Here are some useful tips to keep your dog cool and safe over the summer!
- Give your dog plenty of water to drink throughout the day. If it’s especially hot out, add a few ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl to help keep him nice and cool.
- Check the temperature of the ground before walking your dog! This is a crucial and often overlooked step. To determine whether the ground is safe for your dog to walk on, place your bare hand or foot on the ground for 10 seconds. If you’re not able to keep your hand on the pavement for the full 10 seconds, the ground is too hot for your dog!
- If you find that the ground is too hot for your dog very often, consider getting him booties to protect his cute paws!
- While going on walks, bring a portable water dish so your dog can stay healthy and hydrated.
- If your hanging with your dog outside on a hot day, bring a cool, wet towel for him to lay on to prevent him from overheating!
- Try to bring your dog out either in the morning or the evening to be safe. The hottest time of the day is the afternoon and bringing your dog out at this time may cause him to become dehydrated or hurt his feet
- If possible, get your dog a wading pool and fill it with some cool water. Make sure it’s shallow enough for your little, or big, friend!
- Whip up some frozen treats for your dog to enjoy! Try some of the recipes in the link below or buy frozen treats at the supermarket. Dogs LOVE frozen treats.
- While chilling by the pool, make a designated place for shade, whether that be using an umbrella or making your own shade contraption with a tarp.
Recognizing Heat Stroke and Dehydration in Dogs
Dogs, just like humans, are susceptible to heat stroke. Some signs include rapid breaths, panting, staggering, fatigue, excessive salivation, thickened saliva, depression, and muscle tremors. Be aware of these signs and if they do occur, immediately get your dog out of the heat and contact your vet. To cool your dog down, wrap cold wet towels him and give him cold water to drink. Monitor his temperature and make sure your not cooling him to too quickly to avoid shock. Once your dog’s temperature cools down to around 103℉, you can stop using cooling methods.
To recognize signs of dehydration, look for reduced energy levels, dry mouth, panting and sunken, dry eyes. Dehydration is much more common that heat stroke so be very aware at all times when your dog is out in the heat. You can also check for dehydration by pinching some skin at the top of your dog’s neck carefully. If your dog’s skin is less elastic than usual, that could be a sign of dehydration. To treat dehydration, offer your furry friend a bowl of water with some ice or some of his favorite fruit - anything to encourage him to drink more water! Because it is difficult to detect dehydration in dogs, be sure to contact your vet if you suspect your dog is dehydrated, even if you aren’t sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry!