Fun in the sun is what summertime is all about. You can finally enjoy the outdoors without having to wear a coat or worse, snow boots. Your pets can enjoy the nice weather too as long as you keep in mind that our dogs do not handle heat the same way we do. Dogs have a higher body temperature than us and fewer ways to dissipate the heat.
We perspire all over our body – dogs don’t! Your dog can only perspire through their pads or noses and can only rid their bodies of heat through panting. If your pet can’t get rid of the heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.
Be careful when leaving your pet outside for extended periods of time. Only do so if they have access to shade, fresh cool water, and maybe even a wading pool. Better yet, when the temperatures soar, only let them outside to potty.
If you enjoy playing ball or frisbee with your dog, make sure they take breaks and always be on the lookout for too much fun in the sun.
If walking your dog, do so early in the morning or late at night. Additionally, be mindful of the pavement and what sizzling asphalt or concrete can do to your dog’s pads. Painful blisters on the pad can occur and cause your pooch a lot of pain, as these wounds are difficult to heal. Consider booties if you doggie tolerates them well.
Never leave your pooch in the car when temperatures hit 70 degrees. Even leaving the windows down does little to prevent high temperatures from forming inside your car.
Dogs with smushed faces – pushed in noses – will overheat in a nanosecond if exercised in warm weather. Even a short walk can bring on heatstroke. Do not decide on a 90-degree day to start an exercise program with your pup – you need to acclimate your dog to the heat.
Be aware that dark coated dogs and dogs with undercoats can heat up quicker than single coated dogs or pooches with light coats.
Speaking of light coats, make sure that dogs with thin fur wear a light t-shirt to protect their skin from sunburn.
Signs your dog is overheating are weakness, disorientation, stumbling, excessive panting, bright or dark red tongues or gums, seizures, excessive thirst, hyperventilation, drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Any one symptom should trigger attempts to cool your dog down.
Ways to reduce their body temperature include using a cool towel and placing it around their neck, on their tummy, between their legs, and under their arm pits. Get them inside an air conditioned room as soon as you can and try to get them to drink small sips of water.
If your pet becomes unconscious, get vet care immediately.
Enjoy the dog days of summer by keeping your pet happy and healthy throughout the season!