The temperature is increasing and the sun is shining. It’s summer and you want to get outside with your pup and enjoy the weather. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your dog doesn’t sweat and cool down the same way that you do, not to mention that they are wearing a permanent fur coat. It’s your job to monitor their health and wellbeing in the heat.
Here are some tips on how to make sure your pup stays healthy and happy in the heat.
1. Never leave your dog in the car
Never ever ever leave your dog in a parked car. Not even for a minute. Not even when the a/c is running.
Think about when you first get into your car after it’s been sitting in the sun. It’s not comfortable right? How would you like to be locked in there for even ten minutes without reprieve? Now imagine if you were wearing a heavy winter coat.
When left in a hot car, your dog can overheat in less than 10 minutes. This can cause brain damage and even death so just don’t do it.
2. Watch the humidity/Pay attention to the temp
Pay attention to the temperature before you head out for the day. Check the humidity too since it can increase what the air feels like that day. Your dog will suffer heatstroke much faster than you, so it’s important to keep both temperature and humidity in mind.
If you have an older dog, they need special attention since they aren’t able to regulate their temperature as easily as younger dogs. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on them, give them access to water at all times, and keep them in the shade.
Kiddie pools work really well for pups on hot days. If you’re spending the day outdoors, get one of those little kiddie pools, fill it up with water, and let your dog splash around or just lay in there when they get too hot. Fill it with their height in mind. They should be able to lay in there comfortably without their head entirely under water.
3. Don’t exercise them on hot days
Dogs aren’t good at telling you when too much is too much. As previously mentioned on World of Angus, your dog won’t stop or slow down just because they are too hot. For that reason, when the temperature climbs, don’t exercise your dog. That means no dog parks, extended walks, or runs.
Dogs with smushed faces in particular should not be exercised in hot weather since they have small tracheas and long, soft palates. This makes it very difficult for them to cool themselves down. So if you have a pug or bulldog for example, never leave them unsupervised and watch for signs of heatstroke on hot days.
4. Give them shade and water
The best way to help your pet on a hot day is to give them constant access to shade and water. Dogs only have sweat glands on their paws, so they can’t cool themselves quite as easily as humans can. Therefore, although a fan may work to cool you down, it won’t be enough for your dog.
If you’re out and about, make sure you’re taking frequent breaks in the shade with your dog and always let them slow down if they want to. Make sure you bring water with you and let them have some every time you stop for one of these breaks.
On particularly hot days, just leave them at home. It’s where they are most comfortable and they are good at finding the coolest places to hang out on these hot days.
Watch for symptoms of overheating and heatstroke
Dogs get heatstroke. On hot days make sure you’re checking on your pup regularly. Heatstroke can show itself with many symptoms so always be on the lookout for:
If you see any of these symptoms, get them into the shade or coolest place you can find, give them some water and call your vet. You can also apply a cold towel or ice packs to their head, neck, and chest. If possible, you can also very carefully immerse them in lukewarm water (not cold). Giving them ice cubes can also help to cool them quickly.
Peanut Butter Popsicles
In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with the mashed banana. Add in a little bit of water to make it freeze better.
Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray, or drop spoonfuls onto a cookie tray lined with wax paper (just as though you were making cookies). Freeze overnight.
Save the treats in a plastic bag or container and give to your pup on hot days to keep them happy!