Summer time is here! As of Monday, summer officially began, and events, attractions, parks and festivals are popping up everywhere to fill your time. Of course as a pet owner, you want to bring Roxy along to enjoy the fun with you. However, if you Summer time is here! However, if you are not watchful of the temperature, your pet can overheat. Here are some important tips to keep cool and still make the most of your summer.
It’s not just you that needs it. Your pet needs water to keep moving. If you’re outside in the heat, make sure to bring water bowls or bottles to allow your pet to drink. The dog park should always have the fountain working and there are even restaurants and bars that leave out a fresh bowl! There are many pets that if too thirsty may try to drink the runoff water at the curb (no!). If you’re traveling in a car, it may be better to take a break and allow Ruby to take a non-shaky sip from a water bowl.
2. Avoid the Hot Pavement
While Buddy is a city dog, the city pavement can hurt him. You have shoes to protect your feet from the hot pavement, but dogs do not have anything but their paws. If you can’t put your own hand and foot for more than 6 or 7 seconds, it’s too hot! Try to walk in the shade or patches of grass instead of the pavement, as the asphalt can reach extremely high temperatures around noon. If you can’t avoid walking your dog on the sidewalk, try little shoes!
A great idea to avoid hot concrete is to take your walks or exercise earlier in the day or at night when temps are cooler. The streets are quieter and Buddy can better focus on the tasks at hand instead of how hot he is.
3. Summer Snax
As is normal, Daisy loves to get a treat, especially when she’s been a good girl. But its even better when you get a treat so you can be healthy and happy! There are plenty of recipes for snacks to cool off your pet. Try mixing broths from cheek or beef to create a tasty, meaty Popsicle or freeze up some fruit (Noodles LOVES frozen blueberries). There are ice trays out there made just for creating icy dog treats! Blend fruits and peanut butter and freeze. For a quick fix on the run, consider getting a cup of soft ice (the ones that crush easily) that your pup can chew on for a quick hydration.
4. If You Leave the Car, He Comes with You.
You dog is just like your kid, and there is no excuse to leave him in your car. Whether you leave the window open or not, the heat coming from outside can gain 40 or more degrees when not moving. Always remember as a kid that when you get back into a car, everyone scrambles to open windows or turn on the air conditioner. Imagine what little Hunter must feel, covered in fur! You can endanger his life in a matter of 10 minutes, risking him a heatstroke, organ damage or even death. Leave Hunter at home if you’re going to be in a store or somewhere he can’t go for a while.
5. Oh the Power is Out!
Leave access to cooler areas of your home, such as tiled floors, an open window or even the basement! A power outage can be serious for your pet, even if it is just an hour or two. See if a neighbor can also check on your pet. If you are going to be away and a power outage is possible, it is a great time to book a pet sitter to look after little Dixie! Keep an even greater eye out for your older or overweight pets, since cooling off can be harder and they will overheat.
6. Take a Dip
Go swimming! Your dog will appreciate splashing, fetching and relaxing in a pool of water! Search for local dog pools or lakes or beaches that allow dogs. Be sure to bring your dog’s collar and let him go! It is recommended to bring a little brightly colored life preserver for dogs, especially when they may not know how to swim or to keep them safer and in view. Make sure to wash your dog after swimming in more public areas to avoid the skin getting irritated.
For those doggies who do not really like swimming or water (Kano doesn’t!) take them to a groomer or even your own bathtub for a bath or just a wet down. Kano is much calmer with a pail of water and a towel to squeeze water onto him! After the bath, your dog will appreciate the cool feeling in his fur.
7. Keep the Hair
You may think that Sparky is burning up because he has so much fur. Lets cut it all off!… No! Do not cut off all of your dog’s hair. Their hair covers their skin from sunburn and other skin irritations. Try trimming the hair to just around an inch, no more than that. Sparky will have a cool cut for the summer and will still be protected from the sun.
8. Lastly, Check On Your Dog!
It is important to know the signs of your dog getting overheated. Check these:
- Check how heavily he is panting.
- Check if he is lifting his feet to cool his paws.
- Check for a racing heartbeat.
- Check his eyes if they seem glazed over, unfocused.
- Check if he is drooling a lot or drinking excessive amounts of water.
- Check his tongue, if it is a dark purple or dark red color.
- Take notice if he seems dizzy or sluggish.
- Take your dog’s temperature to see if he has a fever. Dogs shouldn’t be more than 104 degrees.
- Watch out for vomiting or seizures.
- Watch your dog when he sleeps. Dogs normally notice when you walk around or if there’s a sound. He should not be unresponsive or unconscious.
If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, supply fresh water or ice cubes, and apply a cool towel. Make sure that you dog is in a cool area and call your vet immediately. Remember, dogs can suffer from heat strokes, organ failure or death if subjected to too much heat.
Check the weather to make sure if it even makes sense to take a long trip with your pet. Your dog (or cat) depends on you to keep him safe! Try to have a fun and safe summer!