Summer is in full swing and, for most pet owners, that means spending more time outside with their four-legged friends. It isn’t widely known that, like people, dogs are susceptible to sunburn and even heat stroke. Prevent any harmful repercussions from the heat or sun and keep your dog cool this summer with these heat safety tips:
The “Back of Your Hand” Rule
Driveways, parking lots, and other walkways can get extremely hot in the sun. Always check the pavement or sidewalk before allowing your dog to walk on it. To see if it’s safe to walk on, place and hold the back of your hand on the pavement for ten seconds. Anything that’s too hot for the back of your hand is too hot for your dog’s paws.
Keep Them Hydrated
The best way to keep your dog cool this summer is to provide them with plenty of water. Keep a fresh bowl of drinking water available indoors and outdoors and change it regularly. Many pet owners carry around a portable bowl to fill when on the go. Also, to give them a nice break from the heat when they are playing outside, keep a sprinkler outside and give your pup a refreshing spritz of cool water. Kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy running through a water sprinkler on a hot day!
Don’t EVER Leave Your Dog Alone In a Hot Car
Even on a mildly warm day, the inside of a car can heat up fast. In fact, at 70 degrees on a sunny day, the temperature inside a car can reach 104 degrees after a half hour, and 113 degrees after one hour. Never leave your dog in your car, even if you think you’ll only be a minute or two, and even if the window is cracked open. It’s unsafe for your dog, and puts them at risk of overheating.
Use Shade To Keep Your Dog Cool
In addition to water, make sure there’s a shaded area outside that your dog can retreat to when the sun becomes too hot. If your yard doesn’t have trees, you can set up a pop-up tent, umbrella, or other cover to keep your dog cool and protect them from the sun’s direct rays. You can also close the blinds in your house to keep the sun from heating the rooms of your house when your dog is home.
Keep Your Dog Groomed
Be conscious of your dog’s size, breed, and coat when considering their ability to withstand hotter temperatures. While breeds like the Chihuahua thrive in warmer weather, breeds with thicker coats, like Huskies and Shepherds, are built to thrive in colder climates. Smaller breeds like the Maltese and Boston Terrier are usually most sensitive to extreme temperatures. If they have a thicker coat, make sure to groom them regularly through the summer months to keep your dog cool. Here are some great summer grooming tips.
When In Doubt, Don’t Go Out
The fact is, you can only do so much to keep your dog safe and cool outdoors in the summer. Even in moderate heat, most dogs would prefer to be indoors. In the heat, a fatal heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or overexertion can take just moments to come on. Keep your dog cool by following these tips. Then use your best judgment when deciding whether or not your dog should be exposed to the heat.
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