Summer is in full swing, pools are packed, vacations are rapidly approaching, and freshly squeezed lemonade on the covered back porch is calling your name. But another member of your family may not be enjoying these soaring temperatures just as much as you are. It is crucial to consider your pet’s safety and comfort during the ravishing heat. Here are a few ways to protect your pet and ensure they have a safe summer.
Offer shade in your yard
Just to make it abundantly clear, pets should never be locked outdoors for extended periods in the hot summer weather. Even if your yard has shade, rising temperatures can still kill your pet. With that said, it is perfectly fine for your dogs to spend time outdoors every day. This allows him to run around and get out some of that excess energy rather than tearing up your furniture and shoes. However, it is essential that you always provide adequate shade for your pet. Especially if they have a darker coat that holds heat. Give them access to a covered patio or tree-shaded areas. Remember, a dog house doesn’t provide protection from the heat. In fact, temperatures are usually higher inside a dog house because they are typically designed to trap heat for the winter.
Access to water
Your pets should always have ready access to fresh water. This means keeping a bowl in the house and one outdoors. It can be helpful to place it near a faucet to make it easier to remember to refill. For an even more refreshing treat, fill your dog’s water with a few ice cubes.
Never leave them in a hot car
Yes, you want to take your pet hiking in the summer, and they love going on adventures with you. But never, ever leave them alone in a hot car. Even if it doesn’t seem that hot, the temperature inside a car can quickly soar to 20 degrees over the outdoor air. Keeping the windows cracked won’t do much to cool the car down, especially on a particularly warm day. Always bring them with you when you leave the car, or if you are traveling with a friend, have them stay in the car with your dogs and keep the AC running.
Limit exercise on hot days
Humans can handle a lot more heat than dogs. Only exercise your dog in the morning or evening when it is cool and bring water and a collapsible dish with you to prevent dehydration. Walk on the grass instead of hot asphalt as the pads of your pet’s feet can burn incredibly quickly.
Another great way to modify your yard for your dog during the summer is to give them a cheap kiddie pool filled with cool water. Be sure to rinse it out every day to keep the water fresh to avoid attracting mosquitoes. Your pooch will love lounging in the cold, refreshing water. This is especially great for dog breeds that enjoy swimming, such as labs.
Consider a haircut
Though most pets, specifically cats and short-haired dogs, need their fur to help regulate their body temperature and keep them cool, long-haired dogs could benefit from a summer clipping. Take them to the groomer and get a good summer cut to help ward off heatstroke.
Know the symptoms of heatstroke
Yes, it is possible for your dog to get heatstroke and even the most careful pet parents may have to deal with it. Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, seizures, and potentially collapse. If your dog has any of these symptoms or an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees, take him to the emergency vet as soon as possible.
If your dog goes in a crate when you are not home, make sure to keep the air conditioning on and keep a fan running. Your pet will have no way to moving to a more comfortable area, so it is important to do everything you can to help ward off the summer heat.
What other ways can you help protect your pet in the heat? Let us know in the comments below.
-The Alternative Daily