Summer is finally upon us with longer days and warmer temperatures. But when the mercury rises, it’s important to keep your dog safe from the challenges of the season. Here are six tips to keeping your pup safe this summer.
Don’t leave your dog in a car, even with the air conditioning running.
I get it; we’ve all been there. You’re just going to run into the store for “for a minute”. But you get distracted with more items you want to buy. Then there’s a line at the checkout. Before you know it, that “minute” has become 10 or 15.
Temperatures rise quickly in a car, even with the windows cracked or down. And leaving the air conditioning running doesn’t always help. There are stories of owners leaving their dogs in a car with the air conditioning running, only to find out the engine died and the dogs were trapped in a sweltering oven.
Avoid walking your dog during the hottest part of the day.
Try to walk early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce the stress the heat and humidity brings-especially for dogs with long coats. It’ll be cooler for you, too.
If you have to walk your dog in the afternoon, take shorter walks.
Avoid hot surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. Before walking, put the back of your hand on the surface and if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s sensitive paws.
Stick to grassy areas or walk in the woods or alleys with plenty of shade.
Have fresh water available at all times, especially if you spend a lot of time outside.
Many of us like to sip a cool beverage on the deck while entertaining guests. Your dog will need to stay hydrated, especially if he’s active. Some pet owners even put ice cubes in their dog’s bowl to ensure the water is cool.
Don’t shave your dog.
A dog’s coat acts as insulation from the weather-whether it’s hot or cold. Shaving his coat removes the insulation. Dogs don’t sweat and he could get a sunburn with no coat.
Talk to your groomer about what look is best to keep your pup cool.
Know the signs of heat stroke.
Here is a link from PetMD outlining the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs and what to do if you think your dog has been affected. Heat stroke can be fatal and is also preventable.