If you’re uncomfortable outside in the heat, chances are, your dog is too. Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat. They cool themselves down through panting. However, if it is excessively hot or humid out, they may not be able to keep themselves cool enough. This can be especially true for dogs with short snouts, often called brachycephalic dogs (pugs, bulldogs, boxers, etc.).
A general rule of thumb is that if the concrete or asphalt is too hot for you to stand on in bare feet, it is too hot for your dog’s paws. The pads of their paws are sensitive and can become burned. They do not have the protection that you have wearing sneakers or sandals. As temperatures soar into the 80s, 90s, and higher, the concrete can quickly become scorching. If you must be outside, try to stay on the grass or dirt as much as possible.
Also, aim to go outside in the early morning when the temperature is coolest and the ground has not had time to heat up from the sun yet. Even in the evening after sunset, it can take time for the pavement to cool down to an acceptable temperature. If you are out during the day, find shady places to walk and try to go when there is a breeze that keeps the air circulating and can assist in cooling you off.
Other Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool
- Leave your dog inside in the air conditioning. Since it is harder for them to keep cool, the best idea may not be to take them outside to play on especially hot days. Save those games of catch for another day. Also, do not leave your dog unattended in the car even with the air conditioning on. Temperatures can still reach unsafe levels very quickly.
- Let them play in a kiddie pool filled with cool water, splash around in the sprinkler, or get doused with the hose. (But first check to make sure the water coming out of the hose is not hot.) Some dogs love to splash and play, and this, combined with the shade and breeze, can help them keep from overheating.
- Ensure they have plenty of cool water to drink. Make sure water is always accessible and they take frequent breaks. Giving them cold treats such as ice cubes (or frozen cubes of no-salt-added broth), dog ice cream, watermelon, or frozen blueberries or banana slices.
Don’t forget to be alert for signs of heat stroke too, such as:
- Excessive panting
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Poor coordination
If you notice any of these signs, get your dog to a cooler place immediately and seek medical help. You can apply cold compresses to their head, neck, and chest to help cool them down and run small amount of cool water over their tongue.
If you know you’re going to be away and the temperatures will be climbing, think twice about leaving your dog home alone, even if someone is coming occasionally to check on them. If there is a pop-up storm that knocks out the power, they could be left without any air conditioning. By boarding them at Lake Wylie Pet Resort, you know that they will be safe and cool. They will have access to water and not be stuck outside (or inside) where it is uncomfortably hot. Contact us today to reserve your dog’s spot.