It’s hot out there and while we’re all trying to keep cool, we need to remember Man’s Best Friend needs to stay cool too.
Here are a few safety tips when taking your dog out in warm weather:
Stay off Hot Pavement One major thing that many dog owners overlook when it’s sunny out is their dog’s feet. Paw pads can be easily burned by hot pavement.
Prevent sunburn. The ear tips, bridge of the nose, around the eyes and abdomen are all sensitive areas on a dog’s skin. These areas have thinner skin and are more exposed. So, if you plan to be out in hot sun for a while, consider purchasing a sun protector or high factor waterproof sunscreen MADE FOR DOGS and whenever possible rest in the shade.
Groom shedding dogs and long-haired dogs. Most dogs shed their coats at the beginning of summer, so daily grooming will help to remove the unwanted hair and will make your dog more comfortable. For long-haired dogs, trimming their coat may also help with keeping them cooler in the summer months. Regularly grooming your dogs fur will also give you extra time to check for ticks and fleas and to check their skin and paws are in good shape.
Keep away ticks and fleas. Being outdoors is great, but wooded areas and long grasses also tend to be home for ticks and fleas.
Stay Hydrated. Pack extra water for your dog on any excursion and make sure your dog’s water bowl is always filled and close by.
Avoid water with blue-green algae. Unfortunately, a growing number of ponds, lakes and rivers have blooms of blue-green algae during warmer months. It’s important to monitor waterways for unusual algae blooms and be alert to local advisories and warning signs around waterways.
Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion/heat stroke. Dogs can succumb to heat stroke very quickly in warm and humid weather because the only way dogs releases heat is by panting and sweating through the foot pads and nose. Prevention is key.
Avoid vigorous exercise on hot days, keep your dog hydrated and do not leave him/her alone outside or in a warm space (eg car). That said, if you notice any of these signs in your dog or someone else’s, they may be suffering heat stroke:
Vigorous panting Dark red gums Dry gums bloody vomiting or diarrhea lying down and unwilling or can’t get up staggering gait collapse and/or loss of consciousness thick saliva seizures If the dog is suffering heat stroke: move the dog out of the heat cool them off with a shower or tap water or place cool wet rags on their footpads and head. Do NOT use ice cold water – this can actually harm the dog further. offer the dog water but don’t force him/her to drink. Call or visit the vet right away.