How to Keep Your Dog Safe During the Summer Heat
Summer; a time for picnics, bonfires, parades, and warm nights that seem to never end. With countless activities and adventures to be had, most of us spend hours - if not entire days - outdoors, all the while soaking up the sun’s rays and becoming better, bronzed versions of ourselves. While July is nearly over, this latest heatwave proves that summer won’t be ending any time soon.
If you’re anything like me, your dog isn’t just a pet - but rather a member of the family. My seventy-pound Golden Retriever, Bella, would do anything to protect me, and I would do absolutely anything for her. She is my baby, my fur child. Therefore, with the intense heat and humidity, that summer brings I worry about her safety. Here are some ways you can make sure you and your dog both stay safe during high/humid temperatures, so everyone can enjoy summer.
Always make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water. Making sure that your four-legged friend stays hydrated is just as important as making sure that you stay hydrated. If you and your dog are going to be away from home, be sure to bring a travel water dish and water - in case you won’t be able to have access to a water source for a prolonged amount of time.
Exercise or take walks during the coolest part of the day. Many factors come into play here; the temperature on any given day, the type of dog you have, any health conditions you or your dog may have, the location in which you live, etc. If it’s too hot outside the best option would be to skip the walk altogether and save it for another day. It would be in the best interest of you and your pet. With extremely high temperatures, or long walks on asphalt, hot gravel, etc. a dog’s pads on the bottoms of their feet can burn and blister causing severe pain. Therefore, if you must walk, wait until the coolest part of the day before doing so but keep in mind - if you’re hot, THEY’RE HOT!
Maintain your dog’s coat. All of our beautiful babies are unique in their own ways, from snout to tail no two are alike and the same goes for their luxurious coats. During summer months it is extremely important to maintain your dog’s coat - even if all that means is daily brushing. Eliminating some of that extra fur can really make a difference in their comfort. Check with your veterinarian or groomer to see if your pooch could benefit from a summer trim. It’s always a good idea to check first because not all breeds will have fur that will grow back appropriately if cut.
Finally, watch for signs of heatstroke. Any time that your dog is outside during the summer months, even if it doesn’t seem like a relatively warm day, it is imperative to watch for signs of overheating and heatstroke. Sometimes we may forget that dogs do not have sweat glands, and regulate their body temperature by panting. Also, the majority of breeds will have some type of fur, which adds heat. So, what may feel fine to us, could feel very uncomfortable for them. These are the signs and behaviors to watch out for: excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, bright red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of consciousness. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, quickly get them into a cool area and call your nearest vet or emergency clinic.