Summertime in all its glory is nearly upon us, and, while we may love the summer, it is important to protect ourselves from too much heat exposure, as it can be dangerous. Our pets need protection from heatstroke also.
Extreme summer temperatures, along with high humidity, can be dangerous for pets and people alike. Never leave pets or children in a car alone as internal temps in vehicles quickly reach into the danger zone, causing a heat-related emergency or even death.
Imagine wearing a fur coat in the middle of summer, and remember that your dog is doing exactly that, so schedule outdoor activities, like walking, in the early morning or early evenings to avoid raising your dog’s temperature to dangerous levels. In addition to timing your walks well, keep in mind that concrete or asphalt gets superheated by the sun and either get booties for your dog to protect his paws or walk him on grass only.
Keeping it Cool
Make sure to take the proper actions to supply cooling measures for your dog. He cannot tell you how he feels in words, so be proactive in supplying ways for him to cool off. Indoor dogs have the advantage of air conditioning to keep cool. Outdoor dogs and those who go in and out (to play not take a bathroom break), need a place outside to get out of the heat.
Pets outdoors seek shade to cool off. You can facilitate cooling by filling a kiddie pool with water and placing in a shady spot. If you have a family pool, share it with your dog. Gently introduce the pool personally to your dog until he is comfortable going it alone. Not all dogs can swim, so it is important to get in with him in the beginning in case he cannot.
Other Water-related Cool Offs
Another method of cooling is to wet a beach towel and place in the shade for your dog to lay on, run sprinklers in the yard, or spray your dog with the hose, being sure to get the paws and belly wet also. A doggie created cool spot usually begins with digging. You may prefer him not to dig, but reserve at least one spot for this. Dogs dig a place in the dirt, exposing the cool earth underneath, to self cool. Along with water for cooling, make sure your pet gets enough water to drink, since more heat causes panting and excessive panting can be dehydrating. For outdoor dogs, fill a five-gallon bucket and keep it full.
Flat-faced pets like the bulldog and Boston terrier have a harder time breathing due to their shortened muzzles, so it is best for these types of pets to be kept indoors in the air conditioning as much as possible.
Overall, use common sense. If it is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets.