Summer is a busy time for most families. I know mine is out and about quite a bit. We have a dog who comes along with us on many of our travels, but he spends most of his days outside at home. Hot weather can be a dangerous time for family pets. Did you know that dogs can suffer from dehydration, sunburn and even sunstroke if overexposed to heat? YES! Check out these hot weather care tips for how to keep your dog safe this summer.
Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Vehicle…even “Just For a Minute”
Fact: On a summer’s day of only 85 degrees Fahrenheit, even keeping the windows slightly open won’t stop the inside temperature from climbing to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 120 degrees in 20 minutes. A dog whose body temperature rises to 107-108 degrees will within a very short time suffer irreparable brain damage – or even death.
It is dangerous to leave your dog inside a parked vehicle while you run errands. Please don’t do it…even if it’s “just for a minute”.
Tip: Shop in pet-friendly stores when possible. Or, use a travel kennel and place it outside of your vehicle in a cool, shady spot, leaving plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink while you are away.
Give Your Dog Plenty of Fresh Water
Be sure your dog has access to fresh water all day, every day. Dogs can become dehydrated quickly when it is hot outdoors. Sometimes dogs can accidentally spill their water. Consider installing an automatic pet waterer.
Quick Hydration Check: Touch your dog’s nose. It should be cool and wet. If it is dry, your dog may be mildly dehydrated. If your dog seems weak and/or won’t drink – call the vet.
Tip: Dogs like cool water, so be sure to refresh their water dish often during the summer.
Make Sure Your Dog Has a Shady Area
If you dog lives outdoors, be sure your pet has access to a shaded area to get out of the sun. Be aware that temperatures inside of a dog house can be hotter than outdoors. In extremely hot weather, bring your pet indoors.
Tips: Be sure the shaded area is available all day so your dog is not accidentally exposed to the sun. Give your dog a cool water bath on especially hot days.
Do Not Over-Exercise Your Dog
Dogs can easily overheat when it is hot. (Remember they are walking around wearing a fur coat!) Be careful not to over-exercise your dog in hot weather.
Tip: Exercise with your dog early in the morning or late evening times when temperatures are cooler.
Indoor Dogs Need Cool Air, Too!
Even if your dog lives indoors, be sure that the temperature inside the house stays cool throughout the day.
Tip: Leave the air conditioner on if necessary to keep your home cool for your dog during the heat of the day.
Do you have a dog? Does your dog live outdoors or indoors? How do you keep your dog safe during hot weather? Please feel free to share your tips in the comments section.