Things are heating up and it’s really starting to feel a whole lot like summer! Bring on the beach trips, picnics, cookouts and outdoor adventures! We know how important it is to keep ourselves hydrated and cool while doing summer activities but what about our furry friends? For our canine companions overheating is very dangerous and heatstroke is a very real concern. So today we will be sharing a few ways to keep your dog safe, healthy and hay all summer long while still taking advantage of all of your favorite seasonal activities.
First thing to keep an eye on is your pups behavior. Fatigue is the number one sign that his internal temperature is too high. Heatstroke occurs when their body temperature raises above 106 degrees fahrenheit. Normal ways your pal’s body cools off, like panting, can’t control it when it’s that high. Warning signs include fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and, at the worst, confusion and seizures. So if you’re out with your dog on a hot day and he’s constantly searching for every shady spot to lie down in, turn around and carry him home. If you’re worried that he’s overheated, you can use a rectal thermometer to check his temperature when you get home.
If your dog is showing symptoms of heat stroke including, fatigue, very rapid breathing, blue gums, extremely labored breathing, little salivation, and or vomiting follow the following steps.
First, wet him down with room-temperature water and put him in front of a fan. Your first instinct might be to pack ice packs around him or cool him off as quickly as possible, but the cold causes his blood vessels to constrict, and when they constrict they can’t get rid of heat. Call your vet and take your dog in right away for treatment.
Of course prevention is the key so here are a few tips to help prevent any type of heat related emergency. Always ensure your pet as plenty of shade and water. If he must be left in a confined area make sure the area is extremely well ventilated and that he has easy access to shade and plenty of water. Puppies and older dogs can be especially susceptible to the heat so always make sure a wet towel or newspaper is provided in their living quarters. Laying on the wet towel will cool them quickly since temperature is best absorbed thru the feet and belly. Remember that heat rises so never place anything such as a towel or blanket on op of them as the heat will not be able to escape.
Regular exercise is always important even in the hot summer months so consider changing their walking time to early morning or in the evening and avoid the hottest time of day in the mid-afternoon.
Use dog booties! If you can’t walk your dog during the early and later hours of the day, this is a good way of protecting him. Heat rises from the ground, especially on surfaces like cement and asphalt, and dogs absorb and release heat through their feet. Just like boots prevent the dog from absorbing the cold in the winter, they also isolate heat and protect them during the summer.
Never leave your dog in a parked car. Just as we would never consider leaving a child in a parked summer car the same rule applies just as much to our pets. The car retains more heat than an open area, even if it is in the shade. Plus, a dog may get overexcited in the car due to passersby or panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. On longer trips, make sure you have water for the dog and keep the AC running.
Use the hot weather for an excuse to go swimming! There’s no better, faster and more fun way to cool down than that! Instead of walking the dog, take a plunge in the pool, lake, ocean or stream! If you hold on and allow your dog to take you around the pool, it becomes a powerful bonding experience for the two of you, similar to your walks together.
Summer is such a fun time of year and is a great time to make memories and spend quality time with friends and family including our furry friends and family members. So have fun enjoying all of your summer activities and by using the tips above you can ensure that you will have a safe, healthy and fun summer! We’d love to hear about your favorite summer activities you love sharing with your pup! Tell us about them in the comments below!