If you think it’s hot out, imagine how your dog feels.
Their coat makes them feel like they’re wearing a woolly jumper, and their inability to sweat – except from their paw pads and tongue – means that they can’t regulate their body temperature very easily.
In hot weather, it’s vital that you think about pet care and make sure that your canine companion is safe and comfortable.
How to keep your dog safe in hot weather
Don’t leave them in the car
Never leave your pooch in a parked car, even with the windows open. On a day when it’s just 85 degrees Fahrenheit outside – fairly cool in the South – the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can rise to 102 degrees within 10 minutes and to 120 degrees within half an hour.
These kinds of temperatures can cause your dog to have irreversible organ damage or even kill them.
You have to be careful about exercising your pup when it’s really hot outside. Dogs don’t know when to call it a day, so even when they’re on the brink of heat exhaustion they’ll keep on running or romping with their friends if they’re having fun.
As such, it’s best to limit strenuous exercise to the coolest parts of the day, which are early in the morning and late in the evening. Be sure to bring some water out with you in case they get hot or thirsty.
Your four-legged friend will thank you if you keep them cool. Not only will they be more comfortable, but it could also help keep them well.
Dogs can suffer heat stroke if their body temperature reaches over 104 degrees. The best way to keep your pooch from overheating is to make sure they’re in a cool, shady area. Never leave them outside in the heat of the day without access to shade.
You could also keep them cool by setting up a kiddie pool for them in your yard, taking them out for a swim or making doggy popsicles.
Hydrate your hound
It’s essential that your dog gets ample water in hot weather, as they could easily become dehydrated. Ensure that they always have access to fresh, clean water.
If you’re going to be away for several hours, make sure you put multiple bowls of water down for them, or consider enrolling them in doggy day care, where they can play and someone can keep an eye on them.
Watch out for heat stroke
Heat stroke can be fatal for dogs, so you need to know how to recognize and treat it. No matter how careful you are, it’s possible for your dog to overexert themselves and overheat.
Therefore, it’s important to know the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs, such as vomiting and diarrhea (especially if either has blood in it), acting lethargic or depressed, panting heavily, having difficulty breathing, falling unconscious, having seizures or having a fever.
If you suspect your pup has heat stroke, you need to get them cooled down as quickly as possible. Get them out of direct heat and spray them with cold water, wrap them with towels soaked in cool water or place ice packs on their body.
If you have a thermometer, take their temperature. You should try to get it to below 104 degrees. You should also take them to see the nearest vet right away.