When the temperatures start to rise, everybody can feel it — including your dog! Keeping your dog safe and cool this summer is extremely important, especially if they spend any length of time outside. Learn how to keep your dog safe in the summer heat here!
With temperatures rising, take extra care with dogs
Soaring temperatures and the blazing sun can spell trouble for dogs left outside in the Texas heat.
And with the first 100-degree day looming, that means it’s time to take extra care to keep your dog comfortable and healthy, experts say.
Mostly, experts say, be smart. Walk your dogs or take them to dog parks during the early morning or late evening hours, when it’s cooler. If the pavement is hot to your touch, it’s probably too hot for your dog’s paws. And never leave them inside a vehicle.
Without adequate shade and water, dogs can experience dehydration or heatstroke, conditions that are life-threatening if left untreated.
Other problems associated with warmer weather are parasites, sunburned skin and hot pavement.
Many people forget about how hot the pavement can be during the summer. Your dog’s paws can blister and burn, even if they aren’t on hot pavement for very long.
The good news is that all of these things are preventable. The bad news is that dogs don’t sweat, which means they can quickly become dehydrated.
Hot is hot, whether it’s inside or out
Besides the temperature, other factors to keep in mind are a dog’s age, tolerance to heat and existing health conditions, Bierbrier said.
What if your dog loves the outdoors, even in the blistering heat?
“You can purchase a baby swimming pool with just a little bit of water in it,” Hanson said. “But it’s not a substitute for having shade. You can take a jug of water and freeze it and leave it in the dog’s shelter area so he can lean up against it and keep cool.”
Adequate hydration is key to keeping your dog healthy and safe during the hot summer months.
Similar to people, dogs can get sunburn from too much direct exposure to sunlight.
Using sunscreen is a good idea, especially for white-haired or other fair dogs, said Hanson.
Be sure to ask your vet for a recommendation on which sunscreen product to use, she added.
Heat-related problems can even happen indoors. Turning off the air-conditioning or keeping it too low can cause a pet to become uncomfortable or overheated.
Don’t leave dogs in cars
Leaving a dog in a car on a hot day is one of the most dangerous things a pet owner can do.
Never, ever leave your pet in the car when it’s hot out. Even if you think it’ll only be a few minutes, it’s extremely dangerous!
If the temperature is 95 outside, the inside of a car can reach 114 degrees in 10 minutes and 129 degrees in 30 minutes. So the time it takes to go to a grocery store can become very uncomfortable — and in some cases, deadly— for a dog left in a hot car.
An overheated dog risks going into heatstroke, a condition that could rapidly advance into a life-threatening situation.
How to do you keep your dog safe and cool in the summer heat? Share your experiences below in the comments, or drop in and ask a question if you’d like!