As temperatures soar, keeping your four-legged furball safe and happy in hot weather can be hard. While your canine companions love running around in the sunshine and chasing their favorite sticks or balls, they’re also at risk of heat stroke if they spend too much time overexerting themselves during hotter days. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to keep your pup comfortable and cool this summer. This article will provide helpful tips on keeping your dog safe when the mercury rises so that you and your furry friend may have a wonderful summer together!
The Danger Hot Weather Poses To Your Dog
During hot weather, it’s important to be mindful of how the heat can affect your furry companion. While dogs may love to bask in the sun and play outdoors, extreme temperatures can harm their health, particularly breeds with thick or long fur. Heatstroke is one of the most significant risks and can cause serious organs to suffer irreparable damage.
Fortunately, some symptoms of this are easy to spot and an observant owner may catch on quickly if their pup becomes too uncomfortable in the heat. Other than heat stroke, which will be covered in greater detail as you read on, it’s important to know that sweltering weather can also dry out their fur, making it even more likely for them to become dehydrated or sunburnt.
Tips For Keeping Dogs Safe in Hot Weather
To prevent heat stroke in dogs, taking precautions during hot weather is important. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe and comfortable:
- Provide plenty of water and shade: One of the most important things you can do for your dog during hot weather is ensure they have access to plenty of fresh, cool water. You should also provide them with a shaded area where they can rest and cool down. If you’re going to be spending time outdoors with your dog, bring plenty of water and a portable water bowl.
- Avoid leaving dogs in hot cars: It’s never safe to leave your dog in a parked car during hot weather. Even if the windows are cracked, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly rise to dangerous levels. If you’re running errands or traveling with your dog, bring them with you or make arrangements for someone to watch them.
- Plan exercise and outdoor activities for cooler times: During hot weather, it’s best to exercise and play with your dog during the cooler parts of the day, such as an early morning or late evening. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day, as this can put your dog at risk for heat stroke.
- Take care with hot pavement and other surfaces: When the weather is hot, pavement and other surfaces can become hot and burn your dog’s paws. Before walking, place the back of your hand on the pavement to test the temperature. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Consider walking your dog on grass or in a shaded area instead.
- Consider a cooling vest or bandana: Cooling vests and bandanas can be a great way to help your dog stay cool during hot weather. These items are designed to be soaked in water and then worn by your dog to help regulate their body temperature. They can be an excellent option for dogs prone to heat stroke or with thick coats.
Signs Of Heat Stroke In Dogs
Heat stroke in dogs occurs when their body temperature rises to a dangerous level. If a dog’s internal temperature reaches 106 degrees or higher, it can cause damage to the dog’s internal organs, including the brain. Heat stroke is a severe condition that can be fatal, so it’s essential to be aware of the signs and to take immediate action if your dog is experiencing heat stroke.
Some of the signs of heat stroke in dogs include:
- Rapid panting
- Excessive drooling
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Red or pale gums
- Weakness and lethargy
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness or lack of coordination
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, you should take immediate action to cool them down. Move them to a cooler location and give them access to water. You can also wet their fur with cool water to help decrease their body temperature. However, if your dog’s symptoms do not improve, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.
Special Considerations For Certain Types Of Dogs
Some dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke than others and may require special care during hot weather. Here are some special considerations for certain types of dogs: bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers, have short snouts and can have difficulty breathing in hot weather. These breeds are at a higher risk for heat stroke, so it’s important to take extra precautions to keep them cool. You should limit their time outdoors during hot weather and avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day. Keep them in an air-conditioned room or provide them with a fan to help them stay cool.
- Senior dogs: Older dogs may have difficulty regulating their body temperature, making them more susceptible to heat stroke. It’s important to provide them plenty of water and a shaded area to rest. You should also keep an eye on them and watch for signs of heat stroke.
- Dogs with thick coats: Dogs with thick coats may have difficulty staying cool in hot weather. You can help them by providing them with a cool, shaded area to rest and access to plenty of fresh water. You can also use a grooming tool to help remove excess hair from their coat, which can help them stay cooler.
- Overweight dogs: Overweight dogs are at a higher risk for heat stroke, as they have more body mass to cool down. If your dog is overweight, taking extra precautions is important to keep them cool. You should limit their time outdoors during hot weather, and avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day. You can also work with your veterinarian to develop a weight-loss plan for your dog.
Get A Step Ahead Of Hot Weather To Protect Your Dog
Keeping your dog safe during hot weather is essential to their health and well-being. By providing them with plenty of water and shade, avoiding leaving them in hot cars, and planning exercise and outdoor activities for cooler times of day, you can help prevent heat stroke. Additionally, special considerations should be taken for certain types of dogs, such as brachycephalic breeds, senior dogs, dogs with thick coats, and overweight dogs. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your dog stays safe and comfortable during hot weather.