Summer is upon us and with that comes the heat and prolonged exposure to the sun. Many people do not realize what their dog may need in high temperatures or what to watch for. Whether it’s a walk or a ride in the car, once the temperature goes up it’s a new set of rules to keep your pooch cool and safe. Here are a few things to know and to help you through these extra warm months.
Grooming your dog to keep him cooler is a good idea. However, if your dog is in need of a haircut you may want to reconsider cutting it too close. Some of that coat actually protects the dog from the sun. Another thing to remember is that dogs do not sweat like we do; panting is the way they keep cool. Providing them shade and cool places to lie down is a great way to allow them to regulate their body temperature.
Here are some additional things you can do to ensure your pet is safe from the heat!
- Never leave your dog unattended in direct sun or in a closed vehicle. This can cause heatstroke and possibly death.
- Avoid strenuous activity with your dog during extremely hot periods of the day. If the dog is not settling, crate and put a fan in front of it to circulate air.
- Make sure your dog is properly protected against fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. Simple monthly medication can ensure your dog is protected against pests that can make him sick. These pests can cause more trouble to owners during the summer months.
- Make sure to watch hot pavement, some feet can be sensitive and the pads of the feet can burn.
- Invest in a kiddie pool. If your dog loves water it’s an excellent way to keep everyone cool. The feet as well as the underside of the dog will benefit from the cool water.
- If you're taking your dog to the beach, the water may look inviting and refreshing. However, drinking ocean water is not a good idea. Dogs can easily dehydrate if too much water is ingested or it could cause vomiting. They can also over-work themselves by swimming so watch closely and make sure your dog is not over doing it.
Heatstroke can be the outcome should your dog become overheated. Some people may wonder what the symptoms are. Should your dog ever show signs of heatstroke, get them to a vet immediately for treatment. If traveling this summer, be sure to plan ahead to ensure your dog is safe at all times. Heatstroke can come on very quickly.
Early Stages of Heatstroke Include:
- Heavy panting
- Rapid breathing
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums & tongue
- Difficulty standing
Advanced Stage Include:
- Gums may be white or blue
- Lies down unwilling to move
- May defecate or urinate
- Difficulty or noisy breathing
Taking a few precautions and pre-planning can ensure your K-9 pal is safe. Enjoy your summer and stay cool!!