As we enter summer and the temperature rises, we need to be mindful of our pups and their health. Although our pups do enjoy playing outdoors in all months, hot summer days do take a toll on them and paying extra attention to them and their needs is crucial. We have come up with a list of things to consider which will help keep your pup feeling his best as we enter the summer.
Provide Your Dog with Plenty of Shade and Water
Dehydration in dogs is a common occurrence but one that can be prevented. Making sure that your pup is well hydrated is the first step in preventing this. Having fresh drinking water available is key as is making sure your pup has ample shade while outside. Shade will allow your pup to escape the sun and help him cool down. Signs of dehydration quickly arrive and it is best to prevent before taking place.
Identify the Signs
Your pup’s normal temperature is between 100 and 103F, which means anything above that means your pet’s health is in danger. Dogs do not sweat like humans and rely on panting to cool down. If your pup is outside and you observe any of the following, it may be a good time to bring him inside and allow him relax and lower his body temperature.
- Heavy or excessive panting
- Dry or bright red gums
- Thick drool
- Wobbly legs
- General look of exhaustion or discomfort
- Lethargic behavior
- Whining or barking
Never Leave Your Pet in The Car
Although your fur-legged friend most likely does enjoy a ride in the car, leaving him inside for any amount of time without the air conditioner on can be extremely harmful. The temperature inside a parked car can reach a temperature in very little time that is enough to cause your pup to overheat and die. This act is not only very dangerous, but illegal in many states as it is a form of animal abuse. Police are commonly called to public parking lots after someone observed a dog inside a car unattended. Cracking your windows is certainly not enough to keep your dog safe and is a bad practice.
Apply Ample Amounts of Sunscreen
Believe it or not, dogs are able to get sunburn just like we can. This especially for dogs that are light in color and or have very short coats. Sunburn can be very painful and eventually lead to major health issues such as skin cancer. If you are planning to take your dog outside, a fresh application of sunscreen should be applied every three to four hours. Be sure to pay special attention to areas such as his belly and ears as those are sensitive spots that tend to burn easy. The sunscreen used should be a pet-friendly one as human sunscreen can be toxic for dogs. Taking the time to do this will save a lot of time and pain for your pup later.
Keep Your Dog’s Paws Cool and Protected
Pets heat and cool from the bottom up. If you’re out in the sun together, try to keep your pet off of hot surfaces like cement and asphalt which are generally much hotter than grass and dirt. Hot surfaces will prevent your pup from cooling down and can cause their sensitive paws to burn which may require medical attention. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
Put Together a Travel Pack for Your Pup
If you plan on bringing your pup out for the day have items packed up that he will be able to use. Extra bottled water, sunscreen, and rags that can be dampened to help keep him cool are just a few. Plan out your adventure ahead of time and be sure there are rest areas that have shade. This will allow for a safer and much more enjoyable adventure for you and your pup.