Summer is upon us! Many people take advantage of these hot months to travel, play on the beach with their pups, and hit the trails, while others prefer to cuddle up inside with their furbaby in air-conditioned bliss. As temperatures climb, it’s important to know how to keep your dog safe in the heat. Our loyal companions are much more sensitive to heat than we are because they need to pant in order to try to cool their bodies down and cannot sweat out excess heat like we do. Fortunately, there are things you can do in order to help keep your dog safe in the heat.
With the proper precautions, you and your furbaby can enjoy a happier and healthier summer. Here are some tried and true methods to help keep your dog safe in the heat.
#1. Never Leave Them In A Parked Car
Not only is this a key way to keep your dog safe in heat, in several states, it’s also illegal to leave your dog in a parked car, even if you have the windows cracked. This is because temperatures can skyrocket very fast in your enclosed car – just think about how brutally hot it is to open up your car after it’s been parked in the sun all day while you were at work!
The temperature inside your car can climb to over 100 degrees even with the windows cracked in under 20 minutes. Even if it’s the morning and it’s in the 70’s outside, the internal temperature of your car can still dramatically rise within an hour. This can have severe and tragic consequences for your pup, from organ failure to fatality. Thus, it’s absolutely crucial to never leave your dog in a parked car.
#2. Mind Their Paws!
You know how hot asphalt and concrete can burn your bare feet and make you rush to shade/grass/shoes? Hot asphalt and concrete can also really hurt your dog’s paws. A lot of vets comment about how they see a spike in burned paws during the summer months because many people don’t realize just how much hot pavement can hurt their dog’s paws.
There are a few ways you can keep your dog safe in the heat and protect their paws, such as:
- Use little booties/dog shoes
- Guide your dog to walk on the cooler grass
- Take them on walks in the morning or in the evening, when the pavement isn’t so hot
A good test in order to see if the pavement could burn your dog’s paws is to touch the back of your hand against it for about 10 seconds. If you can’t do it or it hurts to do so, this means it’s too hot for your dog to walk on without getting burnt.
#3. Limit Exercise On Hot Days
This method of keeping your dog safe in the heat ties into the previous one, in that you don’t want to be walking your dog in the heat of the day because it would burn their paws. You also don’t want to be exercising them when it’s hot out because it heightens their risk of heatstroke. If you have a dog with thin hair or pink skin, they could also get sunburnt and are more susceptible to skin cancer. Your vet can help you determine if your dog needs sunscreen and recommend sunscreens specifically formulated for dogs, as you don’t want to use human sunscreen on your furbaby.
It’s best to walk your dog in the morning or the evening when it’s really hot out, as the heat is less intense at these times of day. Always ensure that you have fresh, cool water on hand to help your pup stay hydrated. If it’s a real scorcher out, it may be best to play with your dog inside, rather than tempt fate with the heat.
#4. Ensure That They Have Shade
Whenever you let your pup outside, you want to ensure that they have shade and shelter so that you can help to keep your dog safe in the heat. Doghouses are not typically a good option, because they tend to retain heat, which can be quite dangerous for your furbaby. You want shading options that allow for plenty of air flow, such as trees or a tarp. You also want to ensure that your pup always has access to plenty of cool, fresh water while they’re out. A lot of dogs enjoy ice water, especially when it’s hot out.
You may also consider getting a little kiddie pool that your pup can splash around and cool off in. If there isn’t shade in your yard, it’s best to keep your pup inside where there’s air conditioning rather than risk the heat.
#5. Know The Signs Of Heatstroke
The last thing you want is for your pup to get heatstroke, but if they do, it’s important to be able to recognize it, so that you can get them help asap.
Some of the signs of heatstroke include:
- Heavy panting
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive thirst
- And more
If your dog is showing signs of heatstroke, it’s best to move them to a cool shaded or air conditioned area right away. You’ll want to provide them with water or ice cubes to lick, and place cool towels or ice packs on their head, neck, and chest. Then, you should take them to the vet.
Keep Your Dog Safe In The Heat For A More Enjoyable Summer
These are but 5 of the things you can do in order to help keep your dog safe in the heat. It can be blistering out there, but with the proper precautions, you can help your pup stay healthier and happier all summer long. Little Teton Doodles is here to help with additional tips and tricks so you and your dog can get the most out of the summer months. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions about the dogs we have available!