As the summer heat and humidity crank up, it is important to take steps to keep your dog from overheating. Dogs who are older or overweight may be at even greater risk in high temperatures and have a harder time cooling down on their own. Here are a few ways you can protect your pet’s health while still having fun this summer.
Exercise Early. If your dog loves long walks or runs, playing fetch, or zooming around the dog park, make it a point to go early in the day before the sun heats things up. Keep trips outside during the heat of the day short. You can go for another longer walk later in the evening. Make sure you bring some water along too.
Protect Their Paws. If the ground is too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot for your dog’s paws. Check streets and sidewalks before you go out, and if they’re hot, try to find a grass or dirt path to take instead. You can also protect your dog’s paws with dog booties. Periodically inspect your dog’s feet for blisters, sores, or cracking skin.
Drink Up. Keep plenty of fresh, cool water on hand, whether outdoors or indoors. You can get collapsible dog bowls or attachments for water bottles to make it easier for your dog to stay hydrated while you’re out and about. Try making fun frozen treats too by freezing chunks of fresh fruit, plain yogurt, or chicken/beef broth.
Stay Inside. On days when the sun is blazing, stay indoors. Even if you have a dog house out back, it can quickly trap the heat and become hot and muggy, putting your dog at risk. If you are outdoors, find shade under a tree or umbrella where there is still a breeze. Leave your dog at home in the air conditioning rather than bringing them along in the car, because you never want to leave them alone in a vehicle, even if only for a few minutes.
Groom with Care. Regular brushing is good for your dog’s coat and helps to remove loose fur while stimulating natural oils to protect their skin. Avoid the temptation to shave them for the summer because most dogs actually do better when their fur is longer. It helps them to regulate their temperature and protects their skin from the sun. If your dog has an undercoat, you may want to have that removed to keep them cooler.
Be Alert for Heatstroke. If your dog becomes lethargic, is panting or salivating excessively, has a rapid heart rate, is incredibly thirsty, has glazed over eyes, has coordination issues, or is vomiting or seizing, these can all be signs of heatstroke. Take them to a shady location and apply cool water or towels to their head, neck, and chest to lower their temperature. Seek treatment from your vet or local animal hospital immediately.
The summer can be a lot of fun, if you take proper precautions to avoid overheating. Let your dog get their energy out in a safe, cool environment by signing them up in doggie daycare or boarding at Lake Wylie Pet Resort. They can even get groomed while they are there! Contact us today to schedule your dog’s stay.