Summer is officially here and along with extra time with family, vacations and playing at the pool comes the high temperatures. We take precautions to make sure our family is safe and healthy while they enjoy the beautiful sunshine, but what can we do for man's best friend during the hot days?
Here are ten tips for helping your pup stay safe and cool all summer long.
1) Before taking a stroll around the block, always check the pavement. Is it hot to the touch? If your hand burns even a little, your dog's paws will burn as well. The best alternative is to find some grass to walk on if being outside is unavoidable.
2) Keep your dog indoors when there is a heat advisory or is above 90 degrees except for a quick walk. Training your pooch to walk on a treadmill is a great tool for beating the heat without missing out on much needed exercise. (FYI, the same rule applies for temps below 20 degrees as well as other weather advisories such as wind chill or tornado warnings).
3) Limit your dog's exercise during especially hot days. High levels of exertion equal heightened body temperatures. Early morning or late evening walks are the best way to get them out and about without the threat of overheating.
4) Consider the humidity level just as much as the ambient temperature. Dogs pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs and cool themselves in the similar fashion to humans sweating. When the humidity is too high, the moisture can not evaporate efficiently and your pet's body temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels at an alarming rate. If your dog's temp reaches over 104 degrees, follow the instructions for heat stroke.
5) Fans do not cool your pup the same way it will a human. Always have a plan B if your pet starts to get overheated and air conditioning is not immediately available.
6) If you are sweating from the heat, its a good sign your dog can not handle it for long periods either. If the temperature is uncomfortable for you, it will be even more so for your pet.
7) Make sure there is plenty of shade in your backyard or patio to provide a safe, cool place to lay.
8) A fun way to keep things cool is place a small baby pool in your yard for your furry friend to play in and have access to clean drinking water.
9) NEVER leave your pup unattended in a car. Even with the air conditioning on, there are so many variables that could go wrong when someone is not around. If the car were to run out of gas, turn off or be involved in an accident, your pet is immediately put at risk.
10) The best tool you can use is water! Always bring plenty of clean H2O with you to keep your dog cool inside and out. Some dogs may refuse to drink water right away if they are too hot so the easiest way to keep them comfy is by pouring cool water on their head, snout or body. They will also love an ice cube for a treat to bring quick relief.