups need protection from sunburn and skin cancer due to UV exposure. Owners should consider investing in canine sunscreen or dog-friendly clothing like hats, vests, and shirts that all protect from the sun.
Overweight dogs and seniors have an increased risk of overheating alongside other medical issues. Your veterinarian can talk to you about the necessary precautions to keep them safe.
And that’s it! Protecting your dog during the hot summer months doesn’t have to be difficult. It just requires a little awareness and planning.
Be observant, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian if you have any concerns. You want your friend to have the best care possible!